(hey! Happy October! Kathleen is going to bring us a smattering of ghost stories derived from local legends throughout the month. Who loves these stories? Me! If you have one of interest to add to the pile here, let me know.)
I recently came across the story of Madame LaLaurie, a wealthy woman who lived in New Orleans in the nineteenth century. I love a good ghost story, and we officially welcomed Fall today (it was chilly on our walk to school). So that also means it is time for ghost stories! This one is a doozy. Be prepared! I’ll give you the gist of it and some links if you can stomach more.
LaLaurie lived in the French Quarter in 1832. They were very wealthy and were prominent in society, doing what socialites did and flaunting wealth and opulence wherever possible while maintaining a massive home. Homes of such sort of course had slaves, and while New Orleans did have laws against cruelty to slaves, we all know it wasn’t always followed.
Rumors spread when slaves disappeared and were replaced quite often. People began to notice the poor health and morale of the slaves and one neighbor even witnessed LaLaurie chasing a girl on the roof with a whip. The little girl jumped to her death, and neighbors noticed a haphazard grave in the yard after that. Investigations pursued shortly after, and one of them produced evidence of cruelty, such as chaining the cook to the stove and physical abuse of other slaves. They were taken from the LaLaurie family to be sold elsewhere, but LaLaurie unfortunately bought them back somehow.
A kitchen fire started in the house some time later (possibly by the cook), and firefighters found one of those secret attic rooms we all hate to imagine. There were bodies, body parts, mangled people, dying people. It was bloody and sadistic and awful. The slaves had been tortured in ways no one could have imagined, including “surgeries” that removed limbs and breaking limbs to have them set unnaturally. An angry mob attacked the house soon after and it was ransacked. The survivors of the attic were “rescued”, in that they were removed from the horror, but then placed in a jail for exhibition.
My heart, she breaks.
LaLaurie and her family were unfortunately never apprehended, though there are reports they lived and died in Paris.
Here is the wiki article:
I invite you to take a look at this fun site, it’s a little campy, and the story is bloody. Still, it’s a fun site and worth a look on this fine fall day.
I can’t say I really believe in ghosts, but I just love ghost stories. Maybe I’m an enthusiastic skeptic. (You got a ghost? Show me!) Mostly I love weird history of our country, and New Orleans is one of the weirdest for sure. New Orleans has it’s fair share of ghosts and an abundance of rich history. I hope to visit there someday…the music, the food, the ghosts, the geology, what’s not to love?
Do you have some cool ghost stories or legends? I’d love to hear them!