New Orleans, Louisiana is an old and beautiful city. New Orleans has a culture all its own and an interesting and storied past. It is a ghost hunters playground. Imagine ghost tours, vampire tours, and entrancing cemeteries full of crypts and mausoleums. Follow those tours up with fresh beignets and you are living a paranormal tourists dream.
Lalaurie Mansion, New Orleans
Lalaurie Mansion was once the home of Dr. Louis Lalaurie and his wife, Delphine. It is still standing and is located at 1140 Royal Street. It is said that the mansion is haunted by the slave men and women that were tortured and killed by Madame Lalaurie in the 1800’s. Delphine Lalaurie was a Creole socialite who married her third husband and moved into the mansion in 1832. Delphine was known at the time for her elaborate parties where she hosted the elite of New Orleans society, but she had another side to her that was pure evil. Delphine was incredibly abusive to the slaves that worked within and around the mansion. A neighbour of the Lalaurie family witnessed Delphine chasing a young slave girl through the mansion with a whip. The two ran until they reached the roof and the child jumped to her death to avoid the wrath of Madame Lalaurie. The neighbour complained to authorities and although the Lalaurie’s were never prosecuted they did fall out of favour with their high society friends.
On the evening of April 10, 1834 a fire broke out in the mansion. Those that put out the fire were shocked when they found a barred door in the attic. Behind that door they found a scene that must have haunted their dreams for the rest of their lives. At least a dozen slaves were found either bound to the walls or strapped to make-shift operating tables. Men had had their fingernails ripped out, their eyes had been removed,and their genitals mutilated, while women were found disemboweled, with mouths sewn shut,and one woman had her limbs broken before she had been stuffed into a cage where her broken bones set at unusual angles . Different body parts and heads were strewn around the torture chamber and a bucket full of organs was discovered. Most of the people were dead and those that were not begged to be put out of their misery. News of the atrocities spread as quickly as the fire had and a mob began to form. Although slavery was still an acceptable practice in Louisiana at the time, there were rules regarding their treatment and this was way over the line. It is said that a carriage burst through the gathering mob and the Lalaurie family made their escape.
The story goes that they ended up in France. Delphine died on December 7, 1849 (or as some say December 7, 1842). I am left hoping that she did not continue to abuse, torture, or kill anyone after she left New Orleans.
Lalaurie Mansion New Orleans went through different owners who would report hearing screams of agony, and of seeing the apparitions of slaves on the balconies and on the grounds. The Lalaurie Mansion has been converted into luxury apartments and I wonder if the screams can still be heard?
Another city for the bucket list.
The Other Half