CASE: The Myrtles Plantation
INVESTIGATION DATE: 6/17/11 - 6/18/11
INVESTIGATORS PRESENT: Melanie & Chris
LUNAR CONDITIONS: Moon 19% full (Waxing Crescent)
SOLAR CONDITIONS: Solar X-rays (normal), Geomagnetic field (quiet)
ABOUT THE LOCATION:
The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville Louisiana in widely recognized as one of the most haunted locations in the country. Built in 1796 by General David Bradford, this antebellum plantation is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the family home of Bradford, his wife Elizabeth, and their five children until Bradford's death in 1808. At that time, the plantation was taken over by one of Bradford's daughters, Sara Mathilda, and her husband Clark Woodruff. In 1834, the house, land, and slaves on the property were sold to the family of Ruffin Stirling whose extensive remodeling of the home nearly doubled its size. When Stirling passed away in 1864, he left the property to his wife Mary Cobb. Since the late 19th century, ownership of the property has changed hands numerous times. The property is currently a bed & breakfast owned and operated by John and Teeta Moss.
The haunted history of the plantation is quite extensive and has been featured on numerous television shows and in countless books. Ten murders were said to have occurred at the location but only one, that of William Winters, has been confirmed. Winters, a lawyer who was hired to manage the plantation in 1865, was shot on the porch in 1871 by a man named E.S Webber. Winters, who made it back into the house and up to the 17th step of the home's main staircase before succumbing to his wound, is said to still reside in the home.
The most famous of the ghostly legends of the Myrtles is that of Chloe, a slave that worked as a housekeeper at the plantation. Some stories claim that Chloe was a mistress of Clark Woodruff and others, that she had been caught eavesdropping on one of his private business conversations. For one of those two reasons, it is said that Chloe's right ear was cut off as punishment, either by Woodruff himself or his wife, Sara. Chloe reportedly responded by baking a birthday cake for one of the children and using extract from oleander leaves, which are highly toxic, to poison the family. Legend has it that Chloe was later hung from one of the trees on the property and that her body was tossed into the Mississippi River. Historical records do not back up any of these claims. However, numerous sightings of a ghostly figure resembling Chloe and wearing a green turban, which she is said to have worn to conceal the missing ear, have been reported.
Today, reports of paranormal actvity are abundant at the Myrtles. Numerous spirits are said to haunt the home and surrounding property. Full body apparitions, including those of Chloe and William Winters, have been seen. A mirror in the home is said to contain the spirits of Sara Woodruff and two of her children. A chandelier in what is now the General David Bradford room is said to swing back and forth on its own. Reports of heaviness and unease, feelings of being touched, unexplained movement of objects, and various other claims are all common among visitors and employees alike.
More about the Myrtles Plantation
We spent two nights investigating the beautiful Myrtles Plantation, covering much of the main building's common area as well the General David Bradford Room, the Judge Clark Room and the John Leake Room. We also had access to the Coco House ( a separate guest building behind the main house), the Oleander Room (where we stayed), and the expansive property outside. Personal experiences included Melanie hearing what sounded like running through the grass in the courtyard outside of the building containing four guestrooms, including the Oleander Room. Melanie also saw a shadow in the mirror immediately after feeling her right elbow being touched in the Oleander Room's bathroom.
Much of our investigation focused on the Coco House, where we were following up on events reported by guests who were staying there at the time. They told us of two incidents involving the unexplained moving of objects, including a purse and a Butterfinger candy bar. Although a camera we set up in the Coco House did not capture any such movement, it did pick up unexplained noises that occurred when the building was vacant. Also, one of the handheld camcorders being operated by Chris suddenly powered off by itself, as if something had drawn all the power from its battery.
A second location that seemed to be active during our investigation was the General David Bradford Room. On both nights of our investigation, we excountered intriguing activity that, while we cannot say for certain was paranormal in nature, did merit consideration. A small light anomaly was captured on a handheld camcorder emerging from a chandelier that has been reported on several occasions to swing back and forth on its own. The orb-like ball is something we typically would disregard as dust but in this instance, its upward trajectory and the fact that it appears in seeming response to Melanie's request for any spirit present to move through the chandelier to make it swing, give it some measure of credibility. The clip of the anomaly has been included in our video documenting this investigation. A second incident that occured in the General David Bradford Room involved the opening of the entry door when nobody was near it. It opened only a few inches and could easily have been the result of it not being pulled securely closed, so we are dismissing it as credible evidence.