In 1831, Marie Delphine LaLaurie along with her husband, Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie purchased a beautiful mansion in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The aristocrat family, like many in that period, had quite a few slaves. The LaLaurie family was well known especially by the most elite members of their community. They were always throwing extravagant parties that only the best of high society could attend.

Suspicions grew about the LaLaurie home after a neighbor witnessed a 12-year-old slave throw herself from the balcony while running away from Madame LaLaurie. Later, they observed the mistress burying the poor child’s mangled body from the fall. It was suggested by reports that the girl accidentally snagged LaLaurie’s hair while brushing it throwing Madame LaLaurie into a fit of rage. The girl chose to commit suicide out of fear of the punishment she knew she was about to receive.

As the rumors began to spread, their lavish parties’ attendance began diminishing. However, on April 10, 1834 the true nature and demeanor of Marie Delphine LaLaurie was revealed to everyone. A seventy-year-old kitchen slave set fire to the house during one of the LaLaurie’s infamous parties. When the fire department arrived, LaLaurie’s only concern was getting her valuables out of the house.

This caused even more suspicion to rise. As the fire department went through the house, they were beyond horrified at what they had found. Tortured slaves chained to the walls with spiked collars, many emaciated and badly scarred from their previous punishments. When the police questioned the slave as to why she started the fire, she confessed that it was because she feared being sent “upstairs” so she attempted to commit suicide.  The woman told investigators many of the slaves that went upstairs never returned.

Stories of Marie Delphine LaLaurie have been greatly exaggerated unfortunately, for entertainment purposes. This by no means suggests her innocence. However, one fact remains, an angry mob of approximately 4,000 people deemed it necessary to run the LaLaurie family out of New Orleans. There is no denying that whatever was truly found was brutal and horrifying.  

Since that time, many have reported a wide array paranormal activities occurring on the premises. Many eyewitnesses claimed to have heard screams and crying, witnessed object manipulation, electrical disturbances and much more. 

Could it be the anger the slaves are still holding in their very souls, which leaves them to remain unrest? Could it be the Marie Delphine LaLaurie still trying to continue her evil deeds? No one really knows. With all the terrible things that have happened there, it’s no wonder The LaLaurie Mansion is a paranormal hot spot. 

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Kristy Edwards, an upcoming fantasy genre author. You can visit her website at