The Oak Alley Plantation Restaurant & Inn – Saint James County, Vacherie, Louisiana
Photograph ©Oak Alley Plantation Website
A quarter mile walkway lined in three-hundred year old oak trees which leads to the two-story, perfectly symmetrical, Doric columned plantation house….this is the mansion that we all envision when we think of sugarcane and cotton fields, southern bells and the phrase “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”!
When I saw photos of this house I was speechless! What a beautiful and impressive home! Honestly, what hopeless romantic wouldn’t be blown away by this eighteen-hundreds mansion? And, who would ever guess that this peaceful looking, picturesque house could be haunted by so many restless spirits?
History of the House:
The home itself was built in the mid eighteen-hundreds by George Swainey, an extremely wealthy sugarcane farmer, Jacques Telesphore Roman III, and his wife Josephine Pile Roman, the daughter of a New Orleans architect who designed the house.
In 1848, Jacques died of the dreaded tuberculosis disease and his son, Henry, took over the plantation. In 1866, the entire estate was sold by auction to John Armstrong due to financial hardship during the Civil War.
The plantation house changed hands several times after that until it was sold to Andrew and Josephine Stewart. The Stewarts began renovating the house and restoring it to its former beauty. The Stewarts spent the rest of their lives on this restoration project and Oak Alley was the first antebellum restoration recorded in the south.
Josephine Stewart died in 1972, leaving the estate to the Oak Alley Foundation, a non-profit organization that Josephine had founded.
In 1998 the plantation house was opened as a bed and breakfast, also providing tours to the public.
Paranormal Activities Reported:
The apparition of Josephine Pile Roman has been seen throughout the home. Once, a visitor and guest of the house caught Josephine’s image on film! Josephine has also been seen by many, riding her horse around the estate.
Jacques Telesphore Roman III has been seen in an old mirror in the attic. Jacques has also been witnessed to hang around the back of the mansion in his grey riding suit and riding boots.
The apparition of Josephine Stewart has been seen in her old bedroom, “the lavender room” and she has been spotted looking out of the windows in this room or just sitting on the bed.
A tour guide and their entourage of visitors were taken by surprise one day when a candlestick flew across the room and landed in the center of the group!
A frightened maintenance man reported being touched when he was trying to go about his duties.
The Louisianan Spirits Investigators found quite a bit of paranormal activity in the attic of the house. They reported seeing shadows on the walls, mists, and a face in the mirror. The crew also recorded some interesting EVP’s and one of the crew members claimed that they were grabbed while shooting pictures and that they felt as if an electrical charge went through them.
Reports of paranormal activity are still made at the house today.
3645 Highway 18 (Great River Road)
Vacherie, Louisiana 70090