The following is excerpted in its entirety
from Old New Orleans: Walking Tours
of the French Quarter, by Stanley Clisby
Arthur, © 1990 by Pelican Publishing
Company, Gretna, Louisiana, @ pages
" 'THE HAUNTED HOUSE’ 1140
The three-story building at the southeast
corner of Royal and Governor Nichols street,
to some the most famous private residence
in old New Orleans, gained its eerie title,
‘The Haunted House,’ from
an oft-repeated tale in which spirits
of tortured slaves clank their chains
during the midnight hours in remembrance
of awful punishment meted out to them
by their mistress – a high-bred
lady of old New Orleans who had been charged
with finding an uncanny delight in dealing
inhumanly with her slaves.
Like all such tales, the story has grown
in ferocity through its countless retellings
and the probabilities are that even the
original story of over a century ago was
a gross exaggeration. It now appears that
the mistress of this home was the first
victim of yellow journalism in this country
and that she was far from being the ‘fiend’
tradition has labeled, or should we say,
libeled her. The facts of this ‘strange
true story’ are as follows:
The traditional tales of the Vieux Carre
have it that this house was built in
1780 by two brothers, Jean and Henri
de Remarie, and that such guests as
Marshal Michel Ney, Napoleon’s
famous commander; the duc d’Orleans,
later, Louis Philippe, king of France;
and the Marquis de Lafayette have slept
in this mansion. But we are compelled
to make the pertinent observations that
Marshal Ney never came to Louisiana,
that Louis Philippe was here in 1798,
and that Lafayette visited New Orleans
in 1825 – yet the ‘Haunted
House’ was not built until 1832!
There are those who denounce historical
accuracy when it destroys fallacious tradition
… those who claim that a good story
must never be sacrificed and crucified
on the cross of truth. Much as one admires
the colorful tradition of old New Orleans,
our mission is to give a factual history
of the landmarks of the Vieux Carre. So,
to stick to fact, we must point out that
the lots upon which the ‘Haunted
House’ stands were purchased by
Mme Louis Lalaurie, September 12, 1831,
from Edmond Soniat du Fossat, and the
house then built was not ready for occupancy
until the spring of 1832. As it was part
of the tract given the Ursuline nuns,
this was the first, and only, house built
on this particular site.
Mme Lalaurie was one of five children
born to Louis Barthelemy Chevalier de
Macarty and Marie Jeanne Lovable, two
who stood high in the social life of old
New Orleans. One of their daughters was
christened Marie Delphine Macarty. She
first married, on June 11, 1800, Don Ramon
de Lopez y Angula, the ceremony being
performed at the St. Louis Cathedral by
Luis de Penalvery Cardenas, the first
bishop of the diocese of Louisiana, and
the marriage certificate was signed by
the celebrated Fray Antonio de Sedella.
The husband was described in this document
as Caballero de la Royal de Carlos, Intendent
of the Provinces, a native of the community
of Regno,Galicia, Spain, and the legitimate
son of his Lordship Don Jose Antonio de
Lopez y Angula and Dona Ana Fernande de
Angule, daughter of Dona Francisca Borja
Shortly after the Louisiana Purchase,
on March 26, 1804, Delphine Macarty’s
husband was recalled to the court of Spain,
the letter carrying this royal command
stating that the young Spanish officer
was ‘to take his place at court
as befitting his new position.’
At this time Don Ramon was consul general
for Spain in this new American territory.
While in Havana, en route to Madrid, Don
Ramon suddenly died and a few days later
his daughter was born in the Cuban city.
This infant was baptized Marie Delphine
Borja Lopez y Angula de Candelaria, but
she became best known in later years as
‘Borquita,’ meaning ‘little
Borja,’ from the fact that she was
named after her father’s grandmother.
Left a widow, Delphine Macarty and her
baby daughter returned to New Orleans.
Four years later, in 1808, she again married,
choosing for her husband a prominent banker,
merchant, lawyer, and legislator named
Jean Blanque, a native of Bearn who had
come to Louisiana with Prefect Laussat
in 1803. At the time of his marriage,
June 16, 1808, Blanque purchased the residence
at 409 Royal Street and in this home Delphine
became the mother of four other children:
Marie Louise Pauline, Louise Marie Laure,
Marie Louise Jeanne, and Jean Pierre Paulin
Blanque. In that stylish Royal Street
home or in the ‘Villa Blanque,’
a charming country place fronting the
Mississippi River just below the city
limits, Delphine Macarty Blanque divided
her time, both places frequented by the
Jean Blanque died in 1816, and Delphine
Macarty remained a widow until June 12,
1825, when she again married. Her third
husband was Dr. Leonard Louis Nicolas
Lalaurie, a native of Villeneuse-sur-Lot,
France, who came to New Orleans to establish
a practice. Borquita, the daughter by
her mother’s first marriage, became
the wife of Placide Forstall, member of
a distinguished Louisiana family, and
Jeanne Blanque married Charles Auguste
de Lassus, only child of Don Carle de
Lassus, former governor of Upper Louisiana,
and later governor of the Baton Rouge
post of West Florida when they were under
The Lalaurie mansion was erected in 1832
and for the next two years was the scene
of many fashionable affairs, for the Lalauries
entertained on an elaborate plan. On the
afternoon of April 10, 1834, an aged cook
set fire to the house during the absence
of her mistress. When neighbors rushed
into the mansion to fight the fire and
try to save the furniture and other valuables,
slaves were found chained in their quarters.
Although the fire was extinguished, the
indignation of those who found the helpless
slaves blazed high and a newspaper editor,
Jerome Bayon of the Bee, published a heated
account of the happening and quoted those
who had investigated the Lalaurie slave
quarters. This newspaper account roused
public indignation to such a pitch that
on April 15 a mob, led by irresponsibles,
charged the house and began to wreck it.
The rowdies were finally dispersed by
a company of United States regulars who
had been called out by a helpless sheriff.
During the excitement Madame Lalaurie
and her husband took to their carriage
and, with their faithful Creole black
coachman Bastien on the box, swept through
the howling, cursing rabble and, with
the horses lashed to a the full gallop,
made her way out of the city. It is
supposed the carriage reached Bayou
St. John where a lake craft was secured,
for on April 21, 1834, the Lalauries
were in Mandeville, across Lake Pontchartrain,
at the home of Louis Coquillon. There
Madame Lalaurie signed a power-of-attorney
placing her son-in-law Placide Forstall
in charge of her affairs, while her
husband signed a similar document in
favor of his wife’s other son-in-law,
Auguste de Lassus. From Mandeville the
Lalauries made their way to Mobile,
where a ship took them to France.
Neither Delphine nor her husband ever
returned to New Orleans. She remained
in Paris, living there honored and respected
in spite of the lurid tales that lived
after her in New Orleans. Following her
death on December 7, 1842, her body was
secretly returned to New Orleans and buried
in St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery.
The Lalaurie mansion was sold to various
owners but the tale that it was ‘haunted’
and the midnight rendezvous for ghosts
grew in the telling as only such stories
can grow. The principal ‘ghost’
is, according to the most frequently quoted
tale, that of a little girl slave who,
to escape the whip of her mistress, climbed
to the roof and jumped to her death into
the courtyard below. Another tale, equally
untrue, was that the mistress of the mansion
buried all her victims in the courtyard
well. The general impression that the
place was haunted was sufficient to keep
superstitious blacks from passing the
house after nightfall.
In the days of Reconstruction following
the Civil War, the old Lalaurie mansion
became the Lower Girls’ School.
During the government of the carpetbaggers,
whites and blacks were taught in the same
rooms until the formation of ‘The
White League’ in 1874, when the
white element marched on the house and
expelled the black pupils. In the 1880’s
the mansion became a conservatory of music.
No matter who has lived in it since, or
the manner of business that was carried
on in the ground-floor stores, the name
‘haunted’ has clung to it
in spite of the testimony of those inhabiting
the place that ghosts have never disturbed
Tradition has it that the handsome entrance
door ‘was hammered out of iron by
the slaves Madame Lalaurie kept shackled
to the anvil.’ This must be taken
with several generous pinches of salt,
for the doors is not of iron but wood
and the decorations on it were not cared
but put on by appliqué, a sort
of plastic wood applied and formed as
a sculptor would lay on modeling clay.
These ornamentations show, in the lower
oblong panel, Phoebus in his chariot,
lashing his griffins. Scattered over the
door are urns, flowers, trumpet-blowing
angels, a beribboned lyre, an American
eagle bearing on its breast the shield
of the Union, leaves, scrolls, and whatnots
– a marvelous example of some unknown
craftsman’s art. To save the door
from the knives of souvenir-hunters, one
owner painted it a dingy brown-black.
George W. Cable’s Strange Stories
of Louisiana, and Judge Henry C. Castellanos’
New Orleans As It Was, contain full accounts
of the Lalaurie episode. My account, differing
in many respects from those of these earlier
writers, is based on recently found documents,
notarial acts, and family documents.”
LaLaurie and her third husband, Leonard
LaLaurie, took up residence in the house
at 1140 Royal Street sometime in the 1830's.
The pair immediately became the darlings
of the gay New Orleans social scene that
at the time was experiencing the birth
of ragtime, the slave dances and rituals
of Congo Square, the reign of the Mighty
Marie Laveau, and the advent of the bittersweet
Creole Balls. Madame LaLaurie hosted fantastic
events in her beautiful home that were
talked about months afterward. She was
described as sweet and endearing in her
ways, and her husband was nothing if not
highly respected within the community.
At the same time, it is said, Madame’s
friendship with infamous Voodoo Queen,
Marie Laveau, began to grow. Laveau
lived not far from LaLaurie’s
Royal Street home and the two women
became acquainted when Laveau did Madame’s
hair occasionally. It is said that under
Laveau’s tutelage, Madame LaLaurie
began to act upon her latent interest
in the occult, learning the secrets
of voodoo and witchcraft at the hands
of a might mistress of the craft.
There are reported incidents of people
seeing, feeling and hearing the ghosts
of tormented slaves in the LaLaurie
home, and there are even reports of
the Madame herself being seen there.
The docile house servants who entreated
the assistance of outsiders when the
house was about to burn to the ground
are said to often return to their task
- running and slamming doors and shouts
are heard repeatedly. Nor are the spirits
of the restless dead quiet: the reports
of moans and weeping outnumber all others.
Furniture moves about by itself, people
feel the touch of unseen hands, and
there are several who have seen the
ghostly faces of the dead peering from
the upper windows and the chamber of
horrors that became the crucible of
their miserable lives.
is one of the oldest and most multi-faceted
cities in the United States, and there
are other tales, similar to those of the
LaLaurie home that, sadly, have made their
way into our history. But the gruesome
horror of this particular event was so
ghastly that it stains the city's memory
to this very day.
More Info and links on New Orleans
Most Haunted House , the Lalaurie House,
New Orleans Louisiana "One of the
Most Haunted Cities in America"
Located in San Diego, California, the
Whaley House has earned the title of
"the most haunted house in the
U.S. Built in 1857 by Thomas Whaley
on land that was partially once a cemetery,
the house has since been the locus of
dozens of ghost sightings.
Author deTraci Regula relates her
experiences with the house: "Over
the years, while dining across the
street at the Old Town Mexican Cafe,
I became accustomed to noticing that
the shutters of the second-story windows
[of the Whaley House] would sometimes
open while we ate dinner, long after
the house was closed for the day.
On a recent visit, I could feel the
energy in several spots in the house,
particularly in the courtroom, where
I also smelled the faint scent of
a cigar, supposedly Whaley's calling-card.
In the hallway, I smelled perfume,
initially attributing that to the
young woman acting as docent, but
some later surreptitious sniffing
in her direction as I talked to her
about the house revealed her to be
Whaley House is a two-story Greek Revival
style brick residence in San Diego's
Old Town, was designed by Thomas Whaley
and completed in 1857. The home, acclaimed
as the "finest new brick block
in Southern California" by the
San Diego Herald, contained mahogany
and rosewood furniture, damask drapes,
and Brussels carpets. Whaley established
his general store in this residence,
and solicited cash customers only. The
Whaleys moved to San Francisco but returned
to San Diego in 1868. Whaley family
members would live in the house for
nearly a century.
From October 1868 to January 1869,
the Tanner Troupe Theatre operated
out of the front upstairs bedroom.
The San Diego County Courthouse utilized
the former granary in August 1869
and rented three upstairs rooms for
records storage. After the establishment
of New Town San Diego by Alonzo Horton
in 1868, the town focus changed to
present day downtown San Diego. During
a March 1871 raid, courthouse documents
were removed from the Whaley House
and taken to Horton’s Hall on
6th and F in San Diego. After the
County’s exit, Whaley connected
the former granary and courtroom to
the residence, changed windows and
doors, and altered the front portico.
On October 31, 1956, the County of
San Diego purchased the historic Whaley
House, and undertook a major renovation
of the property, which is still evident
today. In September of 2000 Save Our
Heritage Organization assumed the
stewardship of the property for the
County of San Diego and is in the
progress of restoring the house to
its original appearance.
Some of the other ghostly encounters
include: the spirit of a young girl
who was accidentally hanged on the
property; the ghost of Yankee Jim
Robinson, a thief who was clubbed
to death and who can be heard on the
house's stairway where he died, and
has sometimes been seen during tours
of the old house; the red-haired daughter
of the Whaley's sometimes appears
in such a realistic form, she is sometimes
mistaken for a live child. Famed psychic
Sybil Leek claimed to have sensed
several spirits there, and renowned
ghost hunter Hanz Holzer considered
the Whaley to be one of the most reliably
haunted structures in the United States.
Tour Fee Schedule & Procedures
Includes School Groups, Senior Groups,
Prearranged Groups of Children, Disadvantaged
or Disabled Groups.
Minimum 15 people: $2.50 per person.
Call (619) 297-9327 for reservations.
1-Hour Private Tour with Ghost Tour
$75 per person, minimum 2 people, maximum
Larger groups must submit proposal via
email to email@example.com
After 1 hour: $100/hour per couple.
Call (619) 297-9327 for reservations
info on the haunted Whaley House and
been a number of strange events reported
at the totally unique Winchester House
for many years and they still continue
to be reported today. This Haunting makes
the top ten in the USA , Number 4 Haunted
House in America.
a wealthy widow named Sarah L. Winchester
began a construction project of such magnitude
that it was to occupy the lives of carpenters
and craftsmen until her death thirty-eight
years later. The Victorian mansion, designed
and built by the Winchester Rifle heiress,
is filled with so many unexplained oddities,
that it has come to be known as the Winchester
built a home that is an architectural
marvel. Unlike most homes of its era,
this 160-room Victorian mansion had modern
heating and sewer systems, gas lights
that operated by pressing a button, three
working elevators, and 47 fireplaces.
From rambling roofs and exquisite hand
inlaid parquet floors to the gold and
silver chandeliers and Tiffany art glass
windows, you will be impressed by the
staggering amount of creativity, energy,
and expense poured into each and every
psychics have visited the Haunted house,
most have come away actually convinced,
that Sarah Winchester and many other tormented
spirits still wander the Great maze of
years that the house has been open to
the public, employees and visitors alike
have had one to many unusual encounters
with ghost. There have been the sounds
of haunted footsteps; etheral music and
many a banging doors; too often one hears
mysterious echoing ghostly voices; several
unexplainable cold spots; strange moving
lights and orbs in ghost photos; witnesses
have seen doorknobs that turn by themselves...
and don’t forget the scores of people
who have their own claims of phenomena
to report but just are to afraid to do
110 of the 160 rooms and look for the
bizarre phenomena that gave the mansion
its name; a window built into the floor,
staircases leading to nowhere, a chimney
that rises four floors, doors that open
onto blank walls, and upside down posts!
No one has been able to explain the mysteries
that exist within the Winchester Mansion,
or why Sarah Winchester kept the carpenters'
hammers pounding 24 hours a day for 38
years. It is believed that after the untimely
deaths of her baby daughter and husband,
son of the Winchester Rifle manufacturer,
Mrs. Winchester was convinced by a medium
that continuous building would appease
the evil spirits of those killed by the
famous "Gun that Won the West"
and help her attain eternal life. Certainly
her $20,000,000 inheritance was sufficient
to support her obsession until her death
Tour is a guided tour which takes guests
into areas which had been unexplored for
over 75 years. On tour you will learn
how Mrs. Winchester's 160-acre estate
functioned. You will go into the stables,
dehydrator, Plumber's workshop, the unfinished
Ballroom, and one of the basements.
also learn about Victorian architecture
as your guide points out the many features
used in the building of the Winchester
mansion. Safety hats will be worn on the
tour. The Behind-the-Scenes Tour is limited
to those 10 and older. Sorry, due to safety
concerns, children 9 and under and babies
are not permitted.
that Won the West" is the main attraction
in the Firearms Museum, one of the largest
Winchester Rifle collections on the West
Coast. See the collection of guns that
preceded the famous Winchester Rifle,
including B. Tyler Henry's 1860 repeating
rifle that Oliver Winchester adapted and
improved upon to produce his first repeating
rifle, the Winchester Model 1866. Learn
about the Model 1873 which came to be
called the "Gun that Won the West."
See a collection of the Limited Edition
Winchester Commemorative Rifles including
the Centennial '66, the Theodore Roosevelt,
and the renowned John Wayne.
Antique Products Museum
contains a rare collection of antique
products once manufactured by the Winchester
Products Company, a subsidiary of the
Winchester Repeating Arms Company. In
the years following World War I, the parent
company launched a Post-war Program, aimed
at expanding the manufacture of new products
in order to fill the factory space previously
used for military production. At one time
there were 6,300 individually owned Winchester
stores carrying these products, which
made it the largest hardware chain store
organization in the world! The museum
now displays items produced in the 1920's
ranging from Winchester cutlery, flashlights,
lawn-mowers, boy's wagons, fishing tackle
and roller skates, to food choppers, electric
irons, and farm and garden tools.
information about the Mystery House, see
the rather longer review of it in my magazine,
Emerald City. There is also a review
of Tim Powers's excellent book, Earthquake
Weather, which uses the Mystery House
and various other spooky Bay Area buildings
and links on the Winchester Mystery House
525 South Winchester Boulevard
San Jose, California
House, Built in 1906, for Pioneer Floridian
Frank Stranahan, This is one of Haunted
Fort Lauderdale's most haunted houses.
Built in 1906, for Pioneer Floridian Frank
Stranahan. Experts have analyzed the unexplained
events at the Stranahan House and have
determined they are "Unexplainable"!
House, located in downtown Fort Lauderdale
on the New River, has been the site most
closely associated with both the founding
of the City and its economic and social
development. Frank Stranahan originally
selected the site because it was where
he operated his barge ferry across the
river as part of the new road from Lantana
to what is now North Miami. Today, Stranahan
House is the eastern anchor of River Walk,
a linear waterfront park connecting Fort
Lauderdale's historic district with the
soon to be created cultural district anchored
by the Performing Arts Center and the
Museum of Discovery and Science.
Stranahan House has served as a trading
post, post office, bank and town hall.
Restored to its 1913, it's a "must
see" in Haunted South Florida.
was born in Vienna, Ohio August 21, 1864.
In 1890, he relocated to South Florida
for health reasons, settling first in
Melbourne. Moving again in 1893, Stranahan
relocated to Fort Lauderdale to assume
management of the overland mail route
from Lantana to Coconut Grove.
established the first post office in Fort
Lauderdale, and the location also became
a popular trading post and ferry service.
By 1895, Stranahan’s Trading Post
was a well-known South Florida landmark.
Stranahan also established the first banking
institution in Fort Lauderdale and financed
the construction of the first road from
the New River to Miami. He became one
of the largest land owners in the area
but gave away large portions of his land
for public welfare, including sites for
the memorial Hospital and Stranahan Park.
married the lovely Ivy Cromartie and used
his newly acquired wealth to build her
a home whose charm and beauty would endure
into the 21st century. Today Stranahan’s
labor of love serves as a unique –
and haunted – museum.
died in the city on June 23, 1929 but
his life story had a sad end. Legend tells
that he committed suicide after having
sunk into financial ruin in 1927 when
he lost most of his wealth and holdings
in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane
and then being further victimized by the
arrival of the Great Depression. Stranahan
lost a battle with depression, compounded
by the fact that it was not only his own
money and assets that were lost, but also
those of his family and friends who had
entrusted their life savings to his financial
demise was his own doing and remains an
oddly unique departure: He methodically
strapped a large iron gate to his ankle
and threw himself into the nearby Inter
coastal Waterway. The weight of the gate
assured that he would not be able to alter
his course of action even if he had wanted
to. But many say that Stranahan may have
found his way back to the home he knew
in life, returning as a ghost from the
watery depths that claimed him.
house itself, was built of Dade County
pine, is an example of Florida vernacular
architecture in a tropical wilderness
setting. Expanded and renovated numerous
times, it is presently restored to its
1913-1915 configuration. At that time
the Stranahan's seven year old home had
electric wiring, indoor plumbing and running
water, interior stairways, bay windows
and wide porches.
flooring and paneling have been refinished
and the exterior repainted in the original
white with green trim. A new roof, a prototype
for other historical properties, was completed
in 1996 and meets current hurricane specifications.
Many, but not all, of the original furnishings
were either sold or given away over the
years, and the house is furnished with
examples of period Victorian furniture
and decorative pieces. And some say this
has brought many of the hauntings and
ghost back to the house.
say that Frank Stranahan is still in residence
at the home he built with such loving
care. Reports of strange apparitions and
ghostly noises have come from rattle staff
members. Because Stranahan is considered
one of the founding fathers of Fort Lauderdale,
ghostly happenings at his former residence
still make the news. Reports about the
Haunted Stranahan House have been featured
on local radio stations and in the local
newspaper, the Sun-Sentinel News.
not just Frank Stranahan who remains an
unseen resident at this historic haunted
home. As many as six family members have
died in the house. The ghost of Ivy Cromartie
Stranahan, who died in an upstairs bedroom
in 1971, is reported to appear accompanied
by the strong scent of an antique fragrance.
The uneasy ghost of her father, Augustus
Cromartie, who died in that same bedroom
years before, is reported to make his
presence known on occasion; other ghostly
residents include Ivy’s brother
and sister and the apparition of an Indian
servant girl seen outside the rear of
of unearthly activities are made by employees,
guests and visitors from time to time.
Even vagrants who used to habitually sleep
on the expansive exterior porch area (now
fenced off) reportedly didn’t have
to wait for employees or security guards
to drive them away. Accounts from the
squatters tell of encounters with an angry
spirit who shows his displeasure by banging
on the walls of the building preventing
the vagrants from getting any rest. One
homeless man reported being chased away
from the home by an unseen but angry spirit
that only broke off the pursuit once the
vagrant had reached the property line.
floor attic space is the site of much
activity. Employees who sometimes have
to go to the attic have reported the presence
of a spirit in the area and sometimes
the cold touch of a hand upon their back.
Reports seem to support the contention
that this is the ghost of Ivy Cromartie
Stranahan attempting to assure that the
employee does not fall from the attic.
Apparently, the possibility of an employee
being injured was one of Ivy’s great
fears in this area. In the bedroom where
Ivy died, the beds are made and re-made.
Every time the bed is straightened the
housekeeping staff will inevitably return
the next day to find an imprint as if
someone had sat down and steadied themselves
with a heavy hand on the bed. This occurs
even though the bedroom is off limits
most of the day, and the last staff members
to be in the room work the evening shift.
tours of the Haunted Stranahan House are
available! For more information on the
Stranahan House or other Haunted Fort
Lauderdale ghost filled destinations.
and links on the Haunted Stranahan House
Ghosts of Stranahan house are widely known
in Fort Lauderdale since Frank is considered
one of the founding fathers. News coverage
of the ghosts are mentioned in the Sun-Sentinel
News and have been featured on radio programs.
Investigations happen from time to time,
and reports from employees, guests are
more then very common.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington,
D.C. is not only home to the current President
of the United States, it also is home
of several former presidents who occasionally
decide to make their presences known there,
despite the fact that they are dead.
have long enjoyed telling scary ghost
stories. From the ghost of Abigail Adams
doing her laundry in the East Room to
the spirit of Dolly Madison overlooking
the Rose Garden, the White House has its
own legend of ghost stories that have
been passed down over the years.
a story of a British soldier who died
on the White House grounds during the
war of 1812 in 1814. The British came
through Washington in 1814 during the
war of 1812 and burned all of the federal
buildings in Washington, including the
White House. A number of years ago, when
a restoration project of the exterior
stone walls of the residence, restores
found scorch marks around the windows
and doors that were deep into the stone
and were obviously part of the damage
from this fire in 1814. It is said that
some people have seen a ghost of a British
soldier with a torch in his hand.
of the staff, who have worked in the White
House for many years, recently shared
some of their stories of strange noises
in the White House, sightings of President
Abraham Lincoln's ghost and many, many
Lincoln's assassination in April
1865, Mary Todd Lincoln attempted
to stay in contact with her dead
husband through private readings
and seances. Whether she achieved
genuine communication with the
late president will never be known.
Mary also visited the studio of
William Mumler, a Boston engraver
who claimed to photograph the
dead. This photo (right) of Mary
with the ghostly Lincoln was the
result of her sitting with Mumler.
1869, Mumler was arrested for
public fraud, larceny, and obtaining
money under false pretenses.
The highly-publicized trial
ended in dismissal for lack
of evidence. Was Mumler a fraud?
Probably, although many of his
sitters claimed to recognize
loved ones in Mumler's photos
who had never been photographed
in life. Others claimed that
some of the "spirits"
in his pictures had been identified
as living models.
further research on Mumler and
his "spirit" images,
visit the American Museum of
Photography's The Mumler Mystery.
This site includes many examples
of Mumler's carte de visites
with background on each image.
popular legend is that of Dolley Madison
coming back during the Wilson Administration
when Mrs. Wilson wanted the rose garden
dug up. Dolley's ghost arrived, supposedly,
and told them not to disturb her garden.
Harrisons' ghost is said to be heard rummaging
around in the attic of the White House,
looking for who knows what.
Andrew Jackson's' ghost is thought to
haunt his White House bedroom. And the
ghost of First Lady Abigail Adams was
seen floating through one of the White
House hallways, as if carrying something
in her hands.
Todd Lincoln held real seances in the
White House, it was said she would try
and recall the spirit of their dead son
Willie who died in the White House during
his father's Presidency. After Willie's
death, Mrs. Lincoln was seated at a table
and held the seance in the green room
to try and contact Willie's spirit.
has it that Mary Lincoln reported hearing
Andrew Jacksons' ghost walk around the
halls of the White House and supposedly
swearing up a storm.
frequently sighted presidential ghost
has been that of Abraham Lincoln. Eleanor
Roosevelt once stated she believed she
felt the presence of Lincoln watching
her as she worked in the Lincoln bedroom.
Also during the Roosevelt administration,
a young clerk claimed to have actually
seen the ghost of Lincoln sitting on a
bed pulling off his boots. On another
occasion, while spending a night at the
White House during the Roosevelt presidency,
Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands was
awakened by a knock on the bedroom door.
Answering it, she was confronted with
the ghost of Abe Lincoln staring at her
from the hallway. Calvin Coolidge's wife
reported seeing on several occasions the
ghost of Lincoln standing with his hands
clasped behind his back, at a window in
the Oval Office, staring out in deep contemplation
toward the bloody battlefields across
known as the Most Haunted House in America,
Pittsburgh, PA, the home of carpetbagger
Charles Wright Congelier, his Mexican
wife Lyda, and a young servant girl, Essie,
was located at 1129 Ridge Avenue, in the
Manchester, North Side, neighborhood of
Pittsburgh. The story of its life as a
haunted house begins in the winter of
1871, with Lyda's discovery of Charles
having an affair with the maid. Lyda was
so enraged, that she fatally stabbed Charles
and chopped off Essie's head.
next 20 years the house remained vacant.
It was remodeled to accommodate railroad
workers in 1892, but they soon moved out,
claiming to hear the sobbing and screaming
of a woman. The Most Haunted House in
America once again stood vacant.
1900, Dr. Adolph C. Brunrichter bought
the home. "Keeping to himself, the
doctor was rarely seen by his neighbors.
Then on August 12, 1901, the family next
door heard a terrifying scream from the
Brunrichter residence," wrote Richard
Winer and Nancy Osborn in their book,
Haunted Houses. "When they ran outside
to investigate, the neighbors saw a red
explosion-like flash shooting through
the house. The earth under them trembled,
and the sidewalls cracked. Every window
in the doctor's home was shattered."
entered the house to investigate, they
found a decomposed female body strapped
to the bed and five headless young women
in basement graves. "Dr. Brunrichter
had been experimenting with severed heads,"
wrote Winer and Osborn. "Apparently
he had been able to keep some alive for
short periods after decapitation."
Dr. Brunrichter, meanwhile, had disappeared,
and the house once again stood vacant.
As a result
of its reputation for being haunted, the
house stood empty for several years before
undergoing its second remodeling to ready
it for housing emigrant Equitable Gas
Company workers. These workers experienced
many strange occurrences but wrote them
off as pranks by the American workers
they had replaced (for lower wages). One
night things took a tragic turn, however,
and two of the workers were found dead
in the basement. One had a board driven
like a stake through his chest, and the
other was hanging from a rafter. These
men had both been seen alive just minutes
1920, the famous scientist and
inventor, Thomas Edison, came
to study the house. Edison spoke
of a machine that he was building
to allow communication with the
dead. Edison died before the mechanism
was perfected. Winer and Osborn
wrote that Thomas Edison's visit
to the house at 1129 Ridge Avenue
apparently influenced his strong
belief in the afterlife.
of 1927, a drunk was arrested who claimed
to be Dr. Adolph Brunrichter. He told
police gruesome stories of sex orgies,
demonic possession, torture and murder
that had occurred in the house. The authorities
could not determine if the man they had
in custody was indeed Dr. Brunrichter.
The man was released after a month and
was never seen again.
numbered for the haunted house which everyone
was convinced was evil. Nearby, on the
site that is now the Carnegie Science
Center, stood the largest natural gas
storage facility in the world. On the
morning of November 15, 1927, the giant
gas storage tank owned by the Equitable
Gas Company exploded with an awesome force
which was felt across the county. The
Story of Old Allegheny City, compiled
by workers of the Writers' Program of
the Works Projects Administration, describes
the destruction. "As houses collapsed
and chimneys toppled, brick, broken glass,
twisted pieces of steel and other debris
rained on the heads of the dazed and shaken
residents who had rushed into the streets
from their wrecked homes, believing that
an earthquake had visited the city."
The force was so strong it reportedly
blew out windows throughout downtown,
Mt. Washington, and as far away as East
Liberty. Dozens of manufacturing plants
and hundreds of homes were damaged or
destroyed within a 20-mile radius.
Haunted House in America, which once stood
at the present day site of the Route 65/I279
interchange, was obliterated in the explosion.
According to Winer and Osborn, it was
the only structure destroyed in the blast
for which no trace was ever found. The
area is still haunted by this ghost house,
some often tell of a strange house that
appears to be solid then just vanishes
into thin air.
to a family member, Robert Frederick Congelier,
the house stood for several years after
the disaster and was only torn down to
make way for the freeway and the redevelopment
of the area.
Cleveland's Franklin Castle has the distinction
of being known as Ohio's most Haunted
House. The historic Franklin Castle located
at 4308 Franklin Boulevard in Cleveland,
of the ghost stories and legends about
the Castle stem from the tenancy of its
builders. Whether it is a fair description
or not, history has painted Hannes Tiedemann
as overbearing and dominating, at best.
At worst, as a cruel and temperamental
monster of a man, capable of the worst
crimes of passion. A number of murders
have been attributed to him for generations,
though as far as I can tell he was never
formally accused during his lifetime,
let alone tried or convicted. Nonetheless,
it is considered to be a fact that he
was responsible for the deaths of at least
two women in his household: his daughter
and a servant.
of the murders vary, of course. According
to some, the 15-year-old daughter, Emma,
(whose official cause of death is allegedly
diabetes) was found hanging in the rafters.
Another story has the dead girl being
Tiedemann's 13-year-old niece, who was
killed for being either promiscuous or
insane... which could be synonymous for
a teenaged girl in the 1880s. Yet others
make her Hannes' illegitimate daughter,
Karen. Some say the girl (whichever girl
she might be) had been caught in bed with
his grandson... which makes an interesting
tale, except that it is rather unlikely
that he could have had a grandson old
enough to be sleeping with anyone's daughter,
illegitimate or not, in 1881, because
Hannes was only 48.
say that the murdered servant girl was
either hacked to death with an axe in
a front turret window on her wedding day
in a fit of Tiedemann jealousy (with the
neighbors hearing each whack of the axe
from outside), or perhaps she was strangled
in her bed when Hannes bound and gagged
her upon learning of her engagement to
another man and her intention to leave
him. Another version has him tying her
up and gagging her before shooting her
to death. Some speculate that you can
still hear choking sounds in the room
where she was killed, but I haven't heard
any other references to such sounds.
also tell of the death of Tiedemann's
mother, Weibeka, and of several other
young children in the family of various
childhood illnesses, though there is always
an underlying doubt about natural causes.
Some speculate that Tiedemann killed his
wife, as well-- with poison-- though it
sounds to me like Luise died of liver
failure, probably drinking herself to
death rather than live with the unpleasant
the Castle was used as a party house rather
than a residence during the German Socialist
years, it doesn't really surprise me that
there aren't many stories from this time.
One story I've heard repeatedly is the
tale of twenty people being machine-gunned
down in a hidden room. The strange thing
is, in none of the stories have I heard
conclusively who the Nazi spy was: the
machine-gunner or one of his victims.
It's also a little suspect that there
are no newspaper articles (yet... admittedly,
I haven't researched thoroughly) about
this mass murder.
the German Socialists were doing some
sort of spying from the house during the
war-- a German short-wave radio was found
in the rafters of the fourth floor-- but
I've yet to figure out if they were broadcasting
or intercepting broadcasts, who they were
spying on, and who exactly they were really
Romanos moved in, things apparently got
weird right away. The stories say that
on the first day the family moved in,
several of their children (there were
five total) went to play on the fourth
floor. They returned a while later and
told their mother of their new playmate,
a little girl who dressed and talked strangely,
and who refused to leave the upstairs.
The continued to play with the girl for
quite a while, but could never get her
to come downstairs.
Mrs. Romano was apparently developing
quite a bond with Mrs. Tiedemann. Both
women had five children, including twin
boys. They slept in the same room of the
house. And perhaps Luise chose Mrs. Romano
to be the protector of the house. Mrs.
Romano apparently often felt possessed
in the house, felt that Luise was using
her to keep the house's secrets. She said
that the spirits were friendly, protective
of her and the children, and that she
had made a pact with them to protect the
of investigators visited the house during
the Romanos' stay. A team of researchers
from the Northeast Ohio Psychical Research
Society visited the house, and in the
middle of the investigations one member
of the team fled and vowed to never return.
A writer saw a strange ectoplasm cloud
and felt dizzy to the point of passing
out when she approached it. A Catholic
priest refused to perform an exorcism,
telling the family that he sensed an evil
presence, and that the spirits were not
to be trusted-- that they were only being
friendly to Mrs. Romano until they had
her in their grasp-- and that they should
move out immediately.
did move out after Mrs. Romano's ghostly
friend warned her of an impending death
in the family... but unfortunately, the
move did not prevent it: it happened just
as the spirits had warned.
Castle Story and Photos By William Krejci
are the FACTS about the Franklin Castle
and its first resident. Everything that
you have read about Tiedemann ownership
is correct to the best of my knowledge.
I'm certain that many aspects of it may
seem boring and only interesting to anyone
who's really into genealogy and early
Cleveland Ohio History, but it is all
part of the haunted history, tragedy and
life of a fascinating family who arrived
in this country as immigrants only to
leave an enduring American legacy to succeeding
the next owner after the Romanos, was
very enthusiatic about owning a haunted
house. He started selling guided tours
of the Castle, inviting visitors to share
their haunting experiences. He also invited
local media into the house. One story
from this time involves John Webster,
who was doing an on-air radio special
about the house, and had a tape recorder
ripped from his shoulder and flung down
the stairs. A television reporter at that
time also reported seeing spinning chandeliers
and feeling a general sense that the supernatural
was at work.
Muscatello who discovered some of the
secret rooms (like the hidden still from
Prohibition) and the gruesome discovery
of human bones in the walls. Of course,
some speculate that he should not have
been too upset about the bones... considering
he placed them there, in a stunt to attract
attention. Others think the bones were
medical specimens. Some said they were
all babies, butchered in recent times.
Many believe they might have been more
of Tiedemann's victims, or perhaps more
Tiedemann children who had died in infancy.
The Coroner allegedly determined that
they were old bones, but offered no further
solution to the riddle.
numerous stories of a mysterious trapdoor
entrance to a tunnel which runs north
from the back of the house. Some say it
runs a great distance and then dead-ends
abruptly. Some speculate that it ran all
the way to Lake Erie (in the pre-Shoreway
days when the land had not been filled
out into the lake) for bootlegging or
smuggling purposes. I even met a man who
claimed to have worked in the Castle for
haunted houses a decade or so ago and
says that he went into this tunnel. Well,
so far no tunnel for me. The floor in
one back room does sound rather hollow,
though, and there is a mysterious cemented-over
area in the floor of the carriage house.
I think I'll hold off on renting a jackhammer
until I can do more research, though.
rooms are there? The count varies from
21 to30-something, depending on which
story you read. It was listed with the
realtor as having 25. I guess it depends
on what you consider a separate room and
how big a hidden space has to be to achieve
Room status. I honestly don't know. I
haven't counted. Besides, it's more fun
to answer, "I'm not sure" when
also numerous reports of the house being
riddled with secret passageways and hidden
rooms. Some say Mrs. Tiedemann installed
them to sneak past her husband and see
her children secretly. Some say the German
spies added them. All I'll say is this:
they do exist. But if I told you anything
about them, they wouldn't be secret anymore,
now would they?
Many people have reported seeing a woman
in black in an upstairs turret room, just
standing and staring out the window (if
you saw a woman sometime in the summer
of 1999 in the window and she was washing
the window, that probably was not a ghost,
but me or one of my friends. I've yet
to hear any stories about the ghosts doing
housework. I think I have inadvertently
tormented quite a few pedestrians and
people in cars stopped at the light by
merely standing in a window)
turn on and off, chandeliers spin, doors
open and close, mirrors fog, doorbells
ring. Mysterious sounds come from the
walls-- everything from muttering voices
to babies crying. Past visitors have reported
feeling possessed or overtaken with another
personality. There are cold spots, and
times when whole rooms turn icy spontaneously.
And there is one particular space where
I always feel... something. Not necessarily
something bad, just... something there.
Many other people have felt similar strange
feelings on that same spot.
ON THE FRANKLIN CASTLE
Castle Story and Photos By William Krejci
are the FACTS about the Franklin Castle
and its first resident. Everything that
you have read about Tiedemann ownership
is correct to the best of my knowledge.
I'm certain that many aspects of it may
seem boring and only interesting to anyone
who's really into genealogy and early
Cleveland Ohio History, but it is all
part of the haunted history, tragedy and
life of a fascinating family who arrived
in this country as immigrants only to
leave an enduring American legacy to succeeding
MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
4308 Franklin Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44113
was constructed by Charles J. Hull at
Halsted and Polk Streets in 1856 at a
time when this was one of the most fashionable
sections of the city. After the Chicago
Fire of 1871. In the 1880's, Hull House
was surrounded by factories and tenement
houses and soon after, became one of the
most famous places in Chicago.
and white infrared picture taken at Hull
House in downtown Chicago, Illinois by
Dale Kaczmarek in November of 1980. This
is enlarged blowup of the interior staircase
of this most haunted house in Chicago.
There was nothing visible to the naked
eye when the photograph was taken but
what appears are four distinct shadowy
monk-like figures standing on the bottom
four or five steps. The one directly in
the middle appears to be dressed in monk's
habit with his two hands together in prayer.
There are two other figures to the left
of the center monk and one to the right
superimposed on the banister which apparently
has no head!
Although it was never originally to be
known as a "haunted house"...
it would not be unscathed by stories of
ghosts and the supernatural.
died in 1935 but the Hull House Association
continued her work at the settlement house
until the 1960's. At that time, the property
was purchased by the University of Illinois,
bringing an end to one of Chicago's greatest
achievements in social reform.
OF HULL HOUSE
In 1889, Jane Addams and another social
worker took over the Hull mansion at 800
South Halsted and turned it into a community
center. The house, now part of the Chicago
campus of the University of Illinois,
is currently a museum dedicated to Addams
and her work.
bedroom was first occupied by Jane Addams
herself, who was awakened one night by
loud footsteps in the otherwise empty
room. After a few nights of this, she
confided her story to Ellen, who also
admitted to experiencing the same sounds.
Jane later moved to another room.
would not be alone in noticing the unusual
happenings. Helen Campbell, the author
of the book PRISONERS OF POVERTY, reported
seeing an apparition standing next to
her bed (she took Jane up on the offer
of staying in the "haunted room").
When she lit the gas jet, the figure vanished.
The same peculiar sounds and figures were
also observed by Mrs. Louise Bowen, a
lifelong friend of Jane's, Jane and Mary
Smith, and even Canon Barnett of Toynbee
Hall, who visited the settlement house
during the Columbian Exposition in 1893.
to Jane Addams' book, TWENTY YEARS AT
HULL HOUSE, earlier tenants of the house,
which included the Little Sisters of the
Poor and a second-hand furniture store,
believed the upstairs of the house was
haunted as well. They had always kept
a bucket of water on the stairs, believing
that the ghost was unable to cross over
the ghost was always considered to be
rather sad, but harmless, and residents
and guests learned to live with its presence.
Unfortunately, it was not the only "supernatural"
legend connected to Hull House!
BABY OF HULL HOUSE
Hull House received its greatest notoriety
when it was alleged to be the refuge of
the Chicago "devil baby". This
child was supposedly born to a devout
Catholic woman and her atheist husband
and was said to have pointed ears, horns,
scale-covered skin and a tail. According
to the story, the young woman had attempted
to display a picture of the Virgin Mary
in the house but her husband had torn
it down. He stated that he would rather
have the Devil himself in the house that
the picture. When the woman had become
pregnant, the Devil Baby had been their
curse. After enduring numerous indignities
because of the child, the father allegedly
took it to Hull House.
taken in by Jane Addams, staff members
of the house reportedly took the baby
to be baptized. During the ceremony, the
baby supposedly escaped from the priest
and began dancing and laughing. Not knowing
what else to do with the child, Jane kept
it locked in the attic of the house, where
it later died.
spread quickly about the baby and within
a few weeks, hundreds of people came to
the house to get a glimpse of it. How
the story had gotten started, no one knew,
but it spread throughout the west side
neighborhood and was reported by famous
Chicago reporter Ben Hecht. He claimed
that every time he tried to run down the
story, he was directed to find the child
at Hull House. Many people came to the
door and demanded to see the child, while
others quietly offered to pay an admission.
They believed the wild story to be absolutely
Jane turned people away and tried to convince
them that the story was fabricated. She
even devoted 40 pages of her autobiography
to dispelling the stories. Even though
most of the poorly educated immigrants
left the house still believing the tales
of the Devil Baby, the stream of callers
eventually died out and the story became
a barely remembered side note in the history
of Hull House.
years have passed, some people still maintain
the story of the Devil Baby is true...
or at least contains some elements of
the truth. Some have speculated that perhaps
the child was actually a badly deformed
infant that had been brought to Hull House
by a young immigrant woman that could
not care for it. Perhaps the monstrous
appearance of the child had started the
rumors in the neighborhood and eventually
led to Hull House.
local legend insists that at some point,
there was a disfigured boy that was hidden
away on the upper floors of the house.
The stories also go on to say that on
certain nights, the image of a deformed
face could be seen peering out of the
attic window.... and that a ghostly version
of that face is still seen by visitors
is located at 800 South Halsted Street
in Chicago and is open to the public as
a historic site. The West Side Levee District
no longer exists but was once bounded
by Madison Street on the south and running
north to Lake, east to Halsted and west
to Center Street (now Racine Avenue).
The bordellos and saloons have been replaced
by loft apartments, parking lots, a few
ethnic restaurants and Oprah Winfrey's
HARPO STUDIOS on Washington Boulevard.
ON HAUNTED HULL HOUSE AND THE DEVIL BABY
Chicagoland area's Legendary Haunted House.
800 Halsted Street, Chicago
Phone: (312) 413-5353
Tours: Chicago Supernatural Tours; (708)
Mansion is located in St. Louis, Missouri,
a short distance away from the Mississippi
River. Take Broadway from Interstate 55
and follow that to Cherokee Street. Go
west on Cherokee and turn right onto De
Menil Place. The address of the mansion
is 3322. The Pointer Family has owned
and operated the Lemp Mansion since 1975.
Adam Lemp arrived in St. Louis from Eschwege,
Germany in 1838, he seemed no different
from the thousands of other immigrants
who poured into the Gateway to the West
during the first half of the 19th century.
Lemp originally sought his fortune as
a grocer. But his store was unique for
its ability to supply an item sold by
none of his competitors - lager beer.
Lemp had learned the art of brewing the
effervescent beverage under the tutelage
of his father in Eschwege, and the natural
cave system under St. Louis provided the
perfect temperature for aging beer. Lemp
soon realized that the future of lager
beer in America was as golden as the brew
itself, and in 1840 he abandoned the grocery
business to build a modest brewery at
112 S. Second Street. A St. Louis industry
was born. The brewery enjoyed marvelous
success and John Adam Lemp died a millionaire.
Mansion was built in the early 1860's
and was subsequently purchased by William
J. Lemp as a residence and auxiliary brewery
office. Although it was already an impressive
structure, Lemp used his massive brewery
fortune to turn the thirty-three room
house into a Victorian showplace.
system was installed in 1884, five years
after radiant heat was patented. The grand
staircase was removed to accommodate an
open-air lift that ran the gamut of the
house. The decorative iron gates in the
basement restaurant are all that remain
of the elevator. In 1904 the house was
completely renovated. To the left of the
main entrance is the former brewery office,
where William Jr. committed suicide. The
decorative mantle is Italian marble.
right is the parlor, with its hand-painted
ceiling and intricately carved mantles
of African mahogany. Behind the parlor
is an atrium where the Lemps kept exotic
plants and birds. The main bathroom is
dominated by a unique glass-enclosed,
free-standing shower that Lemp discovered
in an Italian hotel and brought back to
St. Louis for his personal use. Other
unusual fixtures in the room are a barber
chair and a sink with glass legs. At the
rear of the house are three massive vaults
that the Lemps built to store great quantities
of art objects. The Lemps were such avid
art collectors that they could not display
all of their acquisitions. Each vault
is fifteen feet wide, twenty-five feet
deep, and thirteen feet high.
were on the second floor. The main bathroom
has a white granite shower stall and a
marble and cast-iron mantle. The servants'
quarters were located on the third floor,
which boasts cedar walk-in closets, a
skylight and an observation deck. The
mansion does not have a ballroom in the
traditional sense because the Lemps built
an auditorium, ballroom and swimming pool
in a natural underground cavern that could
be reached from a now-sealed tunnel in
the basement. Another tunnel led from
the house to the brewery.
and beer cellars, laundry and kitchen
were located in the basement. The huge
kitchen that once served the elite of
St. Louis society has been completely
modernized and now serves the honored
guest of the historic Lemp Mansion Restaurant.
Magazine called the Lemp Mansion "one
of the ten most haunted places in America".
The Lemp family line died out with him
and the family's resting place can now
be found in beautiful Bellefontaine Cemetery.
But while no one remains in the Lemp family
today, it certainly doesn't mean that
some of them are not still around.
death of Charles Lemp, the mansion was
sold and turned into a boarding house.
Shortly after that, it fell on hard times
and began to deteriorate, along with the
nearby neighborhood. In later years, stories
began to emerge that residents of the
boarding house often complained of ghostly
knocks and phantom footsteps in the house.
As these tales spread, it became increasingly
hard to find tenants to occupy the rooms
and because of this, the old Lemp Mansion
was rarely filled.
of the house continued until 1975, when
Dick Pointer and his family purchased
it. The Pointer's began remodeling and
renovating the place, working for many
years to turn it into a restaurant and
an inn. But the Pointer's were soon to
find out that they were not alone in the
of the remodeling was done in the 1970's
and during this time, workers reported
strange things happening in the house,
leading many to believe the place was
haunted. Reports often varied between
feelings of being watched, vanishing tools
and strange sounds. Many of the workers
actually left the job site and never came
restaurant has opened, staff members also
have had their own odd experiences. Glasses
have been seen to lift off the bar and
fly through the air; sounds are often
heard that do not have explanation and
some have even glimpsed actual apparitions
who appear and vanish at will. In addition,
many customers and visitors to the house
report some pretty weird incidents. It
is said that doors lock and unlock on
their own; the piano in the bar plays
by itself; voices and sounds come from
nowhere; and even the spirit of the "Lavender
Lady" has been spotted on occasion.
has also attracted ghost hunters from
around the country, who have come partly
due to a November 1980 LIFE magazine article,
which named the Lemp Mansion as "one
of the most haunted houses in America".
It remains a popular place for dinner
and spirits today.
owner of the house, Paul Pointer, maintains
the place as a wonderful eating and lodging
establishment and takes the ghosts as
just another part of the strange mansion.
"People come here expecting to experience
weird things," he said, " and
fortunately for us, they are rarely disappointed."
Saint Francisville is located in West
Feliciana Parish Louisiana. A small
town on the Mississippi River. Once
the Capital of the Republic of West
Florida, it is here that John James
Audubon (Birds of America Collection)
created over 80 of his beautiful watercolors.
There are seven Magnificent Plantation
homes opened for public tours. And The
Myrtyles Plantation is the one you would
not want to miss. And with all the recent
investigations by TAPS is now fast becoming
the most famous ghost filled haunted
house in America.
Exploring the myrtles you will see
grand fine antiques and architectural
treasures of the old South and you personally
might discover why The Myrtles has been
called "America's Most Haunted
actual haunting hour at the Myrtles
Plantation is said to be at three AM.
that exact hour each dark night, Chloe's
restless ghost roams the great dark
Myrtles isn't an ordinary plantation.
It's supposed to be one of the most
haunted houses in America. "
leader of the whiskey rebellion--
built the great haunted house
on a Tunica Indian burial ground
in 1794. He was actually the
very first to see a ghost at
the Myrtles Plantation, a naked
Indian girl wandering lost on
the grounds is what he is said
to have observed. But Many of
the locals state it is Bradford's'
many ghostly children and grandchildren
that haunt the Myrtles today.
Sara Matilda, Bradford's' daughter,
married Judge Woodruff. Woodruff was
said to have kept a slave mistress
named Chloe or so the haunted tale
When Woodruff grew tired of Chloe,
and she was afraid she would be sent
to the fields she is said to have
started eavesdropping on him to learn
of her future fate.
When Woodruff caught her, he cut
off her left ear and sent her to work
in the kitchen. From then on, Chloe
wore a green turban to hide her disfigurement.
She devised a plan to regain the affection
of him and the family. She boiled
poisonous oleander leaves and baked
them into a cake.
Chloe believed the children would
become ill and need her to nurse them
back to health. But she used too much.
Sara Matilda and two of the children
died that night from the poison.
When the other slaves heard about
Chloe's actions, they hung her from
a tree. They then weighted her body
with stones and threw her into the
Chloe still wanders the house and
grounds of the Myrtles Plantation.
She sometimes shows up in photos.
The Woodruff children are also heard
playing and laughing on the veranda
on rainy nights.
The Chloe story is the most popular
haunting tale at the Myrtles, but
many more people met their untimely
demise on the premises and can be
seen and heard wandering.
A Civil War soldier died on the floor
near the front door from battle wounds.
He was an avid cigar smoker who stayed
at the house before his death. The
smell of cigars sometimes fills his
room. ( And smoking isn't allowed
at the Myrtles...)
William Winter was said to have died
on the 17th step of the staircase
after a mysterious man shot him through
the study window in 1871.
The steps heard on the stairs in
the middle of the night are attributed
to him. Those who count claim the
footsteps stop at the seventeenth
Another young girl died of yellow
fever in one of the upstairs bedrooms.
Her parents called on a voodoo priestess
to help her, after all traditional
medicines had failed. When the little
girl died, the parents hung the priestess
from the chandelier.
In 1927, the caretaker was murdered
during a robbery attempt. The owners
claim that he can sometimes be seen
at the plantation gates telling people
The Myrtles is now a bed and breakfast,
so guests can stay in these rooms
and see if the ghosts come out and
play. The proprietors, John and Teeta
Moss, claim that the Best Western
loves the Myrtles, because so many
guests get spooked in the middle of
the night and run to the other hotel.
Whether you believe in ghosts or
not, it's fun to be scared. This house
has a creepy vibe. Bursts of cold
air come from nowhere. Former owners
have had church stained glass installed
in the front doors to keep out the
evil spirits. Also, the keyholes of
every door have a small cover over
them. In the nineteenth century, people
thought ghosts came into a house through
its keyholes, and these covers were
designed to keep them out.
People also believed that the ghosts
would hide in the corners until nighttime,
when they would come out to pester
the living. The Myrtles contains custom
plaster work nun and cherub charms
specially designed to keep the spirits
away from the corners. Every resident
has painstakingly tried to protect
himself from wandering spirits.
Ghosts or not, everyone who has owned
the property has either seen ghosts,
has turned into a ghost, or tried
to keep the ghosts away. Mysterious
figures and spheres often show up
in ghost photos.
The Myrtles has been featured in New
York Times, Forbes, Gourmet, Veranda,
Travel and Leisure, Country Inns, Colonial
Homes, Delta SKY, and on the Oprah Show,
A & E, The History Channel, The
Travel Channel, The Learning Channel,
National Geographic Explorer, and GOOD
MORNING AMERICA. It was also featured
in The Hauntings of Louisiana.
Historical tours are conducted daily
from 9am - 5pm.
Mystery tours are conducted on Friday
and Saturday evenings.
All bed and breakfast reservations include
a complimentary tour of this National
Historic Register home filled with hand
painted stained glass, open pierced
plaster frieze work, Aubusson tapestries,
Baccarat crystal chandeliers, Carrera
marble mantles and gold leafed French
furnishings. Guided tours include the
history, the architectural significance,
and the enchanting stories of mystery
Relax in the giant rockers on the 120-foot
verandah or stroll through the lush
ten acres filled with majestic live
oaks. The 5000 square foot old brick
courtyard is the perfect place to unwind
before enjoying a delicious candlelight
dinner at our Carriage House Restaurant.
Located in the Legendary Plantation
Country on U.S. Highway 61, 30 miles
North of Baton Rouge between New Orleans,
Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi.
Info and links on the Myrtles Haunted
Chambers Mansion San Francisco
In the prestigious Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco is the Chambers Mansion, which was built in 1887 and named after its first owner, Richard Chambers, who was a silver mine tycoon. Legend goes that Chambers lived here with his two nieces who hated each other. When Chambers died in 1901, the nieces inherited the mansion. One reportedly bought the house next door and moved in while the other sister, Claudia, stayed. Claudia reportedly loved pigs but met her fate one day when she was nearly cut in half from what her family called a "farm implementation accident."
Ghost expert Jim Fassbinder, who conducts haunted home tours in San Francisco, "claims that an insane member of the Chambers family, who was kept in the attic, chased Claudia downstairs into the Josephine room and killed her." The mansion was eventually converted to the Mansion Hotel in 1977, where celebs such as Barbra Streisand, Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams stayed. Many guests have reported strange occurrences while staying there. Read more here now... Chambers Mansion A very Hanted Hotel in San Francisco
Sprague Mansion Cranston, R.I.
One of Cranston's most prosperous families, the Sprague family, owned Cranston Print Works, a textile mill that was the first to make calico prints and help pioneer chemical bleaching. When William Sprague died in 1836, he left the business to his two sons, Amasa and William II. Amasa concentrated on the family business while William II focused on politics, serving as a U.S. Representative, governor and U.S. Senator. On Dec. 31, 1843, Amasa was found shot and beaten on the road between his textile mill and his mansion. A man was hanged for the crime, but later found to be innocent. The true killer was never found. The Sprague family's fortunes eventually faded and the Sprague Mansion changed ownership many times until the Cranston Historical Society saved it from demolition in 1967.
Hauntings of the mansion most often observed include Amasa in the wine cellar and a spirit thought to be "Charlie the butler" descending the main stairway. Legend goes that Charlie's hopes and dreams of riches were dashed when his daughter did not marry the wealthy homeowner's son.
Lizzie Borden House Fall River, Mass.
Who killed Andrew and Abby Borden with an ax on the morning of Aug. 4, 1892 in this Fall River, Mass., home? To this day, no one truly knows. Lizzie Borden, the daughter of Andrew and stepdaughter of Abby, became the prime suspect and eventually, the subject of a popular children's rhyme.
Andrew was a widowed cabinet-maker and had two daughters, Lizzie and Emma Lenora. In 1865, he married Abby Durfee Gray and then in 1872, he bought the home so he could be closer to the city's downtown district. Reports say the Bordens were not a loving family unit and the stresses of step relatives created much tension in the house, which were only escalated by the Borden girls' fears that their father was bequeathing his assets and property to the stepmother's side of the family. Lizzie was indicted for the crime, and then acquitted by a jury. It was the trial of the century. She and her sister eventually moved to a home on French Street, and the murder home is now a bed-and-breakfast where Andrew and Abby are said to still roam.