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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

St. Francisville Experiment

I do plan on posting my review of the Ghost Hunters Live Halloween special, but I'm choosing to wait until they do the reveal episode tomorrow.

Today, I'm choosing to post my thoughts on a movie I've seen quite a few times. St. Francisville Experiment was suppose to be an actual documentary about an actual haunted house. It starts off with the producer telling the audience that everything presented in the movie was true. When you actually see the movie, you learn it is anything but that.

It was supposedly a film like the Blair Witch Project only true. In order to do this they needed a ghost story and a location to film. St. Francisville, Louisiana is known for its hauntings. So, it was an appropriate place for this movie. The actual ghost story that inspired it was that of the Madame Delphine LaLaurie. She was married to a doctor named Louis LaLaurie and they lived in a beautiful mansion in the French Quarter. According to the story, she was particularly cruel to the slaves they owned.

She kept one woman chained in the kitchen and was never allowed to leave. It was thought this female slave was the one who started the fire at the Lalaurie house thus allowing the world to discover what Madame Lalaurie was really doing behind closed doors. In the attic, they found slaves in dogs size cages, strapped to operating tables, human body parts and organs everywhere, women with their stomachs sliced open and their insides wrapped around their waist, men's private parts cut off, and many other horrors. Even though her husband didn't take part in all this, it is believed he knew all about it and did nothing.

A mob gathered in front of the house with the intentions of calling her, but she was able to get away in a carriage. No one knows for sure where they escaped to. How this is connected to St. Francisville is that it was possible they had family there and may have chosen the place to hide out. The mansion used in the film was said to be the one she hid in. Of course, there is no record of this.

At the beginning of the movie, the story behind Madame Lalaurie's cruelty is discussed and the four strangers, a historian, psychic, videographer, and a team leader, who supposedly were going to stay in that mansion were introduced. If you are familiar with the paranormal world then you may know how Troy Taylor is. He agreed to be in the movie under the impression that it was a documentary and was not happy with finished product. He gave a crash course on ghost hunting to the participants. Showed them how to use the equipment and what to do. They were then taken to the house, given everything they needed and left locked inside.

The psychic Madison was pretty annoying throughout the movie. She kept talking about white light. I don't anything about cleansing rituals and that may be part of it, but it was still annoying to hear about ti every two seconds. As for "activity", a chandelier fell (which could be because its an old house), a door supposedly opening by itself, a few noises, and a chair flipped over in the attic. They even found a doll wrapped in gauze hid in a hole in the wall. Someone was playing doctor. They also did a seance. When the two ladies were sitting at the Ouija board, shackles fell out of the chimney. The girl Ryan who was probably the most scared out of all of them decided to check it out. She laid under the opening and nearly got hit in the head from a falling chain.

The movie gives you the impression that it's all really happening until the ending. They decide to do some kind of cleansing ritual or something. Instead of going from room to room together. they separate which is not a good idea and I believe Troy told them that. The table in Ryan's room began to shake and then she like fell through the floor. I think Tim was in the room with the hidden door. He got drug through it. Madison sat down her camera and "something" (if you pause or slow the scene down you can see a disfigured face in the mirror) picked it up and began cutting or scratching her. Paul was in the attic. I don't think anything really happened to him. He heard Madison screaming and the lights going on and off and he dashed down to get everyone. He found Madison in the same room. They found the other two in a hidden room. Ryan was strapped to an operating table and Tim was hung up on the wall by chains or whatever. The ending was scary but was obviously fake.

The movie is entertaining and scary. Some will enjoy it for it is. From a paranormal stance, it's not all what it's cracked up to be. These kids did stay in the house all night, but some of it was probably staged. I suggest if you watch it, watch it for the entertainment and nothing more.


J. Merci said...

j. merci said...
The St. Francisville Experiment was really chilling. I actually recently watched a segment on haunted manisons in Louisiana and I think this particular story was told. I didn't get the entire story and I am glad I was able to read this. I love ghost stories. When I was younger I use to tell ghost stories to my parents and they would be very creepy then funny at the end. I was never good at prolonging the suspense.
7:17 AM

Putty said...


I'm a fan of ghost stories. I really enjoy it.

Kimberly Shinabery said...

This was so fake. I can't believed I let myself be duped into watching this, having heard the lie that it was a true story.

alexx said...

this is not the lalaurie mansion, the REAL lalaurie mansion is located in the french quarter.

Anonymous said...

Holy Moley! This movie scared the bejeekers out of me. Seriously. Damn, it was scary.

Datapanik said...

This damned movie was one the the stupidest films I've ever seen. The setting wasn't the least bit scary, and the acting was atrocious. Just horrible.

Anonymous said...

i just finished watching this movie, and absolutely loved it! it could be thought of as a true story i just had a hard time with ryan and tim being strapped up and chained up. it is believable, im a huge ghost story buff and will deffinetly tell people about this movie1

Anonymous said...

why not record this on pvr or vhs just for watching IN REVERSE..u can see what you think you saw...GEEZ

Anonymous said...

this was so was not in the least bit scary and it was soooo staged you could tell that from the very beginning. I laughed throughout it because it tooo funny that some might actually think that it is real.

Anonymous said...

The Plantation they filmed in is called Greenwood. It was used in the film of North and South. I have been to the plantation before. It is not haunted. The owner of the house lives in the upper part of the house with his family in an apartment. He shows the house for a tour fee. So I am sure he got a nice payout for allowing them to film the house and inside the house. it is all about money for most of these films just like Paranormal Activity.

Anonymous said...

Way better than blair witch. This movie actually freaks me out, good stuff. Check it out!

Anonymous said...

"why not record this on pvr or vhs just for watching IN REVERSE..u can see what you think you saw...GEEZ" ..... i agree with him, i done the same thing and watching in REVERSE is totally different..try the attic scene for one, the bucket isn't a bucket if you watch in reverse, it turns into a skull, check it out yourself :-o

Anonymous said...

Who cares if ut was fake movue is awesome. If they were goid actors it would not have bin as believable . I loved nightmare on elm st too please dont tell me after all these years uts nit true either lol



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