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