Photo courtesy of The Myrtles Plantation
The Myrtles Plantation is a 216 year old plantation built by General David Bradford. The plantation has passed hands several times since then and has a lengthy history of tragedy. It claims to be "one of America's most haunted homes" and, if not, it is at least one of the most famously haunted homes in America. It has been featured in The New York Times and The Oprah Show. It is also on Time magazine's list of the Top 10 Haunted Places and NY Daily News's list of the Most Haunted Places on Earth.
Summary of the Haunting
According to some sources, at least 12 ghosts haunt Myrtles. I have found 11 of the ghosts:
- 1. "Chloe" a green-turbaned black woman (see "False Claims" below for more information).
- 2. William Winter, a former owner who was murdered in the house is heard walking around the vestibule and climbing the stairs (see "False Claims" below for more information).
- 3 – 5. Two young blonde girls who like to peak in the windows or appear at the foot of your bed. One girl apparently loves jumping on the bed and is followed by a ghostly maid who then smoothes the bedclothes.
- 6. A confederate soldier who stomps across the front porch and wanders by the pond.
- 7. A male dressed in khaki seen by the gate who warns people not to visit or that Myrtles is not open.
- 8. A voodoo priestess is seen hanging from the chandelier.
- 9. A ballet dancer in a black tutu.
- 10. A naked American Indian girl.
- 11. A haunted mirror.
Unfortunately, many of the claims of "ghosts" seem to be connected to the false claims made about Myrtles Plantation. For example, people claim to hear footsteps climbing the stairs which stop at the 17th step. It is believed to be the ghost of William Winter who was shot, but managed to enter the house and climb the stairs before collapsing and dying on that stairs. In actuality, he died on the porch. Therefore, how can one believe this claim when it is based on misinformation?
Myrtles seems to be a location that is more concerned with promoting ghost legends then historical fact. Although I understand why places might do this (entertainment value), it annoys me. Therefore, I'm going to attempt to clear up some of the false statements made about Myrtles Plantation:
A slave, Chloe, murdered Mrs. Woodruff and her two daughters with a poisoned cake. Sarah Woodruff died in July 21, 1823, of yellow fever. She had three children, one boy and two girls. James Woodruff died on July 15, 1824, from yellow fever as did his sister, Cornelia Gale, did two months later. The third child, Mary Octavia, did not die until November 30, 1889. They were not poisoned.
A slave named Chloe was Mr. Woodruff's mistress and was murdered. There is no evidence of any slaved named Chloe living at Myrtles Plantation. More importantly, there is no evidence that Clark Woodruff was ever unfaithful to his wife. In fact, he was so devoted to her that he never remarried after her death.
Ten murders occurred at Myrtles Plantation. There is only evidence of one murder, that of William Winter, occurring at Myrtles Plantation.
William Winter died on the 17th step of the house. According to historical records, Winter was shot and died on the front porch.
For more information, check out "The Legends, Lore & Lies of the Myrtles Plantation" by Troy Taylor.
- Ghost Hunters episode 201
- Ghost Lab episode 101
- Field Reports from Myrtles Plantation
- Corpus Christi Spook Central
Books and Articles
- The Myrtles Plantation: The True Story of America's Most Haunted House by Frances Kermeen
- Prairie Ghost's "The Legends, Lore & Lies of the Myrtles Plantation" by Troy Taylor
(Myrtles Plantation begins midway through.)
For More Information
The Myrtles Plantation
7747 US Highway 61, P.O. Box 1100
St. Francisville, LA 70775
All material is ©2010 by Darcy Oordt, unless stated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Content cannot be used elsewhere without written permission.