The Sultan is a creepy urban legend about an old house in new Orleans that was supposedly the scene of a horrible mass murder.
The Le Prete House in new Orleans is an imposing pink mansion on the corner of Dauphine street. It is commonly referred to as The Sultan’s Palace. The house was originally built in 1836 by a plantation owner named Jean Baptiste Le Prete. The family only used it as a winter home or to entertain guests. Since they spent most of their time at their plantation home, they decided to rent out the house.
Within days, the owner was approached by a young man who wanted to rent the house on behalf of his brother. He claimed that his brother was a Turkish sultan and would be arriving in America shortly. He said that his brother had many wives and a large extended family. The sultan would need a big home to accomodate all of his servants and his harem when he reached New Orleans. Le Prete was impressed and agreed to rent the house to the young man, who immediately began moving in with a small group of servants.
From the moment the young Turkish man moved into the LaPrete- house, neighbors began to notice strange things going on. All of the windows were covered with heavy black sheets that allowed nobody to see inside. A procession of middle-eastern women entered the house and none were seen leaving. A padlock appeared on the front gate and armed men stood guard outside the front door, day and night.
The occupants of the house held wild and lavish parties that never seemed to stop. Exotic music could be heard coming from the building and the sweet smell of insense wafted from within. Rumors began to spread around New Orleans about strange and mysterious goings-on in the old house. The local people began to refer to it as The Sultan’s Palace and told tall tales of the weird and creepy things that they imagined were happening behind the closed doors of the mansion.
Early one morning, a neighbor was passing by the Sultan’s Palace when he happened to notice that the place was unusually quiet. The gate was unlocked and the armed guards were nowhere to be seen. Taking a closer look, he spotted a pool of blood seeping out from under the front door and dripping down the steps. He immediately called the police and told them what he had seen.
A team of police officers arrived at the scene and prepared to investigate the building. They slowly opened the unlocked front door and stepped into the hallway. What they found inside the house was a scene of unimaginable horror and carnage.
The smell of death hung in the air and the floors were slick with blood. Sometime during the night, every person in the house had been chopped to pieces. Men, women and children had all been slaughtered, hacked up and beheaded. Their body parts were strewn all over the house. Heads, arms, legs and internal organs were scattered around the rooms and up the staircase.
It was impossible to tell which body parts belonged to which person. They had all been hacked up beyond recognition. The opulently decorated house now resembled a butcher shop.
Several policemen couldn’t bear to look at the carnage any longer. Feeling sick, they ran out into the rear courtyard for a breath of fresh air.
A human hand was sticking up out of the freshly dug earth. The police officers dug up the dirt and uncovered the body of the young Turkish man who had rented the house. It was clear that he had been buried alive. His mouth was full of soil and his eyes were fixed in an expression of sheer horror.
The strangest thing was that none of the neighbors had seen or heard anything during the night.
To this day, no one knows exactly who committed the heinous crime. It remains one of the city’s most intriguing mysteries. No one came forward to claim the dead bodies and no one came in search of any of the occupants of the house.
The police had a few theories. The first was that the young man may have stolen gold and jewels from the sultan and fled to New Orleans to spend his ill-gotten wealth. Perhaps he was murdered by the sultan’s hired henchmen who had tracked him down. Another theory was that the real culprits may have been the crew of the very ship which had brought the young man and his entourage to the port of New Orleans. Perhaps they had robbed him of his wealth, murdered all witnesses and fled to sea to live as pirates.
Whatever the truth, it seems that since then, the Sultan’s Palace has been haunted by the spirits of the people who were murdered within its walls.
For a long time afterward, people insisted that an occasional tinkle of Oriental music or the faint odor of heavy incense would come floating out of the house. Residents of the house have reported seeing a ghostly man dressed in Ottoman garb walking through the rooms or sitting in the window. When they stop to take a closer look, he simply disappears into thin air.
The sounds of terrible shrieks and blood-curdling screams have been heard emanating from the old building. Others claim to have listened to the sickening noise of severed body parts being tossed around the halls at night.