Baton Rouge, LA is home to one of the most haunted places the state, Cottage Plantation Come explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.
Abner Duncan built the Cottage Plantation for his daughter and her husband (Frances and Frederick Conrad) in 1825. It was a thriving sugar plantation and owners entertained some wealthy and influential guests, including Jefferson Davis and Marquis de Layette. The plantation house was one of the finest in the Baton Rouge area, with 12 Doric columns, an enclosed brick gallery, a dormered roof covering a two-story mansion with 22 rooms.
Unfortunately, this property endured much devastating tragedy and misfortune.
On a Sunday morning on February 27, 1859, the steamboat Princess exploded and burned near Conrad Point, sending bodies and cargo flying in all directions. The steamer was loaded with cotton and passengers headed for a festive Mardi Gras holiday in New Orleans. Conrad and his slaves did all they could to help the victims and survivors out of the water. By this end of this tragic event, 70 people were dead and many others were wounded.
During the Civil War, the house was fired upon by union riverboats. The Union troops occupied the plantation, removing everything that could be found of value, from horses to furniture to jewelry. They even took the children's clothing. They brutally held Conrad and his secretary Angus Holt prisoners. Conrad died in New Orleans, and Mr. Holt returned to the plantation after the war. It was found abandoned and distressed. The Union soldiers had used it as a yellow fever hospital. Many died from the disease in the house and were buried on the grounds.
Holt lived in the house and became a recluse, spending all of his time trying to repair the old house for what remained of the Conrad family. He stopped shaving and was often seen wandering the grounds with a long white beard. He remained there until he died in 1880.
In the 1920s, the Conrad family began restoring the home. During the 1950s the house was opened to the public, serving as a museum to the memory of the Old South.
The Cottage Plantation finally met its last offense. The house was destroyed by fire in 1960 and all that remains are the brick pillars and a couple of walls. But these remnants of time are what continue to hold the spectral energies of its lost souls.
The supernatural activity of this burdened property started almost immediately after Holt died. People who lived nearby were frightened of the hauntings that were experienced. No one would go near the house after dark, fearing that Holt's ghost was still there. There were reports of doors opening and slamming by themselves and sightings of apparitions on the grounds. These shadowy figures were often seen, but when investigated the place was found to be empty.
While the plantation house served as a museum in the 1950s, the rumors of phantoms still persisted. Visitors reported hearing sounds of singing and strange music in the house and on the grounds. Could this be the energies when the Conrads, loving music, would often entertain their guests by having their slaves sing for them and play music? Now nearly a century later, many still hear the sounds of that music, a residual ghostly echo from another time.
Other visitors reported encounters with Mr. Holt's phantom. He was seen walking through the house, pulling at his long beard and mumbling to himself. In 1940, one reporter for the Elks Magazine even photographed the ghost by accident. He was doing a story about the Cottage and after having his film developed, he noticed the image of an old man looking out the window. He was sure that no one had been there at the time. After showing the photo to staff members, they confirmed Mr. Holt's identification.
In 1960, when the firemen responded to the Cottage burning, they reported a strange incident. While directing water on the house from the side garden, a man appeared in the upper window of the house. The firefighters directed him to jump, but he never seemed to notice them or the fire that was all around him. The roof suddenly collapsed and the man was gone. After the fire was put out, they sifted the debris, searching for the main's remains but found no remains of the man they all witnessed.
Today, the remaining columns that rise from the foundation remnants are what holds a ghostly presence. It is here that the pale apparition of the phantom of Angus Holt can be seen. For the best chances of spotting his ghost, you should look left from River Road while going south. His pale apparition is seen among the remaining pillars.
If you dare to stay long enough, you may see the Blue Union Soldiers, in the mansion, for here this plantation where they spent their last hours when it served as a Union Hospital. There may also be spirits here who were victims of the 1859 steamboat “Princess” explosion nearby.
As an abandoned property, please use caution, care, and respect if you choose to explore it. Please read our article, Ghost Hunting Abandoned Haunted Places, that offers tips with investigating abandoned properties.
This property, as part of our network, has been added for they may have history, validation or folk tales of having spirited activities. Please take caution in approaching and visiting these locations, since courtesy, respect, and caution should be a top priority in every Haunted Investigator's style. Also do realize, some of these places may have permanently closed, changed ownership and/or names, or just are not available for your visits. Please respect this.
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