The Myrtles Plantation is the classic Southern mansion, equipped with its own sinister ghost stories, and a legendary history. According to many, Myrtles is home to over 12 different ghosts, each with its own fantastic yarn, though none quite as recognizable as the slave Chloe, who made herself famous in one of the most memorable ghost photos of all time.
Originally built in 1796 by General David Bradford, the Myrtles Plantation in those days was known as Laurel Grove. The mansion passed through many families until 1817 when it came to Clark Woodruff and his wife Sara Mathilda Woodroof. This is where things start getting good (or really bad, actually). According to the legend, Mr. Woodroff had a promiscuous streak and began an affair with a house servant, a girl named Chloe. Chloe knew that if she didn't give in to Woodroof's demands she would end up working in the fields, so she surrendered and the affair began behind Sara's back.
Eventually Woodruff grew tired of Chloe, and because of her fear of being removed from the house she began eavesdropping on the family's personal affairs. Chloe was of course caught, and in payment for the offense had one of her ears cut off. Afterwards she was only ever spotted wearing a green turban that hid the horrible scar Woodruff left behind.
Here's where the story gets a little fuzzy. Some say Chloe began slowly poisoning Clark Woodruff's wife Sara and her children, so that she could nurse them back to heath and win herself a place in the house. According to others, however, Chloe's motivations were purely revenge. For the Woodruff's oldest daughter's birthday, Chloe baked a cake with a handful of very poisonous oleander flowers. Both daughters (including Sara) had a slice of cake and died within a matter of hours. Clark Woodruff was spared.
Frightened that they would be blamed for the deaths, the other slaves dragged Chloe into the court yard and hanged her from the huge front tree. Her body was weighted down with rocks and tossed into a nearby river. Woodruff barricaded many of the rooms inside the plantation, the ones that reminded him of his children, and a few short years afterwards was murdered himself.
Since her death, Chloe has been spotted more times than can be counted, though one of her most famous run-in's was captured on film. In the famous black and white image taken by a former homeowner, some say you can see the shape of Chloe hiding almost out of sight around the side of the house so as not to be caught. She is often seen at night, wandering the grounds in her green turban, surrounded by the cries of little children. Guests report being awoken in the middle of the night to see Chloe staring at them from the side of the bed. Chloe is, of course, not the only ghost reported to be haunting the The Myrtles Plantation. Others spooks include William Drew Winder, an attorney who was shot in 1871 and died on the 17th step as he attempted to climb the stairs. There's also a famous mirror inside the plantation that's rumored to hold the spirits of Sara and her two murdered children. Often times people will see them reflecting back, or will find handprints on the glass when no one's around to leave them.
Today, America's most haunted plantation house is a bed and breakfast for those brave enough to spend the night in Chloe's turf. If you're too chicken to catch some Z's, you can always take one of Myrtles Plantation's many guided tours that take guests on an exploration through the grounds and house. Just… you know, maybe don't eat the cake. -Roadtrippers
We operate year round as a full service Bed & Breakfast. All rates are based strictly on double occupancy, with the exception of The Caretaker's Cottage, which sleeps 4, The Coco House, which sleeps 6 and The Cottages at The Myrtles Plantation, which sleep a maximum of 4 each. All rooms include a continental breakfast and a Historical Tour of the home. According to legend, 12 ghosts haunt the property, the result of a violent past (including 10 rumored murders).
Known to be one of the most haunted houses in the US, this plantation is actually now a bed and breakfast where you can spend the night with ghosts. It all started when the house was built on top of an ancient Indian burial ground. According to legend, a whopping 10 murders have occurred in Myrtles Plantation, and 12 ghosts haunt the property. One legend claims that a slave named Chloe served a poisoned birthday cake to the lady of the house and her two daughters- all three died, and Chloe was hanged by the other slaves as punishment.
The Myrtles Plantation was built in 1796 by General David Bradford and was called Laurel Grove at the time. General Bradford lived there alone for several years, until President John Adams pardoned him for his role in the Pennsylvania Whiskey Rebellion. He then moved his wife Elizabeth and their five children to the plantation from Pennsylvania. David Bradford died in 1808. In 1817, one of Bradford's law students, Clark Woodruff (or Woodroff) married Bradford's daughter, Sara Mathilda. Clark and Sara Woodruff managed the plantation for David Bradford's widow, Elizabeth. The Woodruffs had three children: Cornelia Gale, James, and Mary Octavia. Sara Bradford Woodruff and two of her three children died in 1823 and 1824 of yellow fever.
When Elizabeth Bradford died in 1831, Clark Woodruff and his surviving daughter Mary Octavia moved to Covington, Louisiana, and left a caretaker to manage the plantation. In 1834, Woodruff sold the plantation, the land, and its slaves to Ruffin Gray Stirling. Woodruff died in New Orleans in 1851.
Stirling and his wife, Mary Catherine Cobb, undertook an extensive remodeling of the house. When completed, the new house was nearly double the size of the former building, and its name was changed to The Myrtles. They imported fancy furniture from Europe. The Stirlings had 9 children, but five of them died young. Stirling died in 1854 and left the plantation to his wife.
In 1865, Mary Cobb hired William Drew Winter to help manage the plantation as her lawyer and agent. Winter was married to Mary Cobb's daughter, Sarah Stirling. Sarah and William Winter lived at the Myrtles and had six children, one of whom (Kate Winter) died from typhoid at the age of three. Although the Winters were forced to sell the plantation in 1868, they were able to buy it back two years later.
In 1871, William Winter was shot on the porch of the house, possibly by a man named E.S. Webber, and died within minutes. Sarah remained at the Myrtles with her mother and siblings until 1878, when she died. Mary Cobb died in 1880, and the plantation passed to Stephen, one of her sons. The plantation was heavily in debt, however, and Stephen sold it in 1886 to Oran D. Brooks. Brooks sold it in 1889, and the house changed hands several times until 1891, when it was purchased by Harrison Milton Williams.
Touted as "one of America's most haunted homes", the plantation is supposedly the home of at least 12 ghosts. It is often reported that 10 murders occurred in the house, but historical records only indicate the murder of William Winter. In 2002, Unsolved Mysteries filmed a segment about the alleged hauntings at the plantation. According to host Robert Stack, the production crew experienced technical difficulties during the production of the segment. The Myrtles was also featured on a 2005 episode of Ghost Hunters.
- Was this helpful? 3