This photo was taken at the Myrtles Plantation in my hometown, St. Francisville. The Myrtles, built in 1796, has a reputation as one of the most haunted houses in the country. It’s a B&B; you can book a room there, as these young women apparently did. Trouble is, you gotta stay with Chloe.
Who is Chloe? She’s a slave woman who legend has it accidentally poisoned the children of the house’s owner. You can see another photo of her here. The problem is that there’s no record of a slave named Chloe having been in bondage there. Some of the other ghost stories attached to the plantation are dubious. Whatever the names or the provenance of the unquiet spirits, I’m pretty confident that the Myrtles has them.
There are lots of stories about the place, though it’s certainly true that not everybody who stays there has a paranormal experience. I was in the house once talking to the then-owner when a candlestick on a mantel fell over. Nobody was near the thing. A local woman who was once my landlady told me a story about how she was sleeping upstairs there one night in the 1940s, when one of her kinfolks owned the house, and heard a bunch of voices and tinkling glasses coming from the living room downstairs, as if a party were going on. Of course nothing was actually happening in the house.
Maybe the photo above is some kind of fake. Or maybe it’s an image of one of the spectres haunting the grounds. If you want to stay there on Walker Percy Weekend 2018 (June 1-2), better make your reservation, and bring your holy water.