Madame LaLaurie was a nightmare of a human being and that’s putting it lightly. A somewhat fictionalized version of Madame LaLaurie is being utilized in the new season of American Horror Story: Coven. Yes, she was a very real person. And, yes, the house does exist in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
I was familiar with the tale from years of watching Halloween and haunting specials, but nothing prepared me for the grisly versions of this very true story that I found online. Personally, I don’t know how long I’ll be able to hang in with AHS: Coven this year. I didn’t watch the second season at all. The torture scenes during the season premiere of Coven with Madame LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) were a bit much for me.
Madame LaLaurie (1775 – 1842) was a socialite slave owner in New Orleans. She was known for mistreating her slaves at a time when mistreating slaves was fairly common. So, if people who regularly mistreated slaves thought this chick was crossing the line – then you know it had to be bad, right?
A story found frequently tell the tale of a very young slave girl who angered the Madame. She leapt from the top of the house to her death rather than face the wrath of Madame LaLaurie.
Most of the atrocities attributed to Madame LaLaurie were discovered after the LaLaurie house caught fire. No pictures of what fireman found exist, to the best of my knowledge. Regardless, given the bodies found on the property it’s clear Madame LaLaurie was guilty of some seriously heinous acts.
Madame LaLaurie’s former home is said to be one of the most haunted places in the French Quarter of New Orleans and, obviously, with good reason. It is said that people have seen a tall, dark figure, heard screams coming from the attic, and the sounds of chains rattling.
More information on Madame LaLaurie:
Ghost Stories and Haunted Places: American Horror Story’s Madame LaLaurie. This is a great supernatural blog.
According to NOLA.Com’s page on Madame LaLaurie:
“Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau lived in New Orleans at the same time, just a few blocks from the Lalaurie House. Although the nature of their relationship is unknown, undoubtedly these two women met and knew each other.”