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The Conjuring writers developing new horror franchise inspired by spooky New Orleans mansion

Photo: Steven Wagner (Getty Images)

The LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans has not been open to the public since the early 20th century. With the exception of those who have owned the property over the years (including Nicolas Cage, of course), no one has been granted access to the interior of the mansion—until now (cue suspenseful music): According to Deadline, the creators of The Conjuring franchise are developing a new series of horror films inspired by the LaLaurie Mansion. Screenwriting duo Chad and Carey Hayes have teamed up with Faster Horse Pictures and its partner, Michael Whalen, who just so happens to be the current owner of the mansion, for the franchise. The duo will have access to the property and are said to be considering a stay there while they write the screenplay for the first installment.

For readers unfamiliar with haunted locations and/or those who abstained from watching American Horror Story: Coven, the history of the LaLaurie Mansion is upsetting, to say the least. So named for its most infamous resident, the Creole socialite Madame Delphine LaLaurie, the mansion played home to an actual house of horrors: On April 10, 1834, a fire broke out in LaLaurie’s mansion. Responders were horrified to discover slaves that had been chained in the attic and obviously tortured for a prolonged period of time. The fire, which consumed the mansion, was started by a slave who’d been chained to a stove in the kitchen. An angry mob congregated at the mansion and completely destroyed what remained, leaving the property in ruins until 1838, when it was acquired by Pierre Trastour. The new owner rebuilt the mansion, but it is not the same as LaLaurie’s previous home.

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In any case, the LaLaurie Mansion is certainly fertile ground for spooky stories, but using a racist serial killer who murdered numerous slaves as the basis for a series of horror movies seems... questionable.

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