Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nicolas Cage & the LaLaurie Curse Revisited



(I'm reprinting below a blog post that I originally wrote on November 19,2009.  Last week, when I read about actor Nicolas Cage's latest run-in with the law in New Orleans--because of his drunken misbehavior involving, among other things, real estate-- I thought that maybe the LaLaurie House  Curse was still hounding him.  Today I read that he has sold another piece of real estate--a vast mansion in Rhode Island--taking a loss of more than nine MILLION dollars.  Poor Nicolas Cage!

Last week's drama began  when he got  into a public brawl with his wife, Alice Kim, while standing outside a house in the French Quarter.  He insisted that they go in because he believed it was their (current) house on Dumaine Street, but she insisted it was the wrong house. Cage ended up taking out his anger on her, some nearby vehicles and arriving cops.

Turns out the building in question was not the notorious LaLaurie House described below.  But when it comes to real estate, Cage does seem to be laboring under a curse.

As to the LaLaurie house--which has brought misfortune to everyone who ever owned or lived in it--a friend of mine who was in NOLA recently said that it is being restored and fixed up to be  a "Haunted Hotel." It's not clear whether or not Nicolas Cage ever spent a night in the LaLaurie House when he owned it, but I can tell you I would never have the nerve to stay in the LaLaurie Haunted Hotel!) 

Published on Nov. 19, 2009
I was not going to write another word about true haunted house stories, but then my good friend Kay who lives in NOLA gave me a heads up that one of the two mansions that Nicolas Cage has lost to foreclosure in New Orleans was the notorious LaLaurie House in the French Quarter. I did a little research and wrote up this fascinating story and sent it on to the New York Post's Page Six and the info was cited in Page Six's lead item:"I Warned Nic Cage to cool it".

I had known for years the stomach-turning details of the terrible events in the LaLaurie House back in the 1800's and I thought it was interesting that the media--which wrote about Cage's financial and legal disasters last week -- did not mention the evil karma that has dogged the owners of this "most haunted" house since the horribly mutilated victims were discovered in 1834.

Nic Cage himself was well aware of the story and has mentioned it often, including on the Letterman show. He has said that no one in his family has ever had the nerve to spend the night in the house but that he planned to. He also has rejected the requests of a number of "ghost hunters" to check out the house because he feels it would be "exploiting" the ghosts.

Anyway--here's my write up on the story. Tomorrow I'll turn to happier subjects.

Nicolas Cage’s Foreclosed Mansion is New Orleans’ Most Haunted House


On Friday, Nov. 13th it was announced that actor Nicolas Cage had lost his two historically significant New Orleans mansions to foreclosure.

In April 2007 Cage paid $3,450,000 for the notorious LaLaurie house at 1140 Royal Street in the French Quarter. It was built in 1832 for Dr. Louis LaLaurie and his sadistic wife Delphine who , it turned out, was horribly torturing slaves in gruesome ways and keeping their broken and dismembered bodies chained and caged in the attic. The outbreak of fire in 1834 led to the discovery of her torture chamber. The family fled and were never charged. Since then, the ghost stories about the building have multiplied, making it a highly popular tourist stop. The mansion has served as a high school, a music conservatory, a bar, a furniture store, and empty tenement and an apartment building. Almost every inhabitant moved out within months or suffered tragedy and death. At one point it was “The Haunted Saloon”. It’s not clear if Cage ever lived in the building.

Last week the spooky French Empire mansion was acquired by the Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Bank for $2.3 million.

The bank also acquired Cage’s mansion in the Garden District of New Orleans at 2523 Prytania Street . Cage had purchased it for $3,450,000 in June of 2005. The bank got it for 2.2 million. It was previously owned by novelist Anne Rice and originally was a Catholic Chapel.

Presumably the Garden District chapel, if haunted, houses benevolent ghosts, while the infamous LaLaurie house in the French Quarter would more likely produce hellish demons—like the ones described by pre-Cage inhabitants.

Hopefully no evil spirits haunt the 1830’s French Quarter mansion of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at 521 Governor Nicholls street, less than two blocks away.

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