( Biography excerpted from "Tucker's Encyclopedia of Mass Murderers" )
At the height of his career, Paris was besieged by scandalous multiple disappearances of noteworthy individuals, a number of whom had purchased LeMarchand's puzzle boxes.
Suspicions, though unconfirmed, fell upon the sculptor / architect, especially inasmuch as LeMarchand's apprentice, the son of a respected clock maker, was one of the first to disappear.
Amidst this notoriety, LeMarchand fled Europe without selling his home. Apparently certain that the authorities were closing in on him, LeMarchand discarded his already floundering career.
Almost all of the information
we have is based on rumor and
Nearly all his architectural
creations were destroyed during World
II, and very few records remain documenting the events in his life.
do know that he was educated at the Academie
Royale de Pienture et
in Paris in the early seventeen hundreds, that he was a Freemason,
that he moved to New York to pursue "more
loftier pursuits than the
and oppressive tedium of a drafting table,"
that he later
to design the President's House, and that he had a devoted interest in
It is this association between Philip LeMarchand and the occult, that has resulted in his infamy. It was LeMarchand's interest in the supernatural which directly influenced the creation of his multitude of highly sought after puzzle boxes, which are rumored to either reveal great secrets and pleasures when solved, or death and the atrocities of Hell, depending on who you listen to.
Until now, the best references we had on LeMarchand and his works were two articles by Valentina Sprague ("Architect of the Damned," Pentacle, June 1967; "Leviathan's White House" Pentacle, February 1975) one of which posed the question of what would have happened had LeMarchand been commissioned as the architect of the White House, since this would have followed the creation of his puzzle boxes. The other article was an attempt to re-create the events which brought Leviathan's material into LeMarchand's possession.
Beyond this the only major
surviving references are a brief
in Bolinger's Encyclopedia of
the Occult (1946) and a chapter
his architecture in Kaufmann's
French Architecture of the Eighteenth
Century (1936), which reveals
little biographical information about
the man himself, but does contain numerous illustrations of
buildings which no longer exist themselves.
"A classic example of LeMarchand's architectural genius. One of the earliest, and most complex of his geometric period."
It is known that LeMarchand did live for several years beyond his disappearance from French and British artistic and social circles. He made a living by selling his puzzles throughout Europe, at a substantial decrease to what he was receiving for them at auction during the height of his fame. He supplemented this income by returning to architectural design. This we know from the completion dates of buildings ascribed to him. These buildings, numbering about thirty, are all believed to have been larger versions of his puzzle boxes.
majority of these structures, again, are
to have been destroyed during the World Wars. Others met their ends in
suspicious blazes, and in order to make room for newer buildings. We
know that a few of his architectural designs were not carried out until
well after his death. The world famous Carrbord
is one of these.
Manoir De LeMarchand - 2006 Max Lichtor
There are surprisingly few documents in existence to provide us with this missing information. Reportedly the de Moret family purchased the contents of LeMarchand's New York house, where horrors depicted in his journal were committed. The house itself was razed to the ground as an abode of evil, and the site remained a vacant lot for a number of years. The site, at 70 Washington Square South, now houses New York University's Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, which strangely enough, structurally represents one of LeMarchand's boxes.
"Geoffrey Chance, an
and collector of books on the macabre. He and his
believed among LeMarchand's first victims."
It is believed this genius constructed more than 270 of his puzzle boxes before he vanished. These boxes change hands rapidly, as is expected, though there are a few collectors, who are interested in the boxes as objects of admiration, and have no interest in working their wonders.
As to whether or not LeMarchand made his peace with God, that is the biggest enigma remaining. Who knows what the consequences of solving it will bring? We know that in order for LeMarchand to create his boxes, he needed human fat, lots of it, so therefore he had to murder a great deal. This he must have done quietly, taking only people whose absence would go unnoticed, for we have no records of any European manhunt during the time he returned to France.
LeMarchand was 94 years old when he checked into L'Hotel D'Arnais. He was never seen checking out. When the hotel management finally entered his room they found it empty except for the furnishings, and one of LeMarchand's own boxes which sat on the floor amongst a great deal of blood. LeMarchand's final exit.
Or was it? For all we know, this could be the scene of another one of LeMarchand's offerings to the Cenobites. He, himself could have slipped quietly away, dying in obscurity for all we know. During his time there was much speculation. No obituary ever appeared for him, and reported sightings of him, including back in the Colonies, became nearly as frequent as today's Elvis sightings.
We may never know what happened to
Any journals that he may have kept following his flight from New York
missing, and even if they were to turn up, who, other than Brian
has ever had the fortune to write an entry relating their own death?
LeMarchand's dark legacy continues to affect our world to this day.
Eliot, Adam. The Art, Legend and Evil of Philip LeMarchand. Prentice-Abbott, 1966
Holt, Laura. Architecture and Madness. Bell Publishing, 1924
Klauski, Isadora. Of