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Magnolia Plantation historic photo

The Magnolia Plantation

The Magnolia Plantation is in Derry, Louisiana was established in 1835 by Ambrose Baptiste and his wife Julia. The grounds once encompassed over 5,000 acres with 2,000 cleared to make room for cotton fields. All the work was done using slave labor.

The plantation’s historic interest comes from the 21 buildings still remaining there, which is a high number for a surviving plantation. These buildings include eight brick cabins that were quarters for the plantation’s workers. The two roomed homes were intended to house entire families of slaves, which sometimes included over 10 people.

Surprisingly, the Magnolia Plantation survived long after slavery was abolished. People would still hand-pick cotton on the farm as recently as the 1970s. The farm on the property was closed by the 1980s but the store remained open until the 1990s.

The once beautiful property was falling into disrepair but was saved in 1994 when it was donated to the National Parks Service for preservation.

Magnolia Magnolia Plantation slave house's
The Magnolia Plantation’s history is full of themes with Voodoo. These practices were believed to be common among the slaves who lived there, who sometimes used Voodoo to get revenge on their ruthless masters. Many believe that this dark history factors heavily in the location’s paranormal activity.

The paranormal TV show Ghost Adventures filmed their June 26th, 2009 episode at Magnolia Plantation. During the initial interviews, lead investigator Zak Bagans talked with owner and lifelong resident Ms. Betty Hertzog who told the story of Mr. Miller who was the overseer of the plantation during the Civil War. She said when Union soldiers moved in on the main house to burn it down, Miller stood on the front porch pleading with the men to spare the building. He was shot and killed then buried on the property. Hertzog added that when something goes missing, they blame the spirit of Mr. Miller.

Ms. Herzog also described hearing footsteps in an upstairs bedroom when she was a child living there.

Dr. Ken Brown, an anthropologist from the University of Houston, shared his personal experience he had while searching for artifacts at the plantation. He said that they had left tools inside Cabin 1 after finishing up for the day. When they returned the following morning to retrieve them, they discovered a line of yellow powder that had been placed across the doorway. He also said that items had been moved across the room.

Cabin 1 is believed to be the former home of a healer named Aunt Agnes, who is believed to have lived to be 120 years. Brown and others believe that the activity may have been caused by Agnes’ restless spirit.

Other unexplained activity has been reported on the Magnolia Plantation. Motion sensors have been set off with no one around and apparitions have been spotted within the main house. Disembodied voices are also heard there.

Today the Magnolia Plantation is well-maintained and continues to serve as an important historic landmark, and a paranormal hot spot. The National Park portion of the property is known as the Cane River Creole National Historic Park while the main house and farming acreage still belongs to surviving members of the Hertzog family.



by cnkguy

by with 1 comment.


  • Robert Pryor says:

    I was recently there at the magnolia plantation researching my my descendant Julie Marie Buard. While visiting the overseer house, a strange feeling came over me as in a rage. I literally told the spirit of Ms.Miller (yes I’m disrespecting him) to “F” off. Because he shouldn’t have treated my ancestors that way. I think that was a mistake because that following night, I had a dream of a man choking me and I couldn’t wake up. I’m not scared and if I had to do it all over, I would’ve done it again. SCREW MR. MILLER!

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