New Orleans - Night 3

by Kevin October. 16, 2008 6322 views

Stop #1 on our ghost tour: La Petite Theatre du Vieux Carre

Legend says Caroline was an actress working at the theater in the years after it opened in 1927. One day, while frolicking with a director on the third-story balcony, Caroline tumbled over the railing and slammed to the flagstone courtyard. She died there, Walker says, dressed for the evening's performance in a white wedding gown. Her body was hauled away, but her spirit never left. Caroline's been skulking about the old theater ever since.

#2 Muriel's Soiree Restaurant

The story goes that Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan built this property, lost it in a poker game, and committed suicide before his debtors came to collect. Several restaurants that occupied the first floor had folks report missing bread and wine. After consulting some paranormal experts, they began setting this table in the back and keeping it stocked with bread and wine. There have been no reports of missing items since…

From inside the bar where our tour made a pit stop.

#3 The LaLaurie House

The LaLaurie house (now owned by Nicholas Cage) is reported to be the most haunted location in New Orleans.

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 Mme. LaLaurie treated her servants viciously. According to one tale, a young slave girl had been brushing Mme. LaLaurie's hair in the upstairs bedroom when the young servant hit a snag in her mistress's hair, causing LaLaurie to become enraged. Mme. LaLaurie whipped the twelve year old slave girl, who tried to escape but fell off a balcony overlooking the courtyard, killing her. The girl was quickly brought into the LaLaurie Mansion, but not before being observed by neighbors, who would file a complaint. The neighbors would later assert that the young girl was buried under a tree in the yard.

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.

However, the biggest surprise was to be found in the attic, where the fire brigade was directed by the other slaves. The door was bolted, forcing the fire brigade to use a battering ram to open the door. Inside the crawlspace attic was the stench of death. According to contemporary accounts, over a dozen disfigured and maimed slaves were manacled to the walls or floor. Several had allegedly been the subject of gruesome medical experiments.

The exact details are unclear; owing to the horrific nature of the crime, many details were either swept under the rug or embellished. One man looked as though he had been victim of some bizarre makeshift sex change. Another one had a hole in his head where a stick had been inserted to “stir his brains”. A woman was trapped inside a small cage where her arms and legs had been badly broken and then reset at odd angles, making her appear as some sort of “human crab.” Another woman had her arms and legs removed and patches of her flesh had been sliced off in a circular motion to make her appear as a giant caterpillar. Some had their mouths stuffed with animal excrements, sewn shut, and had then starved to death. Others had their hands sewn to different parts of their bodies. One woman had her entrails pulled out of her stomach and was secured to the floor by her own intestines. A small boy of about twelve had the flesh on half of his face peeled back, revealing muscle, veins, and so forth. The wound had since been infested with disease and insects. Most of the victims were found dead. Those who were still alive, begged to be put out of their misery and died shortly after.

The foyer of Preservation Hall

Inside Preservation Hall. This is how dark it was!

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band for the night, led by Carl LeBlanc on banjo (and some guitar).

What an amazing experience. You cannot help but love this music when you hear it in such a setting. It is like getting a private concert. Wow! It sounds corny, but the music is still playing in my heart…

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