Anyone who has ever heard me tell ghost stories knows that the positively diabolical tale of Madame LaLaurie is my absolute favorite tale of ghoulish, ghostly, evil. Madame LaLaurie makes most serial killers look like house pets and the mansion that stands as a rembrance of her cruelty is often called the most haunted house in the nation. It is one of the few haunted locations that holds ghosts that have actually killed their victims (according to legend).
This is why I literally jumped for joy when I found out that my favorite television series, American Horror Story, will feature Kathy Bates playing Madame LaLaurie this year. It really doesn’t get much better than this. Kathy Bates plays evil as deftly as any master and I can’t wait to see her bring this iconic monster to life. In order to celebrate, I’ve done a little history of Madame LaLaurie below. American Horror Story premiers on FX at 10 pm October 9th. I’m already there, in spirit.
According to haunted New Orleans tours and Haunted America, the LaLaurie Mansion is the most haunted site in New Orleans. Sources say that the house is filled with tormented screams and terrifying wails. They describe chains rattling at night and the apparitions in chains wandering the halls. The house has been many things since the famous Delphine de LaLaurie abandoned it, but it hasn’t been anything for as it has been quickly abandoned by every resident afterwards. Some stories indicate that the ghosts here are aggressive and that they have attacked residents with whips and some even claim that multiple deaths have resulted from the hellish, supernatural residents of 1140 Royal Street.
The history of this mansion can only be confirmed to a point. It is known that Delphine LaLaurie was a wealthy, socialite who resided until 1833. Many accounts from contemporaries show that Madam LaLaurie was uncommonly cruel and beastly to her slaves, even for a time when cruelty to slaves was somewhat common. Following a kitchen fire in the house in 1833, the remains of over 100 dead slaves were found. After this, the evidence becomes weaker. Many sources indicate that firefighters entering the house found a room in the house in which slaves had been tortured in the most gruesome ways. It is said that some slaves had been subjected to many unnecessary surgeries and had had their sex organs removed, mutilated, or sewn onto other slaves. Other slaves had their mouths sewn shut with feces in them and their intestines removed and nailed to the floor. The list of atrocities goes on and on and are so vile that I shutter to even write about them.
Whether the more gruesome elements of this story are true or not, it is true that LaLaurie was a beast and a serial killer and that reports continue that this house is tormented by constant ghosts and spirits. Anyone curious about this house will be easily appeased, as it is a regular part of all haunted New Orleans tours and the guides stories about the house are beyond chilling. However, the house’s inability to maintain an owner still remains a problem. Nicolas Cage bought the house in 2007 and it was foreclosed on in 2008. The house is still vacant and owned by the bank.