Megan Borchert

Myrtle’s Planation is a historic home built in 1796 by General David Bradford.  Located in St. Francisville, Louisiana, it is called one of America’s most haunted homes.  The plantation has a history of violent deaths, tragic endings for children, and money troubles.

Named Myrtle’s Plantation due to the crepe myrtles in the area, the creole cottage style home was built in the style of many of the 19th century Louisiana plantation homes.  Although originally built in 1796, an edition was added in the 1850s, doubling the size of the plantation home.  One of the most striking features is the hand painted stained glass etched after a French cross, notably to ward off evil.  There are twenty two rooms spread over two expansive floors.  It features a three hundred pound French Baccarat crystal chandelier and a cantilevered staircase.  The plantation home lies over six hundred acres, known as Laurel Grove.

(images:86902126@N00/flickr)

(images:[email protected]/flickr)

General David Bradford was famous for his involvement in the Whiskey Rebellion.  So much so that he ended up on the run when president George Washington put a price on his head for his involvement.  Bradford originally lived in the home by himself and kept his wife and five children in hiding.  He was eventually pardoned by President Adams due to some assistance he provided to the United States.  He quickly reunited with his family where they lived until his death in 1808.

Bradford’s widow ran the plantation for over nine years until handing it off to her newly married daughter and her husband, Clark Woodruff in 1817.  They eventually sold the plantation to Ruffin Gray Stirling and his wife Mary in 1834.  It continued to pass from hand to hand as its owners continued to have problems with their families and monies after spending time on the plantation.  Myrtle Plantation survived the American Civil War despite being robbed and plundered.  It ended up with William Winter and Sarah Stirling in 1865 and they may have had more problems than most.

William Winter was killed on the very porch of Myrtle Plantation.  After he was shot, he staggered back into the house, moaning and crying in agony.  He attempted to drag himself up the stairs, seeking assistance and fighting to stay alive when he died on the grand staircase of the plantation home.  The house again continued to switch hands until being bought in 1891 by Harrison Milton Williams.

That is when the problems really started to be reported, and stories about the sordid past of the home began to emerge.  Stories started and odd things began to happen.  The occurrences have continued even into current times as the home now serves as a bed and breakfast.  Even now the home switches hands and seems to bring a dark cloud over anyone involved in the ownership or management of the plantation.

Myrtle Plantation is rumored to be buried over an old indian burial ground.  There are over twelve ghosts reported on the plantation and all connected to at least ten murders that occurred throughout the history of the home.  William Winter is one of the most commonly sighted spirits.  Many report hearing his dying footsteps that seem to disappear half way up the stairs.  Some have even reported seeing bloodstains mysteriously appear.

Murder at the Myrtle Plantation

(images:[email protected]/flickr)

William Winter was not the only one with negative energy surrounding him and his family.  The Woodruff family also found great horror after one of Woodruff’s mistress slaves poisoned the birthday cake of one of his children after he lashed out at her.  When both children and his wife consumed the cake, they all quickly fell ill and died.  The vindictive actions of the slighted slave was discovered and was hanged.  Her body was weighted and left in the river.  Chloe, as she was called, is still seen, haunting the plantation, wearing her signature green turban.

Ghost hunters and paranormal experts have visited the home and have reported multiple technical difficulties with equipment and research.  Mysterious handprints are visible in a grand mirror featured in the home.  Others have caught glimpses of past owners of the home, reflected in the mirror before quickly disappearing.  There are untraceable smells, vanishing objects, and a piano that plays melodies without a visible source.  Furniture moves on its own, even when no one else is present in the home.

Some say the energy comes from the amount of grisly deaths that happened in the home.  Besides Chloe’s murders, one of the owner’s sons was stabbed in the home over gambling debts.  The family discovered his body after returning from a short trip.  A caretaker fell victim in the home in the early 1900s during a thwarted robbery.  Three soldiers were also victim to the Myrtle Plantation when they attempted to loot the home.  Their bloodstains on the parlor floor refuse to wipe away.

July 29, 2016
Murder at the Myrtle Plantation

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