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The Haunted Myrtles Plantation, Natchez Mississippi, New Orleans, and Cemeteries Galore – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #36

big seance podcast, bannerAre you brave enough to stay the night at the haunted Myrtles Plantation? I did. Join me as I talk about the exciting stops on my summer vacation through the south, here in the US. Other paranormal spots included the King’s Tavern in Natchez, MS, Oak Alley Plantation, and the Lalaurie Mansion in New Orleans.

 

The Haunted Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, LA. BigSeance.com

The haunted Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, LA.

 

Get to this episode in iTunes!
Direct Download Link

 

In this episode:

  • A quick summary of this episode! :38

 

Natchez, MS

  • We arrived in the beautiful and historic Natchez, MS. View the photos I took around the city in my Natchez album on Flickr. 3:14
  • King’s Tavern — Featured on Ghost Adventures in Season 7, episode 18 from 2013. Kings Tavern is the oldest standing building in the Mississippi Territory and Natchez and its history goes all the way back to 1769.  3:36
  • Plan B and stumbling into a beautiful surprise! 4:17
  • Dinner at the historic Bowie’s Tavern — We talked to some residents who recommended we have dinner at Bowie’s Tavern, which is on Broadway in Natchez. And they made a great choice for us. Good food and really nice people. The historic building overlooks the Mississippi river and was originally a cotton warehouse. They also proudly display a mahogany bar that was built around 1880. They also have lodging on the upper floor with a view of the river! 5:04

 

Natchez City Cemetery

  • The mysterious and unique grave of Florence Irene Ford (Sept 3, 1861 – Oct 30, 1871), who died of yellow fever at the age of 10. This grave was constructed with a set of open concrete stairs that descend next to what would be the head of Florence’s body, with the headstone above. Learn more about this grave at GhostInMySuitcase.com. 8:05

 

Monmouth Mansion

  • Before leaving Natchez, we toured the Monmouth Mansion (built in 1818) and the beautiful gardens and small cemetery that surrounds it. Check out my Monmouth Mansion photo album on Flickr. 10:03

 

The Myrtles Plantation

  • The Myrtles Plantation (built circa. 1796) in St. Francisville, LA — If you are as big of a paranerd as I am, you’ve probably seen the Ghost Hunters investigation of Myrtles from way back in 2005, episode 1 of their 2nd season. You’ve also probably seen the The Ghost Adventures crew investigate the place just last year in season 9, episode 2. 10:46
  • The lovely Miss Hester 11:33
  • Some audio with a little bit of the atmosphere of the haunted Myrtles Plantation. 12:25
  • The Myrtles Plantation Tour 14:15
  • Some of the legends of the Myrtles Plantation 16:18
  • The Haunted Mirror 17:01
  • The ghost of Chloe — Probably the biggest legend of the Myrtles. Chloe was supposedly the slave closest to the Woodruff family, who purchased the home in 1820 and remodeled it. Was she Mr. Woodruff’s mistress? Did she poison Mrs. Woodruff, along with Cornelia and James, two of the children? Was one of her ears cut off? And was she hung from a nearby tree? 19:03
  • The nursery, or the “Ruffin Stirling Room”, which is where we stayed for the night. The two children, Cornelia and James Woodruff, were apparently taken to this room, where they later died. 21:26
  • Kate, Cleo, Voodoo, and other deaths at the Myrtles. 21:47
  • More about the “terrifying” bed shaking experiences that have been reported in the nursery/Ruffin Stirling Room. 22:34
  • Before bed we tried to reach out to any of the spirits of the Myrtles by conducting an EVP, Spirit Box, and Ouija session in the nursery. 23:06
  • Who changed the track on my recorder while we were sleeping? 26:23
  • More audio of me touring the grounds of the Myrtles, including the pond and cabins around the back of the property. 28:26
  • View my Myrtles Plantation photo album on Flickr.

 

Grace Cemetery, St. Francisville, LA

  • Our visit to Grace Cemetery and the Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville, LA. You can find the Grace Cemetery photo album on Flickr. 30:18

 

Oak Alley Plantation

  • The beautiful and reportedly haunted Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, LA. It’s one of the more popular plantations. In fact, you’ve probably seen it in photos or even as the Hollywood backdrop of a movie or two. It was featured in Season 4, episode 19 of Ghost Hunters in 2008. The rows of 300 year old oak trees are breath taking. Check out my Oak Alley Plantation album on Flickr. 32:36

 

French Quarter in New Orleans

  • Heading to New Orleans and the overwhelming heaviness or anxiety that I was feeling. 33:45
  • Bourbon Street 35:15
  • Our spectacular dinner and experience at the Oceana Grill 35:30
  • Incense, sage, tarot cards, and my mom’s visit to the Voodoo shops (Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo and Reverend Zombie’s House of Voodoo)! 35:43
  • On the way out the French Quarter, mom dropped me off at the Lalaurie Mansion. Hopefully you remember my interview with Victoria Cosner Love, who authored the book on Madame Delphine Lalaurie, the real life murderess portrayed in American Horror Story: Coven. If not, you can check out episode 7 of the podcast from August 6, 2014. 36:47

 

Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans

 

Long Beach, MS

  • What’s the opposite of the French Quarter in New Orleans? Long Beach, MS, which was the last leg of our trip. Long Beach is not far from Gulf Port, MS. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express for a few nights. 38:28
  • On our first night we had dinner at Shaggy’s right on the beach near Gulfport. 39:26
  • The Papa Johns delivery guy in Long Beach is a fellow podcast nerd! 39:49

 

Shout Outs!

  • Shout Outs! Thanks, StevenXm and American Ghoul for your iTunes reviews, and Tracy for the spooctacular photo and the e-mail! 40:47
  • What’s coming up next week? 42:30
  • This week’s blooper — a visit from my four-legged son Meril, who was apparently very thirsty! 44:32
  • Don’t forget to tweet me @BigSeance!

 

Psst… Are you looking for the SpeakPipe link?

 

The Big Seance Podcast can be found right here, on Apple PodcastsSpotifyTuneIn RadioStitcherGoogle Play Music, and iHeart Radio. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!


Death and Mourning in the 19th Century and the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion

This past weekend, friend and past guest of the Big Séance Podcast, Victoria Cosner Love, invited me (ahem… strongly encouraged me to leave my crypt) to a fascinating event, which appropriately fit the season, in my opinion anyway. It was my first visit to the absolutely beautiful Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion in St. Louis. “A Death in the Family: Death and Mourning in the 19th Century” is an annual mourning event there. 

An interesting fact is that the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion is right next door to the famous Lemp Mansion and the Lemp Brewery Complex, and so the neighborhood is always an interesting place to find yourself this time of year. (Incidentally, the boys from Ghost Adventures just featured the Lemp Mansion and Brewery in their most recent episode, and the Ghost Hunters spent some time there a few years ago as well.) 

The Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion is reported to be haunted as well, and I did talk to a few people in the know, but this event didn’t focus on the paranormal aspects of the place.

 

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As you may know, I’m obsessed with staircases, especially grand ones in a historical location like this mansion. So I had to lead with the photo above, with one of the volunteers appropriately mourning in character at the front entrance. 

I was very surprised to also run into several friends, some of whom I’ve never met in person, like my new friend Ginger of Missouri History and Hauntings. I got to meet a few other fascinating and knowledgable people, as well. I’m so very glad I went!

So back to the event itself. Here’s a description of the event, taken directly from their site:

This is an open house style event, during which guests are free to visit exhibits throughout the Mansion and learn not only about mourning customs of the 19th century but illness, medical treatments, wakes, funerary practices and more from costumed volunteers and museum staff.

As well as visiting with our informative volunteers, guests get a chance to see a amazing collection of original objects related to death, mourning and medical practices, from private collections, that are on display just this one day every year.

 

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I loved the event, but I look forward to going back again soon, perhaps to get a general tour of the place, plus they have plenty of activities. I encourage anyone in the area to visit if you haven’t been. 

I would have loved to have been able to get more shots of the home, but this event was well-attended, which is a good thing, but it made it difficult to get really good photos. But I hope you enjoy the shots that I did capture.

 

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I loved the feel and the color of this beautiful, yet oddly shaped corner. I need to find more information about this room. 

 

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Photography from Saint Peter’s Cemetery, Saint Charles, Missouri

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For the full set of photos, visit the Saint Peter’s Cemetery album on my Flikr page.

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Other recent cemetery photography posts:

Return to the Old Catholic Cemetery in Lexington, Missouri

The Iron Fence and the Family Plot

Cemetery of Immaculate Conception of Dardenne, Missouri

Francis Howell Cemetery, St. Charles, Missouri

Perfectly Lonely and Snowy City of Souls – Return to Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis

 

 


The Anderson House and the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site

 

This mansion, known as the Oliver Anderson house, was built in 1853, and is such a familiar landmark to me. After all, I was born in a hospital just a few hundred feet away from the road behind it. The house and the battlefield are now one of many Missouri State Historic Sites.

 

 

The battle, sometimes known as “The Battle of the Hemp Bales”, lasted 3 September days in 1861. The Anderson family was thrown out of their home by Federal troops, though the house changed hands several times over the three days. For the most part it was used as a field hospital for the wounded.

 

 

There are several ghost stories and legends attached to this home, yet whether the mansion is haunted or not is something the state is tight-lipped about. Over the years lots of people have worked in and around the house though, and it isn’t hard to find someone ready to share their experiences. I have childhood friends who grew up in this neighborhood, and between the house and the battlefield, they say strange things happened all the time. Obviously I’ve requested access to conduct a paranormal investigation, but Missouri State Historic Sites doesn’t go for things like that.

When I was growing up, a local Kansas City news station would often come to Lexington around Halloween to reenact ghost stories for segments on the news. In 1989, one of them was filmed here at the Anderson House. I was able to find the 1989 KMBC 9 News segment, and it is embedded below.

 

 

 

For most of us that grew up in Lexington, the back of the house is actually the view that you see first, since the front of the house faces the river bluff. The back yard leading to the battlefield looks a lot different now then it did back then. They used to hold the battle reenactments right on site every couple of years. They’d even use the Anderson house as a backdrop and sometimes a character in the drama. Fortunately, though it bugs some, they’ve redesigned the yard surrounding the house to look the way it would have originally, including prairie and a wooded area surrounding it, so it can no longer be seen from the road. I think it’s a really cool decision that has taken time and effort to achieve. However, it disturbs me that in my lifetime a whole stretch of wooded area has had the opportunity to grow and block the view of the Anderson House. I guess that means I’m old. One thing that does disappoint me is the fact that they no longer do the battle reenactments on site. They have them nearby on the riverfront. It is simply not the same.

 

 

Imagine it being the 1800s and this being your front yard. In those days, the river down the hill would have had major steamboat traffic. I love this shot. At the time I took this picture, there was actually a couple napping just over the hill.

 

 

I found these wildflowers growing in between the battlefield and the house. Unfortunately, my photo of the battlefield didn’t turn out, but you’re likely to find photos on one of the links I’ve included below.

 

 

Below is the cover of the brand new book about the Battle of Lexington, written by Larry Wood. I haven’t seen it yet, but Larry asked my permission to include one of my older photos in the book, a photo from the Machpelah Cemetery in town.  Click on the cover below for more information on its Amazon page.

 

 

 

For more information, including many other fascinating photos, visit The Battle of Lexington Historic Site on the web.

 

You might also like these Big Séance posts related to Lexington:

Images of America: Lexington, Missouri 
Verna Marie Owen (1859-1986), a Lexington Missouri Teacher 
Do Spirits Reside at Papa Jack’s Pizza in Lexington, Missouri? 
Dr. Silkini’s Ghost Show: Do the Dead Return? Spooks Sit Beside You! 
Return to the Old Catholic Cemetery in Lexington, Missouri 
The Iron Fence and the Family Plot

 

 

 


Return to the Old Catholic Cemetery in Lexington, Missouri

 

It hasn’t changed a bit, this old cemetery. Until two years ago when I visited it last, it had been over 20 years since I’d seen it. I remembered several of the individual headstones like I had just been there the day before. It’s weird, the things our brains choose to remember and hold on to. Growing up, I spent quite a bit of time here as my grandparents lived nearby. In fact, one of my earliest childhood memories is of an uncle of mine giving me a ride through this cemetery on a four-wheeler, and coming back with a collection of pine cones. I’m sure it wasn’t very deep back then, but I remember strolling through this grass and over the hill… and pondering life… and probably death. I don’t remember my reasons for enjoying my time there so much, but I do recall having general conversations with any spirit wanting to listen. I also recall my Bama (grandma) packing a lunch for me on a few occasions. One thing is for sure. When I think about a cemetery, or when I’m reading of a fictional graveyard, it is always this beautiful place that ends up being the setting in my mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other recent cemetery photography posts:

The Iron Fence and the Family Plot

Cemetery of Immaculate Conception of Dardenne, Missouri

Francis Howell Cemetery, St. Charles, Missouri

Perfectly Lonely and Snowy City of Souls – Return to Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis

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Dr. Silkini’s Ghost Show: Do the Dead Return? Spooks Sit Beside You!

 

Do the dead return? Spooks sit beside you? Wow, a Ghost Show! I’d love to go! It’s even from a theatre in my home town! The only problem is that I’m several decades too late… and a McDonalds sits where the theatre once was. I did, however, get to see a few movies there as a kid though. Annie and Goonies are the ones I remember the most. 

The above poster, which Joe and I discovered in a very cool new antique store in Lexington, led me to reading and learning about a part of history I knew very little about. Should I be embarrassed about this? I’m now fascinated! I’ve not been able to find a similar version of this poster from another theatre, which may also be why this was marked at $145. I didn’t buy it, of course… oh but I wanted it really badly. If I had to make a guess, I’d say it was from the 1950s, but I’m not entirely sure. The piece of tape above “Thursday”, is covering what I assume is probably the word “MIDNIGHT”. The store, The Country Peddler, has so many similar posters and banners, including lots of oil painted canvas advertisements (not sure what else to call them) from as early as the 1800s , plus lots of large nostalgic items, like jukeboxes, for example. Check it out if you make it to Lexington.

 

The Midnight Ghost Show…

The concept of the ghost show was apparently started by Elwin-Charles Peck in 1929. Really it was a stage magic show inspired by the popularity of spiritualism, and the tricks were the same ones used by the charlatans and fraudulent mediums of the time. People (mainly kids and teens) went for the séances, conjuring, flying ghosts that glowed in the dark, terrifying stunts, and audience participation. Often there were staged blackouts, where tricks would then be played on audience members, making them believe there was a “spook” near them.

In the 1930s and 40s these traveling “midnight ghost shows” were very popular in small towns around the country. Peck inspired a generation of copycats, all known as “ghost masters”, that took the ghost show to an all new level in the 40s and the 50s. The most successful of these would be Jack Baker, whose stage name was Dr. Silkini. It is said that humor is what Baker added to the already popular ghost show formula to make it so wildly successful. The concept struggled to keep the attention of an audience through the 60s and 70s, mainly due to the popularity of television. Jack Baker died in 1980.  

I’m really bummed that I missed this craze. I bet it was really fun. Were any of my readers fortunate enough to have witnessed any of these shows from the time period? I’d love to hear from you!  

 

Want more info? 

The main sources I used for this blog post come from two wonderful articles: Matt Novak’s The Rise and Fall of the Midnight Ghost Shows and Jim Knipfel’s Dr. Silkini’s Asylum of Horrors.  I urge you to check these sites out if you want to learn more. 

 

You might also like…

Shop Home for the Holidays (Big Séance)

Shop Home for the Holidays (Big Séance)

Spirit Trumpets (Big Séance)

Spirit Trumpets (Big Séance)

Old School Locker (Big Séance)

Old School Locker (Big Séance)

 

 

 

 

 


The Iron Fence and the Family Plot

Is it the ornate designs? Is it the worn and aged look? Maybe it’s the lichen that seems to glow in the sunset? Or maybe it’s the fact that fencing a family plot so beautifully is a thing of the past? Whatever it is, I couldn’t stop photographing them this last weekend. 


 

 

All above photos are from a recent return visit to Machpelah Cemetery in my hometown of Lexington, Missouri. For more photos from this shoot, please visit the Machpelah album on my Flickr page

 

Other recent cemetery photography posts:

Cemetery of Immaculate Conception of Dardenne, Missouri

Francis Howell Cemetery, St. Charles, Missouri

Perfectly Lonely and Snowy City of Souls – Return to Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis

 

 


I’m Baaaaaaaaaack!

 

I’m back from the greatest and most eventful spring break I’ve had in years… and maybe ever! But I’ve been itching to get back to this computer, since I’ve never had such a long absence from this blog! I have so much to share with you, including TONS of photos and stories from my T.A.P.S. and Chip Coffey weekend at Belvoir Winery  in Liberty, Missouri… but I feel I should share chronologically. Plus, I just now got back home and must now return to a busy real life tomorrow, and I have much to go through in order to work up some Belvoir posts. I’m so excited though, because I have plenty to share, including meeting more para-celebs and some great new friends! Also, perhaps some video clips from our large group investigation from Saturday night! So stay tuned…

 

 

THE PARANORMAL PORTION OF THIS POST

So here’s a little update. I wrote the first part of this post yesterday and intended to publish it last night. I’ve been recovering from a cold and some kind of a bug since returning from Cancun. Suddenly in the middle of this post, I began getting chills that within an hour became more intense than I’ve ever experienced. It was horrible. I stood in a hot shower for a ridiculous amount of time, and when I forced myself to get out, I curled up in blankets on the bed. I couldn’t get warm enough. As I began to shiver myself to sleep, I either straight up hallucinated or dreamed that I had physically jumped inside my iPhone (not easy for a fat man) and was cruising through my Facebook feed. So… very… bizarre. I ultimately ended up sleeping for a few hours and woke up at bedtime, of course. Was I visited by the ghost of Montezuma? Did Trixie at Imos add some fairy dust to my pizza? (Oh you KNOW I’m totally going to put “fairy” and “faery” in the tags to this post now.)  I really don’t know, and I’m feeling much better today, but I stayed home from school to be sure (after several late night hours of creating substitute teacher plans, of course). One thing is certain, last night was not fun. 

 

THIS CONCLUDES THE PARANORMAL PORTION OF TODAY’S PROGRAMMING

For now, though it’s not very paranormal, I wanted to share a few photos from our spectacular trip to Cancun, Mexico! For the rest of my artsy-fartsy Cancun photos, feel free to visit my Flickr page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You might also like:

Greetings from the Smoky Mountains! (Big Séance)

Two Smoky Mountain Cemeteries (Big Séance)

 

 


Francis Howell Cemetery, St. Charles, Missouri

 

More Recent Cemetery Posts: 

Perfectly Lonely and Snowy City of Souls - Return to Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis (Big Séance)

Perfectly Lonely and Snowy City of Souls – Return to Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis (Big Séance)

Lessons in Photography & Other Nerdly Stuff (Big Séance)

Lessons in Photography & Other Nerdly Stuff (Big Séance)

Another Visit to Gumbo (Big Séance)

Another Visit to Gumbo (Big Séance)

A New Lens and a New Cemetery (Big Séance)

A New Lens and a New Cemetery (Big Séance)

 

 


TAPS and Chip Coffey at Belvoir Winery in March!

 

Hello friends! Today I want to share just how super excited I am about attending a weekend event in March at Belvoir Winery, which is close to home for me, in Liberty, Missouri. After seeing the fabulous Chip Coffey in St. Louis this last fall, I just had to splurge for this two-day event where he, along with Amy Bruni, Britt Griffith, and Adam Berry will be special guests! Rumor has it that their last even was so spectacular, they immediately planned another one… and as soon as I saw this meme I was on board. I purchased my ticket a few months ago, so I’m not aware if they’re sold out or not. I’ll be fresh off the plane from my spring break trip to Cancun, so though I know I’ll be tired, I look forward to experiencing and blogging my way through it all, just for you. 

You may recall that TAPS visited this site in Season 9 of Ghost Hunters in an episode titled Vintage Spirits.

For more history on Belvoir Winery, formerly The Odd Fellows Home, visit their site

 

You might also like: 

10 important reasons to go see Chip Coffey at a "Coffey Talk" near you! (Big Séance)

10 important reasons to go see Chip Coffey at a “Coffey Talk” near you! (Big Séance)

Chip Coffey's "Growing Up Psychic" (Big Séance)

Chip Coffey’s “Growing Up Psychic” (Big Séance)

I Still Watch Ghost Hunters. So What? (Big Séance)

I Still Watch Ghost Hunters. So What? (Big Séance)

 

 

 

 

 

 


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