The Infamous Myrtles Plantation
Said to be THE MOST haunted house in America, The Myrtles Plantation was reportedly home to some 20 murders and mysterious deaths. Today, it is run as a bed and breakfast.
The Myrtles Plantation is a southern antebellum plantation in St. Francisville, near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open for daily historical and “mystery” tours.
The plantation house was built in 1796 by General David Bradford and was originally called Laurel Grove.
General Bradford came to Louisiana after he was forced to flee from President George Washington’s army in 1794, because of his leadership role in the Whisky Rebellion.
Bradford acquired a Spanish land grant of 650 acres and had the first wing of the plantation built 1796. The original mansion had a clapboard exterior and was composed of six bays which made up the main façade. The plantation was later renamed “the Myrtles” due to the abundance of crepe myrtle trees on the property.
After General Bradford died in 1808, and his widow sold the property to her son-in-law, Clark Woodruff, a lawyer and friend of president Andrew Jackson. In 1834 Woodruff sold the plantation to Ruffin Gray Stirling, who undertook a large-scale restoration of the house and added a southward extension. When completed, the renovated house was nearly double the size of the original structure. The Stirlings also imported fine furnishings from Europe for the home.
The unusually long gallery is supported by an exceptional cast-iron railing of elaborate grape-cluster design. It is the interior detailing, however, which is perhaps the most important feature of the Myrtles Plantation. Most of the ground floor rooms have fine marble, arched mantles in the Rococo Revival style, with central console keystones or cartouches. Most of the rooms have plaster-ceiling medallions, no two of which are the same. All of the flooring and most of the windows in the house are original.
The interior of the mansion is filled with antique tapestries, hand painted stained glass, plaster frieze work, crystal chandeliers, Carrera marble mantles and gold leaf French furnishings.
Unfortunately, I could find very few clear pictures of the interior. There are many pictures of people posing in the famous house, and many “ghost” sighting photos with blurry orbs and ghostly outlines. But very few photos that just showcase the interior.
Although the Myrtles Plantation is rumored to have been the location of at least 20 murders and mysterious deaths (including the infamous “Chloe” the slave girl), only ONE murder has actually been verified by historians.
In 1871, attorney William Drew Winter – who had lived at the mansion for a decade – was shot by a man named E. S. Webber on the porch of the house and died a few minutes later after staggering inside the front door.
His ghost apparently still makes occasional appearances in the mansion, much to the delight of the thrill-seeking guests.
For a synopsis of all the alleged hauntings, see:
The 120-foot long porch is famous for more than just the murder that occurred there.
The iconic southern porch is known for its signature ornate cast iron support posts and railings – also affectionately known as “lacy grillwork”.
The Myrtles Plantation is an outstanding example of the expanded raised cottage form that characterized many Louisiana plantation houses by the mid-19th century.
Fun fact about the Myrtles Plantation:
The original plaster inside the house was made from a mixture of clay, Spanish moss and cattle hair.