The Myrtles Plantation
St.Francisville, Louisiana
 2/8/11
Myrtles Plantation front

History:

Built in 1796 by General David Bradford the plantation was first called Laurel Grove. Bradford occasionally took in students who wanted to study the law. One of them, Clark Woodruff, not only earned a law degree but he also married his teacher's daughter, Sarah Mathilda.
General Davis Bradford died in 1817 and Clark Woodruff his wife Sarah Mathilda and his mother-in-law Elizabeth continued to live there. In 1823 Sarah Mathilda died from yellow fever, which spread through out the region and in 1824 he also lost two of his children to the dreaded disease.

In 1834, he sold Laurel Grove to Ruffin Grey Stirling. Stirling added the broad central hallway of the house and the entire southern section. The walls of the original house were removed and repositioned to create four large rooms that were used as identical ladies and gentlemen's parlors, a formal dining room and a game room.
He also purchase fine furnishings, added a 107-foot long front porch that was supported by cast-iron support posts and railings.
The original roof of the house was extended, higher ceilings than the original house so the second story floor was raised one foot. Then he officially changed the name of the plantation to the "Myrtles". He died in 1854 of consumption and left his vast holdings in the care of his wife, Mary Cobb, who most referred to as a remarkable woman.

On December 5, 1865, Mary Cobb hired, William Drew Winter, the husband of her daughter, Sarah Mulford, to act as her agent and attorney and to help her manage the plantation lands. As part of the deal, she gave Sarah and William the Myrtles as their home.
Times were tough an because of bankruptcy the home was sold to New York Warehouse & Security Company in 1868 but two years later however, the property was sold back Mrs. Sarah M. Winter
According to the January 1871 issue of the Point Coupee Democrat newspaper, Mr. Winter was teaching a Sunday School lesson in the gentlemen's parlor of the house when he heard someone approach the house on horseback. After the stranger called out to him and told him that he had some business with him, Winter went out onto the side porch of the house and was shot. He collapsed onto the porch and died.
Sarah was devastated by the incident and never remarried. She remained at the Myrtles with her mother and brothers until her death in 1878 at the age of only 44.

After the death of Mary Cobb Stirling in 1880, the Myrtles was purchased by Stephen Stirling, one of her sons. He bought out his brothers but only maintained ownership of the house until 1886. There are some who say that he squandered what was left of his fortune and lost the plantation in a game of chance but most likely, the place was just too deep in debt for him to hold onto. He sold the Myrtles to Oran D. Brooks, ending his family's ownership.

Brooks kept it until January 1889 when, after a series of transfers, it was purchased by Harrison Milton Williams, a Mississippi widower who brought his young son and second wife, Fannie Lintot Haralson, to the house in 1891.
During a storm, the Williams' oldest son, Harry, was trying to gather up some stray cattle and fell into the Mississippi and drowned. Shattered with grief, they turned over the property to their son Surget Minor Williams who married a local girl named Jessie Folkes and provided a home at the Myrtles for his spinster sister and maiden aunt Katie.

By the 1950's, the property surrounding the house had been divided among the Williams heirs and the house itself was sold to Marjorie Munson, an Oklahoma widow who had been made wealthy by chicken farms. It was at this point, they say, that the ghost stories of the house began. They started innocently enough but soon, what may have been real-life ghostly occurrences took on a "life" of their own.

The Myrtles changed hands several more times and in the 1970's, it was restored again under the ownership of Arlin Dease and Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Ward. Sometime later it was purchased by James and Frances Kermeen Myers.
It is currently owned by John & Teeta Moss and is now a bed & breakfast. They offer historical and ghost tours. Click HERE for more information at the Myrtles website.

The history of the Myrtles has long been confusing and not always accurate. The home is over 2 hundred years old and reportedly was built on a Indian village. With many deaths from natural causes, typhoid, yellow fever, and possibly more than one murder, it's hard to believe that something or someone is not still there.
NOTE: Some of the above history was taken from Prairie Ghosts.
Duration - 10:15pm-2:25am
Present - Scott, Sprout, Toni, Deb, Heather, Jason, Shayne, Juan, Kathy, Dennis, Bryee, Kathleen, Bridget, Theresa, Connie, Phinn, Shannon, Nicole, Christine, Brianna
Meter Readings
Temp - 33 outside to 70's inside
EMF - within normal range
Tools -3 IR cameras
several Hi-8 video cameras
digital cameras
pyrometer
dowsing rods
EMF meters
audio recorders
paranormal puck
 

History of Haunting:

* Known as one of America most haunted bed and breakfasts, so many different experiences have been said to have taken place. We have stayed there a total of 4 nights on 2 separate occasions and have spoke to other people who have stayed there also. It seems like something is going on there because everyone has a story to tell.
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One of the most famous stories of the plantation are of a slave girl named Chloe. Chloe was a household servant that had her ear cut off by Mr. Woodruff for eavesdropping. Scared that she would be sent out to the fields to work hard labor, she came up with a plan to make herself more wanted in the home. She put small amount of poison made from crushed oleander flowers into a birthday cake that was made in honor of the Woodruff's oldest daughter. She hoped to nurse the family back to health but she made a mistake and put too much poison in. Within several hours Sarah Mathilda and her 2 children were dead.
The other slaves, perhaps afraid that their owner would punish them also, dragged Chloe from her room and hanged her from a nearby tree. Her body was later cut down, weighted with rocks and thrown into the river.

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Below are some of the other more well known stories. Handprints and apparitions appearing in photos when taken of the mirror in the foyer.
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Children who are seen or heard playing on the wide verandah of the house, in the hallways and in the rooms.
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The grand piano in the foyer is said to also play by itself.
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A young girl, with long curly hair and wearing an ankle-length dress, has been seen floating outside the window of the game room, cupping her hands and trying to peer inside through the glass.
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Many years ago a gateman was hired to greet guests at the front gate each day. One day while he was at work, a woman in a white, old-fashioned dress walked through the gate without speaking to him. She walked up to the house and vanished through the front door without ever opening it.
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Footsteps are heard on the stairs.
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Children are seen on the front porch, peering in the living room window.
Myrtles Gazebo Purple
Personal Experiences:
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11:29 In the Stirling room while doing an EVP session-Heather saw what looked like a person on the bed and also saw the sheets move.
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11:31 Heather saw the sheets move again and so did another guest. It was said  that it looked like the sheets were breathing because they were moving up and down.
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Scott and Sprout stayed in the caretakers cottage. We could hear what sounded like people talking or whispering, but was able to disprove the sounds as being the heater. We also learned that the cottage was not original to the property and was actually 3 sheds put together to create the little cottage.
Evidence:
* 11:33pm At the upstairs foyer there was 5 people standing at base. Our DVR picked up the sound of something ringing and we are not sure what it is but it sounds as if it's an old fashioned telephone or a servants bell. At the time the ringing took place no one acknowledged the sound. All present claim they did not physically hear the ring nor do they have that ring on their cell phones. Also the staff of the myrtles claim there was no phone or bell present that made the sound.
Click on photo to see video.
Myrtles Heather Stairs
* 11:35:35 The ringing sound rang again two times, but was seperated by a period of 15 seconds.
Click on photo to see video.
Myrtles Shayne Soldier
* 12:13am Deb S. brought a different type of technology to this investigation that we are still looking into, it’s a computer program called EVP maker which works on random audio fragment of words called phonemes that can supposedly help the spirit form distinct words. Several other words were heard during the session and because this is just another tool for communication, we can’t be certain or positive of it accuracy. One thing that was said was “Happy Birthday”, It just happened to be Debs birthday the day before.
Click on location photo to hear.
Myrtles Dining Room
* 12:42am On our camera that was set up in the dinning room we captured a possible EVP of a whining boy who said "What!"
Click on location photo to hear.
Myrtles Dining Room
Myrtles Bridge
Myrtles Jason Gun

A Special Thank You:

We were so honored to be invited by Heather Graham to the Myrtles plantation. It was fascinating to watch the filming that Phinn did for a trailer for Heathers new books in the Krewe of Hunters miniseries. It was great to see Jason and our friend Deb from Tennessee. It was also great to meet Heathers family members Dennis, Shayne and Bryee. Also close family friends and assistants Juan, Kathy, Theresa, Connie and Bridget. Last but not least, our new friend Kathleen Pickering (Piks) who can keep the laughter going all night.
Thank you to everyone at The Myrtles Plantation , especially Hester for being so accommodating, Teeta for welcoming us and Moses for the delicious breakfast.