ParaPedia - Encylopedia of the Paranormal, Bizarre, Mysterious, & the Unexplained


Photo of Cloe at Myrtles Plantation

Definition: This photo is said to show Chloe, once a slave on the Myrtles Plantation, standing just to the right of the column in the center of the photo. Legend says Chloe became mistress of Myrtles' owner Judge Clarke Woodruff, poisoned his wife and children, and was hung from a tree on the property.


The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, La., is described on its official Web site as "one of America's most haunted houses." But just who or what is responsible for all the haunting?

The best-known Myrtles Plantation ghost story is that of Chloe, a slave on the plantation in the early 19th century. As the legend goes, Chloe became the mistress of plantation owner Judge Clarke Woodruff. Fearing that she was losing his affection, she baked a cake for his daughter's birthday, adding a small amount of poison in an attempt to sicken the children just enough that she could miraculously nurse them back to health and therefore be assured of her master's continued attentions. Of course, the plan went horribly awry. According to legend, two children and their mother died of the poison, and Chloe was quickly found out and consequently hanged from a tree on the plantation.

Today, Chloe is said to appear frequently between two trees outside the home, and she is credited with many mysterious goings-on inside, from misplaced earrings to moving furniture. However, historians have questioned whether she ever truly existed. At the very least, the story of the poisoned children is untrue, as the deaths of the children (and their mother, one year earlier) from yellow fever are well documented.

Fortunately for visitors, there's plenty of other paranormal activity at the Myrtles Plantation. According to the American Hauntings Web site, the home's then-owner Frances Myers claimed in 1987 to have been awakened suddenly by an old black woman wearing a green turban and a long dress. The woman stood silently beside the bed holding a metal candlestick in her hand. Myers pulled the covers over her head and screamed, then slowly looked out to find that the apparition had vanished. Other residents and visitors have reported seeing children playing on the veranda or floating outside the window of a game room, and the grand piano on the first floor plays by itself, stops when someone comes into the room and plays again when they leave.


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