Conjuring fans, you may have another true-life horror franchise to get excited about. The writers of the first two films, brothers Chad and Carey Hayes, are set to write and develop a new franchise based on New Orleans’ LaLaurie Mansion, Deadline is reporting. If you know your famed haunted houses, you know the LaLaurie Mansion has been closed to the public for nearly a century.
As the legend goes, the owner of the house “Mad” Madame Delphine LaLaurie, snapped after her third husband left. A wealthy slaveowner, LaLaurie’s home suffered a catastrophic fire in 1834, destroying part of the house and revealing a gruesome scene: slaves chained in their quarters. One had an iron collar around her neck, another a deep head wound. Others were mutilated. All were emaciated and tortured. It is said that a 12-year-old slave girl fell to her death from a roof while attempting to evade LaLaurie’s whip-based punishment. The house was soon gutted when stunned residents heard of the horrors within. Today, its exteriors are a popular stop on the city’s ghost tours.
It sure sounds like the basis of what nightmares are made of, and if the Hayes brothers have proven anything, it’s that they can take history and shape it into commercial cinema. The Conjuring franchise, including the Annabelle spin-off films, has grossed a remarkable $1.9 billion worldwide. The brothers, who are considering writing the first draft of the script from inside the house, will partner with Faster Horse Pictures producers Cindy Bond (I Can Only Imagine) and Doug McKay (What to Expect When You’re Expecting) for the projects. Consulting will be New Orleans historian Andrew Ward.
The stories will consist of multiple movies on the house’s terrifying history, spreading out over two centuries.
Said the Hayes brothers of the project:
“We love writing films in which we get to tell true stories – incorporating moments that people can look up and discover did in fact happen. With the LaLaurie House we get to do exactly that. There is a wealth of documentation of a very dark and frightening past of true events. Not to mention that after spending some time there, what we personally experienced was truly unnerving.”
In one more spooky occurrence regarding the site, actor Nicolas Cage privately bought the house in 2007 for $3.45 million. Neither Cage nor his spirit still resides there. He sold the house two years later for just $2.3 million.