It’s intriguing and rich with ghost stories and history. Let’s begin with the main protagonist, Delphine Lalaurie, born in 1783 who became known as the ‘Cruel Mistress of the Haunted House.’
She was born into an excellent family filled with wealth, political power, and real estate.
Her and her family were more than well off in the south during that period of time and of course, they owned many slaves. Born Marie Delphine Macarty and married three times, she officially became Madame LaLaurie in 1825 when she married a physician by the name of Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie.
Together, they purchased a property at 1140 Royal Street, which turned into a three-story mansion by 1832 with attached slave quarters.
Life was grand for LaLaurie as she found herself rubbing shoulders with high society New Orleans at that time. Sadly, things changed 1834 when a fire broke out at her marvelous mansion.
On an April morning, a fire broke out at the LaLaurie mansion that destroyed part of the house but it also revealed extremely poor slave conditions. Seven slaves were found starved, tortured and chained in the upper part of the building.
As they were taken out of the mansion to receive medical treatment, two thousand townspeople gathered to view the mansion in hopes that the Sheriff would arrest the LaLauries.
Angry that the Sheriff never arrived and no action was taken against the LaLaurie’s, the crowd became an angry mob seeking vengeance. Madame LaLaurie escaped the mob attack that nearly destroyed her house from the inside out.
As word got out around the town and nation, media outlets began labeling Madame LaLaurie as a ‘monster, a ‘demon in the shape of a woman’ and ‘fury itself escaped from hell.’
Rumors unfolded that a slave, who was chained to the stove, set the house of fire in order to bring attention to horrific slave conditions. Another story claimed that LaLaurie had one of the slaves’ bones broken numerous times and then set them in an unnatural position, causing the slave to walk like a crab.
The creepy staircase
Another story of a slave having a hole drilled into their head with a spoon sticking out has also been told. It gets even worse: one slave allegedly had their skin removed the way you skin an apple. Sure, some of the stories were probably embellished throughout the years, but some can be traced back to the New Orleans Bee Newspaper article following the fire.
There have been reports of paranormal activity coming from the house for 200 years now. The sounds of moaning have often been heard coming from the room where slaves were held. Phantom footsteps occur throughout the house and some say they had a feeling of negative energy when they stood near the house.
In 1837, the mansion was was purchased by a man who only kept it for three months. He was distraught by strange noises, cries and groans in the night that he soon abandoned the place. It was never easy to keep tenants in the house because the alarming strange occurrences. One man who was murdered on the property claimed that an evil demon lurked within the place.
The infamous attic where slaves were tortured
The mansion has recently had renovations
Here it is today
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