Marie Laveau (Widow Paris) was a hairdresser for rich Creole ladies in New Orleans. She paid household servants to spy for her and she knew everything about every important person, and used this knowledge to intimidate or even to blackmail. She had a pet snake which she handled.
Around 1830 she emerged above all Voodooiennes as the sole Voodoo power in the city. She defined Voodoo that is truly, and uniquely the Voodoo of New Orleans. She invented hundreds of spells, charms, potions and incantations, being the base of both the modern practice and the folk Hoodoo. She held traditional ceremonies by the Lake Pontchartrain, but also she used Voodoo to gain money, also selling tickets for her events to the curious.
Her daughter, Marie Glapion, took over when she got old. They both encouraged the notion that they are the same individual, and as a result most believed that she ruled for a hundred years, while in reality Widow Paris died in 1881.
Her tomb is in St. Louis Cemetery #1, although it is not sure which (or if both) is buried there. It is a popular shrine for practitioners and tourists. Some Voodoo believers argue that she is buried in an unmarked tomb at St. Louis Cemetery #1.
Wikipedia:Marie Laveau at Wikipedia