The Shining and The Myrtles – Immortal Monday

Welcome back Immortal Monday! Pull out the party horns, party poppers, and paper hats. Woot woot!

Today we’re looking at a place rather than a person or a demon or a god. We’re asking what makes a place ideal for the ill set stage of a ghost story. What makes a location immortal? Is it the events that took place there, the people, or a combination of the two?

The words of Dick Hallorann, the character Scatman Crothers played in The Shining, is whispering in my ear…

“It’s just that, you know, some places are like people. Some “shine” and some don’t…[ ]…you know…when something happens, it can leave a trace of itself behind. Say like, if someone burns toast. Well, maybe things that happen leave other kinds of traces behind. Not things that anyone can notice, but things that people who “shine” can see.”

Fast forward to 2:52 for the shinning

Set within the heart of Louisiana is a perfectly historical plantation, turned Bed and Breakfast, overflowing with embellished stories, and, if you believe the staff and guests, the shining―ghosts, if you prefer.

Myrtles_Plantation_LouisianaThe Myrtles Plantation is one of America’s top ten most haunted bed and breakfast destinations. Established in 1794 by David Bradford, the house has had more than its fair share of accumulated legends and tangled gossip, making it difficult to distinguish truth from fiction.

Most popular among the Myrtle plantation legends is the story of Chloe, a young slave girl thought to haunt the home. As the story goes, when Clark Woodruff owned the home with his wife, Sara Mathilda, they owed a house slave named Chloe. A promiscuous man by nature, Mr. Woodruff took up with the young girl when his wife was pregnant with their third child. Chloe was said to allow his behavior fearing she’d be sent to the fields otherwise.

Eventually tiring of Chloe Mr. Woodruff turned his affections to another. Given her position, Chloe took to listening in on the family’s conversations. Listening for whispers of her name, whispers of what she’d done, whispers of her fate. Caught in the act, Mr. Woodruff had her ear cut off as a constant reminder of her indiscretion. Scared, both externally and internally, Chloe took to wearing a green turban to hide the ugliness.

It’s uncertain what dictated her actions next, but it is said Chloe added a small amount of poison to the Woodruff’s oldest daughter’s birthday cake, intending to make the family sick. Everyone partook of the cake but Mr. Woodruff. Unfortunately Chloe miscalculated how much poison to use and ended up killing Sara Mathilda and the children. For her transgressions, the other slaves dragged Chloe out to one of the front trees and hung her.  

There’s a small problem with this creepy little tale, though, and I’m going to punch major holes in it with my cool monster facts.

  1. There is no record of the Woodruffs ever owning any slaves, much less a slave named Chloe or any name version near that.
  2. If Sara Mathilda died that day then her third child, Octavia, never would have been born. When in fact, she went on to have a long life, marry, and die of old age.
  3. Historical records state that Sara Mathilda actually died of yellow fever in 1823, after the birth of Octavia.
  4. The legend states two daughters are killed when in fact the Woodruffs had one daughter and one son prior to the birth of their third child, Octavia. Both children succumbed to yellow fever a year after their mother.

Clearly, the legend of Chloe is too vapor thin against the facts, but that doesn’t mean the house isn’t catering to a substantial cast of paranormal activity .

Chloe and The Myrtles PlantationLong before there was talk of Chloe, the owner of the house whispered of a lady in the green bonnet. She may be what has morphed into today’s Chloe legend. It is unknown where the lady in the green bonnet originated, but her spectral is often witnessed even now.

Since then there have been many to pass away in the home. Lives taken by old age, yellow fever, and consumption. All natural causes or by illness, of course that doesn’t mean there isn’t something to keep the energy lingering, the unfinished business, if you will.

Three unexpected deaths are recorded in association with the plantation:

  • William Winter’s oldest son, Henry, drowned in the Mississippi.
  • The owner, William Winter, was shot on the front porch by an unknown assailant.
  • Someone was murdered in one of the outer buildings during a robbery.

Over two-hundred years and a heap of grief and sorrow all packed into one small plantation. Emotion is powerful. Emotion builds energy. Emotion creates a shining. And there’s no doubt in my mind the Myrtles Plantation shines.

It has a history of unexplained phenomenon. Shadow people walking the gardens, spectral children peering in through windows, EVPs, orbs, self-playing pianos, the list goes on.

The Myrtles Plantation appears to be a destination energy prefers not to depart. Does that make it somewhat immortal? What say you? Definitely, a great setting for a ghost story.

In eight days I’ll be checking in to the Myrtles Plantation B&B with author Tameri Etherton at my side. I’ll let you know how immortal it feels.

Thanks for stopping by! I truly appreciate your support.

Until next time, immortally yours.

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21 thoughts on “The Shining and The Myrtles – Immortal Monday”

  1. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    Okay, I got the chills at the mention of the shadow people. Creepy. This plantation is a great setting for a ghost story for sure!

  2. Jennette Marie PowellJennette Marie Powell

    I was not familiar with the Myrtles but it does sound like the perfect place for paranormal activity. I would not have thought of aircraft as being haunted until I researched the National Museum of the USAF, where supposedly several are!

  3. Tameri EthertonTameri Etherton

    I’m still wavering between excitement and terror! I’ll have our magic glow wands to fend off the ghostly visitors! It’s going to be epic. Seriously, this trip is amazing from start to finish.

    AND! I finally realized that I can put a swampy, voodoo-y, haunted place in my fantasy novels. I don’t have to figure out a whole new book! Yay! Now I can relax and enjoy the shining.

  4. PatriciaPatricia

    I’m so excited for you to be staying in this legendary place. I’ve seen this place on television shows before and the story is quite exciting, although they don’t share the “facts” of the place.

    In any event, it’s a lovely home in a lovely area so if nothing else, you’ll get to enjoy the view and some quiet time.

    Of course, we’re all expecting some awesome photos and a great ghost story.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt
    Patricia recently posted…Cinco de Mayo – Mexican Holiday Or American Excuse to Get Drunk?My Profile

  5. Diana BeebeDiana Beebe

    Ooooooo! Creepy! I love how you punch holes in the story with facts. It helps, but only a little. I can’t wait to hear about the adventure you and Tameri have. 😀

  6. Kristy K. JamesKristy K. James

    Better you than me. I am a coward and not ashamed to admit it. I’ve had all the haunted houses I care to deal with. My mother claims the apartment we lived in when I was a toddler was haunted, and I know I lived in a place where really weird things happened. Hated every minute of it. But I know you and Tameri will have a blast. If your posts about it are too scary, warn me please, cause I want to read it right after I wake up…so I have lots of hours to forget about it before I go to bed. 😀 😀 😀

  7. Emma MeadeEmma Meade

    Oh, Immortal Monday, how I’ve missed you. Mae Clair’s Mythical Monday posts have been keeping me going.
    This post is so strange because a couple of weeks ago I watched a documentary on this place after looking up New Orleans ghost stories on YouTube. Of course the documentary failed to point out the holes in the legend. 🙂
    Enjoy your stay there with Tameri,

  8. Kassandra LambKassandra Lamb

    Sounds kind of creepy. I wouldn’t mind visiting during the day but staying there? You’re a brave soul, Debra. Hope you enjoy your getaway.

  9. Tracey LivesayTracey Livesay

    I can’t believe you and Tameri are going to be in New Orleans at the same time as RT! I can’t wait to see you both. And I want to know if you felt something at the haunted B & B! I have LOTS of thoughts about the ghost Chloe… but I’ll keep those to myself. 😉

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