Haunted Lalaurie Mansion
New Orleans can be a spooky place, and Lalaurie House is one of the city’s most notorious haunted destinations. For over 150 years, it’s been called the most terrifying location in the French Quarter, allegedly haunted by Madame Lalaurie herself. The ghost story began in 1832 when Dr. Louis Lalaurie and his wife, Delphine, called the mansion home and were famous for their parties and social status.
The affairs at 1140 Royal Street were well-known, with the three-story mansion hosting countless fetes. Madame Lalaurie quickly became known as the most beautiful woman in the city with a knack for pampering her guests. However, legend says that below her exterior, she was cold and cruel. With dozens of slaves at her beck and call, she treated them brutally—supposedly chaining her cook to the fireplace. When a fire erupted in the kitchen, it’s said the cook started it to end Madame Lalaurie’s reign of terror. When the firefighters finally controlled the flames, they found a much more gruesome sight in the attic, evidence of what Madame Lalaurie really did to those in her enslavement.
The Lalauries disappeared, and the ghost stories began almost immediately. The first person who tried to live in the house left after three months, claiming they heard groans and strange noises. The mansion has been re-envisioned as everything from a school to a bar. Today, it’s luxury apartments for those who are brave enough (even though “new” graves were discovered just a few years ago).
Take a ghost tour to find out more, or walk past the mansion and see if you feel anything chilly in the air. Although the building is occupied with tenants and unavailable for tours, for many, simply standing at the perimeter is off-putting enough!