I’ve had the pleasure of touring many beautiful plantation homes in the state of Louisiana, but I have not yet checked out the former cotton plantation of Chretien Point near Opelousas in Sunset, Louisiana.
Hypolyte Chretien was a French colonist who purchased the land from the Spaniards in 1800. His son built the red-brick mansion in 1831 on the banks of the Bayou Bourbeaux. He ran a 3,000-acre cotton plantation and became quite wealthy.
The French pirate Jean Lafitte was a friend of the Chretien family as Chretien had saved Lafitte’s life during the War of 1812.
A Spanish family, the Nedas, lived nearby. Hypolyte’s son, Hypolyte II, fell in love with the Neda family daughter, Felicite.
Felicite was a beautiful, independent and high-spirited young woman, full of passion. Hypolyte II and Felicite married, and it was not a peaceful union. They did remain together, however, until Hypolyte died of yellow fever.
Felicite had no problem managing the plantation after her husband’s death in 1839. She also enjoyed smoking cigars and accrued additional wealth through her card-playing skills.
Jean Lafitte was always a welcome guest at the home, but after he died, his crew tried to steal from Felicite. They broke into her home one night when she was alone with her children, and were met with a pistol. She shot the thief in the lead between his eyes. The rest of the pirates left immediately.
After Felicite’s death a few years later, Hypolyte III, was left to run the plantation.
Can you guess the ghost who decided to remain at Chretien Point? As fiercely devoted to Chretien Point as Scarlett O’Hara was to Tara, of course the spirit is none other than the fiery-tempered Felicite Chretien.
Not only has she been seen many times over the years, but the sound of her pistol still echoes “in the stairway on certain nights.” The sound of the pirate’s body falling down the stairs has been heard as well.
Legend also has it that the pirate’s blood stains were removed from the carpet, but not successfully removed from the wood underneath, and the stain is still there according to Louis Corney, who ran a bed and breakfast at the mansion.
Corney said that he used to make fun of the pirate who had been killed in the house, but stopped doing that after some spiritual activity occurred each time including his car horn honking and some major electrical problems. He calls the spirit Robert. Robert likes to play with coins.
Corney also reports hearing children playing in the upstairs parlor, whispered conversations, chairs rocking by themselves in the room that used to belong to the Chretien children, and doors opening and closing. One guest at the home saw a dense fog appear and heard children playing jump rope.
Turnage, Sheila. Haunted Inns of the Southeast. John F. Blair, 2001.