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Nicolas Cage and His Dark Connections with New Orleans

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Haunted LaLaurie Mansion where Nicolas Cage once lived.
The beautifully haunted LaLaurie Mansion




Nicolas Cage and I have a few things in common. We both love haunted houses, New Orleans and how The Big Easy is a place unlike any other. Nicolas Cage loves haunted houses so much that he briefly owned the LaLaurie Mansion! More on this below.

To quote him in an interview with The Advocate, “New Orleans is not like anywhere else in the world. There’s a confluence of culture, spirituality, cuisine, and you know that it’s just its own special place.” I love Nicolas Cage. Though my love is more for the constant memes people make of him than any of the films he’s been in. But I want you to know that I paid for and sat through the entire film “Wicker Man”. So I feel I can sustain anything Nicolas Cage throws at me!

I originally decided to go to New Orleans for the Jazz Festival. Plus I wanted to experience all the creepy things the city has to offer. New Orleans also has a lot of filming locations. I took advantage of this and went on a mini tour of several filming locations from my favourite shows.

As a fan of horror, I really enjoyed American Horror Story (seasons 1-3 only). Season three featured several New Orleans filming locations I wanted to visit. There are a few other TV shows and movies I love (Interview with the Vampire, True Blood and Treme, just to name a few) that were filmed in Louisiana that I really wanted the chance to see.

When planning my trip to New Orleans, I discovered filming location tours existed and I was eager to get on one! Unfortunately, because I was visiting during one of New Orleans’ most popular tourist seasons; second only to Mardi Gras, the tours were fully booked during my entire stay. I was a bit disappointed but decided to book some others, including a ghost tour in the French Quarter.

This is when I first learned Nicolas Cage loved New Orleans as much as I did.

Be sure to listen to the podcast associated with this post below!

Related Post: The Most Haunted Places in New Orleans

 

The gruesome past of the LaLaurie Mansion

On the ghost tour, we headed down to Royal Street, stopping at a few filming locations from random shows and movies along the way. Until we reached the house I’d been dying to hear about. American Horror Story first introduced me to LaLaurie Mansion and Madame LaLaurie, portrayed by the incredible Kathy Bates. I found out that the mansion was a real location and that Kathy Bates’ character was based on a real person.

I was completely enthralled by the stories of the horrible woman and wanted to see the mansion in real life. I’d already researched the house and Madame LaLaurie so much that I knew almost everything. Hearing the horror stories while standing outside the mansion where she committed the atrocities really took it to another level.

The entrance into the LaLaurie Mansion on the right of the picture. (white door)
The entrance into the LaLaurie Mansion on the right of the picture. (white door)

Brutalities committed by Madame LaLaurie

Madame Delphine LaLaurie was a cruel woman who married a physician from France, named Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie. Their marriage was a tumultuous and unhappy one which ultimately ended in Louis leaving Delphine. This made her incredibly mad and she turned to torture her slaves by starving them and chaining them in the upper part of her house. Several horrible experiments were done to the slaves, such as breaking bones then resetting them in different positions, drilling holes into their heads and covering their bodies with honey and ants. 

It wasn’t until one of Madame LaLaurie’s slaves fell to her death that the LaLaurie Mansion was investigated. During the investigation, all of Delphine’s slaves were set free. But, like something straight out of a horror movie, Delphine got her family members to buy back each and every one of her previous slaves, forcing them to return to the horror they’d briefly escaped.

It’s rumored that one of the courageous women forced to live in the LaLaurie Mansion as a slave set a fire that resulted in the townspeople discovering more about the horrors Delphine committed and finally driving her out of town.

Delphine LaLaurie was a vile woman who, unfortunately, was not truly punished for the disgusting cruelties she committed to the human beings she forced into slavery. What went on inside the LaLaurie Mansion is a horrible section of history that’s now part of New Orleans’ dark past.

Related Post: The Dark Side of New Orleans – Spooky Sites You’ve Got to Visit



The tomb of Marie Laveau - The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
Rumoured to be the tomb of Marie Laveau – The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans

The horrors live on

Following its sordid past, the LaLaurie Mansion was briefly turned into apartments. But the horrors didn’t stop. Residents claimed the mansion was haunted and they could hear moans, cries, screams, and footsteps throughout. Then one day, the landlord was found brutally murdered in his room. During investigations, several people said he claimed to be haunted by what he referred to as a demon.

The LaLaurie Mansion became known as “the haunted house on Royal Street”, tormented by its horrible past.

Does Nicolas Cage own the LaLaurie Mansion?

Nicolas Cage was also fascinated by the mansion’s ghostly past, so much so that he bought it. So, yes – Nicolas Cage did own the LaLaurie Mansion. According to our tour guide, Nicolas only spent one night in the house because he could hear all sorts of ghostly sounds. These sounds and distruptions scared him too much to stay a second night. The following night, he rented a place across the street and let his friends have a party in his new mansion. I don’t know how true this story is since I don’t know Nicolas Cage personally. So, unfortunately, I can’t get him to confirm it. But it’s fun to speculate and think that the house was too scary for even a fan of haunted places.

Nicolas Cage didn’t own the mansion for very long. Shortly after, he claimed bankruptcy and the house foreclosed. It’s currently privately owned by a rich businessman from Texas and the house is unavailable for public visits.

Related Post: Spooky City Guide – New Orleans

An unusual discovery at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

Side view of Nicolas Cages tomb in New Orleans
Unfortunately, I was delirious from the heat and thought this photo of Nick Cage’s tomb was good enough.

A few days after the ghost tour, I headed to the popular St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. I was really interested in seeing the tomb of the Marie Laveau, also known as the Voodoo Queen of Louisiana. Marie Laveau was also a character from American Horror Story, played by the amazing Angela Bassett. But I’ll come back to her and her mystery tomb in another post.

I walked around the beautiful, old and incredibly hot sun-filled cemetery hearing all about the famous residents buried there. As I learned why all the tombs are above ground and the incredible history of the place, we stumbled upon a very peculiar looking tomb that really stood out. Guess who has a tomb ready and waiting for his body in New Orleans’ oldest cemetery? That’s right — Nicolas Cage! He has quite a unique looking tomb — it’s all white and in the shape of a pyramid. It’s weird to say I was able to visit a celebrity’s gravesite while they were still alive.

I really loved learning how Nicolas Cage is woven into New Orleans. I’m sure there are a lot more links I’m unaware of. There must be more connecting Nicolas Cage and New Orleans! I am eager to find out as much as I possibly can about the mysterious man and my favourite city.

Related Posts: Read more about Spooky Travels or Dark Tourist Sites to Visit

Nicolas Cage and his Dark Connections to New Orleans

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Comments 22

  1. This has got to be the most amazing story of travels I’ve ever read.

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  2. This. Is. Brilliant. Also, I had no idea he was so connected to New Orleans. As someone born in Louisiana (Baton Rouge), it feels weird not knowing this even though I spent barely any time there before we moved away. Still, clearly all the weird creepy aspects of Louisiana sunk in early! (It’s not JUST New Orleans that has dark tourism, right? Or maybe I was just born in the wrong city…)

    I’m so glad you got to visit the Lalaurie Mansion. Or, well, the outside of it. She was such a fascinating, but terrifying person. I had no idea she bought back all the slaves! Literally chilling. Also, I love that they stuck in so many real life vile people in season 3. It gave that season a real edge.

    By the way, when you say you enjoyed AHS, Seasons 1-3 only… do you mean you don’t like ANYTHING after 3? whaaaaaaaaaat?!

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      I kind of want to investigate the rest of Louisiana (and really all over the USA) to see if there are more dark tourist sites around. I really only know about the New Orleans related ones when it comes to Louisiana. The fact that she got her family members to buy back her slaves is horrific. I wonder why her family did this – did they not realize what a monster she was? or did they not value the lives of these people so much that they didn’t care that they were basically science experiments to her? I just don’t understand.

      So, AHS – I did watch all of season 4 but only enjoyed the episodes with Twisty the Clown. I tried watching Hotel (with Lady Gaga) but I could barely get through the first episode because it seemed like they just were just trying to be shocking for shocks sake. I haven’t watched anything after that. Are the more recent seasons better? Should I give them another chance?

      1. Aww that makes me so sad, season 4 is my favourite haha. I do feel it’s a hit or miss season, though. Everyone seems to love it or hate it. I didn’t mind Hotel. It is quite violent, and does definitely start out feeling a bit shocking for the sake of it, but I felt like it found it’s stride fairly quickly. I was less keen on the next one, Roanoke. It just got too meta and it’s also fairly violent. But while I felt like it made sense in Hotel since that whole season is about Vampires and serial killers, Roanoke is like a weird version of an then there was one. Which I thought I’d like, but yeah, it just got weird. I didn’t hate it, but not dying to rewatch it. Haven’t watched past that because I watch them when they come on Netflix so I can binge them and I think season 7 is on now, but haven’t had a chance. I like AHS because it’s different each season, so even if you don’t like a season, you only have to wait it out so long before you get a fresh start. I actually don’t like season 2, and I am, so far, the only person I’ve ever met that feels that way.

        The deep south is a good place to start dark tourism wise. Any slave plantation, or places affiliated with slavery in some way (like the Harriet Tubman Museum, I would count as, I’m guessing since I haven’t been, it discusses what slaves went through). But also, anywhere associated with Native American massacres, like Wounded Knee. And, of course, Civil War battlefields, like Gettysburg. I used to live in Gettysburg, it’s boring AF, but if you’re into that kind of dark tourism, there’s plenty of it.

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          I should try Hotel again – when does it get less violent for the sake of being shocking? Perhaps I can skip a few episodes. I though Roanoke sounded pretty good but I never gave it a try after the downfall of Hotel and uh.. why am I forgetting the name of season 4. I mean, I did really love Twisty! I wish there was way more of him! He was so delightfully creepy and his story was so sad. So, we don’t get AHS on netflix in Canada. What’s the deal?!

          Yes, so much dark tourism in the American South. Need to do a lot more North American dark tourism in the coming years!

  3. True blood filming location next time…maybe that will encourage you to watch thd last season 🙂

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  4. Crystal this is great work. Finding this link between Nic and New Orleans and blending it all into a story. Fantastic. And fair play for sitting through the Wicker Man, that is dedication. Actually I did too.
    The story from the mansion is fairly gruesome but enthralling stuff. What a sicko. I think the husband had a lucky escape.
    Great piece, absolutely loved it

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      Haha it’s a terrible film but it’s almost like you can’t look away. Bees! I am sure there are more Nicolas Cage and New Orleans related stories out there.. I just need to find them out first. I agree – I do wonder if her husband played a bit of a part in the gruesome horrors though as he was a doctor!

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          haha true! I wonder if he has a secret map somewhere… or whatever happens in National Treasure.

  5. How interesting Crystal! What a creepy story and place to visit. I’m curious, if the current owner of the mansion allowed you to stay overnight, would you?

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      That’s a good question! I think I would if I were with a group of people but if I had to spend a night alone… I don’t think I could do it! My imagination would just run wild. I went on a ghost tour in New Orleans and a hotel that was almost right next to us was haunted by ghost children and that scared me enough that I had to sleep with the lights on in my hotel room for the rest of the trip.

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  6. I never knew that Nicholas Cage had such connections to New Orleans! I guess that means that I am just going to have to go back and follow your article to get to experience like you did! Loved the article and your blog! I can’t wait to read more!

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      Yay! I hope you have a Nicolas Cage filled holiday! Please tell me when you go back so I can follow your Nick Cage journey. We have to find more mysterious New Orleans connections! Thank you for your lovely comment!

  7. The closest that I’ve gotten to American Horror Story is one of the themed rooms at Universal Studios. LOL I just cannot watch those creepy shows before bed. We were binging on a bunch of the DC/Marvel episodes–and Jessica Jones had a terrifying season with her mom coming back. Do you watch her? I woke up with sheer night terrors–as in screaming bloody murder. I thought the mom was standing over me trying to tear me apart. I do love reading historical versions of horror, though…in the middle of the day. Lights on!

    Delphine LaLaurie sounds like a gosh AWFUL person. That story sounds out of control and deeply troubling. Not surprising, though?! If anyone has a haunted house with tormented souls (if you believe in that sort of energy), it’s her.

    Can I also just say that I love the pin with the floating Nicholas Cage head? I’m dying… pun…intended?!

    Your sense of humor mixed with dark tourism and history is literally what makes your blog SO much fun and one of my favorites to read.

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      They have themed AHS rooms at Universal?! I really need to visit Universal Studios someday. The only creepy shows that scare me are ones featuring ghosts. Nothing else seems to scare me! However, I can watch it anytime and be super confident that I will be fine later…but once the lights go out and I’m alone in bed my thoughts always go back to those ghosts. I end up turning on the Simpsons and falling asleep in a fully lit room. I haven’t seen Jessica Jones but I am going to watch it now!

      Delphine was so terrible. I don’t understand how people like that live. She was clearly a psychopath! How anyone could mistreat people so horribly – I will never understand. Even if you someone doesn’t believe in ghosts I think that all those tormented souls definitely have to leave a bad atmosphere in a place.

      So glad my humour is slowly coming out into my writing! The more comfortable I get the easier it is to let it out. Plus, I love humour, dark tourism and history so a post where I can combine all three is perfect! I need to make more floating head Nick Cage pins!

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      The cemetery he has his tomb in is very famous and difficult to get plot space. He wanted to ensure he would be buried there when he died! He loves New Orleans and St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is where he wants to be.

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