Horrific stories of torture and abuse inflicted on slaves who worked in this house were reported in the 1830s and the abuser was said to be Madame Delphine LaLaurie, a socialite of great wealth and prominence in New Orleans. Delphine and her husband, Dr. Louis LaLaurie, would host elaborate parties at the house, but soon, stories of vicious cruelty emerged.
In one tale, Delphine was whipping the child of a slave when the child broke away and ran to the roof, falling to her death. But the turning point came when a fire broke out in the mansion and when help arrived, they witnessed horrific scenes of punishment and torture inflicted on the slaves. Delphine fled, never to be seen again.
The home has undergone many changes and owners over the years, with one of the most recent owners actor Nicolas Cage. Cage said of the LaLaurie house, “… You know, other people have beachfront property; I have ghost-front property… ” Unfortunately, Cage lost the property in a foreclosure auction. Read the chronology of the LaLaurie House by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
(Photo of Madame LaLaurie: nola.com)