The Myrtles Plantation; St. Francisville, Louisiana, Built: 1796
The paranormal is shrouded in Southern splendor at this 212-year-old mansion.
What appears at first glance to be the perfect romantic getaway has also been hailed as one of America’s most haunted houses. Of the various ghosts who supposedly haunt the estate (among them a young girl and a man who likes the 17th stair on the staircase), the most famous is Chloe. She often haunts the children’s nursery, but she’s also been seen roaming the entire property.
Rumor has it that Chloe was a slave and possible mistress of the second owner of the plantation, judge Clark Woodruff. Because she was caught eavesdropping on family business -- or because of her illicit affair with the judge -- her earlobe was cut off as punishment. From that point on, she wore a green turban.
Sometime later, fearing that she might be sent to the field as a slave instead of staying in the house as a servant, Chloe hatched a plan to poison -- and then cure -- the family to win back their respect. Chloe baked a birthday cake that contained oleander, which has effects similar to arsenic’s when consumed. Unfortunately, the plan backfired and the poisoning resulted in the deaths of the judge’s wife and two of his three children, and Chloe was later hung by the other servants who knew of her plan and wanted to keep their positions.
The Myrtles has made a believer out of owner Teeta Moss, who was originally skeptical of the existence of ghosts. “Today, I will definitely admit that I believe in ghosts, but I prefer to call them guardian angels,” she says.
The estate extends its mystery-tour hours late into the night during its Halloween extravaganza, for which the guides take on characters and tell stories of the Myrtles. Rooms from $115. (800) 809-0565, www.myrtlesplantation.com
The Lodge Resort & Spa; Cloudcroft, New Mexico, Built: 1899
Originally serving as a mountain retreat for Texans seeking to relax and escape the sweltering Texas heat, the Lodge Resort has hosted many people over the years, including Pancho Villa, Clark Gable, and Judy Garland.
One guest, however, failed to leave: Rebecca, a young ginger-haired chambermaid who, legend has it, disappeared after her lumberjack lover caught her two-timing him.
Some say this blue-eyed beauty still roams the historic hotel, searching for a new lover or friend.
Ed Thomas, audit supervisor, has worked the night shift at the Lodge for almost 10 years. During his tenure, he has experienced a number of things that have been difficult to explain: white lights, the entry door opening by itself, the sound of footsteps when no one is around, and items falling off shelves without warning. It’s enough to make him wonder, “Is it Rebecca?”
Guests who are interested in the previous sightings can check out the book kept at the front desk of the resort in which others have written about their creepy encounters. Rooms from $115. (800) 395-6343, www.thelodgeresort.com