1138 Royal Street
Status: Former Residence; Formerly Abandoned; Famous Haunted Location
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Dropd&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:Dropd (page does not exist)">Dropd</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
By Unknown author - <a rel="nofollow" class="external free" href="http://www.headstuff.org/2014/10/delphine-lalaurie-socialite-slave-killer/#prettyPhoto">http://www.headstuff.org/2014/10/delphine-lalaurie-socialite-slave-killer/#prettyPhoto</a>, Public Domain, Link
The first mansion at 1138/40 Royal Street that was owned by Delphine LaLaurie and her third husband and where all the stories of torture and mistreatment happened no longer exists. What the fire in 1834 didn’t destroy the mob that attacked the house shortly thereafter did.
In fact, the location stayed in ruins until 1838 when the house that exists today was built.
Marie Delphine LaLaurie was born on March 19, 1787 in New Orleans, Spanish Louisiana. That's what Louisiana was known as after it was taken by Spain when France lost the Seven Years War in the 1760’s. By all accounts Marie was a well adjusted and quite pleasant young lady. Yah, that surprised me too.
She was first married when she was 13 to a high ranking Spanish officer. In 1804 – when the area had become part of the United States, after the Louisiana Purchase – her husband was called back to the Court of Spain. On the way back to Spain – in Havana – her husband died. Delphine returned to New Orleans with her newborn daughter.
Delphine would marry again when she was 21 and had 4 more children before her second husband died in 1816.
In 1825 she married again – this time to a much younger doctor – and in 1831 she bought the property at the corner of Governor Nicholls St – then known as Hospital St - and Royal St where construction had already begun on a house.
There are theories as to why Delphine LaLaurie became a well, a monster is the only polite word I can think of . Some say her third husband drove her mad; the other accepted theory was the number of slave revolts in her life with one of them resulting in her uncle’s death.
No matter what caused Delphine to become what she was, a fire on April 10, 1834 brought to light the truth of all the rumors and stories.
When the fire broke out in the kitchen the police and fire brigade found a 70 year old slave chained to the stove by her ankle. She said she started the fire as a suicide attempt to keep from being punished saying that slaves taken to the uppermost room to be punished never returned.
When the people of New Orleans attempted to enter the house to make sure everyone had got out safe, they found the doors to the slave quarters locked and the LaLauries refused to give them the keys. The people broke down the doors and found seven slaves that had been mutilated and were hanging by their necks. Some of them claimed to have been imprisoned like that for months.
The slaves were taken to the jail where the citizens could view them; it is said over 4,000 people came to see them.
As word spread about what had taken place a mob formed and tore the LaLaurie house down before the police could stop them. Apparently, only the outer walls were left by the time they were done.
The remains of numerous slaves were dug up in the backyard of the house.
As for Delphine herself the stories say she escaped the mob in a carriage going to Mobile, Alabama and then boarded a boat for France.
A cracked copper plate was found St Louis Cemetery #1 indicated that Delphine LaLaurie had died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 62. Her own daughters – who it is said were treated almost as badly as the slaves – said she wanted to return to New Orleans but the family deterred her from this.
As mentioned above the LaLaurie Mansion that stands today was built in the ruins of the one destroyed by the mob. A second floor was built in the early 1900’s and a third one in 1928. It has been used for a school, a music conservatory, a luxury apartment building, a halfway house for juvenile delinquents and a furniture store.
In 2007 actor Nicholas Cage bought it and in 2009 it was up for auction due to a foreclosure.
Michael Whalen is the current owner and he bought it in 2010.
Due to it’s horrific history – well the mansion that used to stand where it stands – the LaLaurie Mansion is considered one of the most haunted and paranormally active buildings in the world.
No ghost tour of New Orleans – especially the French Quarter – is complete without standing in awe and fear of this terrible location.
That being said, only one paranormal investigation has been done inside the house and that was Portals to Hell.
Almost everyone who nears this house says there is a powerful aura of dark energy that surrounds it. Even those who were unaware of it’s history or who come upon it by accident.
In 1894 a tenant who was living in one of the apartments in the building was found brutally murdered and his apartment torn apart. One of his neighbors claimed the man had been having issues with ghosts and was positive there was a dark entity in the building who he was determined to fight to the death.
When it was a school with African-American girls aged 6 to 8 as students ,many girls came to their teachers beaten, bruised and scratched. When asked who had done such a terrible thing their replies were some variation of ‘that woman’.
Many surmise this was the ghost of Delphine continuing her evil acts beyond death.
A medium on a ghost tour stated she felt incredible sadness coming from the house. She also stated that anyone involved in the 1830’s events had long since departed the house. Leaving the question who or what is exactly haunting this property.
The ghost of a slave girl Amy is said to have jumped from a second story window – the first LaLaurie Mansion only had 2 stories – to her death to escape punishment. She is said to have been buried in the back yard. She is the most well known ghosts of the property and has interacted with the living outside of the house including pulling on people’s bags, purses and clothing and causing electrical issues.
Reported Activity: apparitions seen in the windows and balconies; shadow figures; piercing screams coming from within the building; phantom footsteps are very common in the house; light anomalies; objects moving on their own; touches, tugs and pulls from unseen entities and feelings of being watched.
3525 Bienville Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
Status: Former Hospital; Disaster and Mass Fatality Site; Abandoned; For Sale
In 1920 Mercy Hospital was founded in New Orleans.
In 1990 the name was changed to Mercy Baptist Medical Center in 1990 after merging with Southern Baptist Hospital.
At some point before 2005 the name was changed again to Lindy Boggs Medical Center; named after the first woman from Louisiana to be elected to the House of Representatives.
It was a state of the art acute care center with 187 beds performing the highest level operations like organ transplants.
In other words, this facility was just a normal hospital in a large metropolitan area.
That is until August of 2005.
When Hurricane Katrina made landfall it was quite weak and really didn’t effect the hospital’s operations. The hospital was nearly at full capacity at the time.
Then Katrina became a Category 5 and the levees broke. The hospital’s basement was flooded and the generators overwhelmed causing a total loss of power.
The doctors could no longer perform surgeries – some of which were needed to save lives – and nurses had to work patient’s ventilators by hand. All communication with the outside world ceased to work.
19 patients died in the first night.
Soon the food and medicine started to fall below the minimum levels. The people in the surrounding neighborhoods starting swimming to the hospital after their homes were flooded out. Quickly there were over 500 people sheltering in the hospital lobby.
Without any method of communication outside of the hospital they had no idea how hard the city had been hit and when, or if, help was coming.
Two days after the hurricane 1,500 – of which 300 were patients - were stranded at the hospital. The heat had reached levels over 100 degrees and it was decided they had to save themselves.
Some boats had become trapped in the parking garage across the street and a few people bravely swam across and hot wired them. It was decided to evacuate the families and children first.
On that same day the fire department made it to the hospital and quickly labeled it as a mass casualty site.
In total 45 people died at Lindy Boggs that never should have.
The building was abandoned after the hurricane and soon became covered in graffiti and filled with squatters. A fire started by a squatter almost burnt the entire building down.
In 2015 the Catholic Church made an effort to repurpose and save part of building by opening up a nursing center.
The city finally got on the ball in 2017 when they pumped out all the stagnant water in the basement that had been sitting there since the hurricane. They also removed the asbestos and hazardous waste from the building.
Numerous developers have owned the building with grand dreams of repurposing it by they all sold it again eventually. The latest ones were trying to convert it into senior’s apartments but we were able to get money from the Federal Government to help them.
At last report – 2023 - the hospital was for sale again.
The disaster has most definitely left a mark on this location.
An aura of hopelessness and fear is said to hang over the entire building.
Apparitions of doctors and nurses frantically running around trying to solve a hundred problems at once are seen.
Many people have seen obviously dying patients in their beds reaching and crying for help. The sounds of heart monitors beeping are also heard.
The phantom sounds of crying, screaming and coughing are heard in empty rooms.
Imprints of families crying and mourning the loss of their loved ones is reported.
Phantom footsteps are often heard following investigators down the empty hallways.
One investigator says he was chased out of the hospital by a dark entity but they are the only one who has reported any dark energy in the building.
Other reported activity: time slips; disembodied voices; touches, pokes and pulls by unseen entities; large light anomalies and the feeling of not being alone and being watched.
This house was built in 1872 by Mary Slattery and her husband John as a family home. Some of the property was bought from the neighboring cemetery – then called Hebrew Congregation of Temme Derech; now called Hope Mausoleum – which then covered the area between Gasquet (now Cleveland) Street and Canal.
In 1880 Mary, John and their 6 children – plus family friends the Keanes – had moved into the mansion. Designed in the Greek Revival style the house was considered one of the most beautiful in the city. The was also completely surrounded by graves – the one behind the house has since been moved – and was said to have over 1 million bodies buried within 1 square mile.
In 1905 the house was sold to another family; despite Mary’s dreams of it being the family homestead for generations. It is thought both Mary and her youngest daughter had died in one of the last Yellow Fever epidemics that led to the sale.
In 1935 the house was sold again and turned into the city’s largest funeral parlor - PJ McMahon and Sons - who added a number of changes to the property. A garage was added to bring in the bodies in without the public seeing as well as an elevator. Smoking rooms were added for the gentleman as well private rooms for the those “emotional” ladies to break down in.
The bedrooms were converted into private rooms where a grieving family could escape from the other mourners.
It said over 20,000 funerals were conducted in the home which was big enough to hold 8 funerals simultaneously.
In the 1980’s the family funeral home was becoming a thing of the past as corporations were taking over the business of death as well as life. McMahon’s was no different. Two different corporations would attempt to make a go of the funeral home service but they were unable to offer the level of service the family did for over 5 decades and soon it was impossible to keep the business afloat.
The owning company of Aveda Spas looked seriously at creating a day spa in the house in 2004 but lost interest. The house sat empty – and needing renovations – until 2007 until Jeff Borne bought it with the idea of creating the ultimate Halloween attraction.
The house already had a reputation as being haunted for real so paranormal investigators began to reach out to Jeff asking to do on-site investigations. Eventually Jeff even set up wireless cameras and microphones to monitor the house’s paranormal activity 24/7. This was also done in concert with running a state-of-the-art haunted house attraction during the Halloween season.
Unfortunately, this location no longer hosts any ghost tours or paranormal investigations – the more lucrative Escape Rooms were added a few years ago – so to enter the building you need to book and escape room experience or go to the haunted house in the fall.
Most reviews related to the attraction aspect of this location called it the best haunted house in Louisiana; some say in the entire South.
The apparition of a man in a top hat is often seen in the neighboring cemetery and is known for scolding anyone he sees as being disrespectful to the Hope Mausoleum.
The ghost of a young woman is seen on the top floor eternally crying for someone who probably passed away many many years ago. Romantics fantasize her its for her husband who they believe is the top hat man next door.
Two young children forever run and laugh throughout the house and are known as being mischievous and playing pranks on the living.
The ghost of a mortician is seen in the basement as well as in the original autopsy room which is under the stairs near the elevator.
Other Reported Activity: being grabbed and touched by an unseen presence; disembodied voices and whispers; physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and nausea; objects moving on their own including furniture; movement out of the corner of your eye and feelings of not being alone and being watched.
Of course, the manufactured haunted house is specifically designed to frighten you so who knows how much of the haunted activity is due to fabricated fear.
In 1718 a French Canadian – Claude Trepagnier – was a member of the expedition party that carved the first clearing on the side of the river that was named Ville de la Nouvelle Orleans. In reward for his work, he was given a parcel of land where he constructed a brick house.
This was the first structure built on the land now occupied by the restaurant.
In the mid-18th century, the Royal Treasurer of the French Louisiana Colonies bought the property. He tore down the small house and built a mansion more suitable to his wealth and status.
In the mid-19th century, the home was owned by the Poydras Family – for which Poydras Street is named – and was central to society during the glory days of New Orleans.
After the Civil War the economy of the former Confederate States collapsed leaving New Orleans and other Southern cities in a bad way. The entire French Quarter began to decay and was one of the least desirable places to live in the city – this property suffered terribly from this neglect.
By the end of the 19th century the building was bought and renovated back to a usable state. Many commercial businesses thrived here into the 20th century.
From 1916 at least part of the building has been used as a restaurant.
In 2000 the building was sold and underwent a massive renovation and restoration bringing it back to its glory days in the 1700’s. On March 10, 2001 Muriel’s opened bringing the building, once again, back to its social status in New Orleans.
No city embraces their ghosts like New Orleans – except maybe Savannah, GA – and this restaurant is no exception. They have even named rooms on the second floor their Séance Rooms.
Not all of the otherworldly residents have been identified but there is no doubt its haunted.
One of the identified spirits is that of Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan who built his family’s dream home here after the Great New Orleans Fire in 1788. Mr. Jourdan had an issue with gambling and in 1814 he put his home up in a poker game; and lost.
He was so heartbroken over the loss of his dream home he tragically committed suicide on the second floor. As mentioned above the restaurant calls the second floor the Séance Rooms. This is because Mr. Jourdan never left our earthly plane and still spends most of his time on the second floor.
He does not appear as the apparition of the man he once was but rather as a glimmer of sparkly light who wanders the lounges. He is thought to be responsible for the objects that move on their own throughout the restaurant.
In the Courtyard Bar glasses have been thrown 12 feet – three times since the restaurant opened – from the bar to a brick wall where they shatter.
Ghosts are also believed to reside in the former carriageway where slaves may have held prior to auction.
Shadow figures have been seen throughout the building. The ghosts have seemed to communicate with the living by knocking on a brick wall in the Séance Rooms. The voice of a female was recorded in a room where no living female was present.
At worst some of the spirits may be troubled but no one has ever felt a threatening ghost or energy in the restaurant.
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Charles_Talen&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:Charles Talen (page does not exist)">Charles Talen</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
In New Orleans the ground water table is too high to intern people in the ground so the creative solution was found to intern people above ground. In doing so the city of New Orleans has come up with some of the most magnificent and creative mausoleums in the world.
The oldest of these cemeteries is St Louis Cemetery Number One, it is also considered the most haunted cemetery in the world.
The cemetery will soon be closed – or may be already – to anyone without family here. This is due to large amount of vandalism.
People have heard crying and moaning coming from inside the tombs, mysterious mists, light anomalies, apparitions, disembodied voices and faces from throughout out the cemetery
However, there is one very famous ghost at this location – the voodoo queen, Marie Laveau. Although her life is steeped in rumor and folklore, there really was a Marie Laveau and she really is buried in this cemetery in a tomb containing her name and title, Voodoo Priestess.
It is also accepted as truth that she did live over 100 years while keeping the body of a sensuous and beautiful young woman. From the time of her death in 1881 her apparition has been seen in the cemetery; in fact, the frequency of sightings has not decreased even in modern times.
People still make the pilgrimage to her tomb to seek advice, help and to leave offerings. She is seen walking between the other tombs in her red and white turban with seven knots still speaking her curse upon any trespassers in the cemetery.
People used to scribe x’s on her tomb in hopes that she would grant their wishes. She has a new tomb now and anyone defacing it will get a large fine.
Another famous ghost of the cemetery is “Henry”. He bought a tomb in the cemetery but it was sold while he was at sea and when he died, he was buried in a potter’s field. He is known for walking up to people in the cemetery and asking if they know where his tomb is. He is usually seen in ragged clothes.
Also in this location is Alfonso who will come up to people as a lonely young man and take their hand asking them if they could take him home. He has also been seen carrying flowers and walking amid the tombs and he is the most common ghost to show up in photos.
Many ghosts of cats and dogs are seen on the grounds as well. They are thought to be the pets of previous cemetery keepers still looking for care and attention from their former owners.