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Lalaurie Mansion

The LaLaurie Haunted House, that was once owned by Dr. and Mrs. LaLaurie in the early 1800's, and they were famous for the outlandish parties that they threw. It is said that there was a darker side to the doctor, however. In the upstairs rooms, he reportedly practiced horrific medical experiments upon the servants. Many were chained to the walls, or kept in cages while Dr. LaLaurie worked on them. A cook finally set fire to the kitchen to end the madness, and when the townspeople rushed into the home to help, the terrible secrets were discovered. One poor servant's bones had been broken and re-set so that he resembled more of a spider than a human.

" THE HAUNTED HOUSE 1140 Royal Street New Orleans, Louisiana." Listed on the National Register of Historic Places Lalaurie House still stands. In Americas' most haunted city, the tortured ghost hold many secrets within the walls of this great haunted mansion.

"In the Rue Royale stands this quaint, old-fashioned house about which so much has been written, and around which cluster so many wild and weird stories, that even in its philosophic day, few in the old faubourg care to pass the place after nightfall, or, doing so, shudder and hurry on with bated breath, as though midnight ghouls and ghosts hovered near, ready to exercise a mystic spell over all who dare invade its uncanny precincts."
Marie Puents, The Daily Picayune, March 13, 1892

 

 

Was it really a crucible of horror that Madame Lalaurie fled that April day in 1834, or was she the “first victim of yellow journalism” in America? It may be that the facts present a much different story than what has been handed down in legend.

THE FACTS ABOUT

THE LALAURIE LEGACY

You be the judge!

The following is excerpted in its entirety from Old New Orleans: Walking Tours of the French Quarter, by Stanley Clisby Arthur, © 1990 by Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, Louisiana, @ pages 96-99:

" THE HAUNTED HOUSE 1140 Royal Street"

The three-storey building at the southeast corner of Royal and Governor Nicholls street, to some the most famous private residence in old New Orleans, gained its eerie title, ‘The Haunted House,’ from an oft-repeated tale in which spirits of tortured slaves clank their chains during the midnight hours in remembrance of awful punishment meted out to them by their mistress – a high-bred lady of old New Orleans who had been charged with finding an uncanny delight in dealing inhumanly with her slaves.

Like all such tales, the story has grown in ferocity through its countless retellings and the probabilities are that even the original story of over a century ago was a gross exaggeration. It now appears that the mistress of this home was the first victim of yellow journalism in this country and that she was far from being the ‘fiend’ tradition has labeled, or should we say, libeled her. The facts of this ‘strange true story’ are as follows:

The traditional tales of the Vieux Carre have it that this house was built in 1780 by two brothers, Jean and Henri de Remarie, and that such guests as Marshal Michel Ney, Napoleon’s famous commander; the duc d’Orleans, later, Louis Philippe, king of France; and the Marquis de Lafayette have slept in this mansion. But we are compelled to make the pertinent observations that Marshal Ney never came to Louisiana, that Louis Philippe was here in 1798, and that Lafayette visited New Orleans in 1825 – yet the ‘Haunted House’ was not built until 1832!

There are those who denounce historical accuracy when it destroys fallacious tradition … those who claim that a good story must never be sacrificed and crucified on the cross of truth. Much as one admires the colorful tradition of old New Orleans, our mission is to give a factual history of the landmarks of the Vieux Carre. So, to stick to fact, we must point out that the lots upon which the ‘Haunted House’ stands were purchased by Mme Louis Lalaurie, September 12, 1831, from Edmond Soniat du Fossat, and the house then built was not ready for occupancy until the spring of 1832. As it was part of the tract given the Ursuline nuns, this was the first, and only, house built on this particular site.

Mme Lalaurie was one of five children born to Louis Barthelemy Chevalier de Macarty and Marie Jeanne Lovable, two who stood high in the social life of old New Orleans. One of their daughters was christened Marie Delphine Macarty. She first married, on June 11, 1800, Don Ramon de Lopez y Angula, the ceremony being performed at the St. Louis Cathedral by Luis de Penalver y Cardenas, the first bishop of the diocese of Louisiana, and the marriage certificate was signed by the celebrated Fray Antonio de Sedella. The husband was described in this document as Caballero de la Royal de Carlos, Intendent of the Provinces, a native of the community of Regno,Galicia, Spain, and the legitimate son of his Lordship Don Jose Antonio de Lopez y Angula and Dona Ana Fernande de Angule, daughter of Dona Francisca Borja Endecis.

Delphine McCarty LaLaurie was a socialite.  In 1831, she and her physician husband, Dr. Louis LaLaurie bought a beautiful mansion at 1140 Royal St.  It majestically set on the corner of Governor Nicholls St. and Royal St.  Delphine reveled in maintaining position in the center of the social circles in New Orleans.  She enjoyed throwing lavish soirees, entertaining the most prominent people in the city.  In addition to being so renown for her parties, she was best noted for her well-behaved slaves.

Marie Delphine Lalaurie

Shortly after the Louisiana Purchase, on March 26, 1804, Delphine Macarty’s husband was recalled to the court of Spain, the letter carrying this royal command stating that the young Spanish officer was ‘to take his place at court as befitting his new position.’ At this time Don Ramon was consul general for Spain in this new American territory. While in Havana, en route to Madrid, Don Ramon suddenly died and a few days later his daughter was born in the Cuban city. This infant was baptized Marie Delphine Borja Lopez y Angula de Candelaria, but she became best known in later years as ‘Borquita,’ meaning ‘little Borja,’ from the fact that she was named after her father’s grandmother.

Left a widow, Delphine Macarty and her baby daughter returned to New Orleans. Four years later, in 1808, she again married, choosing for her husband a prominent banker, merchant, lawyer, and legislator named Jean Blanque, a native of Bearn who had come to Louisiana with Prefect Laussat in 1803. At the time of his marriage, June 16, 1808, Blanque purchased the residence at 409 Royal Street and in this home Delphine became the mother of four other children: Marie Louise Pauline, Louise Marie Laure, Marie Louise Jeanne, and Jean Pierre Paulin Blanque. In that stylish Royal Street home or in the ‘Villa Blanque,’ a charming country place fronting the Mississippi River just below the city limits, Delphine Macarty Blanque divided her time, both places frequented by the socially elect.

Jean Blanque died in 1816, and Delphine Macarty remained a widow until June 12, 1825, when she again married. Her third husband was Dr. Leonard Louis Nicolas Lalaurie, a native of Villeneuse-sur-Lot, France, who came to New Orleans to establish a practice. Borquita, the daughter by her mother’s first marriage, became the wife of Placide Forstall, member of a distinguished Louisiana family, and Jeanne Blanque married Charles Auguste de Lassus, only child of Don Carle de Lassus, former governor of Upper Louisiana, and later governor of the Baton Rouge post of West Florida when they were under Spanish rule.

The Lalaurie mansion was erected in 1832 and for the next two years was the scene of many fashionable affairs, for the Lalauries entertained on an elaborate plan. On the afternoon of April 10, 1834, an aged cook set fire to the house during the absence of her mistress. When neighbors rushed into the mansion to fight the fire and try to save the furniture and other valuables, slaves were found chained in their quarters. Although the fire was extinguished, the indignation of those who found the helpless slaves blazed high and a newspaper editor, Jerome Bayon of the Bee, published a heated account of the happening and quoted those who had investigated the Lalaurie slave quarters. This newspaper account roused public indignation to such a pitch that on April 15 a mob, led by irresponsibles, charged the house and began to wreck it. The rowdies were finally dispersed by a company of United States regulars who had been called out by a helpless sheriff.

During the excitement Madame Lalaurie and her husband took to their carriage and, with their faithful Creole black coachman Bastien on the box, swept through the howling, cursing rabble and, with the horses lashed to a the full gallop, made her way out of the city. It is supposed the carriage reached Bayou St. John where a lake craft was secured, for on April 21, 1834, the Lalauries were in Mandeville, across Lake Pontchartrain, at the home of Louis Coquillon. There Madame Lalaurie signed a power-of-attorney placing her son-in-law Placide Forstall in charge of her affairs, while her husband signed a similar document in favor of his wife’s other son-in-law, Auguste de Lassus. From Mandeville the Lalauries made their way to Mobile, where a ship took them to France.

Neither Delphine nor her husband ever returned to New Orleans. She remained in Paris, living there honored and respected in spite of the lurid tales that lived after her in New Orleans. Following her death on December 7, 1842, her body was secretly returned to New Orleans and buried in St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery.

The Lalaurie mansion was sold to various owners but the tale that it was ‘haunted’ and the midnight rendezvous for ghosts grew in the telling as only such stories can grow. The principal ‘ghost’ is, according to the most frequently quoted tale, that of a little girl slave who, to escape the whip of her mistress, climbed to the roof and jumped to her death into the courtyard below. Another tale, equally untrue, was that the mistress of the mansion buried all her victims in the courtyard well. The general impression that the place was haunted was sufficient to keep superstitious blacks from passing the house after nightfall.

In the days of Reconstruction following the Civil War, the old Lalaurie mansion became the Lower Girls’ School. During the government of the carpetbaggers, whites and blacks were taught in the same rooms until the formation of ‘The White League’ in 1874, when the white element marched on the house and expelled the black pupils. In the 1880’s the mansion became a conservatory of music. No matter who has lived in it since, or the manner of business that was carried on in the ground-floor stores, the name ‘haunted’ has clung to it in spite of the testimony of those inhabiting the place that ghosts have never disturbed their slumbers.

Tradition has it that the handsome entrance door ‘was hammered out of iron by the slaves Madame Lalaurie kept shackled to the anvil.’ This must be taken with several generous pinches of salt, for the doors is not of iron but wood and the decorations on it were not cared but put on by appliqué, a sort of plastic wood applied and formed as a sculptor would lay on modeling clay. These ornamentations show, in the lower oblong panel, Phoebus in his chariot, lashing his griffins. Scattered over the door are urns, flowers, trumpet-blowing angels, a beribboned lyre, an American eagle bearing on its breast the shield of the Union, leaves, scrolls, and whatnots – a marvelous example of some unknown craftsman’s art. To save the door from the knives of souvenir-hunters, one owner painted it a dingy brown-black.

George W. Cable’s Strange Stories of Louisiana, and Judge Henry C. Castellanos’ New Orleans As It Was, contain full accounts of the Lalaurie episode. My account, differing in many respects from those of these earlier writers, is based on recently found documents, notarial acts, and family documents.”

In 1999, a crew from NOLA.com was allowed into the Lalaurie mansion by its reclusive owner. The fully refurbished house had been restored to its former glory after a century of failed business ventures and apartments. Now its gleaming wood floors and marble, and its grand staircase showed how grand the house must have been when an invitation to Delphine's balls was so sought-after. The house is a stop on almost every ghost tour in the Quarter, and many tourists knocked on the doors seeking entry. The owner allowed NOLA in to do a feature on the house in hopes of satisfying the curiosity of some.

 

The legend of the house is that the spirits of the slaves who died here so violently still haunt the house. Passersby have even witnessed the figure of a girl jumping from an upstairs balcony to escape the doctor's madness.

 

History And Time Line Of The Lalaurie House


Lalaurie Ghost Stories And Haunted Legacy Printed Tales Excerpts

"In the Rue Royale stands this quaint, old-fashioned house about which so much has been written, and around which cluster so many wild and weird stories, that even in its philosophic day, few in the old faubourg care to pass the place after nightfall, or, doing so, shudder and hurry on with bated breath, as though midnight ghouls and ghosts hovered near, ready to exercise a mystic spell over all who dare invade its uncanny precincts."

Marie Puents, The Daily Picayune, March 13, 1892

"Legend has it she tortured slaves to wring from them information about her mother, the fabulous Madam MacCarthy, who was murdered on a Carrollton plantation during a slave uprising."
-- The States Item, May 6, 1975



1831 - Dr. Louis Lalaurie , and wife Madame Delphine Lalaurie purchased the house at 1140 Royal St. from Edmond Soniat du Fossat. Delphine Lalaurie rises to a position of social prominence.

1833-Many rumors begin to circulate about Madame Lalaurie's cruelty to her slaves. She is seen cowhiding the child of a slave when the young girl breaks away and runs onto the balcony. Madame Lalaurie chases the child - who falls and is killed. Madame Lalaurie has her secretly buried at night in an old well in the rear courtyard of the house.

1833 -- After the death of the young slave girl, Madame Lalaurie was fined and all of her slaves were taken from her and sold at auction. She convinced relatives to buy the slaves bacj for her at auction and return them to her.


April 1834 - A fire breaks out at the house. Rescuers discover tortured, tormented slaves locked and chained in rooms in the attic. More than a dozen slaves are found - some chained to a wall and in a horrible state. Some were strapped to crudely fashioned operating tables while others were confined in cages made for dogs. Human body parts were scattered around the attic. Some firefighters are said to have fainted at the sight.

The entire neighborhood gathers and storms the house. Madame Lalaurie escapes by carriage just ahead of the mob and takes a schooner from St. John's Bayou to St. Tammany Parish. She is said to have gone to Paris but her whereabouts remain unknown. Rumors persist that she lived on the Northshore, near covington or Mandeville, Louisiana until her death.

The following is the initial local account of the fire at the Royal Street home of Madame Lalaurie. It is reprinted in its entirety.

The New Orleans Bee
April 11, 1834

The conflagration at the house occupied by the woman Lalaurie in Hospital ... is like discovering one of those atrocities the details of which seem to be too incredible for human belief.

We would shrink from the task of detailing the painful circumstances connected herewith, were it not that a sense of duty and the necessity of exposing and holding to the public indignation such a wretch as the perpetrator, renders it indispensable for us to do so.

The flames having spread with an alarming rapidity, and the horrible suspicion being entertained among the spectators that some of the inmates of the premises where it originated, where incarcerated therein, the doors were forced open for the purpose of liberating them. Previous however, to taking this liberty, (if liberty it can be called), several gentlemen impelled by their feelings of humanity demanded the keys which were refused them in a gross and insulting manner. Upon entering one of the apartments, the most appalling spectacle met their eyes. Seven slaves more or less horribly mutilated were seen suspended by the neck, with their limbs apparently stretched and torn from one extremity to the other. Language is powerless and inadequate to give a proper conception of the horror which a scene like this must have inspired. We shall not attempt it, but leave it rather to the reader's imagination to picture what it was.

These slaves were the property of the demon, in the shape of a woman whom we mentioned in the beginning of this article. They had been confined by her for several months in the situation from which they had thus providentially been rescued and had been merely kept in existence to prolong their suffering and to make them taste all that the most refined cruelty could inflict. But why dwell upon such aggravating and painful particulars! We feel confident that the community share with us our indignation, and that vengeance will fall heavily upon the guilty culprit. Without being superstitious, we cannot but regard the manner in which these atrocities have been brought to light as an especial interposition of heaven.

{Since the above was in type, the populace have repaired to the house of this woman and have demolished and destroyed everything upon which they could lay their hands. At the time of inditing this fury of the mob remained still unabated and threatens the total demolition of the entire edifice.}

The day after the fire on Royal Street

The following is the second day local account of the fire at the Royal Street home of Madame Lalaurie. It is reprinted in its entirety.

The New Orleans Bee
April 12, 1834

The popular fury which we briefly adverted to in our paper of yesterday as consequent upon the discovery of the barbarous and fiendish atrocities committed by the woman Lalaurie upon the persons of her slaves continued unabated the whole of the evening before last and part of yesterday morning.

It was found necessary for the purpose of restoring order for the sheriff and his officers to repair to the place of riot and to interpose the authority of the state, which we are pleased to notice proved effectual, without the occurrence of any of those acts of violence which are common upon similar occasions.

We regret, however, to state that previously some indignities had been shown to Judge Caponage who ventured to expostulate with the assailants upon the propriety of ceasing their operations and that during the same, deadly weapons were in the hands of many persons, a resort to which at one time was seriously apprehended. Nothing of the kind happily, however, transpired.

Nearly the whole of the edifice is demolished, and scarcely any thing remains but the walls, which the popular vengeance have ornamented with various writings expressive of their indignation and the justness of their punishment.

The loss of property sustained is estimated by some at $40,000, but others think this calculation is exaggerated. It must, however, been very great indeed, as the furniture alone was of the most costly kind, consisting of pianos, armoirs, bufets, &e, &e, which were removed to the garret and thrown from thence into the street for the purpose of rendering them of no possible use whatever.

This is the first act of its kind that our populace have ever engaged in and although the provocation pleads much in favor of the excesses committed, yet we dread the precedent. To say the least of it, it may be excused, but can't be justified. Summary punishments the results of the popular excitement in a government of laws can never admit of justification, let the circumstances be ever so aggravating. The whole of yesterday and the preceding day, the police jail was crowded by persons pressing forward to witness the unfortunate wretches who had escaped cruelties that would compare with those of a Domitian a Nero or a Caligula. Four thousand persons at least, it is computed have already visited these victims to convince themselves of their sufferings.

1837 - 1865 -The house is rebuilt and strange stories begin about ghostly sightings, unusual noises, and flickering lights in the upstairs windows. The next owner only lives in it for 3 months. The house is rented out; a furniture store occupies the basement for a short time. The house is a barbershop for a few months. No tenant or business stays too long. It is rumored that there is a curse on the location and that nothing will last long there.

"…The New Orleans mob met the carriage returning from the lake. What became of the coachman I do not know. The carriage was broken to pieces and thrown into the swamp, and the horses stabbed and left dead upon the road. The house was gutted, the two poor girls having just time to escape from a window. They are now living, in great poverty, in one of the faubergs. The piano, tables and chairs were burned before the house. The feather beds were ripped up, and the feathers emptied into the street, where they afforded a delicate footing for some days. The house stands, and is meant to stand, in its ruined state. It was the strange sight of its gaping windows and empty walls, in the midst of such a busy street, which excited my wonder, and was the cause of my being told the story the first time."
-- Retrospect of Western Travel, Harriet Martineau. 1838

1842 - Delphine Lalaurie dies and her body is said to have been buried in New Orleans at an undisclosed location.

 

1860 to 1865 - During the years of the Civil War the house was used as Union headquarters, and in the 1870's the building became a gambling-house. Stories were told and retold of the strange lights and shadow objects that were seen flitting about in different apartments, their forms draped with sheets, skeleton heads protruding. 'Hoarse voices like unto those supposed to come only from the charnel house floated out on to the fog laden air on dismal and rainy nights, with the ominous sound of clanking chains coming from the servant's quarters where foul crimes are said to have been committed.'"
-- From New Orleans City Guide, 1938.

1865 - During Reconstruction, the Lalaurie house becomes a girl's public high school, open to both white and black children.

1878 - New Orleans school system is segregated. School becomes high school for black girls only. It stays as a school just this one year.

1882 - Lalaurie House becomes conservatory of music and dancing school. Dismal failure when rumor spreads about owner of school and no one attends planned soiree and concert. Owner closed the Dance school the very next day. That night, it is rumored that the spirits of the Lalaurie house held a wild carnival to celebrate their triumph.

1889 - An apartment in the house occupied by Joseph Edouard Vigne for a little more than 3 years. He was thought to be a pauper.

1892 - Vigne found dead upstairs - after black crepe seen on the doors. An inspection of his apartment reveals over $10,000 in cash and family heirlooms stashed in various places around the dwelling. Contents of house auctioned off.

"Three years ago Mr. Beoubay (owner at the time) found a tenant…Mr. Joseph Edouard Vigne…a few days ago it was discovered that Mr. Vigne had died…he was considered very poor…money to the extent of $10,000 was discovered in various hiding places."
-- Daily States, p.5/c.1 Feb 28th 1892

"F. Greco purchased the haunted house at Hospital and Royal…yesterday he posted large flowing placards upon the walls of the building announcing in both Italian and English,'The Haunted House.' There is an end to everything, so there is with ghosts. Come and be convinced. Admission ten cents."
-- Times Democrat, June 4, 1893 p.9

1920 - House is tenement by this time - many reports of ghosts. "There were no other families living here and one night, on the third floor, I saw a man walking carrying his head on his arm," reports one resident.

1923 - House sold to William Warrington who established the Warrington House, a refuge for young delinquents.

1932 - House sold to The Grand Consistory of Louisiana (a consistory is the organization that confers the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry). The Consistory sold the house in 1942.

The house would become a bar and then a furniture store. The saloon, taking advantage of the building's ghastly history was called "Haunted Saloon". The owner knew many of the building's ghost stories and kept a record of strange things experienced by his patrons. The furniture store did not do as well at that location. The owner first suspected vandals when all of his merchandise was ruined several times, covered with a foul liquid filth. The owner waited one night with a shotgun, hoping to catch the vandals in the act. When dawn came, the furniture was once again ruined. He closed the place down shortly thereafter.

1941 - A grave marker plate for the tomb of Delphine Lalaurie is found in St. Louis Cemetery #1, Alley 4. But the plate is not attached to any specific tomb so the exact location of her crypt remains a mystery.

"In 1941 a one-time sexton of St. Louis cemeteries said he had discovered a copper plate relating in French that Delphine MacCarthy Lalauire had died in Paris in 1842 and that her remains were in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Descendents at that time said they had long known of this and had visited her tomb."
-- The Times Picayune, August 9, 1964

Workmen employed to repair the old cypress floors began digging up human skeletons from under the house. The owner of the property, in an attempt to down the mansion's gruesome reputation, announced that the house had been built over an ancient Spanish burying-ground, and that over an Indian graveyard. Which was quite true, only-the bones were too recent to have been deposited there before 1803, and they were too near the surface to have been at any time buried in graves. They were found in all sorts of positions, helter-skelter, some barely covered with soil, shreds of fabric still adhering to some of the bones; and whenever hair was found near a skull, it was Negro hair. Some of the skulls had great holes in them. The authorities said that at least some scraps of wood or metal would have been found with or amonng the bones, had they been interred in coffins. As they were not in a trench, their burial could not have been in consequence of an epidemic. So it all simmered down to one conclusion-they were bodies of Lalaurie slaves, buried thus in order that their manner of death should not become known."
-- "Ghost Stories of Old New Orleans" by Jeanne deLavigne, pub 1946 "The Haunted House of the Rue Royale" pp.248-258

 

"Believe it or leave it, there are ghosts in the French Quarter's famous haunted house at 1140 Royal St.

"Louise (Mrs. Harper) Richards, who shared an apartment with artist Zella Funck in the building while her home at 919 Gov. Nicholls was being restored, tells me 'many strange unaccountable things happened' during her residence there.

'Like what?'

'Well,' she replied, 'such things as the kitchen faucet suddenly started to run full force for no reason when no one was in the room. Sometimes the shower in the bathroom would do the same thing. And several times the front door we had bolted with two bolts would be found open.'"

"…During her residence with Mrs. Funck, Mrs. Richards said, 'Zella's ghosts were the prankish sort. I heard no moans or groans or dragging chains during the night. They just seemed to play all sorts of pranks on us.

'One day Mrs. E. S. Perkin's grandchild, Collier Perkins, and her little friend, Barbara Sproull, visited us to check on the ghosts and, sure enough, while we were across the room the door of the cupboard popped open. It had never done that before and it never happened again while I was there.'"
-- The States Item, March 7th, 1966.

 

"Zella Funck lives in the famous "Haunted House" at 1140 Royal St. 'My poltergeists are just playful,' she declares blithely. 'They're not around every day, but they do surprise visitors…'

"…The ghost, whom she says she has seen twice, is a romantic figure of a man. 'I've watched him for several minutes in a full-length mirror before he faded away. He's about 5'9", about 170 lbs, has a reddish clipped beard, and wears a creamy beige felt hat turned up slightly, with a cord around it.'"
-- The States Item, June 16, 1969


New* DELPHINE LALAURIE HAUNTED PORTRAIT >read about it here<

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1969 to the present -- The house was divided into approximately 20 apartments before it is purchased by its current owner, a retired New Orleans physician. He has restored the home to its original state with a living area in the front portion and five apartments to the rear of the building. He has had no paranormal experiences since moving into the house.

"As recently as 14 years ago, a long-time resident of one of the small apartments within the building declared emphatically that he had heard strange sounds near his room for as long as he had lived there-footsteps running along dim passages, mournful sighs and, at least once, a smothered scream. He didn't bother to investigate, he said, and so the spirits-or whatever they were-hadn't bothered him."
-- The Times Picayune, sec.3 / p.6. Sunday, Aug. 11, 1974

A beautiful mansion looms on the corner of Rue Royale and Gov. Nicholls in New Orleans. Gates and iron shutters look meant to keep outsiders away. Or are they to keep something in? Old timers whisper "La maison est hantee" – the house is haunted. And the mansion, called "the most haunted house in the most haunted city," has a new owner, James Monroe III, who recently purchased the home for $1.7 million dollars. Its haunted history? Delphine Lalaurie moved to the mansion with her new husband, Dr. Louis Lalaurie, in 1831, six years after their marriage. This, several years after the deaths of Madame Lalaurie's two previous husbands, who both died under unknown circumstances. Elaborate parties for the city's aristocracy were thrown in the house and on its enormous wraparound balcony, but within two years of her arrival, rumors started making the rounds that Madame Lalaurie beat and starved her slaves. One night, several witnesses described seeing Lalaurie whipping a slave child. The young girl managed to break free, fleeing to the balcony. Madame Lalaurie gave chase, and the child fell to her death. That night, the girl's body was buried in an old well in the rear courtyard. As punishment, Lalaurie was fined, and her slaves taken away and sold at auction. Sympathetic relatives, however, came to her rescue, returning the sold slaves. The horrors continued. In April, 1834, a fire broke out. Neighbors rushed to help Lalaurie remove her belongings from the house. She refused them admittance, insulting and cursing the incredulous men. Despite her denunciations, several men broke in to the house anyway, and discovered, as a newspaper of the time described it, "[s]even slaves more or less horribly mutilated ... suspended by the neck, with their limbs apparently stretched and torn from one extremity to the other." Enraged neighbors stormed the fire-damaged house, throwing furniture into the street and shredding curtains while Lalaurie hid in a locked hallway. Editorials denounced her as "the wretch," "the guilty culprit," and "the demon, in the shape of a woman." Some say Lalaurie later escaped to Paris; others that she died in New Orleans soon after; still others that she was taken in by voodoo queen Marie Laveau and taught voodoo arts. The house was later rebuilt, but soon odd stories surfaced about the new building. Strange noises were heard; "weird" lights flickered; the ghost of a woman was seen looking out from an upstairs window. Several owners passed through in rapid succession, including a family, a furniture store, a barber shop, a music conservatory, a saloon. Following the Civil War, it was a girls' public school, open to both white and black children. During the 1950s the house became a series of twenty apartments, before being restored by Dr. H. Russell Albright several years ago. Albright claims there are no ghosts. However, Sidney Smith, operator of Haunted History Tours, and his wife, Katherine, author of Journey Into Darkness: Ghosts and Vampires of New Orleans, claim otherwise. "We've had almost 40 people faint in front of the house, over the past few years," says Sidney Smith. "The Lalaurie House is without a doubt the most haunted place in New Orleans. On one tour stop there, none of the tourists' cameras would work, and only at that one house. Something's going on there. It's spooky." The new owner has no plans to open the house to the public.

Source: "Mystery Mansion," Matthew Teague, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Louis Lalaurie was born in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, France. He was the son of Jean Marie Lalaurie and Francoise Lalaurie Depeme. Lalaurie studied medicine in Paris and Toulouse before coming to New Orleans in 1824. In 1825, he married Delphine Macarty Lopez y Angulo Blanque (1788?-1842?). He practiced medicine in New Orleans and established a personal and business relationship with Auguste Delassus who was married to Delphine's daughter Marie Jeanne Blanque. Louis and Delphine Lalaurie fled New Orleans in April 1834 when it was revealed that the family had tortured and abused the family's slaves. The couple separated after the incident and Louis practiced medicine briefly in France and Cuba. He maintained his relationship with Auguste Delassus for many years thereafter. Louis and Delphine Lalaurie had one child, Jean Louis Lalaurie.

http://www.mohistory.org/content/LibraryAndResearch/DownloadFiles/DelassusCollection.pdf

Marie Jeanne Blanque de Marcarty (d. March 30, 1900)
Marie Jeanne Blanque de Marcarty died March 30, 1900 in FRANCE. She married Auguste Dehault Delassus on January 6, 1833 in New Orleans, LA, son of Charles Auguste Dehault Delassus and Adelaide Elena Feliciana Martina.

Marie Jeanne Blanque de Marcarty and Auguste Dehault Delassus:
Marriage: January 6, 1833, New Orleans, LA.

Children of Marie Jeanne Blanque de Marcarty and Auguste Dehault Delassus are:

1. Charles Auguste Delassus, b. September 18, 1833.
2. Paul Delassus, b. April 23, 1835, d. August 3, 1849, St. Louis, MO.
3. Auguste Delassus, d., FRANCE.
4. Ernest Delassus, b. 1837, d. 1865, FRANCE.
5. Delphine Delassus, b. January 28, 1838.
6. Placide Delassus, b. June 28, 1839.
7. Louis deHault Delassus, b. August 19, 1834, d. 1849.

http://www.keltz.us/Loop/dat6.html#1


Actor Nicolas Cage has bought a landmark New Orleans French Quarter property right up the street from the new home of Brad Pitt and Angela Jolie according to the website Big Time Listings. The Lalaurie House in New Orleans has had a checkered past and according to Wikopedia is considered the most haunted property in all of New Orleans.

And now Nicolas Cage is the proud owner of it through his Hancock Park Real Estate Company that has bought other properties in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

http://www.therealestatebloggers.com

The Haunted House


The Lalaurie house, called The Haunted House, was sold by an agent of the family in 1837 but avoided for decades by the local superstitious New Orleanians and remained vacant for thirty years.

1865 - During Reconstruction, house becomes a girl's public high school, open to both white and black children.

1878 - New Orleans school system is segregated. School becomes high school for black girls only. Lasts for one year.

1882 - House becomes conservatory of music and dancing school. Dismal failure when rumor spreads about owner of school and no one attends planned soiree and concert. Owner closes school next day. That night, it is rumored that the spirits of the Lalaurie house held a wild carnival to celebrate their triumph.

1889 - An apartment in the house occupied by Joseph Edouard Vigne for a little more than 3 years. He was thought to be a pauper.

1892 - Vigne found dead upstairs - after black crepe seen on the doors. An inspection of his apartment reveals over $10,000 in cash and family heirlooms stashed in various places around the dwelling. Contents of house auctioned off.

1920 - House is tenement by this time - many reports of ghosts. "There were no other families living here and one night, on the third floor, I saw a man walking carrying his head on his arm," reports one resident.

1923 - House sold to William Warrington who established the Warrington House, a refuge for young delinquents.

1932 - House sold to The Grand Consistory of Louisiana (a consistory is the organization that confers the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry).

1941 - A grave marker plate for the tomb of Delphine Lalaurie is found in St. Louis Cemetery #1, Alley 4. But the plate is not attached to any specific tomb so the exact location of her crypt remains a mystery.

1942 - The Consistory sold the house. It was turned into a bar, and taking advantage of the building's ghastly history was called "Haunted Saloon". The owner knew many of the building's ghost stories and kept a record of strange things experienced by his patrons. It did relatively well with tourists, but locals eventually refused to patronize the place.

1949 - It was turned into a furniture store, which did not do as well at that location. At first, the owner suspected vandals when all of his merchandise was ruined several times, covered with a foul liquid filth. The owner waited one night with a shotgun, hoping to catch the vandals in the act. When dawn came, the furniture was once again ruined. He closed the place down shortly thereafter. Again, it sat vacant.

1969 to 2007 -- Eventually, the house was purchased by a retired New Orleans physician and renovated into apartments. Much of the house was in serious disrepair. When floorboards were replaced in the third floor slave quarters, the bodies of 75 people were found who had been buried alive. The remains were removed from the property. He restored the home to it's original state with a living area in the front portion and five apartments to the rear of the building. He had no paranormal experiences while living in the house. At Least not to the public.

2007 -- Actor Nicolas Cage bought the Lalaurie House through his Hancock Park Real Estate Company.

2008, Feb: The house is currently for sale by Sotheby's.

 

MADAME DELPHINE LALAURIE CEMETERY PLAQUE

This story originally appeared in The Times-Picayune on Jan. 28, 1941. It is reprinted in its entirety.

 

Epitaph-Plate of 'Haunted' House Owner Found Here


Marble Cutter's Discovery Starts New Talk of Madame Lalaurie

Corroded and cracked by time, the copper plate bore the inscription: "Madame Lalaurie, nee Marie Delphine Macarty, decedee a Paris, le' 7 decembre, 1842, a l'age de 6 --. "

Legends of New Orleans' famed "haunted house" at 1140 Royal Street, which since 1873 has served as a refuge for homeless men and boys, were revived Monday with the announcement of the "discovery" of an epitaph-plate of one of the former owners of the residence.


Corroded and cracked by time, the copper plate bore the inscription: "Madame Lalaurie, nee Marie Delphine Macarty, decedee a Paris, le' 7 decembre, 1842, a l'age de 6 --. "

The plate was discovered by Eugene Backes, 53-year-old marble cutter, four or five years ago in the No. 4 alley of St. Louis cemetery No. 1, where he served as sexton from March, 1923 to January, 1924.

Eugene Backes

The plate was discovered by Eugene Backes, 53-year-old marble cutter, four or five years ago in the No. 4 alley of St. Louis cemetery No. 1, where he served as sexton from March, 1923 to January, 1924.


Backes, who is engaged in polishing, grinding and cutting stones at his little shop at 807 St. Peter Street, decided to delve into the conflicting history of the "haunted house," which is now known as the Warrington House, and of Madame Lalaurie, its early mistress.

Historians are in conflict over the story of Madame Lalaurie and her once-imposing residence at 1140 Royal Street, but, they are agreed that she fled the mansion on April 10, 1834, after a fire swept the building and led neighbors to discoveries in the slave quarters.

Jealous Gossip

Newspapers of the day pictured, rightly or not, the Lalaurie slaves, chained in the cubby-holes as tortured and half-starved creatures... Newspapers reported that she and her husband went by carriage to Lake Pontchartrain, boarded a sloop at Bayou St. John, deposited gold with the captain, and sailed for ....

There is disagreement whether Madame Lalaurie sailed for France from Mobile or New York; and another school of thought maintains that Madame Lalaurie never left New Orleans, that she died and was buried here.

They are agreed, however, that she was born Marie Delphine, daughter of Louis Barthelemy Chevalier de Maccarthy, whose name was later simplified to Macarty, and then on June 11, 1800, she was married to Don Ramon de Lopez y Angulo. Her first husband died on March 26, 1804, at Havana, Cuba, and she married in 1808 to Jean Blanque, who died in 1816. Madame Lopez-Blanque on June 12, 1825, became the wife of Dr. Leonard Louis Lalaurie.

Stanley Arthur, president of the board of curators of the Louisiana State Museum, is staunch in his support of Madame Lalaurie.

"I have always thought," he said, "that Madame Lalaurie was the first victim of yellow journalism. There is nothing in the record to indicate that she was the type of a woman pictured by them. One must remember that there was much social jealousy in those days, and that Madame Lalaurie occupied an enviable position socially."

He revealed that he had found a record of Madame Lalaurie granting permission for the emancipation of a slave in the early 1830s, which contradicts the tales of her cruelty.

Several different accounts of her death are given. One report says she was killed by a wild boar in a hunting accident in France. Another story in The Daily Picayune in March 1892 insists she died among friends and family in Paris. Other accounts say that Delphine Lalaurie never left Louisiana and dwelled on the Northshore of Lake Ponchartrain for the remainder of her days.

DELPHINE LALAURIE HOUSE, NEW ORLEANS AND THE SOUTHS MOST HAUNTED HOUSE WALLPAPER BY FROM HAUNTED AMERICA TOURS BY NEW ORLEANS FAVORITE MARDI GRAS ARTIST RICARDO PUSTANIO

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FOR MORE FREE DESKTOP WALLPAPER BACKGROUNDS VISIT HERE.

 

 

MACARTY PLANTATION


Adjacent to and below the Duralde tract of land, between modem Independence and Alvar streets, stood the property of Louis Chevalier Macarty, acquired in 1794. Inherited by Louis Barthelemy Macarty and his sister Marie Delphine Macarty, the residence and its formal gardens are depicted on the Zimpel Map of 1833.

Marie Delphine Macarty became the subject of perhaps more folklore and legend than any woman of her day. The townhouse of her husband, Dr. Leonard Lalaurie, at 1140 Royal St., became the site of her alleged brutal mistreatment of slaves which led to her flight from the city. She ranks with Marie Laveau as one of the most notorious figures in nineteenth century New Orleans.

View of the Macarty plantation home, 1861. (From Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the War of 1812 (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1868))

 

For her brother, between 1838 and 1841, the alignment of Good Children (now St. Claude) Avenue, and similarly, Greatmen (now Dauphine) Street had apparently been opened across the Macarty tract. Macarty retained three large unsubdivided tracts, bounded above by a line bisecting the squares between modem Independence and Pauline streets, and bounded below by a line bisecting the squares between modem Alvar and Bartholomew streets, as shown on the Pinistri map (1841).

Following Macarty's death in 1846, the plantation was acquired by wealthy philanthropist John McDonogh. Shortly thereafter, McDonogh died leaving his property in equal shares to the cities of New Orleans and Baltimore to be used expressly for the purposes of public education. His will was contested and finally resolved in 1858-59 when the city took possession of the plantation, dividing it into 795 lots sold at public auction. However, by resolution of the City Council, the mansion was reserved for public education and the gardens surrounding it became Macarty Square.



MACARTY SQUARE


For nearly ninety years after, Macarty Square was the neighborhood gathering spot. A much reduced open green space is now what remains of what was once the largest and shadiest public square in the city is a story of progress, of compromise and politics that lead to the eventual demise of the city's most splendid neighborhood park.

In the early 1900s, Macarty Square was the hub of leisure activities for the 100-square block neighborhood in the Ninth Ward now known as Bywater. Two blocks long from Burgundy Street to St. Claude Avenue, and one block wide between Alvar and Pauline Streets, the square was dotted with young oak trees, benches and urns. It represented the ideal of a new community only twenty blocks from the French Quarter. Sixteen sidewalks radiated from two central spots in the square. On sunny afternoons the grounds were festive; the setting was lush and beautiful, much like the beginnings from whence it came.

Several fine homes were built around the square. Among them are the Frey Mansion, once owned by the L.A. Frey Meatpacking family, and a former Schwegmann family residence. The square nurtured the sense of neighborhood shared by the citizens of the Ninth Ward. In 1947, the New Orleans city government was looking for land on which to build a new City Hall. In a bizarre twist of McDonogh's philanthropy, the city quietly swapped Macarty Square for property owned by the School Board on Perdido St. where City Hall now stands. Upon Macarty Square, the Francis T. Nicholls School gymnasium and athletic field were built.

MACARTY & DELASSIZE ROUVANT, MICHEL 4361
MACARTY, B. PLANTERS BANK 6697
MACARTY, BARTHOLOMEW RIANO, PEDRO 1510
Macarty, Celeste Minturn, John 12,486
MaCarty, Celeste Quertier & Boutin 12,487
MACARTY, CELESTE (WIDOW PAUL LANUSSE) LANNA, JEAN 7282
MACARTY, CELESTE (WIDOW PAUL LANUSSE) FAUCHON, AGATHE (FWC) 7284
MACARTY, CELESTE (WIDOW PAUL LANUSSE) PHILIPPON 7558
MACARTY, DELPEHNIE LALAURIE, LOUIS 10,237
MACARTY, DELPHINE GUILLAUME, LUCIEN 9751
MACARTY, DRAUSIN (FMC) DAQUIN, SYLVAIN (FMC) 7444
MACARTY, EWGENE DEARMAS, VICTORINE ; MOREL, P. L. 9545
MACARTY, L. B. EMANCIPATION PETITION 9637
MACARTY, L. B. MORTGAGE PETITION 9641
MACARTY, LECHEVALIER DURAND, ANDRE ; BOUVAN, MICHEL 3742
MACARTY, LOUIS B. RICHARDSON, HENRY ; HAYES, EZEKIEL 8828
MACARTY, M. C. MACARTY, LOUIS 9588
MACARTY, M. C. ANDRY, MICHEL 9589
Macarty, Marie Delphine Lee, Sarah f.m.c. 12,349
MACARTY, S. B. DENYS, BENJAMIN 7269
MACARTY, S. B. DESCHAPELLS, L. C. LEBRETON 7270
MACARTY, THEOPHILE LANUSSE, P. (J. CHABAUD & F. PERCY - SYNDICS

In Lalaurie’s case, the darkness is centered in a secret chamber of the Haunted House, where Lalaurie tortured her slaves. When her unspeakable inhumanity came to light, the New Orleans Creoles butchered the coachman and the horse that had permitted Lalaurie’s escape, and tore apart her house in an outbreak of rage. Attempts to understand Madame Lalaurie’s viciousness have failed and it can only be speculated that she was either plain insane or a white Creole female "attempt[ing] to hold on to her social position" and barring her doors to keep out "the American liberators of her slaves" and "taking over ‘her’ city", exacting the violence from above on those below her (Benfey 42).

All of the above led us to a discussion about racism in more general terms, and about the "black and white dating" situation in the U.S. that seems to exist in major cities such as New York and Chicago, as well as in New Orleans, but that is anywhere else considered more of a rebellion and deemed unacceptable.

Benfey, Christopher. Degas in New Orleans. Encounters in the Creole World of Kate Chopin and George Washington Cable. New York: Knopf, 1996.

The Horrible Secret on Royal Street" is a shocking and penetrating tale of psychological horror about Madame Delphine Lalaurie, a notorious woman of fashionable Creole society. During the 1830s in New Orleans, Madame Delphine had a horrible secret: she kept slaves locked in her attic and would torture them cruelly and unmercifully.
In both short story and screenplay, the author explores the disturbing motives of the central character and the effects of her demented actions upon her family and her entire community.

Reading the two different versions of this same story allows the reader to experience a new interpretation of the tale that neither the short story nor the screenplay alone can deliver.

 

The Horrible Secret on Royal Street by R. A. Albano; Publisher: Lulu Press; (January 2004); ISBN: 1411604024.

 

LALAURIE HOUSE LINKS

http://www.hauntedneworleanstours.com/hauntedhouses/lalauriehouse/lalaurie/

http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/hauntedhouses/lalauriemansion/lalaurie/

http://denise.lacyloos.com/html/lalaurie_entrance.html

http://www.slavelabor.com/nf_nft13.html

http://www.whatwasthen.com/lalaurie.html

http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/classics/haunted_crimescenes/6.html

http://www.prairieghosts.com/lalaurie.html

http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/toptenhaunted/toptenhauntedhouses/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphine_LaLaurie

http://www.horrorchannel.com/index.php?name=Sections&req=viewarticle&artid=33&page=1

 

A TRUE REAL LIFE ACCOUNT

Lalaurie House Ghosts

NEW TALES OF THE REAL GHOSTS THAT HAUNT THE LALAURIE HOUSE

According to the verifiable report of Cathy, a local radiologist who was often a guest at the doctors' numerous gatherings, there were always strange and unexplainable events taking place in the home. Among these were unexplained footsteps on a blocked attic stairway near the bathroom in a remote part of the upstairs interior, disembodied voices in some of the guest bedrooms, and unexplained movements in the empty attic spaces.

(READ MORE HERE!)

 


Paranormal Photos of the Lalaurie House

Ghosts In Photos Haunted New Orleans

Many people have returned to New Orleans and many are now taking pictures of home streets and what was once familiar to them, and many are capturing what they think to be ghosts in these reported real ghost photos Of the Lauarie House 1140 Royal Street.

Your Lalaurie House ghost photo submissions.

 

Lalaurie House Ghost Photos

 

The World's 100 Most Haunted Places

The World's 100 Most Haunted Places

 

Have You Had a Lalaruie House Haunted
Paranormal or Ghostly Experience?


Send us your true tales of strange, unexplained and paranormal experiences.

E-mail Haunted America Tours for inclusion in a future article or story archives.

( Click Here to submit a haunted Lalaurie House ghost Story or Ghost Photo.)

Discuss the LaLaurie house in our forums.
Or post your stories and comments about this article on the Haunted ghost filled Paranormal Phenomena Forum ( Click here to visit our forum)

 

Delphine LaLaurie committed unspeakable atrocities within the walls of the house at 1140 Rue Royale in New Orleans. Her victims want revenge.

In June 2005, they will get their chance as Nightmares and Fairy Tales, SLG Publishing's best-selling ongoing series, embarks on a new saga of terror, haunting and retribution. Issue thirteen will launch the new six-issue story arc "1140 Rue Royale," written by Serena Valentino and drawn by Crab Scrambly, the artist on Everything Can Be Beaten and both writer and artist of The 13th of Never.

The exact historical events of Marie Delphine LaLaurie's life and alleged crimes are uncertain, but her story is one of many that haunts New Orleans. In that account, Mme. LaLaurie was a beautiful socialite and popular hostess in New Orleans during the 1830s, but rumors that she abused her slaves cast a shadow on her reputation. Soon, evidence of her cruelty came to light, and Mme. LaLaurie fled New Orleans in disgrace. What history knows of Mme. LaLaurie ends here, but Serena Valentino has picked up the thread to pen "1140 Rue Royale," which speculates a future for Delphine LaLaurie and the ghosts of her victims, who still are said to still inhabit the house. As residents of New Orleans say -- "La maison est hanté!"

Valentino wants to be clear that she does not want to exploit or trivialize the very real human suffering that may have taken place at 1140 Rue Royale. "If the stories about Madame LaLaurie and her servants are true, her victims deserve a means of revenge," she said. "I wrote 'Rue Royale' to give them a voice and to expose the horrible acts that may have taken place."

Scrambly depicts the Victorian-era story in his signature highly-detailed style. Even 1140 Rue Royale itself takes on a personality, looming over its new tenants as they approach it for the first time. "Serena wanted the house to be another character in the story," he explained, "so I've tried to make it look as if it's alive."

Nightmares and Fairy Tales is Scrambly's first foray into the sequential art form, but his illustration work on Everything Can Be Beaten and The 13th of Never, as well as the blessing of fan-beloved FSc, who was the first artist of Nightmares and Fairy Tales, are more than enough to inspire confidence in his work. "FSc told me that if anyone could be the new artist on Nightmares, Crab was that artist," Valentino said.

SLG's editor-in-chief Jennifer de Guzman agrees. "FSc had such a distinctive style that we knew no one who drew anything like her would be right. They would constantly be drawing in her shadow. Crab's style is completely different from FSc's but he has the same mastery and self-assuredness in his art."

Scrambly is happy to get the chance to expand his repertoire. "I've been a denizen in the seedy world of Illustration for a long time," he said. "I'm honored to have Serena Valentino help me cross the filthy, worm-eaten bridge into the shiny realm of Sequential Art."

Nightmares and Fairy Tales #13, the start of the six-part "1140 Rue Royale" story arc, will be available in June 2005. Visit www.slavelabor.com for a preview.

READ ABOUT THE ROYAL STREET COURTYARD B&B GHOST PHOTOS AND STORY HERE!

What if someone told you the piece of ground you were standing on was known as the "Most Haunted Scariest Spot in the world"! Would you believe them?

THE MOST HAUNTED PLACE ON EART

Whitechapel, Sloss Furnace, Amityville, Spittalfields, London East End, London, England, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, Oswiecim, Poland, Amityville, NY, or the Waverly Ghosts of the Kentucky Sanatorium, Bachelor's Grove, Bald Mountain Or The entire Haunted City of New Orleans. It's all up to conjecture... Haunted America Tours lets People who visit the site vote to see what they believe is the most haunted location, other paranormal sites, and television shows pick and choose their haunted places for you.

THIS STORY MAY JUST PUT A NEW REAL HAUNTED HOTSPOT ON YOUR LIST OF REAL SCARY AND MOST HAUNTED PLACES TO INVESTIGATE!

TO READ MORE PLEASE VISIT HERE NOW!

 


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