In the French Quarter of New Orleans there is an ordinary looking house, but a closer look at the hidden past of the property reveals a more complicated history- tales of secret attics and murder..
It’s all true in the haunted Lalaurie House.
The dark history of the Lalaurie House began in 1832 when wealthy doctor Louis Lalaurie and his wife Delphine moved into the mansion. The family was one of prominent standing in the community at that time- they were socialites and and threw lavish parties for their neighbors.
Despite the appearance of their charming lifestyle, whispers of more sinister things spread through the slave class. It seemed there was an extremely high turnover with the house slaves- not only did the Lalauries frequently purchase new slaves, but no one ever seemed to figure out what happened to the old ones. Until, that is, a fire broke out in the Lalaurie kitchen.
Some say it was a slave that started it in hopes to bring law enforcement into the house to investigate, but when authorities did show up, they discovered a secret attic with a grisly scene. Many of the former slaves who were thought to have disappeared were still within the house, in cages or attached to chains. All were disfigured and mutilated beyond recognition, tortured beyond belief. Many had died and their body parts were strewn around the room.
The town immediately gathered as an angry mob in order to arrest the couple, but the Lalauries barely escaped them by carriage, never to be seen or heard from again. It was then understood from multiple slave accounts that Delphine had been the mastermind behind the torture chamber, and her husband simply turned a blind eye to her horrendous experiments.
The LaLaurie house has had many incarnations before returning to its purpose as a residence. It was a saloon and a girl's school, a music conservatory, an apartment building and a furniture store. The stories began almost immediately. Many have reported seeing the phantom of that young slave girl fleeing across the LaLaurie roof. Agonized screams coming from the empty house were commonplace. Those who stayed there after it became occupied left after only a few days. At the turn of the century, a resident, one of the many poor Italian immigrants who lived in the house, encountered a black man in chains. The entity attacked him on the stairwell then suddenly disappeared. The next morning, most of the other residents abandoned the building.
The bar, "The Haunted Saloon," opened in the 20th century. The owner kept records of the odd experiences of his patrons. Later, it seemed the LaLaurie House did not care to be a furniture store. The owner’s merchandise was often found covered in a mysterious foul-smelling fluid. After staying up to catch the suspected vandals, the owner found the liquid had somehow re-appeared in plain sight, although no one had entered. The business closed.
Animals were found butchered within the house. Delphine was reportedly seen hovering over the infant child of a turn-of-the-century resident, or chasing children with a whip. She also apparently attempted, late in the 19th century and long after she was dead, to strangle a black manservant. Today, people just passing the building on tour report fainting or becoming nauseous, and of course, disembodied screams or wailing are still occasionally heard. Some tourists are able to photograph orbs around the roof area.