Story of The Bastien Curse

Prologue:
The Bastien Curse as baptized by the locals it’s based on the fatalities that occurred to the Bastien family and the burning of slaves that rebelled against their master after one maid was captured and tortured in the so called Night of the Burning Sorrows, the night that the curse was sealed forever. Locals say the curse is said to revolve around voodoo brought by the servants and slaves against their masters after one servant was murdered months earlier the tragic night. Locals say the place is haunted, and cursed, probably with vengeful spirits, or maybe something worse. They say the house is not empty. No one dared to go to he place, and those who did, never came back. Here is the story of the Bastien Curse.

Location: New Orleans
Year: 1853

The Bastien Family Mansion and plantation
There is a mansion in a plantation where  a family of 6 lived in it, the father and owner Armand Bastien, his wife Dolores Bastien and 4 children (from eldest to youngest) Estelle, Bruno, Frances and Christophe Bastien. Also in the house lived 3 trusted slaves  Eugene the butler (the eldest), a young beautiful servant named Maria, and a seasoned woman named Milagros, the maid who took care of all the house chores. The owner of the plantation had a person which he considered his right hand and in charge of the slaves, George Garrett. He was in charge of leading them to work in the plantation. He also lived in the house, and was said to be rather sadistic towards the slaves.

Bastien Mansion circa 1850

Bastien Mansion circa 1850

Everything in the house ran as usual, the servants took care of the house and family needs, the owner was making a fortune with his plantation and his family enjoyed the riches, while the abusive George kept pushing the slaves to the limit with the hard labor at the plantation. Now this exploitation was something that kept building up the hatred of the slaves towards the owners which led to an uprising later on,  but one event in special was what triggered the beginning of all the mysteries… the night that -some say- started the curse.

The Killing of Maria
One day the Armand Bastien wakes up in the middle of the night because of a commotion, grabs his pistol, goes downstairs and sees the young servant Maria running out the house with a George Garrett bleeding from the eye while screaming to shoot her because she was escaping, so Armand shot her dead with his pistol right in front of the house.

The reason why Maria was trying to escape wasn’t clear, she got along with everyone in the family, specially Frances Bastien, the young daughter of the family.

After the incident all slaves were threatened to be killed if they attempted to escape or even as simple as disobeying any orders will be enough reason. So although enraged (the maid Milagros in particular) by the incident all of them had no choice but to stay quiet and continue with their daily duties. But after this night something did happened or someone did something, because a series of fatal tragic events occurred in the following months to the family.

Family Tragedies
First Christophe mysteriously drowned in the bathtub on a late afternoon. Then Estelle died by falling from the house stairs and cracking her skull open, supposedly she tripped on her own dress. Then Bruno died on his sleep, supposedly by a heart attack since he suffered from heart illness. By this time it was clear something was wrong, the family got hit hard by these tragic events and by the time whispers and gossip already started  around the town  that the Bastien were cursed or there was involvement of voodoo practice used as punishment because of the death of the servant Maria. Things in the house were getting stressful and although Frances was the only remaining child in the house she became more silent and not being her normal cheerful self, it was clear something was also wrong with her and this was the last drop for her mother. Dolores, the mother, had to endure the death of three of her children and now with her little girl not being herself, maybe because of grief, she decided to take her own life and hung herself.

At this point the pain of the father Armand Bastion was unbearable and the rumors of his family’s tragedy being associated with voodoo raised suspicion as an act of revenge from the slaves so he ordered George to watch the slaves and watch their behaviors, after all, Armand still had his daughter and the plantation to keep him going, so he needed to protect what he had left, but then the night came that would change their lives and town’s history forever.

The Night of the Burning Sorrows
One night Milagros was seen preparing to escape the house with Armand’s only surviving daughter Frances. George was hiding and watching all along and thing that caught his eye was that Milagros was carrying a voodoo doll, so before she could leave the house he caught her and woke Armand up, and what they did next is something that they would always regret.

They took her to the basement and started torturing her, Armand and George started cutting her and beating while questioning about the voodoo and she only responded in her native tongue, all this while Frances cried uncontrollably. Eugene, the butler as a way to save Milagros, or probably just following a plan went outside and released the slaves who  rallied in front of the house with torches threatening to burn it down if Milagros wasn’t freed. When this happened, Armand and George came outside with a beaten Milagros, covered in blood and with a gun pointed at her head.

All the slaves had to stand back  but it was too late for them, since the commotion brought the attention of local authorities who arrived in no time. Since this was an uprising these slaves were a threat and with the help of the corrupt authorities Armand ordered to tie all the slaves up so they would be burnt alive right in front yard of the house. At this point it was clear Armand was being extreme. With all the slaves tied up, including Eugene and Milagros, Armand started telling her and mocking her that the voodoo doll trick won’t work with him anymore, since he possessed it now and nothing would happen to him. Milagros started laughing in a different tone as if she was another person and started telling him how wrong he was and that his faith was already set with another voodoo doll for him, yet Armand thought she was bluffing  and took a torch and lit the fire to burn them all, and as the fire started the voodoo doll in his hand caught fire by accident and right instantly George Garrett started burning alive. While this happened Armand looked in fear at the scene and when he looked back at Milagros, she was grinning and it was clear that the voodoo doll’s power were real and this one was meant for George all along while the voodoo doll that was meant for him was somewhere else with his faith sealed with it as Milagros said. So Armand alarmed started screaming at Milagros where his doll was, but right then the flames started engulfing Milagros and with a penetrating voice -in her native tongue- it is believed she started cursing the land and the house, and it is said that all who witnessed the event still had nightmares of it afterwards. While all this was happening an extreme sudden fear struck Armand who started running back to his house and locked himself in.

As the flames continued all that could be heard was the screaming of the slaves and the evil laughter of Milagros, her deeds were done. Frances witnessed all the scene as she was taken away by the authorities since it was clear Armand wasn’t able to take care of her for the night.

The night the locals called afterwards the night of the burning sorrows.

The Curse
Days later a doctor went back to the house to check on Armand who was very ill and “not himself”, and for some mysterious reason he wasn’t able to leave the house, specially his room. Also the doctor, during his visit, he felt an evil presence around the place and because of this and Armand’s state it was clear it wasn’t a safe place for Frances, so she was sent away to some distant relatives across the sea. And as for Armand after being told that Frances was sent away, he locked himself in, and wasn’t seen ever again. After this, Armand’s whereabouts are still unclear to this day, maybe because no one dared to come close to the house and find out, since it was believed to be cursed they feared they would get the same faith as the Bastien. Locals say Armand went mad and left, while others say he stayed and died of his illness or of old age.. but others say that mysteriously he still in it, because until this day, at night, a light can be seen through his windows, or as if someone is staring from it.

The 1993 Investigation by Henry Rogers (missing)
Many years after The Bastien tragedy many questions remained such as, What really happened to the family? Who Milagros really was? Were the voodoo dolls real? Were the family members killed by voodoo dolls? What happened to Armand? What was the curse? What really happened the night Maria was killed? All these questions needed answers to put an end the mystery that surrounded the house, and this was the duty of Henry Rogers, a paranormal investigator and detective that who was hired by descendants of Frances Bastien to check on the mansion over 140 years later since the incident. The descendants of Frances were the rightful heirs and wanted to know the truth about their family’s past before deciding what to do with the mansion, also the fact that probably Armand had a fortune hidden in it, they relied on hiring a private professional. To facilitate the investigation they handed Henry a chest with all Frances’s personal belongings to start learning more about her and the family and maybe learn more about the secrets in the house, hence of all the items from Frances’s belongings there were two items in particular that caught his attention and would help him solve the mysteries, one was an authentic voodoo doll that resembled Frances, and a drawing of her that had her holding what it seems her voodoo doll and 5 other voodoo dolls, probably one for each family member. Interestingly enough, Henry Rogers would be another part of the collections of mysteries, he went to the house on a stormy night, and was never heard from him ever again.

A drawing  by  Frances from when she lived with her family.

A drawing by Frances from when she lived with her family.

The descendants think maybe he took the deposit money for the investigation and ran away, or maybe he did went to the house and found a fortune and stole it, nothing is clear of his whereabouts. All it was found on the surrounding areas was a tape recorder he used to document the investigation, the tape seem to have recorded minutes of audio, but the only part that can be heard is what he recorded before going in to the house, the rest is noise.

Found tape recorder with Henry Rogers voice audio before entering the house: LISTEN HERE

All this points to that the curse might be true, so the family decided to stay away from it and not report about the missing Henry Rogers to avoid media and problems with the law. Everything stayed in the dark until now…

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