Marie Delphine LaLaurie (née Macarty or MacCarthy, March 19, 1787 – December 7, 1849), more commonly known as Madame LaLaurie, was a Louisiana-born socialite, and serial killer known for her involvement in the torture and murder of black slaves.
Born in New Orleans, LaLaurie married three times over the course of her life. She maintained a prominent position in the social circles of New Orleans until April 10, 1834, when rescuers responding to a fire at her Royal Street mansion discovered bound slaves within the house who showed evidence of torture over a long period. LaLaurie's house was subsequently sacked by an outraged mob of New Orleans citizens, and it is thought that she fled to Paris, where she died due to a boar attack during a hunting accident.
As of 2012, the Royal Street mansion where LaLaurie lived is still standing and is a prominent New Orleans landmark.
The legend of Madame Delphine Lalaurie, a wealthy society matron, has haunted the city of New Orleans for nearly two hundred years. When fire destroyed part of her home in 1834, the public was outraged to learn that behind closed doors Lalaurie routinely bound, starved, and tortured her slaves.
Forced to flee the city, her guilt was unquestioned, and tales of her actions have become increasingly fanciful and grotesque over the decades. Even today, the Laulaurie house is described as the city's "most haunted" during ghost tours.