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A Royal Encounter


It was the second day of my first trip to New Orleans, and one I had looked forward to for a very long time. Being originally from Georgia, I suppose I felt a sort of kinship to the sister city of Savannah. The streets of the French Quarter felt familiar, even though I had never been there before. I felt quite at home in the strange city.

Although Mardigras did not officially begin for another three days, the atmosphere was one of celebration. The Saints were in the Super Bowl and the party had started early. My husband, Ken and I had enjoyed a late breakfast at the Court of Two Sisters and then decided to explore the city. As we walked hand in hand down the crowded sidewalks we stopped occasionally to enjoy the sounds of musicians performing in the streets. With no particular destination we eventually found ourselves on Royal Street.

One of the oldest and lovely streets in the country, Royal Street is lined with shops filled with gorgeous antiques and beautiful historic homes. As we approached an intersection, things began to take a strange turn. The weight of the beads around my neck seemed to increase to the point I had to stop walking. I began to feel very panicked and ill. At first my husband dismissed my complaints and thought perhaps I had a little too much to drink. Finally, I became frantic. My head was pounding and the beads felt like heavy chains around my neck, choking me. I was trying to avoid making a spectical of myself but became so uncomfortable that all pride was lost.

I began to pull the beads over my head, tossing them to the ground. Ken was now very concerned and tried to calm me as he quickly tried to help me remove the tangled strands. He took my hand and tried to lead me across the street. As we crossed, a bird flew toward my head, almost striking me! I watched as the bird flew to the second story balcony railing of a grey building. When I looked up at this house I knew immediately it was the source of my anxiety. As my husband was trying to help me cross the street so I could sit down he was unknowingly leading me closer. My unexplained level of fear was almost paralyzing! I pulled back, and managed to get the words out. "No!" I said. "It's that house! Get me away from here!" I was struggling to breathe as my confused husband said "O.K., O.K., calm down I'll get you outta' here!"

My eyes had filled with tears, as I turned and looked back at the house my head was pounding and there was a roaring in my ears that had brought on an instant migraine. We walked down a couple of blocks away from the house. We sat down; Ken rubbed his hand across my back and held me. He said, "You better now?" and as soon as I got calmed down a little, I was. "What the hell happened back there?" I said "I don't know, maybe I had a panic attack." I have never had any sort of panic or anxiety attack before, but I could not explain what had just happened to me. All I knew was, one minute I was fine; having the time of my life; and the next I was a hysterical mess. He helped me up from the bench and said we should go back to the hotel. I refused to walk back down Royal. I insisted we would have to find another way back. He couldn't believe I was serious. He argued it would take us an extra half hour. "I don't care!" I said, "That place is evil!" My husband humoured me, even though he thought I was being a little silly.

Later at the hotel he explained how he was worried about me because he could see that I was genuinely afraid, and he had never seen me like that before. He thought perhaps it could have been a reaction to something in my drink or maybe even to something I'd eaten. I didn't want to seem crazy so I agreed and we put it behind us.

It wasn't until the next day when we were trying to plan our evening that we discovered a brochure about all the tours of the city. As we flipped through its pages there was a picture of the house! The same home that had invoked that crippling pain and fear in me the day before was called the LA Laurie House. It was featured on a ghost tour as being the most haunted house in New Orleans and the sight of torture and mass murder!

A brief history of the house said, Madame LA Laurie was thought to have practiced voo-doo and after an abused slave who was CHAINED AROUND THE NECK to the wall of the kitchen set fire to the house in order to escape. Dozens of disfigured, mangled bodies of other slaves were discovered. Some slaves were found bound and tortured in the attic of the home still alive, but with afflictions such as limbs that had been broken and reset in monstrous positions. Some were found with body parts surgically removed and many with eyes and lips sewn shut as if they were human voo-doo dolls!

There is no doubt in my mind that the history of that house reached out and grabbed me on the street that day! The only question in my mind is whether it was her evil spirit toying with me or was it a psychic connection with the events of the past?

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Lark, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

hmbeck09 (11 posts)
5 years ago (2017-02-09)
American horror story coven had a lot about madame lalaurie. That season had a lot of true aspects and showed the Mansion.
esther91 (1 stories) (17 posts)
11 years ago (2011-03-05)
I just read some history about the LaLaurie Mansion truly horrible My stomach turned just reading the history. I couldn't begin to imagine... Thanks for sharing and sorry you picked up those bad vibes.

❤ Esther
dreamergal72 (6 stories) (793 posts)
12 years ago (2011-01-28)
Hi there Wow that is scary I from Louisiana near new orleans and yes there are paranormal in louisana not just New orleans but every in louisiana.
watermoon (2 stories) (54 posts)
12 years ago (2011-01-28)
What a chilling experience you went through. Maybe you had a past life that connected to that place or you could have pick up the fear and emotions of people who used to live there.
510mot (3 stories) (262 posts)
12 years ago (2011-01-27)
Coming to Louisiana is a sure fire way to find out if you have any empathic ability. The energy here is heavier than any other place I've ever been. (Though to be fair I haven't been everywhere I would like) You can go to just about anywhere in the southern half of this state and encounter an extremely hot spot. The locals here are usually quite at ease with paranormal activity and many have tales to tell. I am sorry your experience was a negative one. New Orleans' history is pretty dark.
JamesRobiscoe (419 posts)
12 years ago (2011-01-27)
Lark--Although there is no ghost, this is a great story. Well-told and terrifying. BaJuuJuu contributed some dimension of the place, and the website recommended added more gruesome details.
The ghosthunting team program that spent the night there proved creepy; the interior is suffocating.
I've been by the house during Mardi Gras and didn't feel a thing. (So much for my sensitivity!) Thanks for an interesting encounter. ~ James
cosmogal926 (9 stories) (1223 posts)
12 years ago (2011-01-27)
Wow that was a truly terrifying experience. I have to agree with BadJuuJuu, Miracles, and the others. I believe that was an empathic experience. You made one heck of an emotional connection to the history of that house. So glad you didn't take the tour, I'd hate to think what might have happened if you actually went in the house. New Orleans is another place on my list to visit. I hope to make it there one day.

Elephante81: Nick Cage really owns that property. Huh... That's an interesting fact. I wonder if he has ever spent a night there. 😊
Elephante81 (2 stories) (59 posts)
12 years ago (2011-01-27)
I also just read online that Nicholas Cage owns the property now... How random
Elephante81 (2 stories) (59 posts)
12 years ago (2011-01-27)
Wow excellent story. I, too, agree that it could be either of the two things you mentioned. Who knows why we sometimes have ties to some places and not to others. It's quite a mystery. Have you had any other "psychic encounters" like this one at any other locations?

BadJuujuu wrote an excellent account of the history of the building. If anyone feels like reading more though I have attached a link that explains the LaLaurie's history and the ghost stories surrounding it!

butthead (guest)
12 years ago (2011-01-27)
i don't think you was being toyed with by the evil woman.
It's just my opinion of course, but I think you connected with the pain of which the (as research suggests here) man with the chain around his neck felt.
I don't think the beads were chocking you, I just think that by removing the beads you felt a sense of relief, that in the least you was doing something in an attempt to stop this horrible feeling aroudn your neck. The feeling of someone with chain around his neck - and the feeling of someone who is scared beyond wit - traumatized, as anyone would feel, in that situation.
I think that had you not been wearing the beaded necklace you would have still felt what you felt.
Of course, it's just what I think, but I think you are very sensative to such things and you most certainly picked up on how the poor man with the chain around his neck would have felt during his unfortunate life within that home.
I may be wrong, but to me it sounds like you have a gift, which allowed you to feel the suffering of that poor soul.

All the best...
shamby (15 stories) (100 posts)
12 years ago (2011-01-26)
Whoa! Glad you went another way back to your hotel. I've never heard of the LaLaurie house, but now I'll have to look it up. It sounds very evil. Don't think I'll ever visit though.

Honestly, Lark, it could have been either of the two things you mentioned. It could have been an evil spirit from the house toying with you, but how close were you to the house? I don't think something so connected to the house would venture far out of it. You could have a psychic connection to it, maybe family connection? Do some research on family history. It could have been anything, always go with your gut feeling though! Best of luck and keep us posted!
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4998 posts) mod
12 years ago (2011-01-26)
Lark - I remember watching the episode of Ghost Hunters when they did their investigation. This one is truly horrible in every since of the word.

I agree with BadJuuJuu. You apparently have very strong empathic ability and were picking up the "leftover emotional trauma." The Myrtles has been on my Bucket List for years, but I think I'll stay far away from LaLaurie Mansion. That woman was true evil. I don't mean truly evil. I mean true evil.
Melime (10 stories) (64 posts)
12 years ago (2011-01-26)
I believe I heard of this house before, and it makes me wonder how evil people can be. I agree with BadJuuJuu, I believe it was leftover emotional trauma from the place you picked up. I'm glad you decided to walk another way to the hotel!
Take care 😊
BadJuuJuu (guest)
12 years ago (2011-01-26)
I love Southern ghost stories, but I hate the story of the LaLaurie mansion. The brochure only scratched the surface of that place. Delphine LaLaurie was an evil woman who deserved punishment, yet managed to escape to Paris and set herself up as a popular socialite. The house itself was restored, converted to a school, then a music school, then a very rich eccentric man named Jules Vigne hid there until he died. Then the house was again abandoned, until in the late 1890s it was converted into low rent apartments for immigrants. A naked black man in chains was seen, animals turned up butchered, children were attacked, screams and cries were heard coming from the attic. No one stayed there long. Eventually the house was again deserted.
It later became a bar, then a furniture store. The store owner left because his stock kept being mysteriously ruined. Then in 1923 it became a home for men just out of prison. In 1932 it was sold to the Grand Consistory of Louisiana, who sold it in 1942.
In 1969 the house was again converted into apartments. It was later sold again, restored again, turned into apartments yet again. During a later remodel, a graveyard was discovered under the floor. After investigation, it was determined that that was where LaLaurie was disposing of her victims.
I don't think a house with the history of this one can ever be "right." Too much blood, too much pain. I think what you felt was the leftover emotional trauma of the past residents of that house. If there is a hell, LaLaurie is there.
Sorry this was so long.

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