La Laurie House, New Orleans, LA

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Probably one of the most tragic and gruesome stories that lead to a haunting is the one that clouds the building known as the LaLaurie House. The house is located at 1140 Royal Street, and is still there-- though it is said to have been owned at one time by purveyor of the occult, Nicholas Cage.

The legend is that Dr. Louis LaLaurie and Madam Delphine LaLaurie dreadfully abused their servants-- sometimes going so far as human torture or medically experimenting on them in an attic room for some minor infraction or other. The lore also says one night they hosted a party, and the cook, who was chained to the stove, set fire to the building in the hopes of burning it to the ground. This attempt was unsuccessful, but it did serve to open the eyes of the law to the mis-treatment of their slaves. They were rescued, but the horrors within the attic rooms were so vile that the madam and her husband were driven off-- though some speculate she returned to France for a bit, others believe they came back to New Orleans after spending some time away.

I'm interested in the story for purely historical reasons--I enjoy learning the history behind alleged hauntings-- so, years ago I located the article in the New Orleans Bee archives for April 11, 1834. The fire did happen, and it was documented.

... if anyone else is interested in reading for yourself, you can find the article here:

Look for the file: 1834_04_034.pdf

Once you open the pdf file, the article is in the upper left corner of the page, and the first sentence (which is rather difficult to read) begins:

"The conflagration at the house occupied by the woman LaLaurie in Hospital St. has been the means of discovering one of those atrocities the details of which seem to be too incredible for human belief."

Here are some photos I took of the mansion in my Dec 2011 trip to NOLA. Enjoy! (Clicking on the thumbnails will take you to a larger version of the image).