Being an avid fan of the show “Ghost Hunters”, and never having ventured to Louisiana before, I thought it would be huge fun to take my 15 year old son, 16 year old French exchange student daughter along with my good friend and excellent traveling partner to New Orleans over Spring Break – do a little volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, check out the town, and of course, head to St. Francisville and the Myrtles. Well, the Myrtles ended up being a highlight of the trip.
Here’s the skinny…first thing is to manage expectations. The rooms are basic and certainly have some wear & tear, but that’s all part of the charm. This is about the experience, so if you know that going in, you’ll be fine. We stayed in the Caretaker’s Cottage as only 2 people are allowed in the rooms in the main house, and I knew that there was no way one of us would be brave enough to spend a night alone in a room (most especially me). This was actually just perfect. The Cottage is about 100 steps from the main house, and is absolutely adorable, complete with picket fence and garden. Inside was verrry basic – queen bed and bunk bed, but fine for one night. We booked in on a Friday, and arrived about 4 or so. Check in a breeze and reception staff very friendly. Do have dinner in the restaurant on property. Not only was it good, but it allows time for a glass or two of wine to buff out the edges and loosen you up for the Ghost Tour at 8 PM. Our tour was led by Bree, (I think that was her name) who spun an excellent yarn with her knowledge and enthusiasm – very engaging and highly entertaining. Emphasis on entertaining – again, while the stories are certainly plausible, you should never let hard facts get in the way of good storytelling. After the tour, you are off to photograph incessantly, test for EVPs, and thermal image to your heart’s content. You can go all over the grounds (with the exception of the main house, unless you are actually staying in the house). No worries – lots of creepy places to check out, including the little island (watch out for the water snakes). 187 shots later, my son was convinced he not only captured orbs, but that he had uncovered a “portal”, as some die-hard, photographer vest wearing ghost hunter declared to him. Pay dirt! No ghostly activity experienced in our little cottage that evening, hence no need for the instructions to the kids about placement of nitroglycerine under my tongue when the heart attack comes on. We found out at breakfast the next morning though, that some guests had a situation with coins being moved in their room in main house, which apparently, happens quite frequently. Breakfast at the Plantation is particularly charming as you essentially eat in the kitchen with the cooks and staff, who are entertaining and great fun to talk to. The food was fantastic – eggs, biscuits, grits, sausage, juice – very authentic and very good. All in all, we absolutely loved our brief sojourn at the Myrtles – a very relaxing setting (in the day) with beautiful grounds, great food and warm staff.