Thursday, September 29, 2011

Haunted Georgia: A Primer: Guest Post on Haunt Jaunts

Courtney Mroch is publishing a series I wrote on haunted Georgia.


Part one

Part two

Part three

Part four, the final portion of this series.

Check this series for information on places ranging from Georgia's Civil War Battlefields, Surrency, Savannah, and Native American sites to the Kennessaw House, Springer Opera House and Bulloch Hall.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Library Acquisitions and an Update

Now that I can spend money on books, my library on Southern ghosts is rapidly expanding. The mail main arrived at the door with three packages today all with books on Maryland. Until recently, I've only had three books specifically about this state, but I've discovered that quite a bit has been written about it. Here's what I've just received:

New acquisitions. Photo by Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.

Weinberg, Alyce T. Spirits of Frederick (1992). Out of Print. Frederick County is absolutely crawling with spirits, paranormal activity, legends and odd creatures. This is the most recently published book on this county.

Cannon, Timothy L. and Nancy F. Whitmore. Ghosts and Legends of Frederick County (1979). The first book on this very active county. This is still in print.

Dahlgren, Madeleine Vinton. South Mountain Magic: Tales of Old Maryland (Originally published in 1882, reissued in paperback, 2002). South Mountain, which is located in Washington and Frederick counties, was first documented as a paranormal hotspot in this book. The author purchased the Old Mountain House, now known as the Old South Mountain Inn, and her experiences there led her to write this book. Interestingly, the author may be among the spirits haunting the slopes of South Mountain.

Noratel, Russ. Ellicott City's Guide to Haunted Places (2008). Ellicott City, like Frederick, is also crawling with ghosts, this is the primary book documenting those hauntings.

Ricksecker, Mike. Ghosts of Maryland (2010). From paranormal powerhouse publisher, Schiffer, this book covers ghosts across the state. Most of his chapters cover familiar haunts throughout the state, but the best part of this book is the Haunted Atlas of Maryland, covering Maryland ghosts county by county.

Okonowicz, Ed. Big Book of Maryland Ghost Stories (2010). In the realm of paranormal writing about the mid-Atlantic, Okonowicz is a major figure having published numerous books on the region particularly around the Delmarva Peninsula (the peninsula extending into the Chesapeake Bay that has sections of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia). While I personally hate the title of the book, it is big and covers the entire state in depth. I'm very excited to delve into this book.

Last Saturday evening with a group of friends, we took a private tour from the Roswell, Georgia Ghost Tour. As a private tour, we heard a good deal more than what was usually included in the regular 2 hour tour (our tour ended up at almost 3 hours). It was incredible, I'll be including a full review of the tour in the next few days.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rhythm Night Club Memorial Museum (Newsbyte)

5 St. Catherine Street
Natchez, Mississippi

One of my favorite books as a kid was Jay Robert Nash’s Darkest Hours: A Narrative Encyclopedia of Worldwide Disasters from Ancient Times to the Present. Not only providing the stories of hundreds of disasters, the book includes are photographs from the scenes, including some that are quite graphic. One of those photographs I remember clearly is from the 1940 fire at the Rhythm Night Club in Natchez. The photograph shows bodies of many of the African-American club goers laid out. These nicely dressed people are covered with soot with some almost frozen in dance-like attitudes.

As I’m reading through my blogs tonight, I came across an entry from Natchez Ghosts: The Devil’s Punchbowl, the official blog of the Natchez Area Paranormal Society regarding this recently opened museum. The museum is located on the site of the night club and serves as a memorial to this fire that claimed around 207 lives (there are discrepancies in the actual number) and affected many more.

Headline from the 24 April 1940 Delta Democrat-Times of
Greenville, Mississippi.
Installed in a ramshackle wood frame building, the Rhythm Night Club was a swinging place on this spring evening, April 23, 1940. Walter Barnes and His Royal Creolians, a noted band from Chicago, was playing to a packed house of nearly 700. From the ceiling, Spanish moss was hung as a decoration; moss that had been sprayed with a petroleum-based insecticide called Flit to kill the insects that lived within it. A fire broke out near the front door of the club and quickly spread through the highly flammable moss. As club goers rushed to the windows and doors, they found most of them boarded up. Among those killed were Walter Barnes, the bandleader, and most of his band. While the fire destroyed much of a generation of African-Americans in the region, it did lead to some of the myriad fire regulations that save many lives today.

Opening last year, the Rhythm Night Club Memorial Museum, seeks to tell the story of this tragedy as well as memorialize the site. The blog entry on Natchez Ghosts mentions that one of the founders has reported paranormal activity at the site. This activity includes the sounds of voices, music and doors opening and closing. He has also found photographs apparently removed from the walls and then laid on the floor at interesting angles. It should be noted that there are many sites related to similar tragedies with paranormal activity such as the site of the Eastland disaster (1915) in Chicago, the Winecoff Hotel fire (1946) in Atlanta and Ground Zero (2001) in New York City.

The blog entry also mentions that NAPS is ramping up to investigate the location in the very near future. I look forward to seeing their evidence.

Goodbye, Goodbye,
Fare you well, goodbye!
I’m just gonna let all you people know
What happened in that Natchez fire.

-- Gene Gilmore, “TheNatchez Fire,” one of a number of jazz and blues songs written to memorialize the fire. See the YouTube video for a recording of the song with photographs from the fire.

     Natchez Democrat. 25 April 2010.
Nash, Jay Robert. Darkest Hours: A Narrative Encyclopedia
      of Worldwide Disasters from Ancient Times to the Present.
     Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1976.
Natchez Area Paranormal Society. “Rhythm Night Club
      Fire Investigation.” Natchez Ghosts: The Devil’s Punchbowl.
      20 September 2011.
Rhythm Clubfire. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed
     20 September 2011.
     Natchez Democrat. 8 November 2010.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

“A shade of sadness,” Barbara Fritchie of Frederick, Maryland

An incident occurred in 1862 as Confederate troops under General Stonewall Jackson marched through the picturesque Western Maryland town of Frederick September 10th. Union sympathizers in Frederick (Maryland never seceded from the Union) hung out American flags to antagonize Confederates moving through town. Seven days later, those troops would be embroiled in heavy fighting in neighboring Washington County near Sharpsburg, a battle that would forever be named by the lowly stream running through the idyllic pastures where the battle was fought, Antietam.

Barbara Fritchie in a contemporary portrait. Courtesy
of Wikipedia.

Among the sympathizers that hung out their flags was 96 year old Barbara Fritchie. Her actions that day became part of the oral tradition of Union troops and two years later were immortalized in a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, actions that became a hallmark of patriotism that is still celebrated. The poem became a Union rallying cry towards the end of the brutal Civil War that raged over the bucolic farmlands of Western Maryland.

The Ballad of Barbara Fritchie
by John Greenleaf Whittier, 1864

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.

Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach tree fruited deep,

Fair as the garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,

On that pleasant morn of the early fall
When Lee marched over the mountain-wall;

Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.

Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,

Flapped in the morning wind: the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;

Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down;

In her attic window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet,

Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.

Under his slouched hat left and right
He glanced; the old flag met his sight.

'Halt!' - the dust-brown ranks stood fast.
'Fire!' - out blazed the rifle-blast.

It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.

Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.

She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.

Barbara Fritchie waving her flag, by American
painter N.C. Wyeth, c. 1922. Courtesy of the
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs

'Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag,' she said.

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;

The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman's deed and word;

'Who touches a hair of yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on! he said.

All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet:

All day long that free flag tost
Over the heads of the rebel host.

Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;

And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night.

Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er,
And the Rebel rides on his raids nor more.

Honor to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewalls' bier.

Over Barbara Frietchie's grave,
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!

Peace and order and beauty draw
Round they symbol of light and law;

And ever the stars above look down
On thy stars below in Frederick town! 

A political cartoon by J.S. Pughe, published in Puck, 1905, using
the imagery of Barbara Fritchie. Courtesy of the Library of Congress,
Prints and Photographs Division.

The historical marker located just outside Barbara Fritchie’s (Whittier spelled her name with an extra “e”) home notes that “spoilsport” historians have proven that this likely never happened. It is reported that while Jackson’s troops marched through the town, they never marched down this particular portion of West Patrick Street where the Barbara Fritchie House (154 West Patrick Street) is located. In fact, some sources say that the elderly Fritchie was sick in bed that day though Mrs. Mary Quantrell did wave an American flag at Confederate troops, though she was ignored by them and later by history.

The Barbara Fritchie House, 2006. Photo by Hal Jespersen,
courtesy of Wikipedia.

The house itself is a reconstruction built in the late 1920s. The original house, which had been built over a creek in 1785, was damaged during a flood and was demolished in 1868. The reconstruction now houses a small museum with artifacts relating to Mrs. Fritchie and possibly her spirit. The house is apparently not very active in a paranormal sense. A rocking chair is said to rock by itself and one staff member reported seeing a pair of feet underneath the quilt draped over the chair. It is also noted that the lights in the basement of the house next door (which was also occupied by Mrs. Fritchie) turn off and on by their own accord. While not terribly interesting paranormally, this house is one of a number of haunted locations within Frederick County, which appears to be a very active county.

Barbara Fritchie. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed
     18 September 2011.
Barbara Fritchie House. The Historical Marker Database. Accessed
     18 September 2011.
Rigaux, Pamela. “Walking with the dead.” Frederick News-Post.
     23 October 2005.
Van Fossen, Nancy and Douglas M. Greene. Maryland Historical
     Trust Inventory Form for States Historic Sites Survey for Barbara
     Fritchie House. October 1974.
Varhola, Michael J. and Michael H. Varhola. Ghosthunting Maryland.
     Cincinnati, OH: Clerisy Press, 2009.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Revisiting Ezekiel Harris—The Ezekiel Harris House, Augusta, Georgia

N.B. This is an edit and repost of the very first location I wrote about for this blog, back in August of last year. I’ve combined what was originally two separate entries, updated some information and added pictures.

1822 Broad Street
Augusta, Georgia

One of the very first books of ghost I read was the late Kathryn Tucker Windham’s 13 Georgia Ghosts and Jeffrey. Windham’s books covering various Southern states broke ground as some of the first books on the folklore of many of these areas. These books create an important foundation for writing about Southern ghosts. Being among the first stories I read a child, I figured this would be a good location to start with. We’ll start with the history books.

Sign on the back gate of the Ezekiel Harris House, 2011.
Photo by Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.

The city of Augusta was laid out on the orders of the founder of Georgia, General James Oglethorpe, in 1736, three years after the establishment of the Georgia colony. Named for Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, wife of the Prince of Wales, the city was one of the first inland cities founded in the colony. It is located roughly 127 miles northwest of Savannah at the end of the navigable portion of the Savannah River. The city briefly became the capital of Georgia in 1779 after the fall of Savannah during the American Revolution, but the city also soon fell to British forces. The British held the city briefly and then recaptured and held it from May 1780 to June 1781.

Just before the outbreak of hostilities, the Augusta region was placed under the purview of Thomas Brown by Royal Governor James Wright. Brown was a wealthy Englishman who, with a boatload of indentured servants, created the settlement of Brownsborough, north of Augusta. Anti-British sympathy had begun to smolder in the area and Brown worked hard to stamp out the rebellious feelings of groups like the Sons of Liberty. As an example to other Loyalists, the group captured Brown and subjected to tarring and feathering, a horrifically painful and sometimes fatal ordeal. Escaping the city, Brown travelled to South Carolina where, upon recovery, he began to gather Loyalists about him to fight the revolutionary threat. Brown returned to the city with troops in tow in May of 1780 quite possibly hell-bent on revenge.

Upon entering Augusta again, Brown began quickly exacting measures against its patriot inhabitants, stripping those families of their possessions and expelling them from the colony. Others were arrested and put to death. These actions soon spread beyond the limits of Augusta and throughout British-controlled Georgia and South Carolina. Under Brown’s orders, a contingent of soldiers travelled north of the city to what is now Lincoln County, Georgia and murdered revolutionary leader Colonel John Dooley in his home.

On September 14th, 1780, Colonel Elijah Clarke, commander of the revolutionary forces that had been dogging the British in the area for some time, attacked an Indian village near Augusta, this putting Brown in notice that they were in the area. American forces pushed towards Mackay’s Trading Post, also called the White House, situated outside the city of Augusta near the Savannah River. Brown reinforced his forces which held the trading post with British regulars and allied Native Americans. The Americans laid siege to the trading post and the surrounding area, a siege that would last nearly four days.

The American forces retreated in the morning of the 18th having sustained nearly sixty casualties, but it’s the proceeding events that really concern us. Charles C. Jones, Jr. spells the story out quite grotesquely in his 1890 Memorial History of Augusta, Georgia:
Thus did Captain Ashby, an officer noted for his bravery and humanity, and twenty-eight soldiers fell into the hands of the enemy. He and twelve of the wounded prisoners were forthwith hung upon the staircase of the White House, where Brown was lying wounded, that he might enjoy the demonical pleasure of gloating over their expiring agonies. Their bodies were then delivered to the Indians, who, after scalping and mutilating them, threw them into the river. Henry Duke, John Burgamy, Scott Reeden, Jordan Ricketson, Darling, and the two brothers Glass, youths seventeen and fifteen years of age, were choked to death under a hastily constructed gibbet. Their fate, however, was mild when contrasted with that reserved for the other prisoners who were delivered into the hands of the Indians that they might be avenged of the losses which they had sustained during the siege.

Back of the house. The staircase is behind the horizontal beams.
Photo 2011, by Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.

This event was noted in a letter by Governor Wright to King George III: “Thirteen of the Prisoners who broke their Paroles & came against Augusta have been hang’d, which I hope will have a very good effect.” Windham notes that the number thirteen represented each of the rebellious American colonies. Though the Americans were repelled after this first siege and Thomas Brown was able to construct a small fortress closer to town, named Fort Cornwallis, British controlled Augusta was eventually broken following a siege in May of 1781.

Ezekiel Harris House, 1934 before it was purchased and restored.
Photo by Branan Sanders for the Historic American Building
Survey (HABS), courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and
Photographs Division.

Fast forwarding ahead 165 years to 1946, the Richmond County Historical Society purchased an 18th century house near the river believing it to be the infamous Mackay Trading Post. Accoring to Cherie Pickett, an associate with Historic Augusta in a 1999 article in The Augusta Chronicle (notably one of the oldest American newspapers still in print), historians clung steadfastly to the idea that this building was the Mackay Trading Post for many years, with architectural historians and archaeologists possibly skewing their results to lend credence. Even more importantly to our cause, the Writers’ Project of the WPA recorded stories about the “White House” haunting in 1938 among many other noted Georgia ghost stories.

Front door, 1934. Photo by Branan
Sanders, for HABS, courtesy of the
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs
Front door, 2011. Photo by Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.

Mrs. Windham’s 1973 book gave wings to the story, enshrining it in the Southern folklore tradition. Windham recounts the legends that had grown up about the house. These legends state that visitors standing in the stairwell and slowly counting to thirteen would sometimes hear the thud of the thirteen men as they are hung or moaning of the dying men. Additionally, a female spirit has been seen wandering the second story as if searching for someone. Many have indentified this spirit as Mrs. Glass, the mother of the two executed brothers. Windham adds wistfully that this spirit is said to hold her hands out in supplication, perhaps begging the spirit of Colonel Brown for a reprise for her sons.

But, there’s a problem. There had been questions for many years about the history of the building preserved and indentified as the Mackay Trading Post. Mary Mackay, mother-in-law to the post’s owner, Andrew McLean, remarked upon seeing the damaged structure after the battle, “I have never seen such destruction.” The building identified as the trading post, however, showed no evidence of damage. A 1975 study by the state of Georgia confirmed that the house was not the Mackay Trading Post and that the misidentified house was likely built almost two decades later. As a result, the house was renamed the Ezekiel Harris House after the first known owner and the possible builder. Interestingly, some have said that the house, which was called by the Smithsonian Institute’s Guide to Historic America, “the finest 18th Century house in the state of Georgia,” would likely have never been purchased and restored had it not been mistakenly identified as the scene for such the bloody events of the American Revolution.

The Harris House today. Photo 2011, by Lewis Powell IV, all
rights reserved.
Another view of the front. Photo 2011, by Lewis Powell IV,
all rights reserved.

So, if the Ezekiel Harris House is not the Mackay Trading Post, are there still ghosts? Well, historians researching this first siege of Augusta have noted that the trading post was located somewhere in the vicinity of the Harris house, though the exact spot is unknown. We do know, however, that Ezekiel Harris, a tobacco merchant, built this house around 1797, though the exact date is unknown. Scott A. Johnson, author of The Mayor’s Guide to the Stately Ghosts of Augusta, posits that the ghosts may simply have taken up in the house after its construction. According to him, visitors still report odd occurrences on the staircase that includes the feeling of having a rope about your neck. He also reports that the female ghost is commonly seen as well.

It’s not uncommon for spirits to take up in a nearby structure if their regular haunt has been destroyed, but some remained unconvinced that this is the case here. Ben Baughman, manager of the house for the Augusta Museum, which has controlled the property since 2004, stated that he has had no experiences in the house. In 2006, two videos appeared on YouTube showing an investigation of the house. The first part of the video shows part of the usual tour of the house being led by Mr. Baughman as well as his docent’s spiel about the house’s history. The second video shows the beginning of a night investigation involving a Ouija board. The video ends just as the Ouija board is produced and there is no part II. So there is no indication that anything was discovered.

Interestingly, one of the females on the video states that the female apparition is probably not Mrs. Glass, but more likely Mrs. Ezekiel Harris. History may back her up on that assumption. While there are few records relating to either Mr. or Mrs. Harris, those that remain on Mr. Harris reveal that he was an ambitious businessman with some legal problems including an accusation of murder. In one surviving letter from 1805, Mr. Harris describes his wife as having breast cancer. She died the following year, quite possibly in the house. This does leave open the possibility that the spirit may be her still worrying over her husband’s troubles or the cancer in her breast.

The remainder of the home’s history may be relatively free of violence. The house was owned by two other families before being bought by the company constructing the Sibley Mill. The house was turned into a boarding house and the porch of the upper story was enclosed. Of course, as a boarding house, there may have been some violence and some tenants may not have left.

Mill in view of the house. Photo 2011, by Lewis Powell IV,
all rights reserved.

As for the question of whether this house in haunted, I cannot say. I would be interested in seeing the results of any paranormal investigations on the location. Certainly, with its age and history ghosts are likely, but I have not seen a single, identifiable report of paranormal activity. In other words, the descriptions of activity are always general and cannot be linked to any specific individual.


Back in July, I finally visited the Ezekiel Harris House for the first time. Presumably due to budget cuts, tours of the house are now by appointment only and I only had time to take a few pictures and ponder the forlorn house from outside the white picket fence surrounding it. The house is a bit unkempt with grass needing mowing, a dead kitchen garden and a falling chimney. Even in that state, the house is a commanding presence, situated on a high hill with a vista of the grand Sibley Mill in the distance. I wonder if the spirits enjoy the solitude.

Crumbling chimney. Photo 2011, by Lewis Powell IV, all
rights reserved.

Dying kitchen garden. Photo 2011, by Lewis Powell IV, all
rights reserved.

     Tour.” YouTube. 12 September 2006.
     Investigation." YouTube. 9 December 2006.
Cashin, Edward J. “Augusta.” The New Georgia Encyclopedia.
     Accessed 19 February 2007.
Johnson, Scott A. The Mayor’s Guide to the Stately Ghosts of
     Augusta. Augusta, GA: Harbor House, 2005.
Jones, Charles C. Jr. and Samuel Dutcher. Memorial History
     Of Augusta, Georgia. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., 1890.
Killion, Ronald G. and Charles T. Waller. A Treasury of Georgia
     Folklore. Atlanta, GA: Cherokee Publishing, 1972.
Kirby, Bill. “The legend of this old house.” The Augusta
     Chronicle. 24 July 2010.
“Urban legends add mystique to Harris House.” The Augusta
     Chronicle. 20 June 1999.
Windham, Kathryn Tucker. 13 Georgia Ghosts and Jeffrey.
     Tuscaloosa, AL: The U. of Alabama Press, 1973.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Handful of Haunts--Photos from New Orleans

Labor Day Weekend was wild and wooley for New Orleans with Tropical Storm Lee hitting the city at the same time as numerous revelers for Southern Decadence and other events. A friend of mine, Benjamin Lewis, was able to take pics of a handful of haunted sites and I'm most grateful to him for these marvelous images!

Beauregard-Keyes House
1113 Chartres Street

A bright spot of sunshine on a dreary day, the Beauregard-
Keyes House, 2011. Photo by Benjamin Lewis, all rights reserved.

One of the most famous homes in the city, the Beauregard-Keyes House has served as the residence for a number of famous names including Confederate General P. T. G. Beauregard, chess master Paul Morphy and novelist Frances Keyes. Events in this house have ranged from glittering balls to a bloody Sicilian mafia massacre in the early 20th century. Gun shots from the massacre are still heard, a waltzing couple seen inside while some have heard the name of General Beauregard's Waterloo, Shiloh, being repeated over and over again. One resident even claimed to have encountered the battle of Shiloh being fought in the ballroom. I've covered this site in depth in two entries (Part I and Part II).

Sign at the front of the Beauregard-Keyes
House, 2011. Photo by Benjamin Lewis,
all rights reserved,

Le Richelieu
1234 Chartres Street

Front entrance to Le Richelieu, 2011.
Photo by Benjamin Lewis, all rights
Housed in two buildings, one dating from 1845, the other from 1902, the Le Richelieu Hotel occupies the site where five French patriots were executed in the late 18th century. The spirits of these five men may still reside here.

The two buildings that comprise Le Richelieu, 2011. Photo by
Benjamin Lewis, all rights reserved.
A view of Le Richelieu from Barracks Street, 2011. Photo by
Benjamin Lewis, all rights reserved.
Looking down this hallway at Le Richelieu one
can almost imagine the Shining Twins appearing
here. Photo by Benjamin Lewis, all rights reserved.
Courtyard and pool where a group of Spanish soldiers may
have been executed. Do their spirits still wander here?
Photo by Benjamin Lewis, all rights reserved.

Old United States Mint
400 Esplanade

Front entrance to the old US Mint, now
the Louisiana State Museum, 2011. Photo
by Benjamin Lewis, all rights reserved.
From 1838 to 1909, this building housed the New Orleans Mint, producing currency in all denominations. Since its closure as a mint, the building served a variety of functions until 1981 when it became a part of the State Museum of Louisiana, the capacity in which it functions today. In the second floor gallery a man in blue coveralls has been seen rolling a cigarette. He then places the cigarette into his mouth and walks into a nearby wall.

View down the length of the facade, 2011. Photo by Benjamin Lewis,
all rights reserved.
The massive old mint, 2011. Photo by Benjamin Lewis, all
rights reserved.
The rear of the old mint building, 2011. Photo by Benjamin Lewis,
all rights reserved.

Old Ursuline Convent
1100 Chartres Street

Plaque on the old convent, 2011. Photo by Benjamin Lewis,
all rights reserved.
One of the oldest buildings in New Orleans, the Old Ursuline Convent has survived hurricanes, fires and the nuns have lent aid during plagues and epidemics. It's no surprise that their old convent would house spirits. According to Jeff Dwyer, the spirits of Ursuline sisters have been seen gliding throughout the building while the spirit of a Civil War era soldier has been seen in the garden.

A brooding sky over the Old Ursuline Convent, 2011. Photo
by Benjamin Lewis, all rights reserved.
Dwyer, Jeff. Ghost Hunter's Guide to New Orleans.Gretna, LA: Pelican Press,
New Orleans Mint. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 10 September
Powell, Lewis IV. "Beauregard-Keyes House, Part I." Southern Spirit Guide. 
     3 December 2010.
Powell, Lewis IV. "Beauregard-Keyes House, Part II." Southern Spirit Guide. 
     6 December 2010.
Smith, Katherine. Journey Into Darkness...Ghosts and Vampires of New 
     Orleans. New Orleans: De Simonin Publications, 1998.