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Nicolas Cage and the Curse of the Haunted LaLaurie Mansion

Nicolas Cage LaLaurie Mansion

Are you aware of the haunted LaLaurie Mansion and how it allegedly played a part in the downfall of Nicolas Cage's career?

I became aware of this fairly recently after a friend of mine listened to an episode of The Last Podcast on the Left podcast where they talked about it in detail. I found it fascinating so decided to do some digging of my own.

It’s no news to anyone that Nicolas Cage’s career took a pretty big nose dive a while back. Most of the movies he chose to make for a number of years were the straight-to-DVD kind leaving fans wondering what the hell had happened to the former Hollywood big-hitter.

Well, whether you believe in all things spooky or not there’s a story behind his epic fall from grace that could shed some light on the whole thing. It’s an interesting tale so get comfortable…

In April 2007 Cage bought two properties in New Orleans. One was the historic, Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel, the other was the infamous LaLaurie Mansion located in the French quarter. The mansion, according to many is rumoured to be haunted...and cursed.

Why is it cursed you ask? Well, as it turns out the mansion has a tragic and grizzly history.

Delphine LaLaurie

Delphine LaLaurie: 'Cruel Mistress of the Haunted House'

The History

Built in 1832 for Dr. Louis LaLaurie and his sadistic wife Delphine, the house was the scene of the kind of atrocities you’d expect to see in a Hollywood horror movie.

After a fire broke out at the mansion in 1834 it came to light that Madame Delphine LaLaurie (or the 'Cruel Mistress of the Haunted House' as she’s become known) had been horribly mistreating, and even torturing her slaves in an attic room there. The outbreak of the fire led to the discovery of LaLaurie’s torture chamber.

When the police and fire Marshalls arrived at the property they found a 70 year old woman chained to the stove who claimed she started the fire as a suicide attempt because she feared Madame LaLaurie intended to take her to the upstairs room where no one ever returned from. The next day local bystanders turned up at the mansion demanding to inspect the torture room, and when they were denied entry they forced their way inside and made the horrifying discovery.

LaLaurie Mansion fire

An illustration of the fire at the LaLaurie Mansion

The Discovery

In the attic they found the broken, stretched and dismembered bodies of several slaves chained and even caged there.

Upon hearing of the grizzly discovery an angry mob attacked the mansion, rescuing the remaining slaves, "smashing every inch of the house to pieces" and stripping it down to the walls.

Incredibly Madame LaLaurie escaped prosecution by fleeing to France with her family.

The Years After

The mansion was rebuilt in the following years and went on to served as a school, a bar, a furniture store and an apartment building. It’s said that many of the subsequent occupants left the property within months, or suffered tragedy and even death. This has of course led to the house being considered cursed by many.

Nicolas Cage gif

So Why Did Nicolas Cage Buy It?

“The Cage” has stated in several interviews that he has a fascination with mysterious places. He says he’s “95% sceptical” of the paranormal but nonetheless “curious”. He said he bought the mansion because he thought he was going to write “the great American horror novel” and thought he would “feel something as [he] was writing.”

He also liked the idea of owning a haunted house and once said:

“You know, other people have beachfront property; I have ghost front property – that’s what I always say. I have not experienced anything, but I like a bit of mystery, and the house has such a mystery to it. Some of the stories about it are pretty horrific.’’

No shit Nic!

And So It Begins...

On Friday 13th November 2009 (I’m not even kidding) Cage unfortunately lost both New Orleans properties to foreclosure (they were worth $6.8 million) after the market crashed and he “failed to get out in time”. Rumour has it that some time after purchasing (or losing) the properties (that part’s unclear) the Face/Off star started having nightmares and sought advice from a psychic/medium. They reportedly advised him to buy a grave plot as close to a famous voodoo priestess called Marie Laveau as possible in order to brake the curse. So he did, and it didn’t go down well at all with the people of New Orleans.

You see, the cemetery in which Nic Cage bought his plot - the city’s beloved St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, was so packed that it’s suspected he paid to have bodies moved in order to obtain space there which understandably enraged the locals.

Nicolas Cage tomb New Orleans

Nic Cage's Tomb at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans

The Tomb

On the plot he acquired he proceeded to have a 9 foot tall, white pyramid shaped tomb erected. The memorial doesn’t bear his name but boldly displays the Latin phrase, “Omnia Ab Uno”, which translates to “Everything From One.”

What that means we can only guess, and since Cage has been tight-lipped about the whole thing we may never know…

One thing we do know however is that not everyone in New Orleans hates him - at least not those fans who visit the city every year to seek out his tomb. It’s apparently quite common to see it adorned with “lipstick kisses” from female (and perhaps even male) admirers.

Bad Joo Joo?

Whether you believe in bad joo joo or not you have to admit it’s an interesting story. It’s an eerie coincidence that Cage’s career started to go down hill around the time he bought the LaLaurie mansion, and even more curious that it’s started to pick up again in the past few years since he took measures to break the so-called curse. Of course it could all just be a case of a guy making some poor financial choices along with a bit of bad luck. It happens to the best of us.

LaLaurie Mansion New Orleans

Image credit : Ghost City Tours

The Haunted Mansion

As for the LaLaurie mansion, cursed or not its terrible history naturally continues to fascinate people. Reports of ghost sightings and spooky goings-on over the year have earned the house the title of "one of the most haunted places in New Orleans". As a result it’s unsurprisingly one of the most popular stops on any one of the many ghost tours available in the city.

One thing’s for sure though, you wouldn’t catch me spending the night there!

So what do you make of the story? Was Nicolas Cage cursed for buying the LaLaurie mansion or is it all a load of made up nonsense?

Let me know what you think in the comments.


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