I’ve heard that Loyd Hall Plantation near Alexandria was haunted but never got the full story until I spent the night. The main house was full the night we visited so I shared the old kitchen out back — newly renovated, of course, and accented with antiques — with a friend who had not known it was haunted. Needless to say, she taped on my door several times in the night because she was scared someone less alive than I would visit.
The story goes that William Loyd built the impressive home around 1820, after he was cast out of the Lloyd family in England, the ones associated with Lloyds of London. Hence only one l in his name, which he changed upon arrival in America.
The black sheep of the Lloyd family didn’t do so bad for himself in central Louisiana, creating a plantation of tobacco, corn, indigo and sugarcane on hundreds of acres. Stories claim he was a bit eccentric, however, and the local natives weren’t too fond of him, which explains the spent arrowheads in the kitchen doors.
|An upstairs suite.|
Another story claims he worked both sides of the Civil War and was hanged from an oak tree in the front of his house for treason.
Today, the home is listed on the National Historic Register and serves as a bed and breakfast with guests enjoying a full breakfast in the main house with walls of windows overlooking the property. In addition to two elegant suites on the second floor (hint, this is where to stay if you want to see ghosts), there are numerous “cottages” in the rear, including the old commissary and kitchen, where we stayed (without incident).
William Loyd haunts the home, some people think, and favors the front porch. A Union soldier killed on the third floor still hangs around as well. And there are more, as Miss Beaulah Davis explained to us in the morning when we were enjoying our breakfast. Guests have reported things moving on their own, pressure on furniture when no one was there and unusual sounds.
|The third floor schoolhouse.|
According to Louisiana Spirits paranormal investigators, “Mr. Loyd's relative, Inez Loyd, jumped to her death from the third story attic. The suicide was said to have taken place due to Inez being stood up by her fiancé. The third floor was also said to have been home to a small schoolhouse on one side and the room of the teacher on the other. It was this teacher that was said to have been in a relationship with a Union soldier who chose to stay behind after the troops left. He was often seen on the front porch, serenading the teacher with a violin. It is at his point that the history is unclear. Some sources say that the soldier was then shot by the teacher's sister, while others say it was an angry neighbor that committed the murder. Needles to say, the soldier was, in fact, shot on the third floor and buried under the house. Years later, his remains were exhumed and moved to an undisclosed location.”
We visited the third floor and witnessed a large stain near the window, said to have been the blood stain of the fallen soldier.
Loyd Hall is located at 292 Loyd Bridge Road in Cheneyville. For information, call (318) 776-5641 or visit http://www.loydhall.com.
Cheré Coen is the author of "Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana" published by The History Press.