Those with an interest in the supernatural and paranormal may enjoy going on haunted plantation tours. There are numerous haunted homes and plantations in the United States, and below you will find some of the most popular.
The agricultural estate is hyped as “One of America’s Most Haunted Homes.” There are allegedly 12 ghosts in this plantation. The talk is 10 murders were committed in this abode but records only point to the killing of a certain William Winter.
Myrtles Plantation was constructed in 1796 by one General David Bradford. It was named Laurel Grove during that period. General Bradford was there alone for several years until President John Adams gave him clemency for participating in the Pennsylvania Whiskey Rebellion. His wife Elizabeth and their five children relocated to the estate from Pennsylvania. He died in 1808.
One of Bradford’s law students, Clark Woodruff married Bradford’s daughter, Sara Mathilda in 1817. The couple administered the farm for Elizabeth.
The Woodruffs had three kids. According to historical accounts, Sara and two of her children died in 1823. They were allegedly poisoned by a slave (Chloe) who was earlier caught snooping on the family. Chloe’s left ear was cut off and she was assigned to the kitchen which was a very low position. To regain the family’s trust, the slave placed oleander leaves in the cake. The toxic plant was supposed to cure the youngsters. This killed the two except for the third who was in bed and Clark who did not want cake. Chloe was hanged in the front yard, weighed down with blocks and thrown into the Mississippi River. However, there were claims that Sara and her two children died because of Yellow Fever. Notwithstanding the accuracy of Chloe’s tale, some locals allege that a black woman with green turban still haunts the farm.
Clark Woodruff sold the plantation along with the slaves in 1834 to Ruffin Gray Stirling and his wife Mary Cobb. The Stirlings remodeled the house extensively and renamed it The Myrtles. The couple had nine kids but five of them died young. Ruffin passed away in 1854 and left Myrtles to his wife. In 1865, Mary employed William Drew Winter to help manage the plantation as her attorney and agent. Winter married Sarah (Mary’s daughter). Sarah and William Winter lived there and had six children. The family sold the plantation in 1868 but bought it back after two years.
In 1871, William was shot and killed on the veranda of the house by one ES Webber. Sarah remained at the Myrtles until she died in 1878. Mary Cobb died in 1880. The plantation was inherited by one of her sons, Stephen. However, it was deep in debt so Stephen sold it in 1886 to Oran Brooks. Brooks sold it in 1889 until it was bought by Harrison Milton Williams in 1891.
During the early 20th century, the land around the main house was divided among heirs of Harrison. In 1950, it was purchased by Marjorie Munson who noticed strange things happening in Myrtles. The plantation was bought by James and Frances Kermeen Myers who operated it as a bed and breakfast. Frances wrote a book about Myrtles Plantation and named it as the most haunted house in the USA.
Oak Alley Plantation
Oak Alley Plantation is located in the Mississippi River. The name came after a unique feature which is a passageway with canopy made from two rows of live oaks. The path extends from the house to Mississippi River. The hard wood is roughly 800m feet in length and planted during the early 18th century before the existing structure was erected.
The original name of Oak Alley is Bon Séjour Plantation where sugar cane was grown. Valcour Aime, acknowledged as the King of Sugar and one of the richest persons in the South, purchased this lot in 1830. After six years, Valcour swapped the property for a plantation owned by Jacques Roman, his brother-in-law. Roman built the mansion and finished it in 1839 making use of slave labor.
The famous slave at Oak Alley Plantation was a 38-year old Creole Negro named Antoine. He was a gardener and skilled grafter of pecan or edible nut trees. This master grafter produced a very thin pecan variety that could be broken using the bare hands. The “paper shell” hickory was later described as Centennial Variety and listed in the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. The pecan was awarded a prize.
When Jacques Roman died in 1848, the estate was handled by his wife, Marie Therese Josephine Celina. Unfortunately, she was not capable of managing the plantation and the estate became bankrupt due to her extreme spending. Her son, Henri took over in 1859 and struggled to turn around the family’s fortunes. The farm was not damaged by the Civil War. Nonetheless, it was no longer viable due to the end of slavery and economic displacement. Henri became debt-ridden so the plantation was auctioned by the family to John Armstrong for $32,800.
The succeeding owners were not capable of sustaining maintenance. Thus, the buildings were beyond repair during the 1920s. In 1925, Andrew Stewart bought the property and embarked on the home’s modernization. The Stewarts were the last owners to reside in Oak Alley. Andrew’s widow, Josephine left the historic estate to the Oak Alley Foundation when she died in 1972.
Last year, the foundation unraveled an educational exhibit, “Slavery at Oak Alley.” It is situated in six renovated slave quarters and covers the complete history of slavery at the plantation from the 1800s until emancipation.
The International Society for Paranormal Research sent a team to investigate Oak Alley in 1983. There were reported sightings of ghosts after the investigators employed psychics and used advanced thermal imaging camera equipment. Some of the spirits discovered in the plantation included a 14-year old girl, six-year old boy, women who managed the home, and some Confederate troops. A group of clairvoyants were even said to have seen a candle hurled across the manor’s dining room.
San Francisco Plantation
This elaborate manor is quite different from other plantation architecture and designs which are located alongside the Great River Road. San Francisco Plantation has a blend of architectural patterns and bears a resemblance to various structures. The estate was put up by a moneyed sugar planter in 1854. It lies beneath live oak trees which have been there for centuries. The mansion was adorned and furnished more than any plantation in the Southern part of the country. The house alone highlights remarkable hand-painted ceilings as well as some of the most superb antique art collections in the United States. There are old barns and sheds like the 1840 slave cabin as well as an 1830 school building.
There are stories that the 1856 structure is spooked by some of the former dwellers. One is a boy who cries at night and a girl who died after falling down the stairway. An old man was also reportedly seen on the roof and upper floor. The International Society for Paranormal Research also found out that this plantation is haunted. The ISPR team captured the phenomenon on camera and confirmed that the son (Charles Marmillion) of the original owner (Edmond) indeed haunts the plantation. Charles, who fought in the civil war tried to keep the plantation intact but died of lung illness in 1875. Another account states that one of the daughters of Edmond Marmillion died as an infant while the other fell from the stairs.
Houmas House Plantation and Gardens
The Houmas was also called Burnside Plantation. It was built during the latter part of the 1700s while the main domicile was finished in 1840. The compound had eight buildings that sprawled on 10 acres of land. It was included in the National Register of Historic Places in September of 1980. Houmas was acquired by Daniel Clark of Louisiana who developed the property and erected one of first sugar mills along the river. In 1811, retired General Wade Hampton bought the entire estate including the slaves. He was one of the richest landowners and biggest slaveholder in the South.
Colonel John Smith Preston took over the property in 1825. In 1848, Colonel Preston’s young daughter fell seriously ill. The family transferred to Columbia in South Carolina where the girl died. The family did not go back to Houmas because of this tragedy. In 1900, Colonel William Miles and wife, Harriet, also lost their seven-year old daughter to sickness. She was buried in the family cemetery near the river. The great flood of 1927 washed away the graveyard and remains of those buried there. However, the spirits remain and people still see a girl wandering near the hall and stairway.
In 2003, an electrician working at Houmas House claims to have seen a girl of seven to 10 years going down the stairs. Two workers also saw a little girl dressed in blue with dark hair and blue eyes late in the evening. However, she vanished even before the two laborers were able to confront her. Even guests and tour guides witnessed this girl who disappears if someone tries to approach her.
Jean Baptiste LeComte II came to the place where Magnolia Plantation was built in the early 1800s. However, it was Jean’s son and his spouse, Julia, who transformed the estate into a farmland for massive production of cotton. The couple cultivated the forested area of 2,000 acres and grew cotton crop. The yield was profitable allowing them to develop an additional three plantations. From 1835 until 1850, several edifices were constructed. These were eight cabins made of bricks; blacksmith shop; general store; barn gin; and, slave hospital.
Magnolia Plantation was a steady source of cotton for more than 100 years. The farm technology was modern and consisted of cotton picker tractors as well as two cotton gin machines. One was steam-powered while the other was driven by mules. There was also an uncommon 11 x 30 feet wooden screw cotton press. The daughter Ursula and her husband Matthew managed the farm after their marriage in 1852.
The estate was full of black slaves. Many were tortured and punished for trying to escape. Leg stocks served as ghastly reminders of humiliation, starvation and public chastisement. A slave administrator was killed by the blacks for being too cruel and oppressive. During the American Civil War, these slave accommodations were used as confinement for Confederate soldiers. Some prisoners died due to suffocation and ill treatment.
Ghosts wander around the plantation, according to locals. Residents swear that to this very day, they can hear the blood-curdling screams of the murdered overseer. Likewise, an officer of the Union Army was allegedly poisoned and driven to insanity by some Confederate inmates. Witnesses reportedly saw the distorted face of a man near the window particularly during the full moon. Some of the soldiers were buried in shallow burial grounds. Apparitions can still be seen in this area.
Waverley Plantation in Mississippi
Waverly Plantation is located at Clay County in Mississippi and 10 miles east of the City of West Point. This antebellum residence was also owned by Colonel George Hampton Young from Georgia State. There was a time when Waverley plantation turned autonomous and produced its own supplies of meat, yard goods and energy. The mansion was beyond repair in 1913. However, it was renovated by the family of Robert Snow starting in 1962.
The property was abandoned for five decades following the death of William Young. Robert and Donna Snow worked hard to restore the plantation. When they first came, the thick vines hung around the four-storey domicile. The veranda flooring gave way while the marble footsteps were scattered around the spacious yard. The architectural magnificence of Waverly was brought back but the stigma of being haunted also emerged. The house itself is said to be troubled by agitated spirits.
One of the ghosts in Waverly Plantation is a young girl who was seen several times crying and shouting about her mother. Old citizens say that this youthful girl died in the 19th century because of an unknown medical condition. The other ghostly specters are a rider on a horse that come into sight occasionally as well as a soldier of the Confederate Army. Visitors swore that they heard boisterous sounds of music and laughter in the ballroom.