The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-21-2002, 01:04 AM
Daoloth Daoloth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Did This Happen? "Sultan Massacre" in New Orleans

On one of those ghost tours in New Orleans I heard of a massacre which occured in the 19th century in the French Quarter. Supposedly, some Turkish sultan rented a manor in the Quarter and brought over his entire harem. Long story short, a short while later the Sultan, his family, his harem, and many of his friends were found butchered in the house. The floor was supposedly soaked with blood, body parts littered the floor, and the Sultan was buried alive in the courtyard. The tours I've been on put the death toll anywhere between 80 to 200 people.

Now, I've read many a history book and true crime compendium alike. How come I've never heard of this outside of New Orleans ghost tours? How come most New Orleaners I've talked to don't know what I'm talking about?

Shouldn't eighty people butchered to death, even if 150 years ago, still be a pretty spectacular body count? So, what's the Straight Dope? Did this happen?

Here is one of the maybe 6 sites that were turned up on Google.
__________________
"I have this rage, but it's not hatred. It's just all illuminated."
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 06-21-2002, 09:19 AM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 21,811
I don't know either although I wondered about it too when I took the tour. The guide was knowledgable and didn't seem to lie but this story did seem a little far fetched. However, I am pretty sure that other stories told on the tour like the slave tortures at the LaLaurie Mansion are true if that means anything.

http://www.prairieghosts.com/lalaurie.html
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-21-2002, 09:55 AM
In Conceivable In Conceivable is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
http://www.prairieghosts.com/gardette.html

At the same web site Shagnasty mentioned
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-21-2002, 11:09 AM
Walloon Walloon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 12,780
It has the marks of a myth -- no names, no dates, no sources. Sounds like hokum invented to impress tourists. Lyle Saxon's charming history Fabulous New Orleans (1928), does include chapters on "A Ghastly Execution" and "The Haunted House", neither of which has anything about the Sultan story.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-21-2002, 03:12 PM
JustPlainBryan JustPlainBryan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
I took the same tour too. I was in New Orleans 2 months ago on business and I took the witchcraft tour, the haunted history tour, and the vampire tour.

The Sultan's massacre was one of more chilling tales of murder, but I haven't been able to find much about it outside of New Orleans either. I do have a book that I bought from the tour people that details the entire incident. I don't have it with me here at work, but I'll see if there are any names that may help you find more information.

I personally found Blemish of New Orleans tale far more creepy and disturbing!
__________________
"Sorry Hon, you're all alone. Only a numpty would do this." - GingeroftheNorth on the question of my insanity.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-21-2002, 03:27 PM
Daoloth Daoloth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Take all of the LaLaurie story with a grain of salt, too. For instance, the general vicinity of her gravesite has been known apparently since the '40s (despite what tour guides will tell you). Furthermore, the stories of mass murder were most likely embellished greatly by yellow journalism.

Resources:

http://www.nola.com/lalaurie/trail/plate.html
__________________
"I have this rage, but it's not hatred. It's just all illuminated."
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-21-2002, 03:38 PM
JustPlainBryan JustPlainBryan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Quote:
Originally posted by Daoloth
Take all of the LaLaurie story with a grain of salt, too. For instance, the general vicinity of her gravesite has been known apparently since the '40s (despite what tour guides will tell you).

Rather then debunk all of the New Orleans ghost tales, I will keep New Orleans as creepy and mysterious as possible, thanks.
__________________
"Sorry Hon, you're all alone. Only a numpty would do this." - GingeroftheNorth on the question of my insanity.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-21-2002, 06:06 PM
BabaBooey BabaBooey is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Quote:
Originally posted by JustPlainBryan



Rather then debunk all of the New Orleans ghost tales, I will keep New Orleans as creepy and mysterious as possible, thanks.
It's creepy and mysterious without the ghost stories.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-21-2002, 06:50 PM
JustPlainBryan JustPlainBryan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
True enough, but for me the ghost stories, vampire tales, and voodoo landmarks augment that mystery. I'd like to keep it that way if you don't mind.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-21-2002, 08:34 PM
Walloon Walloon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 12,780
From The Federal Writers' Project, New Orleans City Guide (1938, rev. 1952):

Quote:
The Le Prčte Home, 716 Dauphine Street. The tall structure on the corner of Dauphine and Orleans Sts. is the home designated as the Le Prčte Mansion.

The century-old building with its high basement and exquisite cast-iron balconies is noe of the most admired houses in the old section. Jean Baptiste Le Prčte's family occupied the house almost half a century before it was taken over by the Citizen's Bank.

Helen Pitkin Schertz, in Legends of Louisiana. tells an interesting story concerning this house. A Turk, known as the 'Brother of the Sultan,' is said to have migrated to New Orleans with a bevy of beautiful young girls purloined from his brother's harem and to have lived in great secrecy at this address, The curiousity of the townspeople was satisfied only after the mysterious stranger and his entourage were found murdered the morning after a gay reception. Officers of the ship which had brought the Turkish household, fearing the wrath of the sultan, were said to have done the deed, absconding with the dead man's jewelry to live as pirates.
The bibliography of this city guide did not list the book by Helen Pitkin Schertz (1877-ca 1971), nor is the book in the Library of Congress catalog, so it must be fairly obscure. In any case, it begs the question of how this minor New Orleans historian relates the story of a horrible massacre that somehow was missed by several other New Orleans historians.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-22-2002, 02:09 AM
violet9 violet9 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
I have a wonderful book on New Orleans, written in 1936, called "The French Quarter." It is an exhaustive history of the Quarter from the founding of the city to the early 1900s. It has three very detailed pages on the LaLaurie incident. The level of detail the author gives throughout the book on many topics, and the acknowledgements which note the access he had to the newspaper archives and other sources, leads me to believe he's probably accurate. I don't want to type the whole thing, but if anyone wants it, I'll take photos of the LaLaurie chapters and email them to anyone who wants them. It's very fascinating, and certainly has the ring of truth. Incidentally, I visited NO often in childhood, and lived there for a while as a young adult, and I was always skeptical of the LaLaurie story, but I tend to beleive it after reading this. Also, the sultan story is interesting - I thought I knew all the NO stories, but I'd never heard this one. Anyway, if someone wants the LaLaurie story, email me at parkinglotbooks@aol.com
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-22-2002, 02:11 AM
violet9 violet9 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
I have a wonderful book on New Orleans, written in 1936, called "The French Quarter." It is an exhaustive history of the Quarter from the founding of the city to the early 1900s. It has three very detailed pages on the LaLaurie incident. The level of detail the author gives throughout the book on many topics, and the acknowledgements which note the access he had to the newspaper archives and other sources, leads me to believe he's probably accurate. I don't want to type the whole thing, I'll take photos of the LaLaurie chapters and email them to anyone who wants them. It's very fascinating, and certainly has the ring of truth. Incidentally, I visited NO often in childhood, and lived there for a while as a young adult, and I was always skeptical of the LaLaurie story, but I tend to beleive it after reading this. Also, the sultan story is interesting - I thought I knew all the NO stories, but I'd never heard this one. Anyway, if someone wants the LaLaurie story, email me at parkinglotbooks@aol.com
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-22-2002, 10:24 AM
Walloon Walloon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 12,780
In published diary 1853-1862 of New Orleans architect Thomas K. Wharton, he mentions visiting the Le Prčte mansion once, but reports no infamy associated with it.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-13-2011, 08:39 PM
jhnola jhnola is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
It's not true

The mutilations at the Lalaurie mansion are false, it never happened , same thing for the Sultan's Palace, it never happened.
I am a licensed tour guide in New Orleans and have been trying in vain to find a single credible document or newspaper article about these stories and they do not exist. Madame Delphine Lalaurie did beat her slaves and some were chained which was a big no no according to the Code Niore. None were tortured though and none were murdered.
The book 'The French Quarter' 1936 by Herbert Asbury has many glaring errors throughout the book. Do not use this as a valid resource.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-13-2011, 09:48 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Scottsdale, more-or-less
Posts: 10,139
Cool - a Zombie thread about Ghosts!
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-13-2011, 11:44 PM
Mr. Slant Mr.  Slant is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walloon View Post
From The Federal Writers' Project, New Orleans City Guide (1938, rev. 1952):



The bibliography of this city guide did not list the book by Helen Pitkin Schertz (1877-ca 1971), nor is the book in the Library of Congress catalog, so it must be fairly obscure. In any case, it begs the question of how this minor New Orleans historian relates the story of a horrible massacre that somehow was missed by several other New Orleans historians.
Go to this URL at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...chertz&x=0&y=0

I count at least 5 different editions of Legends of Louisiana on the resulting pages.
FYI, only one of those 5 editions has ever sold on Amazon.
That edition last sold over 3 years ago.
It is certainly not a popular book........
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-14-2011, 12:14 AM
Mississippienne Mississippienne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Much more frightening than these hoodoo tales are the true (and unsolved!) murders of the Axe-Man of New Orleans.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-14-2011, 12:24 AM
Mr. Slant Mr.  Slant is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippienne View Post
Much more frightening than these hoodoo tales are the true (and unsolved!) murders of the Axe-Man of New Orleans.
Thanks for that link.
Chilling!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.