Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Myrtles Planatation

The Myrtles, according to hundreds of people who have encountered the unexplained there, is haunted -- but perhaps not for the reasons that we have all been told. The children of the household were not poisoned but they and 13 other adults did die in the house of several yellow fever epidemics that were a few months apart. There is no record of a slave named "Chloe" but many other servants died at the home. So although the facts of the haunting may be different from the stories that are told, there were many deaths in the house in its 200 plus years.

The house may really be haunted by the ghost of a woman in a green turban or bonnet even if her name is not "Chloe". The Williams family that owned the house had an on going tale of her and while it may have been a story that was never meant to be told outside the family, the story was told regardless. They admit that while she did exist, no identity was ever given to her. It's also very likely that something unusual was going on at the Myrtles when Marjorie Munson lived there in the 1950's, which led to her seeking answers and to her first introduction to the ghost in the green headdress. The builders of the house put the keyholes in the doors upside down to confuse any evil spirits that might attempt to enter.

Frances Myers claimed that she encountered the ghost in the green turban as far back as 1987. She was asleep in one of the downstairs bedrooms when she was awakened suddenly by a black woman wearing a green turban and a long dress. She was standing silently beside the bed, holding a metal candlestick in her hand. She was so real that the candle even gave off a soft glow. Knowing nothing about ghosts, she was terrified and pulled the covers over her head and started screaming! Then she slowly looked out and reached out a hand to touch the woman, who had never moved, and to her amazement, the apparition vanished.

The Central Stairway

One film, which was decidedly not paranormal but which did encounter paranormal activity, was a television mini-series remake of The Long Hot Summer, starring Don Johnson, Cybill Shepherd, Ava Gardner and Jason Robards. A portion of the show was shot at the Myrtles and it was not an experience that the cast and crew would soon forget. One day, the crew moved the furniture in the game room and the dining room for filming and then left the room. When they returned, they reported that the furniture had been moved back to its original position. No one was inside of either room while the crew was absent. This happened several times, to the dismay of the crew, although they did manage to get the shots they needed. They added that the cast was happy to move on to another set once the filming at the Myrtles was completed.The employees at the house often get the worst of the events that happen here. They are often exposed, first-hand, to events that would have weaker folks running from the place in terror. And some of them do! One employee, a gate man, was hired to greet guests at the front gate each day. One day while he was at work, a woman in a white, old-fashioned dress walked through the gate without speaking to him. She walked up to the house and vanished through the front door without ever opening it.

The Parlor

I have had three significant experiences over the course of my many visits.

The first one was my first visit there. I walked out over the bridge to the small pond and my camera batteries immediately went from 100% charged to completely drained. The camera wouldn't come back on until after the batteries were replaced. I have never had this happen with this camera before or since that visit. And apparently I am not alone when it comes to this. The grounds have had sightings of shadows, heat signatures have been detected as well as footsteps and other sounds. Ghost Hunters heard and saw movements on the grounds when they investigated there. They also experienced battery drain while on the grounds. The crew of Unsolved Mysteries had extensive technical problems when they films at the plantation too.

The Bridge

My second experience was on a tour of the house. It is guided by a member of the staff and roughly 10 people were on it with me. I began to feel my ankles tingle. It reminded me of walking by gauzy curtains in front of a window with a gentle breeze. Or the swooshing of long dresses at a ball. It was early spring and I was the only one wearing shorts. I looked down and saw nothing on my ankles. It only touched my ankles. I felt it over and over. I later found out that during that era it was more appropriate to show your bosoms than it was your ankles. Perhaps it was a touch to tell me to cover them or the passing of a lady in a long dress. It was very distinct.

The Porch

On my last visit there I went with my Mom and a friend. We were the only ones on the tour. The girl came out of the living room of the Myrtles instead of from the visitors center and asked us if we were waiting to tour the home. I thought this was odd at the time because normally no one is in the house unless there is a tour. But she directed us through the home and gave us the full tour with particular focus on the story of "Chloe". Our guide was a very young black girl, about 20 years old. She also was wearing a green scarf around her head, covering her ears and tied in the back. I found this odd as well because it didn't fit the modern look and fashions and none of the other guides had ever been in period dress. She reminded me a lot of what the descriptions of "Chloe" sounded like. When the tour was over, and we went back to ask her a question, she was gone and we never saw her again.

The famous picture of "Chloe" with a close up below.


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