Colorful Colorado and beyond…
One of America’s most haunted homes…The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana.
Have you heard this ghost story?
The master of The Myrtles, Judge Clarke Woodruff, was having an affair with a slave named Chloe. To make his extra curricular activities more convenient, he moved Chloe up to the house to care for his children. Chloe planned to gain power in the household by eavesdropping on conversations of the Judge and his prominent guests. Her plan backfired when one day the Judge caught her eavesdropping. In front of his friends, Woodruff made an example of Chloe by cutting off her left ear. Chloe was then banished from the house and forced to work harsh labor on the plantation.
Chloe hatched yet another plan to get in good graces of the Woodruff household. Woodruff’s 9-year-old daughter was having a birthday and Chloe baked a special cake in her honor. The cake was laced with liquid made from boiling indigo leaves, which would be very toxic to anyone eating the cake. Her plan was to make the child sick, then nurse her back to health, thereby making her a hero in the eyes of her master and once lover.
Again Chloe’s plan backfired but this time with deadly results. The Judge had been away from the plantation at the time, but upon his return he was greeted with the news that two of his children and his wife had died from eating the poisoned cake.
Woodruff questioned the slaves. The slaves that knew of Chloe’s evil plan turned on her. Chloe was hanged from a tree in front of the plantation home. When she was dead, her pockets were filled with rocks and her body was dumped in the nearby Mississippi River.
Not long after, Chloe’s appearance was reported among the house slaves and family. Today, staff report locking up the house only to return the next morning to find chairs rearranged. Or, finding one earring in a strange place. (Only one earring because Chloe had only one ear.)
This and other ghost stories are told on a tour of The Myrtles…spooky.
When we toured the plantation, a tour guide showed us a photograph taken of the house and a dark figure appears to be walking from the house to the adjacent cook house…there was nobody actually there. Could it have been Chloe?
The Plantations of the South are full of rich and colorful history. Some of my favorite plantations are Greenwood Plantation (the mini-series North and South was filmed here), Butler Greenwood, Nottoway Plantation and Tezcuco Plantation (also houses a Civil War Museum).*There are variations on the story of Chloe online. This is the story I was told when I toured The Myrtles.