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Madame Delphine LaLaurie is a once wealthy socialite known throughout New Orleans, later discovered to be a nefarious serial killer who tortured and murdered her black slaves. She is a character in American Horror Story portrayed by Kathy Bates.


Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie (née McCarty) was a high-society Creole socialite in 1830s New Orleans. Her love of hosting elegant parties is matched only by her taste for the gruesome torture of her black slaves.

Driven by her insecurities and catalyzed by her husband's indiscretions with young women, including their own slaves, Delphine creates a nightmarish beauty balm derived from fresh human pancreases that she removed from her slaves. New Orleans Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau takes her vengeance on Madame Delphine for the torture inflicted on her lover, one of Delphine's slave victims, Bastien, that the socialite had tortured and dressed up to look like the Minotaur, one of her favorite characters from Greek mythology. She presents Madame Delphine with a false love potion, whose actual effects are much more sinister.[1] LaLaurie's fate is revealed as one worse than death,[2] and one that has not yet ended.[1]

Delphine wakes up from the effects of the 'love potion' to find her husband and daughters hanging from the balcony of her home. Marie Laveau has Delphine buried alive in an unmarked grave in the front yard, but not before revealing that the 'love potion' has actually granted Delphine the curse of immortality.[2]

Personality and Appearance[]

She has dark brown hair, green eyes, and in the 1800s she dressed in elegant dresses but in the present wears the maid's outfit. She was also quite overweight but hypocritically often rebuked other women for their weight. Madame Delphine LaLaurie was a woman of propriety in Cajun high society in 1830's Louisiana. However, it is quickly revealed that she has a much darker, heinous side. She has an obsession with her appearance, smearing herself in her slaves' blood in a superstitious attempt to maintain her youth. She has a sharp tongue and a sadistic streak. LaLaurie keeps many of her slaves in her attic where they inevitably become victims of grotesque experimentation and torture, solely for the fascination of Madame LaLaurie.

Losing her family and being buried for centuries has drained LaLaurie of her will to live, as is made apparent when she asks Fiona Goode to use her powers to end her torture and let her die. She has shown herself to be stubborn on several occasions. She has also shown herself to have a deep fascination with the human anatomy, and how it functions at the expense of her slaves. LaLaurie considers this to be a hobby for her.

LaLaurie is arrogant and narcissistic, obsessing over her appearance, not unlike Fiona and believing herself to be a genius and a visionary while belittling others around her, even her own daughters. Delphine is a control freak who becomes furious if her will is ever defied but is also completely cowardly, running, hiding or begging for mercy if she was ever threatened with death or pain. Despite her abusive treatment of them, LaLaurie loved her daughters immensely. Deeply sadistic, LaLaurie regularly tortured black slaves because she saw them as worthless and no better than animals.

She was extremely racist even by the standards of her time and her barbaric treatment of her black slaves violated the Code Noir which was itself intensely cruel. LaLaurie was not pure evil, however. In addition to her love for her daughters, she felt remorse for some of her vicious crimes, such as murdering and exsanguinating the baby her husband had with a female slave and using the baby's blood as make-up, driving the deceased infant's mother to suicide in the process. Over time, she came to care deeply for Queenie, seeing past her skin color and starting to show some remorse for her past actions. By her own admission, however, she weeped not for the mistreatments but for what she claims to be lies told to people about being equal. In her case, white and black people.

She appeared to be a devout Christian and regarded the election of Barack Obama as American President to be a sign that God had forsaken the land, due to the colour of his skin rather than his policies. After the return of her racist views, she maintained a perverse kind of empathy for black people, saying that she pitied them for being fed the lie that they could be equal to whites.

LaLaurie was intelligent, having a knowledge of the human anatomy and an interest in science although she perverted this for evil means. Another sign of her intelligence is that she was a skilled cook, despite usually relying on her servants to prepare food for her in the time she originally lived. She also had a hearty appetite and developed a fondness for fast-food during her time in the modern age.


Years after her burial, Delphine is found and dug up by Fiona Goode,[1] who wants to discover the secret of eternal life.[2] Fiona mocks her, though the two women seem to bond at times. She wants to use Delphine as leverage against Marie Laveau, first keeping Delphine hidden away and tied up in her room,[2] and later turning her into the new maid of the school.[3]

Due to Delphine making too much (mental) noise, Nan angrily rushes up the stairs and discovers Delphine in Fiona's room. She unties her but is caught by Queenie. Delphine smashes Queenie's head with a candlestick holder and runs off.[2] Later on, however, Delphine and Queenie begin to form a small bond as Fiona forces her to become Queenie's personal maid as she 'hates racists'. Queenie sacrifices herself when the Minotaur comes after Delphine, luring it out to give Delphine time to hide. Delphine is appreciative of this and thanks Queenie, who still shows a disliking to Delphine because of her racist behavior.[3]

Queenie manages to reattach Delphine's severed head and hand, and carries her to Nan's funeral with a leash and collar around her neck. At the academy, she sees an African-American gardener who cut his hand and is reminded of the joys she felt from torturing her slaves in the 1800s. She holds him captive in Spalding's old room, using a pruning shear to cut off the gardener's toes and also disembowels him. Spalding appears before her, saying that he knows of a potion that will remove Marie's immortality and will allow Delphine to murder her, but he will only give it to her if she brings back an ancient doll baby that he desires. Spalding hands over the potion (which turns out to be nothing but Benadryl®). Delphine drugs Marie's drink and when she falls asleep on the bed, Delphine stabs her in the chest. Marie is unaffected and gives chase after Delphine, but she is knocked out by Spalding. Spalding says that he only wanted Marie out of his hair and suggests that Delphine should bury her.[4] Instead, she tortures Marie and hacks her to pieces.[5]

After this, Delphine gets a job as the tour guide of her old house to try and reinvent her image and is later confronted by Queenie who tries to get her to see sense and repent for her sins. Her attempt ultimately fails and she stabs Delphine to death, despite her immortality on November 15, 2014. This is straightforward explained: since Delphine had cut the Voodoo Queen into pieces scattered all over New Orleans, the latter was no longer able to guarantee annual services to Papa Legba. Since Queenie had pointed out to the Gatekeeper that Marie had broken their agreement, Pape Legba revoked the immortality granted on both of them.[5]

Fate after death[]

Delphine is later seen in her very torture chamber, being locked away with her daughters. Papa Legba arrives and reveals that she and Marie Laveau are in Hell, where they are to spend eternity. Delphine watches in horror as Marie is forced to burn Borquita with a hot poker. It is unknown wether she is the real Borquita consigned to Hell, or an illusion to torture Delphine.[5]

Several years later, Delphine is still begging for an exhausted Marie's mercy in Hell, asking her to stop torturing her children. She reminds of the time she killed a child but spared his mother from seeing it. Nan walks in and informs Marie that she is being released from Hell due to a deal Cordelia made with him: replacing Marie with Dinah Stevens. Later, this event was reversed by Mallory, who created a new timeline where Cordelia never needed to retrieve Marie.[6]


  • Immortality - More of a curse rather than an ability, due to her consuming a vial of Marie Laveau's tears Delphine suddenly shared Marie Laveau's immortal trait and had lived for more than a century chained inside a coffin interred in the backyard of her former house.[2] Upon Papa Legba revoking Marie's immortality, and therefore Delphine's as well, she was killed by Queenie.[5]



  • To her tortured slaves: "Bonsoir, my pets. Did y'all miss me?"
  • To one of her slaves: "Hush up or I'll rip your lips open and stuff more shit in there."
  • To Louis LaLaurie: "My great literacy began with Greek mythology. I used to sit on daddy's lap and he would read me those stories. Full of those vengeful gods and miraculous creatures. But the Minotaur was always my favorite. Half man, half bull. And now I have one of my very own."
  • To Queenie: "Out my way, slave!."
  • To Queenie: "No, you stay away from me, you stay away from me, you hear me?! YOU STAY AWAAAAAAAY!"
  • To Marie Laveau: "Salut."
  • To Marie Laveau: "I am Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie, and yo ain't nothing!"
  • To Fiona: "I don't care what kind of monster anybody says I am. I loved my girls – in my own way. Even the ugly one. The moment she came out of my belly, she was a shame to me. She had the face of a damn hippo, but I loved her just the same."
  • To Fiona: "Hell is real. I've seen it down in that box. Time disappears. The only thing that's left is what's in your mind's eye. And all mine saw were the faces of my girls. Forever."
  • To Borquita: "And you, ringleader of the feeble-minded, you've earned a special present. On Christmas morning I'm gonna stuff your conniving mouth full of shit!"
  • To Marie Laveau: "What you gonna do? Kill me? I can't die."
  • To Queenie: "You made me weep, but not as you would have it for my supposed sins. I wept for the state of this world, a world of lies, a world that makes promises it cannot keep. To tell a colored man that he can be equal to a white man, there's a real cruelty. I'm not going anywhere."
  • To Fiona Goode (about Obama's presidency): "Liiies."




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Episode: Bitchcraft
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Episode: Boy Parts
  3. 3.0 3.1 Episode: The Replacements
  4. Episode: Protect the Coven
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Episode: Go to Hell
  6. Episode: Apocalypse Then
  7. 7.0 7.1 Episode: Fearful Pranks Ensue
  8. Episode: Burn, Witch. Burn!