We first covered the Lalaurie haunted house in an article named Louisiana Haunted Houses back in March, 2016. It’s such an interesting (and disturbing) subject, we thought it deserved an article all of it’s own…
The Lalaurie House Story
The house was built in the early 1830’s on the famous ‘Royal Street’, in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s a strikingly beautiful property but it is often referred to as ‘the most haunted building in New Orleans’.
Over the years there have been numerous reports of ghostly cries of children, as if they are playing outside in the courtyard, and dark screams of pain from inside the house. There have also been incidents of visitors hearing the sound of chains been dragged down the upper stairway.
Numerous paranormal apparitions have also been spotted – the most famous being that of the house’s previous owner, Delphine LaLaurie…
The Madame Delphine Lalaurie House
Born to Irish parents in 1775, Delphine Macarty grew up to be a prominent and extremely good looking woman. She ended up being married a total of three times – her last husband being a physician named Leonard LaLaurie (whom she married in 1825).
As soon as they got married they purchased a plot of land and a small building at 1140 Royal Street, which they quickly converted into an impressive three-leveled mansion.
Before long the married couple were looked upon as extremely fashionable and prominent citizens of the area – they were invited to all the ‘big cheese’ gatherings.
Like many other families with status back then – the LaLauries owned a handful of slaves…but locals noticed that these slaves seemed to be completely neglected most of the time.
Rumors started to circulate, but Delphine LaLaurie was good at covering her tracks in public.
Eventually a neighbor spotted her chasing an eleven-year-old slave girl around the back courtyard with a whip. She was apparently in a rage and the young girl had to climb up onto the building’s roof to escape a beating.
Unfortunately, she lost her footing and fell to her death.
The LaLauries were unable to escape punishment, even after they hastily buried the child’s body on their grounds – they were found guilty of cruelty, and had to forfeit nine slaves.
Murder and Mutiliation
The cruelty to the remaining slaves continued, but nobody realized how bad things had got…until a female slave set fire to the main property’s kitchen on April the 10th, 1834.
This slave had been informed she was going to be taken to the ‘uppermost room’ – a place where slaves seemed to disappear. In her fear she set the fire to attract the authorities…and it worked.
When the fire was raging, locals ran into the house to see if they could help get everyone out. Delphine told them they were not to go in the locked slave quarters.
Of course, the locals ignored her orders – they didn’t want to have to hear the screams of slaves burning behind a locked door!
When they eventually managed to break through the locked door, they found themselves in a scene of pure horror.
Slaves were in various positions of torture, with hyper extended limbs and snapped joints, hung up in various positions…most were still alive.
Worse was to come…in the uppermost room…
Male slaves were chained to walls after having their eyes gouged out, some had been skinned, others had no fingernails…and a handful of female slaves were found with their mouths sewn shut.
It was a complete mess.
The newspapers at the time were instructed to ‘water down’ the findings within the house – authorities did not believe that the public could handle such a wicked and twisted scene.
The LaLauries managed to flee the local mobs in time, living out the remainder of their lives in Paris, were Delphine is believed to have died in December 1842.
The house was completely ransacked by the local law, who found several more bodies in the courtyard (two of which were children).
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Lalaurie haunted house, please leave them in the comment section below.