If you think today’s socialites like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton are evil monsters, settle in for the disturbing tale of Delphine LaLaurie. LaLaurie was by all accounts a beautiful woman who snagged herself a doctor husband. The couple lived in a mansion on Royal Street downtown and was known for their extravagant parties.
Until April 10, 1834.
On that day, the LaLaurie’s house was set on fire. The smoke drew the attention of locals, who alerted the proper authorities and broke in to put out the flames. Here’s where things get murky. And really disturbing.
Allegedly, two slaves had been chained to the stove and set the house on fire to draw attention. Once freed, the slaves led the firefighters upstairs to the attic where they discovered a nightmarish scene.
According to several accounts from the locals, somewhere around seven slaves had been chained and tortured in the attic. The lucky ones had died. The less fortunate had been mutilated for the sake of gruesome medical experiments. One man had been crudely transformed into a woman. One had her lips sewn shut. Some had been dissected alive. The victims who were still alive were begging for death.
The local community was outraged and formed an impromptu lynch mob. But some time during the house invasion, the LaLauries had fled the town, never to be heard from again. Obviously, justice was not served.
The house on Royal Street remains and stories of hauntings quickly spread. Apparently a ghostly, large male in chains stalked the house, and many household items are regularly thrown from the walls.
In the last bizarre twist of the LaLaurie house, Nicolas Cage purchased the mansion in 2007. Cage arranged the paperwork so his name did not appear on the deed. But even someone as creepy as Cage couldn’t handle the spooky environs, eventually losing the property to foreclosure in 2009. The house is rumored to be owned by Johnny Depp now, who probably wards off the ghosts with his elaborate collection of bracelets.