Portals to Hell: The LaLaurie Mansion
Portals to Hell: Season 1, Episode 7 - Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman hit the road to visit New Orleans and the home of the first American female serial killer, one of the nation’s most infamous haunted homes, the LaLaurie Mansion.
In an effort to learn as much as possible before actually setting foot inside the LaLaurie Mansion, Jack and Katrina visit Sidney Smith, a New Orleans historian and authority on the paranormal history of the LaLaurie mansion. According to Sidney, the LaLaurie Mansion was a true house of horrors and was once owned by wealthy socialite Madame Marie Delphine MacCarthy LaLaurie.
At one time, Madame LaLaurie owned more than 50 slaves, but over the years, some 20 or more disappeared without a trace. Though the neighbors suspected that Madame LaLaurie had something to do with this, it wasn’t until a fire broke out in the mansion that the socialite’s taste for torture was revealed.
After getting the lay of the land and becoming more familiar with the LaLaurie Mansion, the Portals to Hell crew get started setting up equipment and laying out tools for the night’s investigation. Among the tools being used is a mapping camera, which detects shapes like human figures and shows a stick-figure like projection over their bodies. As the investigation begins, Jack immediately picks up on something (or someone) sitting in a chair in the living room, though it is only showing up on the mapping camera. The figure appears to move from the chair to beside it, then disappears, only to reappear moments later. Using a special device designed to detect the voices of spirits, Katrina asks the spirit to tell them how many people are in the room, to which the response is: 9. Startled by the fast response, the team quickly does a headcount: 9.
Emboldened by the answers, Katrina continues to ask questions:
Did you die at the hands of Madame LaLaurie? Yes.
Are you the girl that Annie saw? Yes.
Next, Jack and Katrina head to the area of the home where the enslaved people were forced to stay. In the slave quarters, the pair feel a serious energy shift. Despite a sensation of anxiety, and the nagging feeling that some entity may be sharing the space with them, Katrina and Jack again try to force communication and ask the entity to identify themselves. What they hear is the muffled words “Madame LaLaurie”. Suddenly, one of the camera operators notices a shadowy figure moving at the back of the room, and a sliver of light is momentarily blocked from view.
After exhausting their efforts in the slave quarters, the team head to one of the rooms in which voodoo and dark magical rituals were once supposedly held. In the room, Jack and Katrina seat themselves at a table in front of an ouija board, intent on trying to tap into whatever magic may once have been performed within the walls. Each laying two fingers on the board, the pair wait for any sign of spirits. Suddenly, a candle in front of them snuffs on its own.
Not finding much luck in this room, the team decides to split up. Jack and one of the show’s producers return to the secret room in the former slave quarters to see if they can communicate further with whoever may be residing in the room. Almost immediately, the pair hear a light knock, and when asked to come forward, the knock is heard again. Spurred on, Jack keeps asking questions.
Are you the spirit of someone who worked on the property? Knock.
Are you an intelligent ghost? A louder knock.
Are you a man? Knock.
Were you a slave here? Knock...but this time, in a different spot.
Were you tortured here? Knock.
Suddenly, the spirit stopped knocking, and Jack’s questions go unanswered. Worried that the ghost may have left, Jack tries one last question: Do you want us to leave? Knock.
After the night of investigation, Jack and Katrina meet back up with caretakers Carole and Lisa to show them what they discovered. Although the Portals to Hell team started out intending to find an unclosed portal, they found much more than the indication of misused magic: they found the obvious remnants of horrible tragedy. “Unsettled souls trying to rest” is how Lisa sums up the findings, and indeed, it seems that the lost and broken souls of Madame LaLaurie’s victims may well still be roaming the halls of the estate.