Haunted Louisiana, June 2020

Investigators:  Vicki, Jim, Mark, Angel, Lydia, Nadia and Jasmine

I’ve been planning a trip to Louisiana for several years, and I decided to make the reservations in January of 2020: the Dauphine Orleans hotel, then over to Nottoway Plantation, and finally wrapping up at Myrtles Plantation. That suited our number one criteria for this early June trip: haunted! As often happen in life, obstacles complicate my well thought-out plans, but no one could have anticipated the catastrophic alignment of that we faces.

To start, Covid-19, the scourge of civilization, hit with a vengeance! In March, New Orleans, Louisiana was hit hard following Mardi Gras, closing down much of the city, including the Dauphine Orleans and Nottoway Plantation. Not to be dissuaded, I opted for the Jung Hotel, an opulent lodging located on Canal Street, which was built in the early 1900’s by the Jung family. Throughout the years it has been greatly expanded and at times been utilized for other purposes, such as a nursing home.

As the date approached, so did another unanticipated force: a tropical storm by the name of Crystabal. As Jim and I left, we realized we needed to make the 10 hour drive non-stop if we had any hope of beating the storm’s land fall… Most of the rest of our family made the same decision.

When we got there, the sandbags blocking the entrance made it a little hard to get unloaded, but did not detract from the breathtaking beauty of the hotel. Although the interior décor was somewhat modern, the hotel somehow managed to retain a 1920’s Art Deco feel. As you might guess, the place was virtually empty of guests, an almost eerie feeling of having the amazing place all to ourselves. 

Our accommodations on the fourth floor were quite spacious and I felt comfortable hunkering down until the storm passed. We decided early on to get out the dowsing rods to find out if there were also any “unseen” guests. We were not surprised to find out that something indeed inhabited the site.

Angel had several experiences. Perhaps the scariest happened while she was waiting alone on the 2nd floor for a hotel employee to come up and unlock the laundry room. She was leaning against the adjacent wall across when suddenly the door next to her opened all the way. All she could see was darkness inside that room and her adrenaline kicked in pretty darn fast, sending her skedaddling out of there! Angel immediately told our great nieces, Nadia and JJ. Being curious and brave young ladies, they decided to walk down to check it out. They didn’t see anyone as they walked down the hall, and the door was only slightly ajar when they got there.

During one of our EVP sessions on the second floor, everyone sitting in the room heard some whispering. It was entertaining how we all assumed it was the person right next to them, but after all the finger pointing was said and done, no one laid claim to it. Thankfully, it was captured on my recorder and a cell phone video.

Most of the usual sightseeing places were closed during our visit and my biggest regret was missing out on St. Louis Cemetery 1, which is only accessible through tour agencies. St. Louis Cemetery 2 was still open to the general public, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it was made up of 3 sections, much larger than expected. As Jim, Lydia, and I were walking through one of the opened wrought Iron gates between the sections, it noisily scraped closed. Fortunately it didn’t hit us on the way out! (“Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…” Okay, message received!) As we reopened it we realized the gate was quite hefty and there was a large latch pin at the bottom that should have kept it from closing.

As we were nearing the end of our time in New Orleans, misfortune befell us again. A freak stationary front caused heavy rainfall and the city water pumps malfunctioned. Within minutes the streets around the hotel flooded, and long story short, our cars were caught in it. Lydia was fortunate that her vehicle was still running when the waters receded, and she also got a chance to be interviewed by a local TV station.

The rest of us took loaner vehicles to make it to our next location, Myrtles Plantation. This Antebellum, circa 1796 home, sits on a vast property that in itself is serene in spite of the bleak history it holds. This site is frequently listed amongst the most haunted locations in the United States.

The property has several buildings; the plantation home, cabins, a restaurant and a general store. Upon check in we were greeted by friendly faces. We enjoyed a stroll around the grounds while awaiting a tour to start that was included with the Bed and Breakfast. After the wonderful informative tour, we relaxed on the spacious patio to enjoy the view and a delicious dinner.

I can’t say that I experienced much during my stay except that I may have heard a deep male voice say “Hi”. Angel, however, had a strange occurrence in their designated bathroom. While she was brushing her teeth, the water faucet lever turned on its own to the off position. Just as baffling the lever once again on its own accord turned the water back on! I went in to try to find an explanation, but after a while I just had to throw my hands up in the air and confess I had nothing!

After everyone met up in the morning for the Myrtles complimentary breakfast, we all said our farewells and went our separate ways. Because our car was deemed “Totaled” by the flooding, Jim and I returned to New Orleans for one last night to return our loaner vehicle and rent a car to drive home.

When I booked this trip in January, I had planned a haunted vacation; some may say, with all that happened, perhaps it was cursed. Louisiana not only lived up to my paranormal expectations, but surpassed them by far. Considering the region is steeped in Voodoo culture, I definitely want to go back when all this COVID madness calms down, to experience the places I had originally planned, and the possibility of that curse.

Photos

The exquisite interior of the Jung Hotel.   It’s hard to describe the sensation of looking down the seemly endless silent hallways.

Mark Twain coined the phrase for New Orleans cemeteries as "Cities of the dead". Aptly named for the rows or "streets" of above ground tombs that resemble mini-houses. 

Photos from the picturesque Myrtles Plantation.

EVPs

0:00/0:03

Child's voice captured in the Myrtles caretaker's cabin.  Think it may say, "You're Here"?

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In the John Leake room at Myrtles, about 7 secs in, think what I hear is, "She's Asian"?
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Room 221 of Jung Hotel, gruff voice at about 15 secs, seems to be responsive with, "...might or attack"?
0:00/0:05

Room 221 of the Jung Hotel, a female voice at 2 secs, "That wasn't funny".

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Room 727 Jung Hotel, You may not hear this first time through, but listen very closely at around 10 seconds after I zipped up the bag.  A sing-songy female voice, "This is Mary".

0:00/0:09

In the John Leake room at Myrtles where we stayed, a male voice seems to be answering, "Gone to visit friends"?

0:00/0:07

In the John Leake room at Myrtles, a child's voice at about 3 secs, "We are friends"

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Room 221 of the Jung Hotel, the Whispering we all heard, (From Recorder):  1 sec. - "Oh yes", 2 sec. - "Does she know us?", 5 secs - "Oh".  (From Recorder)

0:00/0:05

Room 221 of the Jung Hotel, the Whispering we all heard, (Audio from Cell-Phone Video from the other side of the room).  Compare this to the recording above...  Perhaps the second line is "I'm Alice"?