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Louisiana plantation tours

CaptureWGNO’s Vanessa Bolano takes us on tours of some of the grand historic homes of south Louisiana.

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It’s been making headlines online across the globe. A news reporter’s encounter with a possible ghost while filming at the haunted plantation just two hours from New Orleans. Here is Vanessa Bolano.

Built in 1796 on  what is believed to be an ancient Indian burial ground The Myrtles plantation offers something different in these parts of St. Francisville.

Tour guide Robert Steinback says, “You can’t help but fall in love with this property. The more you know about it, the more you realize that this was, this is, a piece of history that cannot be replicated. There are other Antebellum homes throughout Louisiana and the South, but each one has its own story. This one has a unique story.

The Myrtles Plantation is one of the most visited plantations in the area and they say it is because it’s believed to be haunted. Actually, twelve spirits supposedly live there, but the owners say they’re all friendly spirits. You can spend the night at the plantation, but you’re not allowed to have a séance or bring in Ouija boards. The owners do not allow anything that can open the door to evil spirits.

It was while reviewing our video that we realized we may have captured one of the Myrtles supernatural residents. During Vanessa Bolano’s standup in the French Room a quick flash can be seen. When slowed down the cloudy image appears first behind her head by a white door and disappears behind her body, then reappears on the reporter’s dress and becomes more visible off her left shoulder. The image moves so fast that the video was slowed to 10% of its original speed which is why Bolano appears to be frozen.

Steinback says the French Room is also known as the most haunted room in the most haunted house of America.

“So we believe the spirits in the house remember that furniture from the days that they were alive. this house has seen a lot of tragedy. Some of these stories vary in terms of what we can document and what are just legends that have been handed down, but we know there has been a lot of tragedies over the years,” says Steinbeck, “It’s a reputation you can’t create. The house has to actually have that reputation and live up to it for more than two centuries.”

The current owners don’t live in the home anymore. Instead, it’s maintained as a tourist attraction and bed and breakfast for courageous souls.

“It’s not that they were creating a tourist attraction and said let’s make a haunted house out of it. It’s that they realized they had a haunted house and why don’t we invite some tourists in to see,” says Steinback.

For more information on The Myrtles Plantation, click here for their website.

News with a Twist

Tour The Butler Greenwood Plantation

Old meets new at the Butler Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville. Since the house was built in 1795 it has never been sold, always been occupied, and is still in the same family. Now at the helm is writer Anne Butler who is constantly inspired by her surroundings.

“It’s never been emptied and refurnished so you get a real feel for the continuity of history here,” says Butler, “Generations here have contributed a unique thing from every generation so that in this house you don’t have something frozen in time. This is a living home, the Christmas decorations kind of show that. It’s not one particular period because houses didn’t get frozen in time.”

The Butler Greenwood home is a typical 1790’s early house. It is equipped with most complete formal Victorian, has typical a music room with an original French Grand Piano, and boasts a library that holds hundreds of early volumes.

Butler inherited the property from her grandmother 40 years ago and to help her pay the bills in the 1990’s she transformed the property into a bed and breakfast. Today eight cottages are available seven days a week.

“You more or less have to let an old place like this help support itself. It’s such a bottomless pit, but it’s wonderful to be able to share it with people who are interested in history and want to see how things really were.”

For more on visiting the Butler Greenwood Plantation click here.

News with a Twist

Take A Tour Inside The Rosedown Plantation

Walk into the Rosedown Plantation’s music room and you may hear the same sound that was played there in the 19th century. The home dates back to 1835. Nestled among moss draped oaks, here your forced to leave the stress behind and soak in history.

Park Manager Trish Aleshire says, “We have about 90% of our original furnishings still left in the home and our tours are wonderful because you get to see all of the rooms. You get to go in all the rooms, walk up close to the furnishings and the antiques, and you can see American 19th century, 1840’s lifestyle like it was in the grand plantar families.”

The home was built by Daniel and Martha Turnbull and at the time sat on 3,600 acres of cotton. Today the home and nearly 400 acres surrounding it belong to the state.

“When this place was restored back in the 1950’s by a lady named Underwood she found, under layers of old paper, a wonderful French scenic paper, but it was in tethers and could not be salvaged, so she went to Paris and they found one that was very similar and they hung it up in the foyer. It actually predates the house. It’s from about 1820,” says Aleshire.

With most antiques in place and intact Rosedown stands out. A true time capsule held back in time. A slice of history welcoming visitors daily.

While WGNO reporter Vanessa Bolano was investigating reports of hauntings at the Myrtles plantation in south Louisiana, she caught this image on her camera. Watch for Vanessa’s full story on WGNO’s News with a Twist at 5PM on Friday, December 14, 2012.