At 1140 Royal Street stands what has become of the legendary LaLaurie Mansion, where many of New Orleans’ most phantasmic poltergeists reside. Yet what do we know about this mysterious mansion and why is it haunted? This is what you need to know before daring to venture near the LaLaurie Mansion.
Its Name Comes From Madame Delphine LaLaurie
The infamous Madame Delphine was born Marie Delphine Macarty. The gentle and sweet daughter of a well-to-do family grew up to be the woman who would later be known as the ‘Cruel Mistress of the Haunted House’. Two of her husbands died of strange causes, yet it was her third marriage that sparked genuine suspicion. Madame LaLaurie’s turbulent third marriage was said to have driven her to madness in the LaLaurie Mansion, which she inhabited with her young and handsome husband. Reports circulated of the abuse which Madame Delphine inflicted upon her slaves and even her own daughters.
The Fire at LaLaurie Mansion
In the spring of 1834, LaLaurie Mansion was set ablaze. It revealed the horrific living conditions of a number of slaves who were being tortured, starved, and beaten. The fire was allegedly ignited by a slave who had been chained in the kitchen in an attempt to expose the way that she and others were being treated. Madame Delphine and her family fled the scene. The New Orleans press seized the opportunity to vilify and demonize Madame Delphine. Now, it is believed that most of the spirits which haunt the house are those of the deceased slaves.
Two Centuries of Paranormal Activity
Soon after the fire, the house was converted into an apartment complex and a tenant was murdered. However, the unusual nature of his death suggested ties to paranormal activity. Even spookier, in the mid-nineteenth century, the LaLaurie Mansion functioned as an all-girls school where students often experienced bizarre and random physical assaults. Today, the LaLaurie Mansion is as stately as it is spooky and remains an iconic New Orleans landmark.