by Kevin Allman
Franco, who is shooting a movie here and staying on "Charters" Street, has taken to the cluttered HuffPo salt mine to write about his recent French Quarter ghost tour with "Nana (my trusty hair woman, raised in Japan) and Iris (my production consultant, raised in Mexico)." First, though, he has a note about economic development:
Our driver told us that there are more restaurants in New Orleans now than before Katrina. I don't know what that means exactly, but I guess some business is coming back.
When the tour gets to the Lalaurie Mansion, there is, of course, Nicolas Cage content:
We also visited a strange mansion that at one point was owned by Nicolas Cage. It was the site of horrific medical/carnival experiments on slaves in the vein of Human Centipede. About 200 years ago, the mansion belonged to a rich socialite with red hair. A fire broke out during one of her parties, and the fireman who answered the call discovered a chamber that smelled so bad it brought them to their knees, retching. Inside were living and dead victims of a variety of mutilations: amputations, limbs exchanged between people, sexes switched (meaning dicks were sewn onto women), skin flayed in designs to turn the victims into "human caterpillars" and other grotesque monstrosities. The house is still occupied, but it has not had a single owner for more than a five-year period.
Nana was a little disappointed by the tour; she wanted more of a haunted house experience.
Confidential to Nana: There's always this, just a couple blocks away. Far, far more terrifying.