Paranormal Activity at
Oak Alley Plantation
- An apparition reportedly watches visitors and staff from an upper floor window
- The figure of a woman riding a horse has been seen on the grounds
- Sounds of an approaching horse and carriage are heard on the front pathway
- Rocking chairs around the property are known to rock in unison without known cause
- At times, dust will blow and billow around the house by itself
- Sounds of phantom crying have been heard around the house
- Objects have been seen being thrown across rooms in the mansion
Oak Alley Plantation’s History
Chances are when you picture an “old southern plantation” in your head, you picture something close to Vacherie, Louisiana’s Oak Alley Plantation.
Its looming, cream-colored columns and detailed wraparound porches make it a striking example of classic antebellum architecture, while the property’s namesake oak trees invite visitors to stay a while… maybe even after death.
Over the years, Oak Alley Plantation has become known as a place where shadows come alive and sounds arise from nowhere. This has led many to call Oak Alley one of Louisiana’s most haunted places, and one of America’s most haunted plantations.
Timeline of Oak Alley Plantation's History
Swipe or use timeline points to see Oak Alley Plantation through the years
Before the recognizable central home was built, the expansive land of Oak Alley Plantation served as a sugarcane farm. Established in the early 1800s by Valcour Aime, the plantation kept much of its charm, including its oak trees. The front path is lined with the 28 oaks visible today, leading to its name, Oak Alley.
But Aime’s time with the property would be brief. He sold it in 1836 to his brother-in-law, Jacques Telesphore Roman. Roman started construction on the main plantation house soon after, and it was completed in 1839.
Jacques Roman operated Oak Alley Plantation until his death from tuberculosis in 1848. After that his wife, Celine, took over management of the property. She would later turnover management to her son, Henri. But it wouldn’t be long until the turmoil of war turned the plantation upside-down.
While the Civil War spared the plantation the fire that torched many other homes like it, the aftermath left the business ruined. The family sold off the property in 1866 for just under $33,000.
In the decades after the war and into the 20th century, Oak Alley fell into near-abandonment. It wasn’t until 1925, with its purchase by Andrew and Josephine Stewart, that splendor returned to the home.
With the help of architect Richard Koch, the Stewarts restored Oak Alley to its historic beauty and converted the plantation to a cattle ranch. The couple lived in Oak Alley until Andrew’s death in 1946. After that, Josephine remained in the house until her death in 1972.
After Josephine’s death in 1972, she willed the property to the Oak Alley Foundation, which she founded. The foundation opened the plantation to the public as a museum and inn shortly after. Since opening to the public, Oak Alley has also made appearances in media, like in the 1994 movie “Interview With the Vampire.” And along with vampires, some say you might spot ghosts on your visits to the property.
From encounters with apparitions to unexplainable voices, Oak Alley Plantation has become a hotbed of ghost stories.
Vacherie’s Haunted Plantation
One of Oak Alley Plantation’s most enduring ghost stories tells of a watchful apparition. One night, as workers were locking up, they noticed a light still on in an upstairs bedroom. Then, from outside, the group saw a shadowy figure in the window staring down at them.
Those who saw it claimed the figure looked like Josephine Stewart, the plantation’s last resident. Shortly after, the lights went dark and the figure of Mrs. Stewart disappeared.
Now, the claims of Josephine’s apparition in upper floor windows continue to this day.
The Lady in Black
Another anomaly reported around Oak Alley Plantation is the ghost of a horse-riding woman. Referred to as the ‘Lady in Black’ due to her dark hair, no one is certain who this entity is. Speculation suggests it is Celine Roman, or perhaps her daughter Louise.
Regardless of the woman’s identity, she is most well-known for appearing on a spectral horse in the shadow of one of the oak trees. Her figure has also been identified walking the porches and balconies of the main house.
Haunting Cries From Oak Alley Plantation
Along with the sightings of the Lady in Black riding a horse, sounds of phantom horses are also reported on the Oak Alley grounds. Another established ghost story around the plantation is the sound of a horse drawn carriage coming around the front pathway, but no carriage or horse is ever there.
Along with these mysterious sounds, ghostly voices have been heard around the mansion. Most often, these take the form of ghostly weeping echoing through the halls.
Spend the Night at Haunted Oak Alley
While Oak Alley Plantation doesn’t offer ghost hunts these days, you can still book numerous different kinds of tours of the property. The Oak Alley staff manage a highly immersive museum-like experience allowing you to explore the mansion and the expansive grounds.
You can also book overnight stays at cottages built on the plantation property. But no matter how you choose to experience Oak Alley’s beauty, there’s always the chance you also get to experience something spooky.
Just don’t get yourself run over by the Lady in Black’s phantom horse.