The Myrtles Plantation


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The Myrtles Plantation, located in St Francisville, Louisiana is one of these historical southern mansions tied to the history of the region and the country. The Myrtles Plantation is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It is a privately owned Bed and Breakfast and offers guided tours throughout the year. The antebellum (pre-war) plantation sits on 10 acres of land. In America, The Myrtles Plantation is known as one of the most haunted houses.

Historical backgroung

The house was built in 1797 by General David Bradford. The original name of the plantation was “Laurel Grove” and would remain so until the estate was sold off in the mid 1830’s.

General David Bradford set up home for himself at Laurel Grove after a death warrant was issued by President George Washington for his participation in the Whiskey Rebellion. He was eventually pardoned in 1799 and his wife Elizabeth and their five children settled on the plantation.

General David Bradford ran the plantation until his death in 1808. One of Bradford’s daughters, Sara, who had married one of his father’s law students, then took over the control of the estate for the General’s widow.

Elizabeth Bradford died in 1830 and the whole estate including the slaves was subsequently sold to Mr Ruffin Stirling. The new owner and his wife, Mary Catherine Cobb undertook massive work on the property and doubled its size. They also changed its name to The Myrtles.

When Stirling died in 1854, his wife inherited the plantation and hired her son in law, Mr William Drew Winter to help manage the estate, especially the financial side of it.

The Winters and their 6 children had to sell the plantation after running into financial problems. However, they didn’t stay away from the property too long and could afford to buy it back only two years later.

Things got ugly when Mr Winter was shot in 1871. The property was eventually transferred to one of Mrs Cobb’s son when she died in 1880. It did not remain within the family for very long and was sold in 1886 because of financial problems once again. The Myrtles Plantation has changed hands several times and the current owners have turned it into a Bed and Breakfast.

The Haunting

Whilst it has been suggested that about 10 people in total were killed at The Myrtles Plantation and yet, the official records do not indicate such figures and the only official murder was that of the Mr Winter, the first owner’s son in law.

However, it is true that paranormal activity has been recorded on many occasions at the plantation.

Chloe

The most famous ghostly apparitions at The Myrtles Plantation has to be Chloe. Chloe was a slave working on the estate. She is said to have been chosen by Mr Woodruff ( Mr Bradford’s son in law) to be his mistress. Mr Woodruff even decided to make Chloe a permanent resident at the main house, to allegedly look after his children.

Revengeful and full of hatred for her condition, she began to listen in on private conversations between Mr Woodruff and his influential friends. After being repeatedly told to be careful, Chloe was finally caught and as a punishment, her left ear was cut off.

She was also told to leave the main house. Chloe then devised a plan to get her rather “privileged life” back and upon hearing that one of the Woodruff children she had looked after was celebrating her birthday, she offered to bake a cake.

When Tragedy Strikes

In fact, she had planned to poison the cake with some potion- which she assumed wouldn’t kill anyone but simply make the children sick- and, since she held the antidote, she felt that she could eventually be seen as the children’s saviour.

Unfortunately, the plan went astray. Mrs Woodruff and two of the children died. She had probably used the wrong dosage when making the concoction and instead of getting a mere indigestion, the cake led to 3 deaths.

Chloe was eventually denounced by others who had known about her plan and hung from one of the trees of the estate. This was certainly not enough for Mr Woodruff who decided to cut her body into pieces, fill her pockets with heavy rocks and dumped what was left of her down into the nearby river.

Ghostly Presence

Shortly after this grim end, people living on the plantation and more particularly the housekeepers and other members of staff started to complain about a ghostly presence. The ghost of Chloe began to appear on many different occasions in the main house.

Often times, housekeepers leave the house making sure that it is properly locked up, only to find out in the morning that some of the furniture has been moved around and somewhat rearranged. Chloe is said to be a rather placid ghost and despite her sombre past, she hasn’t tried to harm anyone.

During tours, she has been seen eavesdropping and women wearing earrings have often felt a hand getting close to their ears as if the ghost of Chloe was going to snatch them.

Members of staff have also reported finding earrings in strange places. Most of the time, it is just one earring and these incidents are usually directly related to Chloe since one of her hear had been cut off after getting caught listening in on private conversations.

More Paranormal Activity

Handprints on the mirrors have also been recorded at The Myrtles Plantation. They usually appear after the mirrors have been given a good clean. The handprints tend to look as though they were inside the glass and not on the surface.

Orbs have been seen and captured. Footsteps on the stairs are a rather normal occurrence as well as strange smells inside the house.

Spectral images of alleged murdered people back in 1927 have also been reported on many occasions but since the only recorded murder at the plantation is that of Mr Winter, some tend to disagree on this.

The Myrtles Plantation has featured on many TV shows. It has been thoroughly investigated by Ghost Hunters amongst others as well as Unsolved Mysteries.

Besides being a very fine Bed and Breakfast (11 rooms) as well as a restaurant, Myrtles Plantation offers lots of interesting activities such as guided tours. You can even choose between historical or mystery tours.

Contact The Myrtles Plantation

Address:
7747 U.S. Highway 61
P.O. Box 1100
St. Francisville, Louisiana 70775
Phone: 1 (225) 635-6277
Website: http://www.myrtlesplantation.com/