The Haunting of the LaLaurie House

The LaLaurie House – Orleans County, New Orleans, Louisiana

Photograph ©Alexey Sergeev

WARNING: The following story is nothing short of horrific. This material is not suitable for children! Also, if you are faint of heart or if you are sensitive to grisly acts please skip this post….I am not kidding! The events that took place in this house are unsettling and horrifying! Please be advised.

History of the House:
In 1832, Dr. Louis LaLaurie and his wife Delphine moved into the mansion located in the French Quarter. Despite Madam LaLaurie’s beauty, intelligence and charm, she was later to become known as one of the most brutal, heartless and insane women of New Orleans. The insanity of this French Creole woman is terrifying, even by today’s standards. In my opinion, the atrocious acts committed by Madame LaLaurie pale in comparison to even the notorious Jack-the-Ripper.

Rumors about the couple started early on when neighbors, friends and visitors noticed that the LaLaurie’s were always replacing slaves. When questioned, they would claim that the old slave had escaped or ran off. Many questioned these claims and talked amongst themselves; all in agreement that they had not heard of any slaves escaping, nor had they seen any leave the house.

Not long after, a neighbor witnessed Madame LaLaurie chasing one of her slave girls with a whip. She pursued the girl to the third floor where the chase ended. To escape the wrath of Madame LaLaurie, the slave girl ran right through a window and fell to her death onto the street below. Madame LaLaurie buried the girl’s body in her yard and sealed the broken window up with concrete.

In 1834, fire broke out in the kitchen of the LaLaurie mansion. Firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze and then they inspected the remainder of the home. I cannot even imagine what went through their minds when they opened the barred door to the attic; the sight must have been atrocious…

Walking into the LaLaurie attic, the firefighters discovered more than a dozen slaves, some dead and some begging for death. The scene was so gruesome that the firefighters fled and doctors were sent in.

Inside Madame LaLauries torture chamber, many slaves were found chained to the walls; one such man was found with a hole drilled into his forehead with a stick inserted into the hole. Others were kept in cages and one of these poor souls was hideously disfigured after Madame LaLaurie had broken her limbs to fit her inside. The slave girl’s limbs were then set at odd angles for Madame LaLaurie’s amusement. Another slaves appendages were completely cut off to fit her in the dog sized cages.

Other atrocities found in the room were body parts strewn about, women who had been cut open and their organs wrapped around their waists and the remains of dismembered slaves.

Another slave woman in the attic was found to have her mouth stuffed full of animal droppings and her lips sewn shut. Others were found with their fingernails ripped off, eyes poked out or private parts cut off. Still others were found with their hands sewn to various parts of their bodies, mouths pinned shut, and some strapped to operating tables whose inner parts had been removed.

When the people of New Orleans heard about the findings, they gathered with torches and ropes and set out to lynch the LaLauries. Unfortunately, Louis and Delphine LaLaurie escaped the crowd and were never seen or heard from again.

The house changed hands over and over throughout the years. At one point, one of the owners had pulled up floor boards to have them replaced and found the remains of seventy-five people who had been buried alive. It is rumored that the home is now owned by Nicholas Cage, who purchased it in 2007.

There are quite a few details I have left out of this story. If you would like more information pertaining to the murders or the previous owners and their experiences with the building, click here.

Paranormal Activities Reported:

It is no surprise that this house has been labeled haunted. Many have purchased the place, only to put it back on the market shortly after.

Many of the tenants have made reports of ghostly apparitions, including Madame LaLaurie herself. Many have heard what sounds like a chain being dragged down the stairs when no one was there. The screams and cries of human pain have been heard coming from the attic. Even the casual passerby has experienced feelings of foreboding and dread from the street below.

* Please be advised: The La Laurie House is now a privately owned. No tours are given and trespassers are not tolerated.

Address:
1140 Royal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70116

RELATED LINKS:
LaLaurie House Apparition