The Haunting of New Orleans

the haunting of new orleans

The United States of America has its fair share of tourism in the world. One of the cities that are well known for both its culture and something much more than that is New Orleans. The city is known for its apparent “hauntings”. For tourists all across America, New Orleans is a different sort of attraction. The people that are attracted to this place are those with a fascination with the supernatural. 

One of the most famous sights here is the LaLaurie Mansion. Famed because of the story of Delphine LaLaurie, it was also reported to have had paranormal sightings for 200 years. It was owed to the fact that Delphine LaLaurie had enslaved and tortured prisoners over there. Phantom footsteps, negative energy auras, and ghostly sightings are regular things heard from the people that visit the mansion. Even after all that, it’d be a mistake to blame it on the era of Delphine LaLaurie. The house has had a lot of bloody stories linked to it.

Around 1894, the mansion was converted into an apartment building, where the tenant was brutally murdered in his room. The stories that revolved around this murder were truly horrifying. Where some people claimed the presence of a ghost in the house that wouldn’t have rested till the tenant was dead, whereas some people ended up calling it the result of a brutal murder and burglary.

haunting of new orleans
Image source: Qantas

The History of Hauntings

During the mid to late nineteenth century, the mansion was also a school for girls for a very brief time. It would be close to impossible to think that the entire time went by without any “haunting” incidents taking place. Within no time that the school had opened, girls would approach their teachers, with tear-stricken faces and swollen eyes, and would show bruises and scratches on their arms. When asked the reason for how it happened, the answer was always the same; “That woman.” 

This was the recent history of the mansion. But everything began long before all this. The roots of the stories behind all these happenings, the person who made the mansion famous and named it after herself; Madame LaLaurie. Born to Louis Barthelemy de Macarty and  Marie Jeanne Lerable, she was born with the name Marie Delphine Macarty.

Delphine’s family was a part of the powerful Macarty clan who had arrived from France in the early days of French colonization. Many of her relatives owned extensive properties and slave businesses.

the haunting of new orleans
Image source: Reddit

The History behind the History

The stories of LaLaurie’s tortures had begun after her third marriage when her husband left her. Reportedly, her husband’s departure made LaLaurie mentally unstable. Right after that, one of the household slaves, Leia, fell to her death in the courtyard. What seemed to be an accident was found out to be the result of her frustration with her husband.

After an investigation held by the council, all the slaves were set free. But not for long. After the heat around her died down, Delphine purchased all her slaves back, one by one, with a spirit fueled with both vengeance and frustration now. 

On the morning of 1834, the entire cruelty of Delphine LaLaurie was exposed. A fire broke out in the LaLaurie mansion that consumed the entire place in its flames. One by one, the secrets unfolded. La Laurie had, for years, held slaves in the most gruesome and torturous ways possible. During the fire, several helpless slaves were found chained in the upper part of the building. Being as helpless as they were, they were carried to the hospital after the fire died down and given medical treatment.

Nearly two thousand townsfolk had come to see the fate of the victims of the fire. Appalled by what they saw, and with the thirst for vengeance, they gathered around the LaLaurie mansion. Although she managed to escape, the mob didn’t stop there and carried on stripping down the house. The details and secrets that were uncovered after the assault and reports were truly horrifying and enough to chill anyone to the bone.

Delphine LaLaurie
Image source: crypticchroniclespodcast

Delphine LaLaurie had a troubled life with a lot of secrets. But none of them was enough to account for the way she treated other humans. Knowing the fact that she would be in trouble if caught by anyone, after escaping the angry mob in New Orleans, she is reported to have gone back to France and lived a life in hiding.

What happened to her after reaching France is still unknown and researchers to this day, are trying to uncover the mystery behind it. 

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