Until I descended into the basement.
I was certain that a missing box of decorations was down there, the only storage area I have and one I'm disinclined to utilize. The steps are narrow, rickety strips of wood and between every crack in the damp, dank cement floor, tiny plants, weeds and something in the ivy family thrive. Ere the year long, not only in warm months. An eerie, unsettling place. To put it very mildly.
As quickly as I dared, I trod up the rest of the steps and hurried to close - and lock - the door. Just as my hand covered the brass knob I heard another moan. Same low tone as the first but this time more muffled. Being that I was no longer on the stairs I couldn't write this one off to a creaky board. Or the wind.
More curious than unnerved, I left the door open, ears alert for further subterranean sounds. None came.
Had I disturbed a spirit, I wondered? Go ahead, laugh (I certainly won't know if you do), but I have no doubt that there are such beings...I'm talking about the unseen as well the oooooooo, floaty, white see-through beings that reside among the living.
Natchitoches is home to Northwestern State University, the university I went to after high school graduation. Magnolia Plantation was originally 5000 acres of cotton and tobacco crops. Slaves cleared the land, planted and harvested the fields and built the main house. During the Civil War, Federal soldiers took over the main house and turned it into a stronghold. The mansion was inhabited - by living beings - up until the late 1970s. In the 1990s it was donated to the Park Service and they've kept the place preserved ever since. There are dozens of accounts of ghostly apparitions and disembodied voices. The day I toured the place, all was quiet.
Located between Columbus and West Point, Waverly was built in the 1850s and occupied until 1913. For fifty years it remained empty until a couple who are big history buffs bought it and began restoring it, a process that continues to this day.
Waverly has many rumored ghosts, the most popular being a girl who cries and calls out for her mother. There's the occasional horse and its rider that appear in the yard and a Confederate soldier who gets a kick out of appearing in mirrors while living folk are looking at them. Oh, and if they're in the mood for gaiety, a party of guests might be
heard laughing and enjoying music in the
No parties, soldiers or horse and riders the day I visited.
Originally named Bon Séjour (pleasant sojourn), this Greek revival antebellum home built in 1839 is located on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Oak Alley Plantation is known as the "Grande Dame of the Great River Road". A spectacular setting that has enticed many movie and television directors. If you've seen the films "Interview With The Vampire", "Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte" or "Primary Colors", you were there.
Sugarcane was grown here, planted and sowed by slaves. Plenty of tales of a ghostly nature are told about this place; being touched on the arm by an invisible something...a man dressed in a grey suit circa early 1900s... the sound of a horse-drawn carriage and the dirt kicked up by their hooves...a thin, young woman with long dark hair wandering throughout all the rooms...
On my visit I saw nothing but a lot of giant 300 year old oak trees and a gorgeous house. Sigh.
Maybe she was waiting for the piano tuner to show up.
And lastly, The Myrtles Plantation, one of the most haunted places in America. It was called Laurel Grove when it was built in 1796. It's been a bed and breakfast for a number of years and there are many accounts of guests who've shared their room with a ghost. That may be because the house was built on top of an ancient Indian burial ground. Or it could be because there reportedly have been many murders committed on this property. Whichever the reason, there are a lot of legends about Myrtles' Plantation many ghosts. The most well-known is "The Ghost Girl", a young girl dressed in antebellum clothing who appears at a window next to a white rocking chair, staring out to no one knows where.
And guess what ghostly event took place when I visited The Myrtles?
Have you visited a haunted house, mansion, plantation? Do tell!