Ghosts of Loyd Hall
William Loyd was the black sheep of the family. He was a member of the famous Lloyd family which founded England’s Lloyd’s of London insurance company. He was such an embarrassment they made him move to America and change the spelling of his name by removing the second L. They also forbade him to return to England.
In 1820, William purchased 640 acres of property in Cheneyville, Louisiana, with money the family had given him to start a new life. Loyd turned his acquisition into a Plantation complete with 60 slaves, tobacco, cotton, indigo and sugarcane crops. But, as usual he messed things up by poking his nose into the affairs of the local Coctaw Indians. Resenting his intrusion into their business they began attacking his plantation.
During the Civil War, Loyd played it safe by acting as a double agent spying for both sides. He believed that way he could save Loyd Hall from marauding soldiers. However, the ruse backfired when in 1864, the Union army found him out. He was arrested and hung from an oak tree in full view of his family and slaves.
William’s brother, James, took his place and ran the plantation until 1871 when he died. The property was sold 21 times over the next 70 years. Not one of the buyers could make a go of the operation and ended up selling out…or that was the official explanation. It seems William Loyd’s ghost is still hanging around along with several others.
Ghostly Tour of Loyd Hall
William’s footsteps have been heard walking to the front door…and occasionally it opens as if welcoming his guests. Despite his tragic death, William seems to be a playful spirit. Staff and guests have witnessed cabinets opening and closing in the kitchen. Some have reported feeling someone breathe on their necks or having their shoulders touched while dining. Sometimes a piece of silverware or napkin mysteriously disappears after the table is set. Also an empty rocking chair rocks, bowls slide on the table, doors open and close and lights go on and off.
William’s niece, Inez has also been seen. She was to be married at Loyd Hall. However, the groom stood her up. Heartbroken, she ran upstairs to her room and leapt from the window to her death. She has been heard playing the piano. Another spirit, Anne Loyd frequently materializes. Ann is said to be tall, slender and wears a black dress, perhaps in mourning.
And then there is Sally Boston, a house servant, who was intentionally poisoned. Her apparition has been seen wearing the traditional black and white dress with an apron worn by domestics of the era. She apparently has an aversion to candles placed in the back parlor. Those placed there unexplainably get knocked to the floor. Guests have reported the smells of cooking food when none is being prepared
The ghost of Harry Henry, a Union soldier, also is seen in the back parlor…or at least his boots are. But, in other areas of the mansion his full apparition has been seen. Harry’s story tells yet another sad tale. He fell in love with one of the Loyd women. When the Union army pulled out he stayed behind and hid in the attic. He had to hide since he was now a deserter. When he crept downstairs late one night to get some food, he surprised the grandmother who shot and killed him. Other accounts say he was beaten and killed by the family after they discovered he was there. In either case, he was buried in a grave under the house. He is sometimes heard playing his violin in the attic.
Today, Loyd Plantation is a bed-and-breakfast inn. Those staying overnight in guest cottages have reported hearing someone scream. And visitors have awakened during the middle of the night to find their lights have been turned on.