Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie
Way before the brilliant writers of American Horror Story: Coven conjured up Kathy Bates as the racist New Orleans aristocrat with a lust for blood and a penchant for tangling with the wrong witch, Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie contributed to building the bayou bastion’s dark history. Turns out, AHS wasn’t far from the truth, and LaLaurie's posh mansion in the French Quarter—which still stands today as a tourist attraction—contained a literal house of horrors where the elite socialite relished in torturing, mutilating, and murdering dozens of black slaves. Credited as America’s first female serial killer, Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie was chased out of town by a mob in 1834 when her corpse-filled torture chamber was revealed by neighbors helping to extinguish a house fire. Although she died in 1849 in Paris, Madame LaLaurie’s ghostly figure has been seen hovering over babies at the LaLaurie House, sneering and holding a whip.