Delphine LaLaurie: The Evil Socialite

27Aug09

Delphine-Lalaurie-PortraitMadame Delphine Lalaurie was born Marie Delphine Macarty, circa 1775 to Louis Barthelemy McCarty and Vevue McCarty, prominent members of the New Orleans community. On June 12th, 1825, Marie Delphine Macarty married her third husband (the previous two had died), to Dr. Leonard Louis Lalaurie, a prominent dentist. In 1832, Dr. Lalaurie and his wife Delphine purchased the house at 1140 Rue Royale from another prominent member of New Orleans society, Edmond Soniet du Fossat who reportedly had the house constructed for the Lalaurie’s. Immediately Delphine Lalaurie began decorating the home with elaborate furnishings. Costly furniture, elaborate paintings by well known artists of the day amongst other fine appointments. Soon thereafter, weekly parties were held at the Lalaurie Mansion, where the most prominent citizens of New Orleans would attend, including a judge, Judge Caponage, a very dear friend of the Lalauries.

Life in the Mansion

Lalaurie-Mansion-GhostAlthough she would throw lavish parties with guest lists consisting of some of the most prominent people in the city, the manner in which Delphine LaLaurie tortured her slaves is probably the most widely known of the French Quarter’s macabre tales. In 1833, after several neighbors allegedly saw her cowhiding a young servant girl in the mansion’s courtyard, rumors began to spread around town that LaLaurie treated her servants viciously. According to one tale, a young slave girl was brushing LaLaurie’s hair in the upstairs bedroom when the comb hit a snag in her mistress’s hair, enraging LaLaurie.

LaLaurie whipped the 12-year-old slave girl, who tried to escape but fell to her death from a balcony overlooking the courtyard. The girl was quickly brought into the LaLaurie Mansion, but not before being observed by neighbors, who filed a complaint. The neighbors later asserted that the young girl was buried under a tree in the yard.

The legalities of the situation were handled by Judge Jean Francois Canonge, a friend of the LaLauries, who had visited the house on a previous occasion concerning the welfare of the LaLaurie servants. The LaLaurie slaves were confiscated and put up for auction, and the LaLauries were fined $500. Some of the LaLaurie relatives arranged to buy the slaves back and quickly returned them to her.

The Attrocities

On April 10, 1834, during another party, a fire broke out in the kitchen of the mansion. The kitchen — as was the norm in Spanish mansions — was separate from the home and located over the carriageway building across the courtyard. The firemen entered the building through the courtyard. To their surprise, there were two slaves chained to the stove in the kitchen. It appeared as though the slaves had set the fire themselves in order to attract attention. The fire itself was soon subdued. It was then that the real horror of what had happened in the mansion became apparent.

Lalaurie-AtticPublished on 11 April, 1834, the New Orleans newspaper, The Bee, described how, ”Upon entering the apartments the most appalling spectacle met their eyes. Several slaves more or less horribly mutilated were seen suspended from the neck, with their limbs apparently stretched and torn from one extremity to the other . . . the slaves belonged to a woman cast as demon, and they had merely been kept alive to prolong their suffering.” It was said that slaves had had their bones broken and their bodies re-shaped, their lips sewn together, that women had been found nailed to the floor, that crude attempts at sex change operations had taken place, and that buckets full of body parts and gore had been found – a Grand Guignol Horror! Surviving slaves later described how they trembled with fear at the prospect of being taken to the attic, because no one ever re-emerged from the attic.

LaLaurie escaped by horse and carriage to Bayou St. John, where she allegedly paid the captain of a schooner to carry her across to Mandeville or Covington. Many claimed they escaped to Paris. Others say they remained on the outskirts of New Orleans. [Source]

Her Death

Several different accounts of the death of Delphine LaLaurie are given. One report said she was killed by a wild boar in a hunting accident in France. Another story, as reported in The Daily Picayune of March 1892, insisted she died among friends and family in Paris.

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99 Responses to “Delphine LaLaurie: The Evil Socialite”

  1. 1 Holy

    Holy Fucking Shit. This is CRAZY. Is the house still there?

    • 2 leo

      the sad part about this is that she got away with it

      • 3 fred

        she didn’t get away. no one ever gets away from the judgement of God. the real judgement.

  2. Holy – yep – actually Nicholas Cage recently bought it, renovated it, and resold it.

    • 5 NessaDavis

      Actually as of April, last I saw, the house is still on the market, there is pics of the inside on some real-estates sites. No one wants to buy that place! It is over priced and the stories ruin the chances!

      • 6 Zoe

        I would totally buy it.

        • 7 id

          me too. if only I had the money

  3. 8 Zenayda

    As horrible as it sounds, I love stories like this. Not sure what that says about me but shit – that woman didn’t deserve the air she breathed.

    • I do too – the morbid aspects make it spooky, which in turn make it fascinating and entertaining.

    • 10 AshleyR

      dont worry. i agree. its like a fascination of how terrible people are.

    • 11 pcbarn

      you can say that again…man,how would they have felt like!!!

      • Not only is it still there ,but Its said that actor Nicolas Cage owns it now !

  4. 13 BethDEATH

    Omg. I love scary stuff like this!
    😀
    But wow…
    She did some messed up stuff.
    What a bitch.
    I bet she’s a burnin’ in Hell.
    Lmao.

    • 14 lalaurie

      hell is here sugar,thre’s no other

      • 15 theVylan

        You TERRIBLE, ARROGANT THING,

        How would YOU know? Even though It’s likely you’re right, you have as much business telling people their beliefs are wrong as poeple telling you theirs are right.

        Do you like to tell small children there’s no Santa Claus, too?

        • 16 Brendy

          you missed the point

  5. 17 DustinB

    Recently did a ghost tour down in “Nawlins'” and we stopped at this house. The rumors and stories that were told were brutal. It was really weird being there and picturing how everything happened back in the day…

  6. 18 jesmatvi

    There’s a mockumentary/Blair Witch style movie based on this called The St. Francisville Experiment. It’s at a completely different location but the legend is the same.

    • Thanks for mentioning that – I will have to check it out. I find the LaLaurie story fascinating.

    • Good movie for sure.

  7. 21 appie

    gosh!,..if I was one of the slaves, I probably killed her,.i won’t care if I will be imprisoned or be killed,.just to save the others,.=(

  8. 22 Kay

    Wow that is so weird.

  9. 23 Kejrn

    My kind of favourite story…

  10. 24 columbofan

    Has anyone heard a song called the house of the rising sun. It was sung by the Animals and I think Bob dylan did a cover. This article just really reminded me of it, its a new orleans song anyway…

  11. 25 Looser

    people like that deserve what they do to their victims

  12. 26 Mrfakz

    Reminds me of another women who killed her slaves but drank their blood and bathed in it. Cannot remember the name though.

    • 27 Looser

      i think you are thinking of a belgian (?) princess who thought that by killing young girls she could take their youth by drinking their blood. she was caught when she killed the daughter of one of nobleman of the country. creepy eh?

      • 28 Heather

        Elizabeth Bathory, right? She was Hungarian.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Bathory

      • 29 Inge

        You are thinking of Elizabeth Bathory, who was a Roumanian noblewoman

        • 30 Inge

          hi sorry, Elizabeth Bathory was Hungarian. She was reputed to strip her servant girls and throw them out onto the ice, throwing freezing water on them until they froze to death as well as countless other tortures. Because she was a noble woman she was impisoned rather than executed.

      • 31 redfern

        or bloody Mary?

    • 32 Leila

      You’re thinking of Elizabeth Bathory. She tortured her female slaves in innumerable ways, but the rumors of her drinking/bathing in their blood was simply folklore. it was one of the few things she DIDN’T do to them.

      • 33 Hillary

        Possibly. No one can account 100% for what happened.

    • 34 sophiee

      yh i heard of it before i know wot ya mean

    • 35 Shaaron

      Elizabeth Bathory

  13. 36 imcrystalclear

    I love this kind of story, but my heart just breaks with the thought of what these poor people went through. I love this site.

  14. 37 Malorie

    Elizabeth Bathory is the woman who bathed in the blood of virgin slaves, said it kept her young. and the St Francisville experiment is great!i own it. Creepy and silly at the same time, and thats hard to achieve! (btw: I’m totally in love with Jfrater. haha)

    • Alas there is a long queue. Haha just kidding 🙂

  15. 39 Malorie

    haha, i dont doubt it in the least!!! im super cute… trust me. :p Just a long time reader/lurker of listverse and now here. I’m not always terribly clever so i usually avoid commenting

    • 40 Looser

      DONT DO IT JFRATER!! SHE”LL KIDNAP YOU AND TOUCH YOUR NAUGHTY PARTS!!!!!!!

  16. 41 Tiffany

    I actually heard on a haunted history program (I think) that the Lalaurie place is pretty haunted and before Nic Cage bought it, it was a B & B and any Black people that stayed there reported being accosted in the middle of the night by some malevolent force. Creepy huh?

  17. 42 Malorie

    Hey now! Touching naughty bits is the fun part!!!! 😉

  18. 43 saintofdome

    Its amazing they have not made a movie out of this as twisted as it sounds they really should.This women was a beast of the spawn of the devil itself on earth.She had her own freak show of death and dying alive.

    • 44 Xatike

      The Human Centipede. Nuf said. @-@

  19. 45 Darkfalling

    Tales like this hook you in with their morbid fascination but christ, I don’t know how people can hurt other people. I am too empathetic to ever be able to inflict even the smallest amount on pain on a person. Even causing accidental emotional pain hurts me. To think this woman revelled in torturing people. It makes my skin crawl.

  20. 46 tarson

    Whippin the slave was hot m an! where do you find this sexy stuff!!!?

    It was really funnie that the slave fell out the window and died. That old girl must of wet herself with laughing at the sight when the slave girl swann dived out the window.

    Genius. Hilorious.

    • 47 Tito

      U ARE A BIG STUPID FOOL. U MUST BE A WITCH.

      • 48 Xatike

        Do they weigh as much as a duck though? That’s a good way to find out.

  21. 49 sopphie

    so horrible. those poor people… i cant believe she was never found
    😦

  22. 50 chingpower

    those slaves should have killed her.

    • 51 john

      Exactly, when you let people like her live they only oppress good people. It’s a shame most of the slaves were cowards. Otherwise, they may have not succumbed to their fates as they did. But hey some people just don’t have what it takes to survive. :/

      • 52 redfern

        i think slaves during that time were just that… slaves… i don’t think they could comprehend freedom the way we do, much less fighting about it… my thoughts..

        • 53 Charlayne

          Yes, slaves were slaves and LaLaurie was the worst of the worst of owners. Most owners were brutal in order to keep their slaves in line; they were less willing to start an uprising if they were afraid of getting whipped…or worse.

          The burning of the kitchen with the results of taking the slaves and selling them, only for them to be returned to LaLaurie by her friends kept the slaves totally afraid of what could and would happen. Imagine yourself kept from leaving, having other slaves around you mangled and broken. You would wish and yearn to leave, to get away before you were killed but you would be too afraid to be caught and returned.

          Slavery was a sad case and LaLaurie was, as I said, probably one of the worst of all.

  23. 54 Claudia

    Shit, a lot of weird stuff has happened in New Orleands. I wonder why.

  24. 55 sdee@neworleans

    I happen to live right down the road from this house and it is very creepy!! i am so scared at night to pass it and no one around on the street! i have also been looking a videos and reading articals on this! it amazes me how cruel people can be? i just recently about 2 weeks ago took the tour! this story is facinating! and i agree they should make a movie on this! do!

  25. Да все ясно, Спасибочки за информацию.

  26. 57 Just me

    I have a morbid fascination with this stuff too! Since it was brought to my attention I’ve been doing all kinds of reading on it and would love to learn more! I read somewhere that there is a grave that is suspected to be hers…unfortunately I can’t remember where I read that or where it is supposed to be…argh!! There’s another week of searching thru internet stuff trying to figure it out!!!!

    • 58 Stb1990

      I would take her body out and fucker her RAW, Yummy, love Cruel womans, and destroy their lil world in front of.

  27. Хм… Но, как люди говорят, а воз и ныне там 🙂

  28. Интересно, а есть здесь кто-то, кто не совсем согласен с автором ? 🙂

  29. 61 katerinaelaena

    The cruelty that humans are capable is disgusting. The stories are morbidly fascinating though, because they seem so far from what we are used to. I can’t even begin to fathom what life would be like as one of the demonic Lalaurie’s slaves, so in that sense, i think it’s…frighteningly interesting. What a cruel…person? I don’t event think she should fit under that category..

    Thank You for the information, JFrater!

  30. Thank you for another great post. I look forward to many more entries with high quality info. I’m a marketer myself and your information always seems to get my business brain going!!

  31. 63 capndana

    She doesn’t look like a remarkably strong woman. It seems like she’d have had to have had help keeping the slaves in the attic. Surely they could have overpowered her? Unless the power of their master’s authority was truly enough to commend them to stay. i just can’t see her subduing and chaining them up on her own. Or keeping them restrained long enough to reset their bones in an atrociously awkward fashion.

    • 64 Deek

      I imagine many of the slaves assisted her–“If you don’t help me do it to her, I’ll do it to you/your spouse/your child” is a very powerful motivator. I also think that the slave mentality itself probably was critical, regardless of the owner’s physical attributes.

      I have, like many others here, a fascination with creepy stories, but of all I’ve ever heard, the full LaLaurie story, and that of Sylvia Likens, are the only ones that have actually made me physically ill. LaLaurie is the sort of person who makes me regret there’s no hell.

      • 65 Lauren

        I don’t agree with you that there is no hell; however, this story and being at the LaLaurie house made me physically sick 2 days ago while on the Ghost Tour in New Orleans. I seriously thought I was going to pass out. This was after I mentioned to the guide, in front of the house, that I had been attacked by a ghost before. Maybe the spirits heard me? Maybe I’m just more sensitive to the paranormal? Who knows but I’ve definitly been inspired to do more research on it! I will also be looking up this Sylvia Liken person! Do you know of any other websites to find real quality information?

  32. 66 Ritwika

    Are there any pics showing the brutal stuff she did??? or of the slaves???

    • 67 Inge

      Wow, how sick is that. It is bad enough that she did such things without wanting to see pictures of it!!!!

    • 68 Lauren

      There aren’t any pictures that I know of but according to the newspaper of the time: “Upon entering one of the {apartments}, the most appalling spectacle met their eyes – seven slaves more or less horribly mutilated, were seen suspended by the necks, with their limbs apparently stretched and torn from one extremity to the other. Language is powerless and inadequate to give a proper collection of the horror which a scene like this must have inspirect. We shall not attempt it, but rather leave it to the reader’s imagination to picture what it was.” ~ New Orleans Bee, Friday April 11, 1834

      http://nobee.jefferson.lib.la.us/Vol-009/04_1834/1834_04_0034.pdf

  33. Thank you for the guide!

  34. 70 Jim

    Just as with Elizabeth Bathory who did NOT bath in blood…I wonder how much myth has grown up in addition to the brutality LaLaurie actually did practice.

    the more time that passes the harder it is to separate folklore from history

    • 71 meiru

      i think their related….XD

  35. 72 angie

    what a nutty bitch, I dont believe people like that die, she is rotten some where waiting for her judgement. No rest for the really evil, physico not rapped too tight. Talk about , dont want to be in that family tree!!! good grief, you think she was a want to be MD or just really bored??!!

  36. 73 Lauren

    I just got back from New Orleans and i took the walking haunted tour myself! The LeLaurie house was definitly my favorite stop!!! They told of the woman slave who was chained to the stove setting the fire, the large party that was going on at the time, and how the firemen had to break the locks off of the attic door to get in. Our leader, Adam, was absolutely awesome and told us a lot of history too! He also described how there was a woman nailed to the floor by her intestines, slaves with body parts sewn onto where body parts don’t belong, and of a woman whose arms and legs had been cut off and her skin peeled off in a circular motion – making her look like a human caterpillar and she was only able to crawl to the firemen by pulling herself along by her chin – HORRIBLE STUFF! i don’t know if it was the LeLaurie’s spirit or simply the stories embedding themselves into my brain but I got seriously nausous at this stop and almost fainted :/ I’m pretty sensitive to paranormal stuff but who knows!!

  37. 74 Ray

    I just got back from New Orleans on Saturday and I took a Haunted History tour also. I had the same tour guide as Lauren, that Adam guy and he was really good. Anyways, the LaLaurie Mansion was the last stop and the story associated with it is crazy. If I remember correctly, Adam stated that you can confirm some of the things that happened at the LaLaurie Mansion with the William Research Institute. If any of you make it to New Orleans, do a Haunted History Tour–it will make you sick! 🙂

  38. 75 SAI S.D.

    also type on america’s top serial killers. they’re far more grousome. and try finding albert fish. HE’S EPIC! but he’s pure evil.. fuckin oldie! HAHA. 🙂

  39. 76 SAI S.D.

    also type on america’s top serial killers. they’re far more grousome. and try finding albert fish. HE’S EPIC! but he’s pure evil.. fuckin oldie!

    • 77 Juri

      German serial killers knock America’s into a cocked hat as far as gruesomeness goes. Don’t believe me? Look up Peter Kurten.

  40. 78 Ganesh

    its horrible yet interesting..i wish i cud kill this bitch…

  41. 79 MantaiXp

    Wow… this is worse than Silent Hill 4… those poor slaves… What had they ever done to that goddamned bitch??

  42. 80 Jaja

    whoa shit.. this bitch is off the hook!

  43. 81 Clintville

    I don’t want to ruin everyone’s fun, but according to Wikipedia, a lot of this stuff regarding this lady is exaggerated. She was a cruel crazy person that abused her slaves, but the stories of mutilation and turning reforming people into crabs and caterpillars does not come from contemporary sources.

    • 82 ana

      from a historical point of view, the more “contemporary” the source is, the less reliable it can be considered. the newspaper the information came from would be considered the most reliable – and, to be honest, wikipedia is hardly reliable.
      not an attack, i’m just pointing it out 🙂

  44. 83 Chiro

    . . .woah, its like bringing a piece of hell in your very own attic. . .may God judge her accordingly and justly for this. . . .this. . .woah. . .

    and 1 question. . . .

    . . . . .where was his husband all those time?

  45. 84 General PAUL

    wow and scary
    what will happen if she lived in world war two allied with the nazis
    what will happen to the jews

    • 85 meiru

      i think there are 2 possibilities:
      >if she allied w/ Nazis, she might eating dead people…or a general of an army of cannibals…=.=”
      >if she anti-Nazi, she’ll eat all Nazi in the world….or something…XD
      …..lol…..
      😄

  46. holyy.. what kind of girl is this? >.< she lives with that? I don't know if she can still eat and watching her slaves with no arms and dead?

  47. 87 sophiee

    how can a human being do something like that and beable to look at her self in the mirror and listen to there screams and be happy about themself!?!?! 😥

  48. 88 loki

    would somebody make film of it?
    i think it will be as popular as the SAW series

  49. 89 Robbie

    Holy joe, crazy lady!

  50. 90 vanessa

    Im surprised H. H. Holmes didnt make this list

  51. 91 emmeline

    This house is still standing and extremely haunted. I previously did not believe in anything supernatural until I toured this house upon its renovation. The amount of evil and horrid things done in that house has stained everything. It needs to just be torn down. The entire property needs to be reestablished and uprooted to start over. I don’t even know if that would help. My friend passed out within 10 minutes of being there, with no history of fainting or otherwise notable illness’. I personally was extremely light headed the further I went into the house and got nauseous and extremely cold in certain rooms that were observably empty. It was one of the worst places I have ever been and I personally could not be paid enough to go back or step near that house in my lifetime.

  52. 92 meiru

    just to think of it….
    i think marie antoinette of france is more “merciful” than her…
    i mean, this monstrous and demon like “hobbies”….
    i love science and experimenting stuff….
    but this?! this is madness!!

    random guy:(madness? this..is…SPARTA!!) 😄

  53. 93 Abda'Allah Nasr

    OMG – but nothing is said on about his husband who was a dentist – but thts reallll gore.. OMG.

  54. 94 Click

    Reminds me a bit of the human centipede film. I would say though, that this story sounds more interesting. Being set in the olden days and the murderer being a vile racist an’ all.
    It’s probably why they never made a film about it.

    If I was black and someone made a film about this woman and her despicable crimes, I think I’d be angry to say the least if I watched it that is, if it was done as pure entertainment horror, like the stuff you get with Hostel and Saw movies.

    The racist element is too near the knuckle. Slavery is an evil, we in the west don’t tolerate anymore. If someone did make a film about this woman then it should be done in the same vain as “An American Crime”, where the audience ends up really hating the villain. It’s such a fine line, I could see why a director would run a mile from even the idea of it.

  55. 95 Budda

    The sad thing is most human beings are capable of such atrocities. When you loose your basic empathy and begin to regard others as a mere objects.

  56. 96 Randall Tan

    Damn!!! If I Ever Had I Chance To See This Bitch!!!! I Would Use A Giant Rock And Break Her Fingers And Toes ONE BY ONE. Then I Will Drill Nails And Screws Into Her Limbs, I WOULD SEW HER FUCKING TONGUE TOGETHER WITH HER LIPS AND NAIL THEM ONTO A WALL!! I WILL INSERT A DRILL INTO HER VAGINA AND SLASH HER LIMB ONE INCH BY ONE INCH AND MAKE HER SUFFER!!!!!

  57. 97 shitdude

    That’s insane. Imagine living in the attic of that house with a scary movie on.

  58. 98 shitdude

    Whoa 90 Randall is like the second coming of LaLaurie.

  59. 99 fffever

    wow this is awesome


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