The Delphine Painting is allegedly one of the most haunted paintings in the world. It has caused so much terror and supernatural phenomenon, the current owner has locked it away in an unknown location to protect people. A demon supposedly haunts this painting, taking on the form of an abusive slave owner of long ago named Delphine Lalaurie.

Those who view the painting are overcome with some sort of darkness. Their chest becomes knotted and heavy as unsettling emotions fester within their psyche. Those who look upon the Delphine Painting are never the same.

Madame Delphine Lalaurie

The woman in the portrait, Madame Delphine Lalaurie, was a well known social butterfly in New Orleans during the early 19th century. Being a wealthy aristocrat, she indulged in a lavish decadent lifestyle. The Madam loved to host parties with all the most popular and famous aristocratic people of the time in attendance.

Then one fateful day in 1854 there was a kitchen fire in Madam Delphine’s patrician home. The inferno spread quickly. Some who witnessed the fire ran into the mansion bravely in an attempt to save the occupants. The Lalaurie were owners of many slaves who were locked inside the house, this was well known, people intent on rescuing the innocent slave families asked Delphine for the keys to free them from their locked places of residence within, but Madam Lalaurie refused them in a gross and insulting manner. Appalled, the bystanders ignored anymore of the cruel woman’s protests and kicked down the doors to the slave apartments. What they found was even worse than Madame Delphine’s lack of interest for her slave’s safety and was described as “too incredible for human belief.”

There were torture dens that modern horror movie gore porn seems soft in comparison. Seven people were discovered horribly mutilated. Decaying corpses protruded from a hole in the floor. Some had been hung from the ceiling, their skin flayed, ripped, and pulled wide and thin. Their limbs were torn off and stretched in grotesque ways. The slaves hardly resembled anything human. Many were in very painful positions, iron spiked collars forced on their necks, greatly reducing head mobility. Slaves’ backs were ripped and torn from countless thrashings, leaving the leathery scar tissue protruding and in some cases bones visibly poking out. Here’s a quote from one of the witnesses:

“Language is powerless and inadequate to give a proper conception of the horror which a scene like this must have inspired.”

How horrible must a person be for someone to want to burn alive in order to avoid them?

Later it was revealed that the fire had been started on purpose. The household cook was chained extremely close to a blazing hot fire, and in a moment of despair, the cook concluded that it was better they all burned together than suffer under Madame Lalaurie’s sadistic torment any longer. It must be a miserable existence beyond comprehension to prefer burning to death over living another day.

The Madam had a reputation for grace and high culture among the upper-class socialites of New Orleans. Despite her classy persona, there were some who had suspected hidden secrets of a malevolent nature concerning the slave owner. The repulsive appearances of her tortured slaves had been seen by neighbors on occasion, and a local lawyer had even warned Madame Lalaurie if evidence was found she’d been performing illegal cruel treatment upon her slaves then they’d be confiscated from her and re-sold by the state. However, nothing could stop the Madam and her sick pleasures. A neighbor once saw Delphine Lalaurie chase a child girl with a cow whip across her property. The horrified woman gazed in astonishment as the Madam chased the girl all the way to the roof cracking her with the whip as they went. Instead of facing her deranged mistress, the child committed suicide by jumping off the roof to her demise. The neighbor later saw the girl’s body being buried in a shallow grave in the corner of the yard like someone might do with a dead cat. This lady was seriously messed up. It’s so dark to think death better than the Madam’s punishment, but yea, it probably was. After breakfast, she would flog slaves until she physically couldn’t anymore as a form of exercise.

It seems like a story from a horror movie but no- this all very much happened. Over a hundred years later, skulls and bones were still being found randomly on the ruins of the Madam’s property. How people didn’t stop this insane slave master sooner is beyond me. In her mind, the inflicting of intense physical pain and mutilation upon those she deemed her property was completely normal. After the fire when the Madam was confronted for her grotesque treatment of the slaves she couldn’t even comprehend that she’d done anything wrong. Not soon after, Delphine Lalaurie was chased out of town by an angry mob. She fled to France for sanctuary, unable to understand why the people of New Orleans had turned against her. Her home and property were destroyed by the vengeful mob, her name becoming synonymous with cruelty and evil. Delphine Lalaurie died in exile, living the rest of her life in quiet seclusion and never being brought to justice for her crimes against humanity.

May we never forget historical mistakes and the horror of the past

Centuries later, the Madam’s former property was renovated in the 1970s, where apartments were built. In 1997 the owners of the property where the torture mansion once stood commissioned a painting of the historical Madan Delphine Lalaurie. Why they would do this, or if they knew about the Madam’s macabre legacy isn’t known. But when it was done and the painting hung up for display I’m sure you can guess what happened. Rumors began to spread by people who had witnessed the painting. In fact, everyone who glanced at the painting seemed affected by it. Whether they knew who the woman was in the painting or not. However, once hung upon the wall, ghost sightings became frequent within the apartments. Shadowy apparitions were seen walking the halls and within peoples’ individual apartments.

One dark entity above all became prominent after the portrait was placed in the building, and this is the entity most associated with the supernatural encounters concerning the painting. According to some, it’s the soul of Madame Lalaurie herself. Others have claimed it’s a demon. Though the most interesting speculation is that the entity is the amalgamation of the tortured slaves who died by the Madam’s hand manifesting as a single being. Maybe all three could be true. Reports of supernatural activity is common in the building, but back before the painting was removed, even more so. The painting was reported to move on its own, rock violently then fall to the floor, and pierce the mind of any who looked upon it. People reported voices coming from nowhere, cold touches, objects moving on their own, whispers in the darkness that would speak people’s names, and ghostly footsteps up and down the halls.

The artist who painted the portrait said he never intended such darkness to be attached to his painting, and had no supernatural occurrences happen while he painted it. He even made other versions of the portrait of Madame Lalaurie, with none of them ever showing any signs of paranormal activity. Today the painting is locked away and unable to view. The private collector is mysterious and not able to be tracked down. I think it’s important to talk about the Delphine Painting. Those innocent people whom the madwoman tortured to death should not be forgotten. The accounts of this haunted painting are interesting because they’re so recent, and a lot of what actually went down with the portrait’s supernatural activity is still shrouded in mystery because most the victims are too traumatized to talk about it.

This is one ghost you never wanna meet

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