Sunday, December 6, 2015

Myrtles Plantation: Chloe and The Mirror

The haunting connected to the Myrtles Plantation located in St. Francisville, Louisiana is one of the better-known ghost stories in America. But researchers point to the fact that it is more myth than reality.

The plantation today is a bed and breakfast. The legend states that the Myrtles is haunted by a former slave that is seen roaming the grounds and that she and her victims also haunt one mirror located in the main house.

Myrtles Plantation

Bradford was the first to
see a ghost on the plantation.
A naked Indian girl.
A former Pennsylvania lawyer Whiskey Dave Bradford built the Myrtles home in 1796. The plantation sits on a Tunica Indian burial ground. The property was eventually passed on to his daughter Sara and her husband Judge Clark Woodruff in the 1820s.

The Woodruffs had three children, Cornelia, Jane, and Mary. They owned slaves, and one of these slaves a pretty young field hand by the name of Chloe is said to have been promoted to a house slave to act as governess for the Woodruff children.

Chloe supposedly was so grateful for her new position that when the Judge, who was a womanizer, approached her for sexual favors, she went along to keep her new job.

Being the Judge’s mistress, Chloe now felt her new status was safe and she would be able to remain in the house. But Judge Woodruff had a wandering eye, and it wasn’t long before he became bored with Chloe.

When the Judge rejected Chloe she became obsessed with the fact that she might be sent back to the fields. Becoming increasingly paranoid she began to eavesdrop on the Judge’s private conversations.

But the Judge caught her listening one-day and ordered that one of her ears be chopped off as punishment. For the rest of her short life, Chloe wore a green turban wrapped around her head so no one would see her wound.

Now afraid she would be doomed to hard labor for the rest of her life she began to plot how she could become indispensable to the Woodruffs so she could remain a house slave.

She came up with a plan to give the family a small amount of poison to make them ill—then she would prove her worth by nursing them all back to health.

Making a cake for Cornelia’s upcoming birthday, Chloe crushed oleander leaves, boiled them and put this water into the cake. Unfortunately, she used too much, and the result was Sara and two of her children, Cornelia and Jane died.

The Judge and baby Mary did not eat the cake, so they survived.

Chloe told another slave what she had done, and soon the word spread. The rest of the slaves worried they would be implicated in these deaths decided to tell the judge--in order to gain favor.

They lynched Chloe and then weighted her body with rocks and threw it into a nearby river.

It wasn’t long before witnesses began to see Chloe’s ghost roaming the plantation grounds. She was recognized because this figure wore a green turban. 

A story then circulated that her ghost also haunted a mirror that hung in the dining room where the family members died.

Myrtles haunted mirror.
In more recent years other witnesses have come forward to state that Chloe’s victims, Sara Woodruff and her two children also haunt this mirror.

The reason given as to why this mirror is haunted is based on an old superstition connected to death and mirrors. It is said the Judge sealed off this dining room shortly after the deaths—no one was allowed to enter the room for years.

Because of this the mirror was left uncovered during the mourning period for his family and then when Chloe was hanged, it trapped all four of their spirits in the mirror’s reflection.

For some, the story above has been proven to be just an entertaining myth. 

Many have debunked the spirits spotted in the hallway mirror at the plantation as being just “matrixing.” An explanation of this term is located in another post, here.

Others point to the fact that this mirror probably wasn’t in the plantation home at the time the Woodruffs lived there. It is believed that the Myers who owned the Myrtles in the 1970s bought this mirror in New Orleans feeling it matched the plantations décor.

Despite these arguments, many still believe Chloe haunts the Myrtles Plantation. 

Witnesses state they have seen her apparition as well as the ghosts of the Woodruff children.

This photo is said to be a ghost captured on film at Myrtles Plantation.

Some believe Chloe's ghost was captured in the following famous photo taken at the plantation. 

Photo of Chloe's ghost.

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