A Louisiana Ghost Story

A Louisiana Ghost Story

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As I mentioned in my last story “Ghost Light”, the southern region of the United States has an overabundance of ghost stories, haunted houses, strange happenings and just plain spooky stuff going on.  It has been like this since the beginning of time I suppose, but that is just part of the daily lives we have all learned to accept and live with down here. (It’s like some of the relatives you may not like to be around, but they are there just the same).

All or most southern states provide many plantations that were built during the 1800’s and have been passed down from generation to generation. Some still stand as family homes and others have been converted into bed and breakfasts’ that provide a look back into what life was like during the time of their construction. One very clear and I feel unfortunate fact about plantations is that they all had slaves. I mention this only to say that a lot of them had their own spiritual practices. In the southern most region of Louisiana, New Orleans there was voodoo and other related practices. Based on years of reading stories and personal accounts of owners and people who had studied this subject, the belief is that these practices left many souls still roaming these plantations where they lived and worked. It is also believed that the owners of the plantations may have at some point taken part in the rituals and therefore their souls were left to wander as well for whatever reason.

This month I would like to share the story of just one of these old plantations. The story of Susie Plantation in the parish of New Iberia, Louisiana.

Addie Harris was said to have died while giving birth at the young age of 22. Some say she was murdered, while other claims say she jumped to her death from one of the grand galleries that graced the old plantation.

Her life ended in 1872, but those who have lived in the antebellum home near Franklin say they believe the young woman still remains at the plantation in the form of a ghost. Susie was a working plantation when it was built in 1848, mostly raising sugar cane and rice. One of the most visible features of the extensive grounds is the grave of Addie Harris, which is situated near the home just 4 feet out of the ground.

A couple who had been looking for a piece of -bayou- front property, when they found Susie Plantation. They were living in Morgan City at the time. They did not have their hearts set on an older home, but ended up buying the property in 2002, because after seeing it, they felt at peace. The real estate agent that sold them the property did tell them that is was said to be haunted. They bought it anyway. A massive restoration began on the property after being left vacant for many many years, and almost immediately unexplainable things began to happen. The owners said they served a great God so they didn’t pay much attention to the haunts.

The couple saw scaffolding, erected on the front gallery dismantled and flung 50 feet from the house and left lying on the grounds in pieces. They stated that the only access anyone could have had to the scaffolding was through the house which they had locked up when leaving for the day. There were mysterious smells that often take over the house. A woman’s perfume or sometimes cooking smells, well before the home’s kitchen was remodeled allowing any such activity.

The husband said he has seen an apparition standing at the top of the stairs.  A visiting cousin claims to have seen a man standing in the backyard as her husband who was standing on the back gallery assured her no other man was there. Other figures have been spotted standing in the windows when no one was in the house, as well as the image of a woman seen standing on the front porch.

A visiting sister named Iris who was there from Tennessee said when working on the house on day, said she felt pushed off another set of scaffolding. She stated is was a strange feeling, but she felt some kind of force pushed her backwards. “It was a very evil feeling.”  I was extremely cold she said. I didn’t see anything but I did feel something. The husband was pushed off a ladder with a chain saw in his hand. He broke both wrists that day and severely damaged his right hand.

There was a theory that Addie Harris did not much care for men and never wanted one to own Susie Plantation. She stated there would be problems if it ever happened. Within a month of purchasing the property, the husband suffered a heart attack, other mishaps, including the chain saw incident that gave a bit of credence to Addie Harris’ desires for the grave.

There is the tinkling of bells in the hallway closet, the soft, incessant whispers in the night. The sound of footsteps on the stairs and invisible visitors in the parlor. Many family members will not spend the night in the home and others refuse to even get out of their cars in the driveway. It was actually exorcised many years ago with claims that six confederate soldiers, Addie Harris and a young child crying under the stairs identified.

Many people from all over the country just stop by to check out he haunted house. The owners enjoy having them come and talk to them about all the happenings that go on there.

After moving in, it has not taken long for the family to become believers in the epitaph that appears on Addie Harris’ tomb. “Weep not she is not dead, but sleepith.”

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