Marie Delphine Lalaurie and her third husband, a doctor, Leonard Louis Lalaurie, purchased the home at 1140 Royal Street in the early 1830s. A renowned Voodoo Queen named Marie Laveau lived 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.
The legend goes that in the LaLaurie household, slaves disappeared on a regular basis. No questions were ever asked. Then on April 11, 1834, a slave provoked by the abuse piled upon her, set fire to the Lalaurie’s kitchen.
While trying to save items from the house, someone began whispering that servants were chained and locked up behind barred doors and would die in the fire. They searched the house busting down the locked door to the attic. Madame LaLaurie had renovated the large room into a torture chamber of sorts where hideous procedures had been performed on many of the slaves.
Word spread among the people of New Orleans and the LaLauries fled when a lynch mob formed. Some people found evidence that they had fled across Lake Pontchartrain and lived there, while others say she went from there to France, escaping in a horse and buggy on the night of the fire.
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