Don’t be fooled by the elegant outward appearance of these homes. They’re layered with stories of atrocities and tragedies that occurred while they were working plantations–and after. Everything from flickering lights to creepy apparitions, these southern homes are downright haunted. All nine of these frighteningly haunted plantations are currently open for visits. Who knows who, or what, you’ll see while you’re there.
1. Bulloch Hall of Roswell, Georgia
Bulloch Hall was the home of Theodore Roosevelt’s mother, Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, built in 1839. It’s also where she married Theodore’s father. In its prime in 1850, there were 31 slaves working on the plantation. Bulloch Hall was a truly thriving antebellum plantation.
Reports of strange activity include lights flickering inside the house after it’s been closed to visitors, and glimpses of figures dressed in Civil War-era clothing looking from the upstairs windows.
The most eerie tale associated with Bulloch Hall is that of a young slave girl. In the mid-1800s, she was found dead in the well behind the mansion. While alive, she was responsible for lighting candles in the house after dark. She makes her presence known by flickering the lights in the house, making strange sounds emerge from behind the house, and appearing to visitors as a orb coming from the well.
2. Myrtles Plantation of St. Francisville, Louisiana
Circa 1796, Myrtles is considered one of the most haunted plantations because of its most infamous resident: Chloe. Her story is well-known. She’s the young slave who was given a house position in return for allowing her owner’s sexual advances. Out of fear that he was preparing to cast her aside and force her to return to the fields, she devised a plan to poison his daughters and nurse them back to health, re-winning his good graces. Her plan failed. She ended up killing the daughters. The other slaves turned against her, killed her, and threw her body in the river. It’s believed her ghost lingers on the grounds.
Those who visit the plantation today claim to see shaking clocks, floating beds and sounds of feet running through the halls. It functions as a bed and breakfast for those brave enough to face these spirits.
3. Oak Alley Plantation of Vacherie, Louisiana
One of the most famous haunted houses in Louisiana, Oak Alley Plantation is well-acquainted with the paranormal. It was built in 1837 and remains known for its elaborate architecture. An entity that resembles a young woman with long dark hair can be seen hanging around the halls, ghostly sobs echo throughout the mansion, and objects move by unseen hands. Encounters with misty figures that vanish into thin air are common, as are sightings of Mrs. Stewart—the last caretaker to live on the plantation until her death in 1972.
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4. Gaineswood Plantation of Demopolis, Alabama
The creepy happenings at Gaineswood are often linked to the ghost of a Virginian nanny who fell ill one winter and died in the house. Because there was no way to transport her body home to her family, the plantation owner placed her body in a wood box and stored it in the cellar until spring came. While her body did eventually make it home, it’s believed that her spirit remains on the grounds. She was popular with the children for her skill for playing the piano and singing. When visitors hear the unexplainable soft notes of a piano or the light tune of a voice, they’re likely hearing this nanny’s restless spirit.
5. Waverley Plantation of West Point, Mississippi
Here, you’ll find the spirit of a young girl who wanders the halls calling for her mother and that of a young military man who has made a habit of appearing in mirrors behind the plantation’s guests. These spirits are from a time early in the plantation’s history, when the family and the plantation both thrived. But with the end of the Young family line in 1913, the mansion began falling to shambles. In 1962, the Robert Snow family took over restoration of the property and transformed it into the museum that sits there today.
It’s believed the ghost girl who calls for her mother is the spirit of a young girl who died of an illness while living in the house. It’s unknown who the young man in military attire is, but other accounts report laughter and voices in the house’s empty rooms, especially the ballroom.
6. Edgewood Plantation of Charles City, Virginia
Edgewood Plantation was built in 1854 and used during the Civil War as a lookout post for Confederate generals. The house is said to be haunted by the heartbroken spirit of Elizabeth “Lizzie” Rowland. She died of a broken heart while waiting for the return of her lover serving in the Civil War. Her ghost can be seen in the upstairs bedroom, etching the name of her lover into the glass.
The house now functions as a bed and breakfast, but there are numerous accounts of misty figures in Confederate clothing wandering the halls. The slave buildings on the grounds are some of the most active spots for paranormal activity. Two suicides are said to have taken place here: an old man who killed himself in a mill and a woman who hung herself in the barn.
7. Magnolia Plantation of Natchitoches, Louisiana
Historical records and torture devices that still remain on the plantation inform us of a brutal history of the treatment of slaves on the Magnolia Plantation. Perhaps the most unsettling of the stories emerging from these grounds are those related to “The Dying Room.” Visitors claim to have seen the face of a Union Major who was poisoned and driven mad in the window of this room.
People have also reported witnessing doors opening and closing on their own, the appearance of strangely shaped entities that crawl on all fours around the kitchen, and voices speaking in empty rooms. The reports coming out the “The Dying Room” were so prominent that Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventure team set up their gear and did an investigation of their own. They left the investigation spooked, and with a recording of a young girl’s voice saying, “What are you doing?”
8. Drish House of Tuscaloosa, Alabama
This imposing structure is the most haunted house in Alabama. The Drish House was commissioned by John Drish and built by his slaves in the late 1830s. In 1867, Drish, supposedly an alcoholic and gambler, threw himself from an upstairs balcony and died.
His wife, Sarah, was devastated. She obsessively planned his funeral. She even demanded that the same candles used in his funeral be used in hers someday. When she died in 1884, her family searched for these candles to fulfill her last wish. They were never found.
Not long after Sarah died, small fires began breaking out throughout the house. Firemen were called, but when they arrived, there were no fires to be seen. Many people believe the missing candles angered Sarah, forcing her spirit to remain in the house.
9. Barnsley Gardens of Adairsville, Georgia
You could say this mansion was born from a broken heart. In the 1840s, Godfrey Barnsley started building the home for his wife Julia. Just a few years before, Godfrey befriended an old Cherokee man who lived in the area. However, the man argued intensely with Godfrey about building on the land, saying his forefathers would take it as an intolerable disrespect. Godfrey continued with his plans, but shortly after, Julia fell ill and died. Godfrey stopped construction, paralyzed by grief, for over a year.
In 1846, he reportedly came face-to-face with Julia’s ghost. She begged him finish building her dream home. He did. However, tragedy attacked Godfrey again when his son was killed in the Civil War, and his daughter died in childbirth. He began to believe the grounds were truly cursed. It was enough to make him leave the estate behind and move to New Orleans.
Visitors reports seeing the ghost of a Confederate soldier who was shot and buried in the garden and the ghost of a Barnsley descendent who was gunned down by a family member. the most famous inhabitant is none other than Julia. Visitors often claim to have seen her standing near the fountain, admiring her dream home.
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