The Myrtles Plantation
Written By: Ronald Wolf
St. Francisville, Louisiana
There is a place or plantation which is so full of history, legends and of course ghosts that I can only scratch the surface in this column.
Hand prints in the mirrors, footsteps on the stairs, mysterious smells, and vanishing objects, death by poison, hangings, murder and gunfire are all part of the norm. No it isn’t scenes from a soap opera, it’s the Myrtles Plantation located west Feliciana town of St. Francisville, Louisiana.
The original owner, David Bradford (1760-?), had his run-ins with the good and bad aspects of society. Even President George Washington had a price tag on his head but Bradford never started off that way in the America so young.
Bradford was born in America to Irish immigrants and was one of five children. He became a successful attorney, businessman and Deputy Attorney General for the county. Why did Bradford leave his family and thriving business behind? We do know that he became involved in the infamous Whiskey Rebellion and legend has it that Washington placed a price on the man’s head for his role in the affair.
President John Adams would later pardon Bradford in 1799. The Whiskey Rebellion took place in western Pennsylvania and really began as a series of grievances over high prices and taxes forced on those living along the frontier at that time. In later years Bradford had such a rich and adventurous life that it would make the perfect miniseries for TV.
Over the years books were written about the place and TV shows were produced at the plantation.
Like I stated, legends are a huge part of the plantation. According to one legend, three Union soldiers were killed in the house after they broke in and attempted to loot the place. It was here that they were shot and died. Legend has it that they left bloodstains on the floor and no matter how hard maids scrubbed the stains, they simply wouldn’t get cleaned.
Hester Eby, director of tours, has been an employee and a witness to the paranormal at the plantation for over 20 years.
She explained that one of her paranormal experiences happened on a normal day. Or so it would seem.
I was getting ready to greet the guests. I saw a couple get out of their car but the man was way ahead of his wife and their little girl dressed in a pink and white dress, said Eby.
“She was right on her mother’s heel like she was playing. When the woman came in the little girl was not there. I knew I saw the girl there was no way the girl could have left so quickly.”
As Hest closed the front door she heard a child’s voice saying “hello there.”
“She started giggling from the end of the porch way. No one was on the grounds at all. We have a few neighbors but they’re at a very good distance and their children are off to college.”
There are many places at the plantation where Eby has experienced paranormal activity.
In the lady’s parlor, behind the couch, her clothes felt like it was being tugged on.
“The way a child would do if they wanted to tell you something and you’re talking to someone else,” explained Eby.
“The first time it happened I thought I had caught my clothes in something and thought nothing of it. It happened a couple more times and thought this was kind of strange. The experience was real. I could feel their (child’s spirits) little fingers.”
“I had a lot of things happen and these things are just to let you know that they (spirits) are around.”
“I had my name called before,” said Eby.
The spirits would pick up on the voice they would like so you think it would be a co-worker, she said. It happened to us so much that if that person who called us is busy in what they are doing that we just forget about the incident and we just go on. The spirits also do that to guests as well. A lot of the time the guest would ask if they were being called.
“It happens all the time.”
She admits she has scared herself before. “The only time I was concerned, very much so was when I was upstairs early one morning turning off lights that we thought we turned off the night before.”
As she was walking from one wing of the house to the next she heard very heavy footsteps walking behind her.
“It sounded as if someone had boots on and they were walking behind me.”
When she stopped, the footsteps would stop. The minute she started walking the footsteps would begin again. The footsteps stopped when she walked backwards down the stairs so she could keep an eye on what was behind her.
“I guess they thought I was going to hurt myself and it (footsteps) stopped completely.”
Eby is very excited to be part of the plantation. “It s beautiful, it’s old, it is haunted. It is a peaceful place. It is very exciting. We label the place a home of beauty and intrigue.”
The plantation has tours every week. A mystery tour is held twice a week and a historical tour every day.
“We have a little bit for everyone,” said Eby.