Here's the Real Location of True Detective's Carcosa

Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
March 11 2014 9:11 AM

The Real Location of True Detective's Carcosa

macomb1
The ruins of Fort Macomb in 1973

Photo: Barbara Ann Spengler

Atlas Obscura on Slate is a blog about the world's hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook, Tumblr, or follow us on Twitter @atlasobscura.

In the climactic scene of True Detective's season finale, Messrs. Cohle and Hart storm Carcosa, a creeptastically dilapidated lair perfectly suited for a serial killer.

In the realm of reality, Carcosa is better known as Fort Macomb, a 19th-century brick fortress that once guarded the waters of Chef Menteur Pass in New Orleans. Fort Macomb, originally known as Fort Chef Menteur, then Fort Wood, was completed in 1822. (The Americans had just fended off the British in the Battle of New Orleans and figured a few extra forts around the place couldn't hurt.)

Advertisement

Fort Macomb saw some action during the Civil War — Confederate soldiers camped there until the Union captured New Orleans and took the fort for themselves. In 1871, Fort Macomb was decommissioned and has sat idle ever since. Crumbling, overgrown, and battered by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav, it is too hazardous for the public to visit. But just hazardous enough for Matthew McConaughey.

If you squint and employ your imagination, you can get the Carcosa experience at nearby Fort Pike. Built to the same design as Fort Macomb, it's in much better condition and welcomes even non-celebrity visitors.

All sorts of forts:


View Fort Macomb State Historic Site in a larger map

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.