Marie Laveau (September 10, 1794-June 16, 1881) was a practitioner of Voodoo and earned herself the nickname The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. She was a woman of color, but she was born free - she was not a slave.
Laveau had many children but one of her daughters, Marie Laveau II, has often been confused with her. Some people believe that Marie Laveau II was the woman spotted walking the streets of New Orleans after her mother's death, but it is not certain.
It is still not known how powerful Marie Lauveau was. Some believe that she was merely very skilled in finding out people's personal information - an accusation held by many disbelievers of anything having to do with psychic powers.
Marie Laveau has been the subject of a lot of popular culture. Books, movies and television shows have characters based off of her. Perhaps the mystery surrounding her is what draws people in the most.
Laveau is said to be buried in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1. This too, however, is up for debate. The reported tomb is one of the most recognizable in New Orleans though, because of the drawings that mark it. Many visitors have placed a series of X's on it's side. It is believed that doing this may earn you a granted wish.
Happy birthday, Marie Laveau!