The Grim Story of New Orleans’ Infamous “Sultan’s Palace”

posted: 01/30/17
by: Kelly McClure

Even the shortest of walks down any random street in New Orleans will reveal block after block lined with historic homes, each with their own unique story. Based on appearances alone, you would never imagine the events that have taken place within the cat's claw vine covered buildings in front of you, and that's especially the case with one of the most frequently photographed buildings in the city, commonly referred to as "The Sultan's Palace," located at 716 Dauphine St. in the heart of the French Quarter.

Recently put on the market at the cost of $ 2,300,000, the listing for the intimidatingly beautiful building read: "Famous Gardette-LePretre Mansion, one of the most photographed & admired properties in the Vieux Carre', first time on market in 47 yrs. Four-story home has ornate cast-iron wraparound galleries on two floors w/unbelievable views. Can be six apartments, or brought back to glorious home & three-story balconied guest house. Guest house & two apartments recently renovated. High ceilings, medallions, tall original doors & transoms. Written up in numerous publications."

Sounds nice enough until a potential buyer Googles the "written up in numerous publications" part and finds out what happened there in the 1800s, and what happens there still ...

LePretre Mansion Dauphine St NOLA 1958.jpg
Photo: Historic American Building Survey by Richard Koch Link

The Gardette-LePretre Mansion, in its very early stages, was leased to the brother of a Turkish sultan known for throwing indulgent parties. One evening, in the 1800s, the sultan and his harem were brutally murdered by unknown assailants and by the time police arrived at the scene it's said that the blood of those slain inside was trickling down the front stairs of the building. To this day people claim to hear the ghostly sounds of screams, music, and dimmed party sounds from as far away as the sidewalk.

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[via: Curbed]