The Myrtles Plantation
St. Francisville, Louisiana
It's hard to hear the words haunted plantation and not think of Myrtles. The sheer amount of eyewitness accounts of paranormal doings—as well as its numerous appearances on television shows—has made this spot a veritable pilgrimage for anyone interested in ghost hunting. But this location has so much more to offer than just a collection of spooky stories, starting with the history.
While the home has been built upon a few times over the centuries, the original portion of the house dates back to 1796. It was made for General "Whiskey Dave" Bradford who was on the lam for taking part in the famous Whiskey Rebellion. He would be pardoned for his part by President John Adams and he would live there until his death in 1808. The home would change hands a couple of times, but would end up the property of Ruffin Gray Stirling in 1834. He would add to the home's size and change the name of the place from Laurel Grove to the Myrtles in reference to popular crepe myrtles that grew in the area.
During the Civil War, the plantation would hit some rather hard times that would extend to beyond the conflict. Besides the fact that the family had tied up their fortune in the Confederacy, the home was robbed once, and the Stirling family was struck with a couple of personal tragedies. The first happened when the daughter of William and Sarah Winter (Sarah was Stirling's daughter), Kate, died of typhoid. Then, in 1871, William was shot and killed on the front porch of the house.
After the Stirling family sold the property in 1886, it would pass through the hands of quite a few people. It was in the 1950s that Marjorie Munson purchased the house and stories of ghosts began to circulate the area. Munson would go on record a number of times with her tales of apparitions and disembodied voices in the house. Things got even more interesting, though, when the plantation was purchased by James and Frances Myers in the 1970s and they transformed the property into a bed-and-breakfast.
The Myers family had heard the tales of ghosts that were told by Munson (the most famous being an entity seen wearing a green turban), so they were prepared for some spooky things to happen. Or so they thought. So many things occurred during their stay at the plantation that I couldn't possibly list them all here. But you can read about it if you like, since Frances wrote a book called The Myrtles Plantation: The True Story of America's Most Haunted House. Needless to say, they would sell the place to the current owners.
These days, Myrtles Plantation is well-known in the paranormal community. And it makes for quite the luxurious ghostly getaway, since it has a great on-site restaurant and bar in addition to the newly renovated rooms. I'd suggest taking the tour of the home if you want to learn more about the history and haunting there.
In addition to the famous story of Chloe, who haunts the property (just google her name with Myrtles and you can even see a photograph of her), you can hear about the male spirit whom some believe to be William Winter and the ghost who likes to mimic the voices of others in the house.
Excerpted from Passport to the Paranormal, by Rich Newman.
Rich Newman is the author of seven books, including The Ghost Hunter's Field Guide and Ghost Hunting for Beginners. He has made appearances on paranormal television programs around the world and has appeared multiple times ...