The Top 5 Myths of the LaLaurie House in New Orleans
On our Sinister Criminal Intentions True Crime Tour, Our Favorite Ghosts Tour, and Family-Friendly Ghost Tour, we visit the LaLaurie House. Well, we don’t go into the house—that’s sort of myth number one. Or something we get asked about all the time. You can’t go into the house because it is actually someone’s residence right now.
But we will take you up to this famed (and haunted) residence. And we’ll tell you the real history with no embellishment—which is enthralling and scary in its own right!
While you’ll get the whole story on our tour, we’ll start with the basics here. Dr. Louis and Delphine LaLaurie moved into the house in 1832. They held their slaves there, and there were always rumors of the mistreatment of the enslaved. A fire broke out in the kitchen, and once the authorities had to intervene their secrets were up. You’ll hear some very shocking things that were found there.
While the truth of the LaLaurie House is amazing enough, there are some myths you’ll hear that we need to dispel. Unique NOLA prides itself on accurate and well-researched stories, and we hope you’ll appreciate that on our tours.
1. The house you see today was what it looked like when the horrors occurred.
Actually, the house was originally built as a two-story fairly standard house with a peaked roof. It wasn’t until later that the third floor you see now was built.
2. The LaLauries built the entire house
While they were the first residents of the house, they only built about half of the house. It has evolved since then. A lot of the stories you’ll hear about their time there assume the house as you see it today was the house they were living in. Which leads us to…
3. During the fire, enslaved persons were falling from the third floor.
Well, there was no third floor! We’ll explain these and other myths—along with the true stories—when you visit with us!
4. A haphazard burial ground was found during a recent remodel.
You’ll hear a lot about a recent discovery of a hastily built graveyard found on the property. It sounds exciting and scary: a bunch of human bones found smack dab in the French Quarter of New Orleans! Well, this never happened. There were no bones found. It would be an interesting story if it were true! There was a cemetery across the street from the home that was owned by the Ursuline Nuns.
5. Because of the hauntings, no one has lived there for more than a few years
While it is true that the house has changed hands many times, it has also been used for other purposes than just a residence. For a period of time, it was an all-girls school. Then at one point, it was a food rescue for the homeless of New Orleans. Over the years, while we certainly agree that the house is the “most haunted place in New Orleans,” there have been many residents who have lived there for quite some time.
Madame LaLaurie FAQs
When dealing with Madame LaLaurie and her mansion many people have the same questions, can I go inside, who is the owner, etc. We’re here to answer a few of your Madame LaLaurie FAQs and some, well you’ll have to come visit us on one of our tours to find out!
Who Owns the LaLaurie Mansion?
The home has had a few owners over the years. Movie star Nicolas Cage even owned it at one point, but now it is owned by Michael Whalen. Nicholas Cage owned the property in the early 2000s and bought it for 3.4 million dollars. Sadly he lost the home to foreclosure and Whalen purchased the home in 2010.
Can You Visit the Inside of the LaLaurie Mansion?
This is the biggest Madame LaLaurie FAQ we get. Unfortunately, you cannot visit the inside of the LaLaurie Mansion. While there are housekeepers who are paid by the owner to upkeep the home, members of the public are not allowed inside. The home has not seen any members of the public since 1932. The inside has of course been redesigned to fit the owner’s tastes and you can see a few glimpses of what it looks like here. For us, here at Unique NOLA, we’re happy to stay on the outside, which you can do when you take a tour with us!
Was the Actual LaLaurie Mansion Used on TV?
Madame LaLaurie’s name has been used in several TV shows and movies, some of which were filmed right here in New Orleans. If you’re wondering if the actual LaLaurie house was used in American Horror Story, we’re here to say it wasn’t. But! The house they did use is quite literally only a few doors away from the actual mansion, which is still pretty cool in our book! You can learn more about the house they actually used when you take a tour with us!
What is the Future of the LaLaurie Mansion?
Another common Madam LaLaurie FAQ is what’s going to happen to the building in the future. In 2019, brothers Chad and Carey Hayes, creators of the popular Conjuring series, planned to make a franchise out of the LaLaurie story. They even got the owner’s ok to film inside the mansion, which would’ve been quite interesting. Some ghost hunters did film inside a few years ago, but if you’re wondering if you missed this movie, you haven’t. Filming was supposed to begin at the beginning of 2020 and well it didn’t happen. Though the screenplays have been written and apparently some things have been filmed, there is currently no word about when these movies and shows will be released or if they’ll be released at all.
The LaLaurie Mansion is a controversial and highly debated property due to its dark history and some people want it to be declared a historical site. Others believe that the mansion should be torn down in order to erase the memory of the atrocities that took place there, and others argue that it should be preserved as a reminder of the horrors of slavery and as a way to educate future generations about this dark chapter in American history. There’s a lot of debate about what should be done, but for now, we’ll just have to wait and see.
So there you go! Visit us on our Sinister Criminal Intentions True Crime Tour, Our Favorite Ghosts Tour and Family-Friendly Ghost Tour to get the real story…
we promise that despite these myths, the REAL story is even more gruesome and chilling.