RESIDENCE – LALAURIE MANSION
Location: 1140 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States
Small Description: The New Orleans mansion that was occupied by Delphine Lalaurie in the 1800’s still stands today. The Lalauries maintained several black slaves in slave quarters attached to the Royal Street mansion. On the morning of April 10, 1834, a fire broke out. The fire not only destroyed part of the house, but a secret room was discovered in the upper part of the building, where seven slaves were found who were starved, tortured and chained.
The authorities also found skeletons under the house. They concluded that the bodies were those of former LaLaurie slaves, their bodies buried to hide the fact that they were killed inside of the LaLaurie Mansion.
Ghost Story: 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. Agonised 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.
Bonus Spook: Fairly recent renovations to the building unearthed graves hidden underneath the wooden floor of the home, indicating the bodies had been dumped rather than buried. The skeletons apparently date from the time of the LaLaurie horrors.
References: Sharon Keating / Goneworleans.about.com
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