Tucked away among the giant oak trees dripping with Spanish moss in Louisiana’s Plantation Country is “one of America’s most haunted homes.” The 10-acre, 18th-century Myrtles Plantation, featured in Traveler’s 2008 Stay List, charms visitors with rocking chairs on the cast iron porch and cozy French furnishings in its B&B. But all the Southern charm can’t detract from the eerie feeling people get as they wander around the mansion and grounds. Rumor has it, ghosts abound.
The most popular ghost to haunt the Myrtles is Chloe. According to the legend, in the 1800s Judge Clark Woodruff, the plantation’s owner, had an affair with Chloe, the household servant. When Judge Woodruff began having an affair with another girl, Chloe feared that she would be banned from the house and forced to work in the fields with the other slaves.
To prove herself worthy of remaining in the house, Chloe devised a plan. One night, she baked a cake and in the mix included some poisonous crushed oleander leaves, hoping to make his daughters sick so that she would have to nurse them back to health and secure herself a spot in the house. Her plan backfired, however, when the amount of poison caused the children to die. Fearing that they would be accused of murder by association, Chloe’s fellow slaves dragged her from bed that night, hanged her, then threw her body in the river. Some say that Chloe has appeared in their photos from the plantation and others hear the young girls laughing and playing at the Myrtles today.
You can hear these legends and others on a tour of the Myrtles. A walk through the house and stories about the history are offered on a daily basis. The Mystery Tours are held every Friday and Saturday evening, and guests sit around with a guide who tells about their personal experiences at the haunted mansion.
And today at 6 p.m., tickets will go on sale for the Halloween Mystery Tours, to be held both tonight and Saturday night. Tickets are $10 and will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis at the plantation.
The Myrtles Plantation is located at 7747 U.S. Hwy 61, St. Francisville, LA, 70775.
Photo: Courtesy of Becky Pitzer, via flickr