Thursday, May 15, 2014

Unseen Lafayette Tour a.k.a. The Reason Why I'll Have Nightmares Every Night This Week

So I'm driving to work. And I hear this ad on the radio for the "Unseen Lafayette Tour". Tickets are $5 and it's a self-guided walking tour through historic parts of downtown Lafayette that generally aren't open to the public. Husband and I live in the downtown area and I'm always looking for fun things to do there so I'm thinking: "This is perfect! Husband will love this and we can invite our friends and have dinner together after!" I'm feeling really good about this and quite proud of myself for coming up with such an awesome, cheap date. Well done, Annie.

Or so I thought.

That night I convinced Husband to walk to one of the shops downtown that sells the tickets. It's 45 degrees. And windy. And raining. But he's a good sport so he agrees to come along. So off we go with our umbrellas, walking in a line because the sidewalks aren't wide enough to accommodate our umbrellas. But we struggle on. After buying the tickets, we stood outside opening our umbrellas. I got mine open first just fine, then I turned to say something to Husband and at that very moment, he opened his umbrella thus spraying water and who knows what else right in my face. Really, this whole ordeal should have signaled to me that maybe this tour wasn't going to be the best of ideas. But we had our tickets and we were all excited to go so we went for it.

The next night, we made our way over to the starting point. The first location was an old car dealership (like 1800s old) that had been remodeled into a cool incubator place for startup companies to rent and work in. The second location across the street was a home built in 1842 with much of the original architecture and interior so that was really interesting to see as well.

The third location was the Historic Wright House. This place is a national historic site. It's huge and really quite pretty. However, even from the outside looking at it, I could hear the Twilight Zone theme song playing in my head. But we pressed on. Once we were inside, an older lady (like 80+ years old) named Gladys greeted us wearing some green, colonial style ball gown. Kinda weird but hey if I was 80+ years old and the owner of a giant mansion, I'd do whatever the heck I wanted to also. She nicely showed us around the main floor and then guided us to the kitchen where she began to tell us the story of the murder that took place upstairs.

Yes that's right, murder.

In my head I'm thinking: "Woah. Back it up. Murder?? I did not sign up for this."

She went on.

Gladys: "Yeah it happened in 1982, this lady killed this other lady she knew upstairs while her husband was away at work and she stabbed her 27 times and then decapitated her..."

Hold the phone. A lady was guillotined upstairs in this very house? WHY?

Gladys: "Well decapitation is the only way to kill a witch!"

She says this like I should have already known that.

Friend: " let me get this straight, she thought her friend was a witch so she killed her?"

Gladys: "Yup, they had a mutual friend who referred to himself as Jesus Christ and he called the two ladies his virgin Marys,"

Because one virgin simply isn't enough.

Gladys: "...and I think one got jealous of the other so she killed her. There's a book upstairs you can thumb through to get the whole story!"

You guys, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

So up the stairs we went to the "GREEN ROOM" where in fact, Gladys had compiled a quaint little scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings about the murder and OH YEAH PICTURES OF THE 27 STAB WOUNDS ON THE LADY AND THEN A PHOTO OF THE CORPSE WITH THE HEAD NEXT TO IT. Suddenly, I regretted eating that donut hole in the dining room downstairs.

Friend: "Is it even legal to have these pictures? I feel like that isn't allowed."

I bet you any amount of money Gladys ran up the stairs after the murder happened with her little camera and snapped photos of the scene for her own amusement.

The helpful little book also laid out the story and explained that the insurance company paid for new carpet over the hardwood floors and wallpaper to cover the blood-stained room. It then told us that there still remained bloody fingerprints on the wall in the hallway as well as marks on the bannister from the broken mirror that was used to decapitate her. Oh did I fail to mention that earlier? YES A BROKEN MIRROR WAS USED TO CUT OFF A WOMAN'S HEAD. AND A POTTED PLANT. I can't even.

We all then ran into the hallway to find said marks. It was horrifying. We then quickly vacated the house and went to the pretty, happy, LIVING garden across the street. Where we took this lovely photo:

There's still much confusion surrounding the story. I tried looking up some articles online that can be found here and here but some of the facts are still hazy. I think Gladys and her husband bought the house in 1981 but were renting it out to two families and it was the lady living upstairs who was murdered. The murderer is still alive and in jail, which is comforting. The victim's husband and baby moved out following the murder and haven't been heard from since. No one has lived in the house since they moved out either. But on a lighter note, the murder house is now used for Holiday parties. Which is really the most appropriate thing to do when you're stuck with a house that's home to one of the most gruesome murders of all time.

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