Deep in Louisiana between Alexandria and Baton Rouge is one of America’s most haunted locations – The Myrtles Plantation.
When you are going to The Myrtles, your GPS cannot find it. It will take you to every location around it, but not there.
Eventually, you make it. When you drive up to the house, the landscape takes you in – the Spanish Moss in the trees that scream, “Hey! Y’all are in Louisiana!”, the blooming Camellias, ornate statues, light posts, fresh cut grass, and like a bazillion trees that give you shade and keep the temperature down just a wee bit.
Walk up to the porch and you immediately sit in one of the welcoming rocking chairs that beckon to you.
Go into the gift shop attached and purchase tickets for the Tour and find a neat souvenir. Their t-shirts have a really cool design on them.
The house is beautiful, though not what you would consider a classic plantation house to be.
For Ghost hunters, this place has a plethora of history and stories. For skeptics, this place has a plethora of history and stories. Basically, The Myrtles has something for everyone. Unless you are 4. Then I wouldn’t exactly call it fun for you and it will probably really suck.
At the request of the insurance company, the owner of the Myrtles photographed parts of the plantation in order to aid the underwriters in rating a fire insurance policy. When the photos came back, there was one that had what looked to be an apparition of a slave girl standing between two of the buildings.
Later, The National Geographic Explorer filming crew was at the plantation to film a documentary. They also determined the photograph showed an apparition of the slave girl. The boards of the mansion were visible through her body. They used the photograph in their documentary. It was their suggestion to use the photo as a postcard.
Judge Clarke Woodruff was master of The Myrtles. He took one of the slaves named “Chloe” as his mistress.
Chloe worked in the kitchen. It was a building on the property with miserable conditions. He had her moved up to the house to make their arrangement more convenient and to have her care for the children.
Much happier in the house, Chloe began to become comfortable and power hungry. She would eavesdrop on the conversations between Judge Woodruff and his guests. He warned her against this on several occasions. One evening, the Judge had several influential friends in the gentlemen’s parlor. She was caught with her ear to the door listening in. He had to punish her to save face, so he had her left ear cut off, and she was banned from the main house and sent back to the kitchen.
One of the children was having a birthday party. Chloe wanted back in the comfortable house. She devised a plan and volunteered to make the cake for the party, to which she put a potion brewed from poisonous Oleander leaves. Her plan was to only make the children sick and then she would cure them with an herbal remedy. That plan was an epic fail. Two of the children and Mrs. Woodruff died from eating the cake.
Away on business, Judge Woodruff returned home to find that he was a widower. The slaves were questioned, and they ratted out Chloe. Woodruff had Chloe hung from one of the plantation trees. When she was dead, her body was cut down, her pockets were stuffed with rocks, and her body dropped into the river.
When touring the inside of the house, you get to see The Gentlemen’s Parlor and the downstairs area.
There are beautiful European imports that were top of the line for the time. Windows with gold from Scotland and fabrics from France decorate the furnishings.
You will also see a 200-year-old mirror. It looks like it has hand prints and ‘drips’ on it. They don’t know what caused it and the mirror has been professionally cleaned and re-silvered several times. The markings never go away.
Should you feel so inclined, you can also stay at The Myrtles. For reservations, click here.
7747 U.S. Highway 61
P.O. Box 1100
St. Francisville, Louisiana 70775
Location: 30.8034, -91.38804