In a city as historic as Baton Rouge, it comes as no surprise that some of the Capital City's most notable locations are known to have a haunting history. Reports of unexplained noises, objects that seem to move on their own and figures from centuries past are just a few of the supernatural happenings in Baton Rouge. Dare to be scared as you delve into the stories of some of Baton Rouge’s most haunted.
GUARANTY BROADCASTING BUILDING
The Guaranty Broadcasting building may look like any other office building, but many people who have worked in the evening and overnight hours in the building have experienced unexplained activity. Originally used as the Baton Rouge General Hospital, the bottom floor of the building served as the hospital morgue before being converted into a cafeteria, and the freezer is now used to store files. At night, the entire floor seems to drop several degrees colder than the rest of the building, and many have reported ghostly sightings of uniformed hospital staff, as well as strange noises coming from the bottom floor. The elevator is even said to go up and down at night when no one is there.
Highland Road near Lee Drive
For all the history buffs out there, you may recall a little event in 1862 called The Battle of Baton Rouge during the Civil War. The Union stopped Confederate soldiers from recapturing Louisiana, resulting in a bloody battle. Around late September to early October, locals have reported seeing men in Confederate soldier uniforms walking across Highland Road near Lee Drive close to LSU’s campus. Not long ago, someone called the police to report they saw a bloody, filthy man in a uniform staggering across the street...and the police found no one.
HILTON BATON ROUGE CAPITOL CENTER
Louisiana’s most colorful politician, Huey P. Long, is known to have frequented the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center when he was alive, then known as the Heidelberg Hotel. There was even a tunnel dug underground for him to quickly escape his enemies. His favorite hangout of the past seems to have also become his favorite hangout of the afterlife; the former governor’s ghost is said to wander the halls of the 10th floor. Some report sights of his spirit walking the 10th floor while puffing a cigar and disappearing as soon as he is acknowledged. Others have also reported whiffs of cigar smoke coming from freshly cleaned rooms on the 10th floor – even though the hotel has been smoke-free since 2006.
The home of the Fighting Tigers may also be home to a few spirits. LSU’s campus has been written about in many articles as one of the most haunted college campuses in the nation. Since the campus has been around since the mid-1800s, it’s not hard to believe that a few ghosts would still be roaming the facilities. Here are a few of the haunted locations on campus:
Pleasant Hall isn’t so… pleasant. Built in 1931, Pleasant Hall was formerly a women’s residential hall called Smith Hall before being converted into a hotel in the 1970s. It is said to be the site of quite a few attempted murders and suicides, one of them involving an unnamed young woman who got into an argument with her boyfriend and attempted to murder him with a shotgun. While she was unsuccessful in killing him, she ran upstairs to her own room – room 312 – where she shot herself and died. To this day, custodial staff and others have had similar paranormal experiences on the third floor of Pleasant Hall, including extreme temperature drops, strange noises with no explanation of the source and feelings of uneasiness. Some have even reported hearing the voice of a girl sounding as if she is in pain.
Built in 1930, Evangeline Hall is one of the oldest residence halls on LSU’s campus. Aside from housing students, there’s a chance that it may be housing ghosts, as well. While many believe there are three ghosts that haunt Evangeline Hall – a male janitor on the fifth floor and two girls on the fourth floor – students have reported feeling the presence of something that isn’t there on other floors of the residence hall. Resident advisors have reported hearing laughter and voices when no one is around, and many students have gone to lengths as great as getting their dorm rooms blessed by priests to protect themselves from the spirits.
Acadian Hall has served as a residence hall since it was built in the 1930s. According to legend, Acadian Hall fell victim to a fire years ago, and many of the staff members who worked in the building did not survive. Students have reported seeing men in navy suits walking through the halls late at night, as well as girls in white dresses peering through the windows. Other reports also include doors being violently flung open on their own, as well as furniture shaking by itself.
Located 26 miles north of Baton Rouge in St. Francisville is one of Louisiana’s most haunted locations and named one of America’s most haunted houses. The Myrtles Plantation was built in 1796 by a revolutionary war general named David Bradford and was inherited by his son-in-law, Clarke Woodruff. Woodruff began a relationship with one his slaves, a young woman named Chloe. Though she did not want the relationship, she kept seeing him for a few years out of fear of working outside with the other slaves. After being paranoid that Woodruff’s wife would find out of their affair, she began listening in on their conversations which resulted in her ear being chopped off after she was caught. She was known for wearing a green turban to cover her missing ear. For revenge, Chloe put poison in the wife and children’s food to only make them ill, but they died within days. Out of fear of association with the crime, the other slaves hung Chloe from a tree. In 1992, the current owner of the property has shared what seems to be film evidence of Chloe’s ghost roaming the property. She has even been seen in recent visitors’ photos. The plantation does day and night guided tours, as well as a mystery tour on Fridays and Saturdays. If you’re brave enough, stay a night in one of the rooms, as Chloe isn’t the only ghost known to wander The Myrtles. General Bradford might even arrange your shoes, as one visitor has reported.
The Old Capitol Building
The Old Capitol Building is one of the prettiest and most notable landmarks in Baton Rouge as it is known as the "Castle on the River." This landmark was built in 1847 when the Louisiana Legislature gave Baton Rouge the government power from New Orleans. It was also used as a prison during the Civil War and caught fire twice. Currently, the building serves as the Museum of Political History and the home of several paranormal experiences. One of the ghosts who is said to haunt the Old State Capitol is Sarah Morgan, whose family donated the land the Old Capitol stands on. Another is Pierre Couvillion, a former state senator from the 1800s. Legend has it that in the middle of a heated speech about corrupt politicians, Couvillion had a heart attack, and his spirit is rumored to still wander the halls of the old statehouse, setting off motion detectors and leaving footprints. While sightings are rare, many have reported whispers throughout the halls and unexplained movement, but with a history as long as the Old State Capitol’s, the chance of bumping into a character from the past isn’t very surprising.
A local favorite, Spanish Moon, has been entertaining downtown Baton Rouge with live music, billiard games and great drinks for quite some time. But before it became a popular bar, Spanish Moon has had various uses since its construction in 1910. Past uses of the current bar include a grain mill, a feed store, a clothing store, a temporary jail, and a firehouse. The most notable use (and most likely the explanation for the hauntings) is that it served as a morgue during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 when around 250 Baton Rouge residents died. A few of the bar’s managers have mentioned that a dresser had to be thrown out of The Green Room, where artists hang out before their performance, due to the negative energy seeping from it, scaring the artists. Bar patrons have reported pool balls rolling off tables by themselves, glasses moving and clanking on their own, and something tapping their shoulders when no one was there. Allegedly, some bartenders refuse to close the bar alone at night out of fear of what they’ll encounter.