New Orleans has a rich history, filled with stories of love, war, conquest, slavery, witchcraft, and voodoo. Many of the most haunted places in New Orleans originate with some of the historical events that have happened here, and many do not. Some of the hauntings are just ordinary houses that have spirits residing in them. For the sake of this article, let’s pluck two of the juiciest hauntings from among the multitude available to acknowledge.
One of the most well-known hauntings takes place in a building located at 734 Royal Street and is known as the Haunting of the Octoroon Mistress. At its base, the story seems familiar – a mistress waits in vain for her lover, wandering the house forever. But it’s darker than that.
A Frenchman kept his mistress in this house and while she was madly in love with him, he would not marry her because of her heritage (⅛ black, which is where the term Octoroon comes from) and the fact that Octoroons and Creoles did not intermarry. In an attempt to placate her, he told her that if she would wait naked on the rooftop one evening while he was entertaining friends, he would indeed marry her. The story goes that he didn’t believe that she would take his request seriously; but hours later, he found her naked, frozen body on the rooftop, exactly where he told her to wait. It’s said that the Frenchman died a few months later of a broken heart and he also wanders the premises, although his ghost is said to impart a sad feeling while hers is playful, often heard giggling.
The LaLaurie Mansion is rumored to be The most haunted place in New Orleans, and it’s no wonder why when you learn the history of the house and its original owner, Delphine LaLaurie.
Madame LaLaurie’s was seen as intelligent, and one of the most influential French-Creole women in New Orleans during her day. She was also known for throwing lavish parties at her mansion situated at 1140 Royal Street, and people who were lucky enough to be invited were awed at the splendor they witnessed decorating the interior of the manor. The lesser-known side of Madame LaLaurie was her propensity for torturing her slaves.
After the house caught fire in 1834 (rumored to have been started by the cook, who was perpetually chained to the fireplace in the kitchen), firemen found a secret room in the attic where a number of slaves were found chained to the wall in horrible condition, there were some slaves bound to homemade ‘operating tables’, and even some in dog cages. There were body parts strewn about the floor and there were buckets filled with organs next to paddles and whips, all in haphazard fashion. It seems that Madame LaLaurie was in the habit of torturing and killing her slaves at will.
After the fire, the LaLaurie’s were run out of town and the house sat abandoned for many years, but people say you can hear screams and the sounds of tortured souls as well as catch a glimpse of slaves in chains.