~Written By Pattyhap1863~

You may be familiar with the Myrtle’s Plantation, located in the West Feliciana town of St. Francisville, Louisiana, as it has a reputation for being very haunted. Those most noted are two ghost girls, ghost soldiers from the Civil War and Chloe, the ghost of a slave wearing a green turban. There is even a ghostly photograph that circulates the net where we can see Chloe for ourselves, hiding around the corner of one of the plantation’s main buildings. However, after having done some research on the different hauntings of Myrtle’s Plantation, I was surprised to discover that the real history behind the place was a shocker!

Myrtles Plantation

The plantation itself was said to be owned by Judge Bradford, his wife Elizabeth and their daughter Sarah. When Clark Woodrooff (who later changed his name to Woodruff) graduated with honors after having been taken under Judge Bradford’s wing, he had already fallen in love with the lovely Sarah. They married and had three children, Cornelia Gale, James, and Mary Octavia and might have lived happily ever after at the plantation, if misfortune hadn’t struck them all.

The story most commonly told is that Woodruff had taken a lover, a black slave girl called Chloe. After having used and abused her, he promptly grew tired of her and sought another girl elsewhere. Chloe was working for the household at the time and was a bit of a busybody who liked to listen into conversations. One day when eavesdropping, she was caught in the act by Woodruff who was so angry that he cut off one of her ears. She was then sent to work out in the field (which she hated) and began to wear a turban for obvious reasons. She wanted to get back to the house so badly, that a thought occurred to her. As one of the girls would be celebrating a birthday, she baked a cake to which she added some oleander leaves which are said to be poisonous. What she had in mind was to nurse the girls back to health and this way gain entrance back to the house. However, she miscalculated the dose, and Sarah and her two daughters died as a result. To this day, the ghost girls are said to be seen playing in the gardens. True? Think again! When we dig a little deeper into the history of the place, the story looks quite different. Sarah, the mother, was not poisoned at all! She died from Yellow Fever in 1823 during one of the epidemics that swept through Louisiana. Her son James and her daughter Cornelia also died from Yellow Fever, and even though the ghost tale mentions that the second daughter died from the poisoned cake, the truth is that she lived with her father at the plantation until her grandmother died and they both moved out to live at Woodruff’s plantation north of New Orleans. Woodruff died there in 1851.

Now what about the ghost of the black slave in a green turban? Is it Chloe? The fact is that historical records and the plantation records, don’t mention a Chloe, or ‘Cleo’ as she is sometimes referred to. So, it’s possible that she never existed! But what of the ghostly photograph and the tales? Apparently, these may have some basis of truth in them. There was a family ghost (a ghost lady wearing a green bonnet or turban) who was affectionately called Chloe, and the name stuck, but her ghost is reported to be that of an older lady. Perhaps this is the basis for the legend of Chloe the servant?

Another legend concerns a soldier who was shot at the front door. But there is also no record of any soldiers ever being shot or killed at the plantation. There is however, one man that was shot outside the front door on the porch. His name was William Drew Winter, who went outside to confront someone who was looking for him and was instantly shot! Winter died on the spot, so did not drag himself up the staircase to die in his wife’s arms on step number 17, as is reported to have happened.

Another legend concerns a mirror which is said to have the imprints of Sarah Woodruff and her two girls in them. The truth is that the mirror is old, and the handprints which have been seen are likely to be those left by restorers following the replacement of the silvering, or else could be those left by cleaners. Faces in the mirror have also been noted in photographs. However, ordinary smudges, along with the flash reflected in the mirror are probably responsible … pareidolia at its best!

The Haunted Mirror

(Wikimedia Commons)

There have been many ghost hunts and investigations at Myrtle’s and a lot of paranormal activity has been found on the plantation. For a look at some evidence captured by the TAPS team click on the link below.


Here is another video which takes us on a tour around the house and the grounds by GhostHuntersOfTexas.


For more on the Myrtle’s Plantation, please click on the links below:



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