New Orleans in Louisiana is best known for its French architecture and French culture due to the French colonization. The area is also known for the annual Mardi Gras festivities and the alleged birthplace of the music genre, Jazz.
The buildings in New Orleans, Louisiana that still showcases the French influence during the colonization. (Link: https://www.builddirect.com/blog/the-15-best-interior-designers-in-new-orleans/)
Speaking of the French influences in New Orleans, one of the most haunted places in the United States could be found here and its interesting history happened during the French colonization. It was owned by an Irish woman who did gruesome things to her slaves during her stay at the LaLaurie House. To this day, many people claim they hear the moans of these tortured individuals.
The LaLaurie Mansion. (Link: http://test.amyscrypt.com/lalaurie-mansion-new-orleans/)
The History of the LaLaurie House
The LaLaurie House was owned by Marie Delphine Macarty. Her family arrived during the French Colonization period in the area and most of her relatives owned the slaves and practically controlled the real estate business.
Marie Delphine Macarty in an undated photo. (Link: http://crypticchroniclespodcast.com/the-delphine-painting/)
In 1800, Macarty got married to her first husband. During a trip to Spain, her husband mysteriously died. Also during that trip, Macarty gave birth to their daughter. They stayed in Spain for a while but they ultimately went back to New Orleans. For the second marriage of Macarty, who is also dubbed as the “Cruel Mistress of the Haunted House,” she wed a man who carried a lot of titles like a banker, a lawyer, and a merchant, eight years after her first husband died. They had four children. Her second husband died in 1816. It is unclear what his cause of death was.
The third marriage, however, was the most controversial. Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie was a chiropractor from France. He and Macarty met after one of the daughters of the latter had deformities along her spine so she had to be checked. He was not able to make her daughter well but she was enamored by his charm. It was a controversial relationship because she is 20 years older than LaLaurie and she followed him to France then got pregnant. He then had to marry her. In 1831, they purchased the property that is now the LaLaurie House. Three years later, LaLaurie moved out because their marriage was not working out. This drove Macarty mad and this was reportedly the reason why she started harming more of her slaves.
The First Dead Slave, The Huge Fire, And The Mob That Drove Away Macarty
In 1833, one slave named Leia fell to her death in the courtyard. An investigation took place so they set all the slaves of Macarty free. Later, however, Macarty bought them all back.
On August 10, 1834, a fire broke out at the home of Macarty. Authorities arrived and they weren’t ready to see what they later discovered. Accordingly, one of the slaves set the fire on purpose so that they could ask for help as to the inhumane and deplorable conditions they are living in.
A depiction of the tortured slaves of Marie Delphine Macarty. (Link: http://yourblackworld.net/2017/11/27/know-madame-lalaurie-new-orleans-notorious-slave-owner/)
Aside from the charred part of the house due to the fire, they found seven still alive slaves. They were chained, starved, and tortured. They were given medical attention and after hearing about the incident, nearly two thousand citizens went to see the victims.
The people later went to the LaLaurie mansion. They expected that the sheriff would arrest Macarty but no action was taken. The citizens were mad and they wanted to take matters to their own hands. Macarty was able to escape the home unscathed so the citizens decided to just attack the mansion. They took the valuables and tried to dismantle the LaLaurie Mansion.
The Tortures At The LaLaurie Mansion
Per the stories of those who saw the victims, they claimed that one of the slaves had her bones broken numerous times. She even looked like a crab and that every time she moved, her limbs remained crooked and bent. Another slave allegedly had a hole drilled to his head and a wooden spoon was sticking out. One more slave had a peeled back that his tissue and muscles could be seen by the naked eye. Macarty also allegedly removed the intestines of one of the slaves and wrapped it around the slave’s naked waist. The cruel mistress also covered some of the slaves with honey and black ants.
This is allegedly how the chamber of the slaves looked like at the LaLaurie Mansion. (Link: https://www.historyly.com/historical-figures/madame-lalaurie-disgusting-facts/)
Some say, however, that these accounts are not true. These stories started to get around sometime during the 1940s. If it were true, per the experts, it would have been written in newspapers or other mediums at the time the bodies and survivors were found at the LaLaurie Mansion.
What Happened To The Cruel LaLaurie Mansion Mistress?
Macarty reportedly went back to France after leaving New Orleans. Some say she got killed while she was out hunting a boar. Another claimed that she died after she returned to New Orleans under an assumed name. The most believed story, though, is that she died in France and that most of her children, except the child she had with LaLaurie, went to live with her in Paris.
The Ghosts At The LaLaurie Mansion
According to those who are near the LaLaurie Mansion or have visited it, they hear the moans of the slaves that Macarty kept in a common room. Phantom footsteps could also be head throughout the house and others have claimed they felt like they were being taken over by a negative energy when they were in the area.
In 1894, the tenant of the LaLaurie Mansion was found brutally murdered inside his rooms. Initially, police thought that the victim died because of a robbery because his belongings were ransacked. However, nothing of any value was found to be missing. His friends said that he claimed he was having problems in his house because of Sprites or spirits. One of his friends said maybe he was just imagining things but he said that there was a demon in his house and that it did not want to rest. It is believed then that that demon killed the tenant.
The LaLaurie Mansion also became a school for all girls. The girls reportedly experienced paranormal activities during that time. The girls frequently approached their teachers with their sleeves rolled up showing that parts of their forearms were scratched and bruised. When teachers asked them who did it to them, they just said, “That woman.”
One of the guides giving a tour at the LaLaurie Mansion also experienced a paranormal activity. Accordingly, when the guide was about to talk about the fire in 1834, she felt a tug on her messenger bag. She turned around and did not see anyone. She returned to the group she was talking to but she felt another tug, which was harder that time. She did not see anyone and told the group what just happened. Definitely, it frightened the group even more. That was not the first time that the guide experienced a paranormal activity while giving a tour. Two weeks later, when she was about to talk about the story of Leia, the lamps flickered on. She stopped and the group also paused. When she said the name of Leia again, the lamps went out.
The Owners Of LaLaurie Mansion And What Made It Even More Famous
In 2009, actor Nicolas Cage purchased the LaLaurie Mansion. He lost it because he became bankrupt after his career went spiraling down. According to rumors, the curse of the LaLaurie Mansion caused his bad luck in his career.
The LaLaurie Mansion was later purchased by an oil tycoon in Texas but has not lived there since 2013. It is unclear if the current owner allowed the tours but during the tours, people cannot go inside the LaLaurie Mansion.
Although the LaLaurie Mansion has an infamous reputation, people also admire it for its baroque façade and its overall grand appearance. It towered over most of the other houses in the neighborhood when it was built.
The LaLaurie Mansion all the more became more famous as Macarty was featured in the 2014 series, “American Horror Story: Coven.”
This actress played Marie Delphine Macarty in the American Horror Story series about the LaLaurie Mansion. (Link: https://deepsouthmag.com/2014/01/15/real-madame-lalaurie-legends-american-horror-story-coven/)