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Haunted Plantations of Louisiana
Ghosts on the Bayou
When many of us think of Louisiana, the bayou, and New Orleans, we think one word...haunted. Anyone who has been to Louisiana, specifically New Orleans, will tell you that there is something different in the air there. Something supernatural seems to linger around every mossy tree, something lurks around every swampy corner. Is it the souls of long-gone Civil War soldiers? Are there vampires still living in the cemeteries in haunted New Orleans?
Some of the most haunted locations in New Orleans happen to be a whole set of haunted plantations. Many times the haunted plantations New Orleans get overlooked to the haunted French Quarter in the city. Let's take a look at the old-world haunted plantations in New Orleans and see what sort of romance and shivers we can induce all at the same time.
A Haunted Plantation in LA
The Extremely Haunted Destrehan Plantation
The Destrehan Plantation is one of unprecedented, Colonial New Orleans beauty and is also a place of deep history. It was first built in the late 1700s and after being purchased by Jean Noel Destrehan in 1800 it became the largest sugar-producing farm in Louisiana for quite some time. As a side history note, Jean Noel Destrehan was personally appointed by Thomas Jefferson to a bigwig position in the State Council of Louisiana and the original document showing that appointing is kept in the "Jefferson Room" of the haunted Destrehan Plantation (located actually in Destrehan, LA).
More than one tragedy has occurred at the haunted Destrehan Plantation, leaving more than one restless ghost to walk the premises. A few of the tragic events at the haunted Destrehan Plantation include the execution of at least a dozen slaves during the slave revolt in the year of 1811, a yellow fever epidemic that killed at least two of the Destrehan family, and the Civil War.
Some of the ghosts who reside at the haunted Destrehan Plantation are children. There have been many times when the employees that upkeep the plantation have seen various objects move without any explanation. That included a toy rocking horse in one of the bedrooms that would keep rocking with no one there. Eventually the rocking horse was removed as it freaked out the employees so badly. Two children have been seen playing around the main house of the haunted Destrehan Plantation. A woman in white has been seen on the staircase more than once. One particularly intriguing ghost of the haunted Destrehan Plantation is that of Jean Lafitte, a French pirate. He had been friends with one of the Destrehan families and would visit them quite often. Legend has it that he buried treasure somewhere on the haunted Destrehan Plantation, though nothing has ever been found. (He also left a friend on Treasure Island, FL to eventually become a pirate ghost guarding buried treasure there, as well. To read about Jean Lafitte's pirate ghost friend click here.)
More than one Destrehan has been seen as an apparition around the haunted plantation, including Jean Noel Destrehan and Nicholas Destrehan. A ghostly mist has been seen on the porch and behind the haunted plantation on more than one occasion...could it be a will o' the wisp or simply another lost soul haunting the property? Many strange sounds are heard throughout the haunted plantation and the doors will sometimes open and shut on their own. Haunted Destrehan Plantation was even used as a location for the filming of Interview With the Vampire (based on the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice).
Restless Spirits of the Oak Alley Plantation
From phantom horse-drawn carriages to the lady in black, the Oak Alley Plantation in haunted Louisiana is one of the most haunted plantations New Orleans. On more than one occasion people have seen the lady in black haunting specific rooms of the old Oak Alley Plantation. Many believe her to be the ghost of the last lady resident, and she particularly likes to appear in what is called the "Lavender Room". Lamps turn on and off by themselves in the Lavender Room, chairs rock by themselves in other rooms in the house, and sounds of horse-drawn carriages can sometimes be heard undulating from the front of this haunted plantation New Orleans (actually located in Vacherie, Louisiana).
Other times people have witnessed the frightening sound of a child or a woman crying from somewhere within the haunted plantation. No one has ever found the source for this spine-tingling noise. The Oak Alley Plantation has a long-line of history, just as the Destrehan Plantation. It was originally built in the year 1837 and has seen its share of tragedy, as well. It is called Oak Alley due to the gigantic trees entangling a roof above the front driveway to the home. If you visit Oak Alley Plantation, will you see the lady in black or perhaps a ghostly horse?
The Terrifying Myrtles Plantation
While there are many ghostly legends circulating the internet and story-tellers mouths of the haunted Myrtles Plantation (in St. Francisville, LA), only some of them hold any real truth. That being said, the truth can sometimes be even creepier than the lies! At least one person was murdered at the haunted Myrtles Plantation, a Mr. William Winter. Along with William Winter, supposedly a dozen ghosts have been seen on this haunted plantation New Orleans. With its gorgeous land adorned with myrtle trees, and beautiful lattice-work on the front veranda, it is no wonder the Myrtles Plantation is said to be one of the most haunted houses in America.
But who haunts the haunted Myrtles Plantation other than the murder victim Mr. Winters? At least half a dozen children have died in the walls of the haunted Myrtles Plantation, all from diseases such as yellow fever. Two children have been seen on numerous occasions playing on the veranda, and they have also been heard giggling or crying by other individuals either visiting or working at the haunted Myrtles plantation. The ghosts of former slaves have been known to show up from time to time and offer their help with various chores around the haunted plantation. Visitors who stay at the haunted plantation New Orleans in a bed and breakfast room have seen African-American women in period costume walking through the halls...when there is no one working there of these particular descriptions.
Mr. Winters ghost might be the creepiest of them all at the haunted Myrtles Plantation. Guests and employees have heard him climb the stairs and replay his last steps, falling on the seventeenth step...where he died. Apparently he was shot out on the veranda by an unknown assailant, walked into the haunted Myrtles Plantation and up the steps...collapsing and dying on the seventeenth. His steps and sometimes moans can be heard on occasion at this haunted plantation New Orleans.
History and mystery tours are given daily at the haunted Myrtles Plantation, and more ghostly legends circulate the atmosphere there. If you're ever in St. Francisville, LA, I highly recommend visiting this haunted plantation.