Monday, April 10, 2006

Delphine Lalaurie's Torture Chamber - April 10, 1834

On April 10, 1834, a fire brigade was called to the mansion of Dr. Louis Lalaurie and his wife, Delphine. When they finally put out the blaze they found an old slave woman chained in the kitchen. She had set the fire to get away from Delphine’s depravity. Upstairs, the firefighters found bodies and still-living slaves chained to the walls of an attic room and in cages. The whole time, Delphine had been saving her valuables.

The victims had been mutilated; one woman had her skin peeled off, while one man had been surgically altered to resemble a female. In the room were containers of body parts.

There is disagreement over the number of slaves locked in the attic and what condition they were in, but regardless, the brutal treatment of the slaves offended the sensibilities of her fellow New Orleanians so much that a mob gathered outside her house the next day, calling for her blood. Delphine and her husband (possibly) escaped by crashing out of the carriage house in their carriage and outrunning the stunned mob. Accounts differ, but she is reported to either have left for Paris, northern Louisiana or maybe not making it out after all.

Her mansion was eventually turned into apartments and ghostly events have been reported there. They may be due to the 75 people that had been buried alive there, whose bodies were discovered during renovation. Apparently, after the Lalauries fled, screams were heard, however, the townspeople thought they were ghosts and never investigated.

In Evil’s Footsteps
Crime Library – Delphine Lalaurie
The History Channel – Delphine Lalaurie
The House of Lalaurie
Everything2 - Lalaurie
Wikipedia - Delphine Lalaurie


Robin said...

Very cool, Heather! Brother Luigi roped me into My Space. His blog is about scary, but he has no clue I've read it, yet.

Shadowspun said...

So when do we see yours? Betcha you could come up with some pretty interesting posts...


Anonymous said...

she is totally carzy!!

Wiffette said...

This is untrue. You need to check you sources because what you wrote is urban legend.

Anonymous said...

it's true she abused her servants, but there are no records available to support this degree of brutality. no one knows exactly what happened to her slaves. what is true is that they were abused, she did leave new orleans after the fire, and her slaves were taken from her the first time. she eventually got them back. would make a good scary story though.

Peppy Fields said...

Actually, her name was Marie Delphine Lalaurie.

Anonymous said...

We just wrote a book about the history of Marie Delphine Lalaurie.

Someone in her house did abuse her slaves, but the rumors of hundreds, etc. are exagerated. There were seven.

Anonymous said...

I went to that house, while on a tour of the French Quarter. Before hearing any of its sordid history, legendary or factual as it may be, I began feeling disoriented and nauseous. I had to leave the property and did not start feeling better until I had crossed the street and turned my back to it. I only glanced over my shoulder once more, and saw something that prompted me to get away as quickly as the tour group would tolerate. Whatever transpired has left a lasting impression on the house and surrounding grounds.