Friday, October 16, 2015

Scary October: LaLaurie Mansion

In celebration of my favorite month, October, I'm featuring a different scary story every Friday. This week I'm telling you a story I heard a decade or so ago. I never forgot it--it was that disturbing. It's a story about Madame Delphine LaLaurie, who lived in New Orleans. This is Madame LaLaurie:



She was played by the very talented Kathy Bates on American Horror Story: Coven.



When I saw the first scene on American Horror Story, I realized this was the story...the one that had been so disturbing. Few people in history have been as evil as Madame LaLaurie. She was a wicked, sadistic person who locked slaves up in her basement and physically abused them. Pure evil.



It's important to note that ghost-hunting tours and the screenwriters of American Horror Story have taken many dramatic liberties with their tales of torture. The facts, as they stand, can be traced back to newspaper accounts at the time. What we know today is that in 1834, a fire broke out at Madame LaLaurie's mansion. A judge ordered her husband, Dr. LaLaurie to free the slaves that neighbors knew were chained in her basement. Dr. LaLaurie told the judge to mind his own business.


LaLaurie Mansion, New Orleans

The judge ordered the doors to the basement be broken down and, according to the newspaper, the rescuers found, "seven slaves, more or less horribly mutilated … suspended by the neck with their limbs stretched and torn from one extremity to the other.”



Neighbors were reportedly so outraged, they ransacked the house and destroyed everything they could. Madame LaLaurie is said to have escaped to Paris. Some say she returned secretly at some point, but there is no evidence of any of that. This copper plate, found in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, indicates that she was buried in Paris in 1842:



Today you can find a wax depiction of Madame LaLaurie in the Musee Conti Wax Museum, but only until January of 2016. The museum is closing its doors.



The LaLaurie Mansion, meanwhile, is said to still be haunted. For some reason, Nicolas Cage bought it in 2007 and let it go into foreclosure in 2009. If you take a New Orleans ghost tour, you'll likely find yourself standing outside of it, listening to numerous exaggerated tales about the torture that happened inside.



But you won't be able to set foot inside the house. The home was restored in 2013 and there were rumors it would be turned into a haunted bed and breakfast, but the home remains closed to the public.

Come back next week for the next stop on my ghost tour:



74 comments:

  1. A great and interesting story no doubt. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. And disturbing--one of the darker ones I've heard, and I've heard a LOT of ghost stories. I have a feeling a ghost tour in New Orleans would be a very interesting one.

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  2. She doesn't look evil in her portrait, does she? It just goes to show, you never can tell.

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    1. Right! Of course, at that time they were painted, so the artist probably softened her eyes? I imagine she had some sort of psychotic break that would have been diagnosable today--at the time people were just all lumped into "crazy" with no way to treat or cure them.

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  3. I have never heard of her before now. Fascinating tale! Have a great weekend, Stephanie!

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    1. I'm sure American Horror Story introduced some people to the story. I never make it through a season (except the first)--WAY too violent and disturbing for me.

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  4. I had never heard that tale. I confess American Horror story is too gruesome for me!

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    1. Me, too! The first season wasn't bad...plus, GHOSTS! Loved that season. Then they left ghosts and went to just crazy murderer people, witches, and circus freaks. That's all fine, but in season 2 it just got ugly. There was a scene where a Santa broke into a house and talked the kid into taking him to her parents, where he was holding the mom. I don't know what happened next because I exited in Netflix and didn't return until the Kathy Bates season...where I made it a few episodes in before, again, things just went WAY too far for me. There's scary and then there's just "way too far." I don't find that stuff scary. What scares you is more what you can't see than what you're watching depicted on screen in violent, gory detail.

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  5. I had never heard of this Madame La Laurie either but had to look it up online. I would never set foot in that place. The horrors that went on in that place is right up the scale.
    I wonder where they got the spike collars made, the local blacksmith??

    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. Maybe they were homemade? Eek. There's a story about a slave escaping and jumping from the roof to her death rather than having to endure another minute in that house. I don't know if that's factual or just another tale they've made up to sell ghost tour tickets. It's hard to tell these days. After hearing a COMPLETELY fabricated story on a ghost tour in Savannah, I don't really trust these ghost tour people anymore.

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    2. You are probably right Stephanie. Anything to make a buck from gullible people.
      Have a nice spooky weekend.
      Hugs,
      JB

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  6. Hmm, I'm a huge fan of Kathy Bates so I might try watching Coven. Although, I haven't gotten through a whole season of American Horror Story yet either. Totally freaks me out....

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    1. I LOVED the first season. There were some tough scenes, but they were short...I just loved the ghost element of it. I can't watch anything where people are tortured, though. Just can't. That's too far for me! Ghosts are scary because we aren't sure if they're real. We know psychos are real!

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  7. Kind of makes you wonder what did she do in Paris. Great story.

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    1. I didn't think about that. You know she didn't turn "normal" once she got over there. I can only hope she couldn't find people she could abuse over there, without her social standing.

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  8. What an evil woman! Kathy Bates is wonderful though. :)

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    1. It would be worth watching the episodes if only to see her performance, but I couldn't get through the violence. I just don't have the stomach for it!

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  9. For real tho.
    How do people watch AHS? That show is awful. Lol. I mean really bad. And I love horror. But yeah not that show! I have my own ghost stories. And since it's Halloween, maybe I'll share them on the blog!

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    1. I thought the first season was good, but I love ghosts. The creators also did Glee--same thing. First season was really good but they don't seem to be able to keep the "magic" going. Although it has won/been nominated for numerous awards each year, so I presume those who can get through the gore really enjoy the show.

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  10. You never know a person truly... it is sad how evil someone can be underneath a façade. I feel for the people (slaves) that she had... no one deserved to be treated so horribly...

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    1. Not at all. I hope she's being severely punished in the afterlife. I wonder if she ever felt even the slightest remorse.

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  11. This is a fascinating tale!!!! We see that mansion all the time when they mention New Orleans. I never knew the story behind it!!!!

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    1. I always take ghost tours to hear the scary stories. Even then, in towns like New Orleans with so many haunted places, they only get to a small number of them. I'm usually more interested in the stories about the people who lived there than the claims of hauntings. The stories about what happened when they were living are far creepier than the stories about what people have seen and heard now.

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  12. I'm loving these scary Halloween stories! Not sure why, but I've always been fascinated by the paranormal. I'll sometimes find a good story or novel about ghosts and the paranormal, but most of them are just plain silly without a hint of believability.

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    1. That is true. And movies are often too violent...they can't leave anything to the imagination.

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  13. October's my favorite month too. The start of fall, Halloween, my birthday. It all just comes together. Haunted mansions are wonderful, too.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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    1. Happy birthday! Haunted mansions and haunted castles--tons of great ghost stories overseas! Castles can be really creepy.

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  14. It's so awful people can be so mean to other people. Not even mean, sadistic as you say. How do people like that even sleep at night? So disturbing.

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    1. I think they somehow are so psychotic, they don't even feel any remorse, so they sleep okay. In this day and age, someone like that would have gotten the death penalty or at least be in jail for life. Back then, I guess all you had to do was flee to another country?

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  15. What an awful thing to do! I'd never heard of this one, thanks for sharing :)

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  16. I've not heard of her before today. Such evil. Kathy Bates is a great actress. Great actress.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  17. I've never heard of her, she does sound like one of the candidates for most evil person ever

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    1. I agree. And sadly, there are a lot of people up there with her on that list!

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  18. She sounds truly vile but I am interested to know why she is the truly evil one. What about her husband? If he knew about it, and it seems he did, he also falls into the evil category...

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    1. That's true! I wonder if he just stayed away from home? I don't get it... And where did he go when she fled? I'm sure the answer is somewhere out there.

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  19. Definitely a horrid woman. I don't understand the people who visit haunted homes. What if that ghost goes home with you? But to each his/her own:)

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  20. I had no idea Kathy Bates's character was based on an actual person. How interesting.

    And that's really weird about Nicholas Cage letting it go into foreclosure. It's not like he doesn't have any money.

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  21. This one I'm familiar with and it gave me chills when I saw it in a documentary.

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  22. What a staircase! I don't recall hearing of this story- but it definitely sounds scary and I bet Kathy Bates plays the role well.

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  23. That's a terrible story. Too bad such evil continues to exist in the form of awful people. But at least she's gone now. (Or is she haunting the place she ran to?)

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  24. I love your ghost tour! Wax museums freak me out! Much scarier than a movie or book!

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  25. So scary! I would never take a real ghost tour.

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  26. I will have to check this out next time I am in New Orleans!

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  27. Haunted houses fascinate me. This one sounds horrible. I've never heard this story, but it's so sad that people can be so cruel as to torture others. It happens all the time though. Thanks for the spooky story. I'll keep the lights on tonight. :)

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  28. She sounds like a horrible woman. Evil to her core.

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  29. Oooh, spooky! Haunted houses creep me out. Especially ones with tortured slaves! That's awful. Savannah has tons of haunted houses, too.

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  30. What a mean spirited woman and her husband doesn't sound much better. I hope she is feeling the heat

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  31. The truth is stranger than fiction. Whatever possessed that woman? I think I have an idea...

    Can't wait for the next tale on your tour.

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  32. Stephanie, thanks for the scary bit of history. I had no clue this person was real. I saw the episodes with her on American Horror Stories. I figured it was simply a character from the writer's imagination. Gasp, she was real! I know the show is highly exaggerated, but still anyone who can inflict torture on anyone, excluding war time, is deeply disturbed. Oh well...what a fun feature for this month. Thanks for dropping by my place!

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  33. How interesting. I don't like being scared out of my wits, but lots of my efriends do. What a great idea to turn this house into a bed and breakfast.

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  34. Yikes. What a horrible account. So disturbing.

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  35. Such a horrible, evil woman. Maybe she was sick in the mind! I wouldn't want to be found anywhere near that house with such a past!

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  36. Wow! That is horrible :(
    While I dislike wishing anyone ill . . . I do hope she suffered similar a fate of what she put those poor slaves through. Some people just deserve it. What a disturbing woman!

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  37. I'm making a point to visit, at least to see it, next time I'm in NOLA. thanks for sharing this!

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  38. seems like a lady the devil would like

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  39. Oh, wow! I remember the Coven season of American Horror Story, and the LaLaurie bits were, indeed, disturbing... At least in AHS she (kind of) got what she had coming, which is more than we can say, at least factually, for real life.

    Loving your Friday posts!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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  40. Oh how I love ghost tours!
    If the wretched woman wasn't already a servant of Satan, I bet she lives with him now. Gads!
    I have to wonder what in the world would 'possess' Nicolas Cage to buy a place like that - ha! And Kathy Bates is a master at portraying these kind of characters!

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  41. I can understand why you could never forget this horror!

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  42. I really think that people who do and say evil things have something terribly wrong with them, and it is very sad. Thank you so much for sharing this, Stephanie.

    Thanks for watching the dog video and it sounds to me as if your dog does love you! Not every pet is affectionate after meal time. I have a two year old male cat named Romeo and I know he loves me but he just isn't as "cuddly" as the other cats I have had in my life. Just his temperament, I guess. He will snuggle up with me on a very regular basis, but he is not a huggy cat and he doesn't like to be picked up, held and snuggled in that way. He will snuggle beside my legs. :)

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  43. Definitely enjoyed this ghost story. Love anything spooky about New Orleans of old!

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  44. Fantastically spooky pics to match the horrific story, Stephanie. I think you have put me off wanting to ever visit New Orleans :)

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  45. She locked slaves up in her basement and physically abused them... She sure had issues.

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  46. What a horrible woman. Not sure I would want to stay at that bed and breakfast. I scare easily. Weird about Nick Cage.

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  47. Haunting story. Chilling too.

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  48. Nicholas Cage WOULD buy that house and then let it go into foreclosure!! Ugg, add that to the list of reasons why I won't watch any movie he's in. lol lol

    That aside, wow! That's insane that anyone could be so deranged, demented, and cold to do such a thing. How do you sleep at night after doing that?

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  49. OMG this is the scariest yet.

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  50. Very scary story, Stephanie. Just thinking about it is creepy.

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  51. Interesting! I just did the ghost tour in Charleston (loved it!) but I found myself wondering how exaggerated the tales were for sure :)

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  52. Knowing that it was real and happened would make me not want to sleep there, I would not want to own it either, lol.
    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

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  53. I saw American Horror Story: Coven, and I've read about the house online. I did not know that it was closed to the public.

    And what the heck was Nicholas Cage thinking?!?!

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