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The Haunting of the Myrtles Plantation Home in St. Francisville, Louisiana
Plantations have a long history in the South, some dating back to the 17th Century. Does this make them more susceptible for haunting? The Myrtles Plantation Home has had a long history of owners. Some even believe that a few of them are still there after all these years. The house was built by General David Bradford. After almost a dozen other owners, strange sightings were starting to be reported more and more often. Today, the Myrtles is one of America’s top ten most haunted houses.
Laurel Grove, now known as “The Myrtles”, was built in 1796 by General David Bradford. Bradford’s leading role in the Whiskey Rebellion had him fleeing President George Washington’s army. He died in 1808, and his widowed wife sold the home to their son-in-law, Clark Woodruff. Woodruff later sold the home and its slaves to Ruffin Gray Sterling. Stirling and his wife, Mary, nearly doubled the homes size by adding many rooms onto it. The Stirling’s also gave the plantation its current name, “The Myrtles”. Ruffin’s oldest son, Lewis, is believed to have been stabbed to death in the home over gambling debts. Ruffin passed away in 1854, leaving the plantation home to his wife. In 1871 Mary Sterling’s son-in-law, William Winter, was shot on the front porch. He crawled up the stairs and eventually died in his wife’s arms. By 1951, after three more owners had come and gone, Marjorie Munson was now the owner of the plantation. She was the first to begin reporting strange occurrences in the house. In the 1970’s Arlin Dease and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ward had bought the home. They completely restored it and got the giant plantation home into great shape again. James and Francis Myers were the next to own the home. They too believed that it was haunted, and they began to feature it in books and magazines. Teeta Moss is the current owner of the home, and uses it to run a bed and breakfast. The Myrtles has had its share of owners, and not surprisingly more than one of them has reported strange things happening inside.
The legend of the plantation claims that Clark Woodruff was quite a mischievous man. It is believed that Chloe, one of Woodruff’s slaves, was also serving as his mistress. Doing as Woodruff pleased kept Chloe from having to do the hard manual labor in the fields. Chloe would listen through the door to Woodruff’s private study to make sure she wasn’t displeasing him. One day Woodruff caught her outside the door and ordered for her ear to be cut off. Some people believe she wore a green turban to hide the ugly scar that the knife left behind. When Woodruff later ordered Chloe to bake a cake for his oldest daughter, he got more than he was expecting. Chloe had put crushed Oleander in the cake for an unknown reason. But most believe this for one reason only: revenge for Clark taking her ear. Clark Woodruff was the only family member who did not have a piece of that cake, and he was the only survivor. The other slaves, fearing they would all receive punishment for Chloe’s deed, drug her from her quarters and hung her. Her body was later cut down, weighted with rocks, and thrown into a river. Woodruff is said to have been murdered in New Orleans in 1851. Many believe Chloe is still “hanging around” the plantation. Some reports consist of people seeing ghosts roaming the plantation that when later described to the owners usually match the description of one of the previous owners of the home. Other ghostly activity noted at the plantation include the ghost of a French woman who wanders from room to room in search of something or someone; a ghost at the grand piano who practices one chord over and over again; a portrait that changes expressions; and a young girl who only appears just before thunderstorms. The most common reports of sightings are of a lady wearing a green turban, usually walking the plantation or hanging from a tree.
Travel Channel Highlights The Myrtles
The Myrtles Plantation Today
The Myrtles is now a bed and breakfast. The only problem lies in getting the customers to stay the full night. The plantation home has been investigated by many paranormal specialists and psychics, including the famous TAPS team from the show on the SyFy Channel. Documentaries have been created by many stations, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel along with the SyFy Network to name a few. In a recent episode of Fact or Faked, the team verified other claims that the home is absolutely one of the most haunted in America. The Myrtles Plantation has a very long history of owners, murders, and apparently, now ghosts. Even Unsolved Mysteries felt the need to showcase the home and its "extracurricular activity."
The Myrtle Plantation has been through a lot in its long history. After General Bradford built the home in 1797, almost a dozen others have owned it. Some are still believed to be there. Everyone who has owned the myrtles has reported a ghost sighting, or has been reported as one. Of all the plantation homes in the south, the Myrtles is by far the eeriest and most haunted.
After reading this article, would you stay the night at The Myrtles Plantation?
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