A Place Where The Ghosts are the Advertisement!
I worked here for one summer, and thats pretty much all I care to. I was curious and being that I have trouble seeing ghosts I went here. Its reputation doesn't do it enough justice!!! This place has it all and it makes it well known. I found out quickly that maybe I would have been better off not seeing sometimes. This place you really don't have a choice! Though nothing will harm you, they are all polite spirits, some people, like me, just fear whatever it is all the time. So..if your weak at heart, and think you want to see. Be sure, cause when you stay at the Myrtles, you will hear and see all sorts of things!
ST. FRANCISVILLE, LA - There are things in our collective past that we Americans would like to forget. We would prefer to hide from the truth and pretend that certain situations did not arise, that injustice did not flourish sanctioned by government and custom. Perhaps this is why some ghosts still inhabit this earth without moving on; to serve as a reminder of what happens when we have one set of morals we preach that differs horribly from what we practice.
This is one such tale. General David Bradford built the Myrtles Plantation in 1796, despite the fact that he was warned ahead of time NOT to place his home there. The choice of location for the two-storied wood-frame home was a sacred place for local indigenous people who had buried their dead among the beautiful trees and lush landscape. Undaunted, the General had the graves and skeletal remains removed and continued with his plan. Perhaps this helps to explain why this location saw so much hardship and horror. Ten murders and at least one suicide have occurred in the home.
The most tragic of these murders concerned the General's grandchildren. His son-in-law Clarke Woodruff practiced what many southern plantation owners felt was their due. He forced himself on one of his slaves, a young woman named Chloe who worked in the kitchen.
This made the situation inside the home difficult for everyone. Like many woman of the time the General's daughter was forced to pretend that she was completely unaware of what was going on, Chloe had to endure a horrible burden. She lived in fear of either being sold, and being far away from her family who also lived on the Plantation, or being sent out into the fields, which meant tortuous work in intolerable conditions.
The life expectancy for a slave at the time was under thirty years of age, such was the toll of being overworked in extreme poverty conditions. Chloe maintained good relationships with her fellow servants and in an effort to help them she put her own security at risk by eavesdropping on the conversation that Woodruff had with the overseers. She could in this way let them know who might be sold, whether families would be allowed to remain together, and who might face punishment. One day the unfortunate young woman was caught in the act, her own punishment was heinously cruel: Woodruff himself cut off her ear. After this incident the poor woman was never seen without a kerchief covering her head to hide this mutilation. Her existence was now one of desperation. No longer did she have to worry about Woodruff forcing himself on her, but now her place in the household was tenuous. She might be sold, or sent to the field. Desperate she decided on a tragic course of action. When one of the Woodruff's young daughters had a birthday Chloe baked a cake into which she had stirred the juice of Oleander leaves. Oleander leaves contain a poison that was often used for medical purposes and Chloe was no doubt aware of this. Thinking that she had put in only enough to cause them a momentary distress from which she could then seem to nurse them back to health, she served the cake to the young girls and their mother. She was confident that when they saw how well she dealt with this emergency and how well she took care of them, her place in the household would be assured once again.
Quickly, however, she found that she had miscalculated. Chloe stayed with them, giving them water, seeing them as comfortable as possible as was her plan, but she had given them too much and even as she held the children they died, as did their mother. In a blind panic the poor woman ran out of the house and down the path to the plantation's slave quarters. She sought help from her family, but when the other slaves heard of the events they were horrified that she might draw the anger of the whole community down on them. They hung Cleo to keep a mob from killing all of the plantation's slaves. She was hanged for her wickedness, her corpse was then thrown in a nearby river.
Clarke Woodruff, who returned home to find that he was a widower and his children were dead, was there after a broken man. It's doubtful that Woodruff ever saw his own fault in his misfortune. Ironically during a time when southern men prided themselves on Christian duty, honor, and manners had Woodruff genuinely acted with any of these qualities his family would not have suffered as they did.
Even today visitors to the Myrtles Plantation often witness the image of a woman wearing a kerchief around her head, and young girls are seen playing merrily on the grounds. A pretty woman in old southern dress gazes curiously down the staircase as if she wants to see who is entering her home. A mirror that dates back to the time of the tragedy has often been claimed as having the outlines of faces visible in the glass.
The house is open to the public. According to the U.S. Tourist Bureau the Myrtles Plantation is one of the authenicated haunted houses of America.The 205-year-old Myrtles Plantation is said to host the spirits of several long-dead former inhabitants. Over the years, those spirits have been heard and seen around the grounds of the plantation.
No one really knows why there have been so many reported happenings at the plantation. There have been at least 10 homicides and suicides on the property since 1796 and don't forget the burial ground that the Master dug up.
There are numerous other ghosts at the Myrtles also...Two small girls have been seen playing on the veranda..some believe these girls are the Judge's daughters. One spirit is that of a French woman who wanders from room to room and searches for someone she never seems to find. Another spirit that makes himself known is William Winter who owned the Plantation between 1860-1871, his spirit is said to linger because of the strange circumstances surrounding his death. He was called out on to the porch one night where he was shot in the chest, he then staggered back into the house and managed to climb 17 of the 20 stairs where he died in his wifes arms. He is now heard climbing the stairs but he only makes it to the 17th one.
A confederate soldier marches across the porch, a man in khaki waits at the gate to warn customers away, no-one living is posted there. A VooDoo preistress spirit is seen from time to time chanting over the still form of a young girl. The piano has been seen numerous times playing by itself.
A gateman, was hired to greet guests at the front gate each day. One day, a woman in a white, old fashioned dress walked through the gate without speaking to him. She walked up to the house and vanished through the front door without ever opening it. The gateman quit his job and never returned to the house. Some have seen a candle - either carried by a woman or floating on its own - going up the stairs. Once the owner tried to follow the candle. They entered the house from the porch and found the room to be ice-cold.
Another unknown, unseen little rascal likes to bounce on the beds that were just freshly made. Fortunately, another apparition of a young woman, dressed as a maid, follows this mischief maker around and quickly smooths out the wrinkles caused by all the jumping. No harm done!
A well-endowed, naked Indian girl has been seen a lot, lounging in the gazebo in the back yard. She might be one whose grave lies under the Mrytles Plantation.
Indian Girl Photo with Small child with her?
Been also said that this may be the sistors...too foggy to say...
The sounds of babies crying have often been heard. This track record leads some to believe that the disenchanted sprits of some of the dead still inhabit the grounds. Numerous photos have been taken by the owners and guests alike with ghostly anomolies in them...This has truely got to be one of the most haunted houses in America!
People have been known to feel someone sitting on the edge of the bed as they sleep at night, or on the side of the bed next to their bodies. While you sleep you may also have someone gently tuck the sheets in around you. Or wake to someone watching you sleep, standing over you.
Some are left found wanting.