When I go to historic location, I love to imagine what life was like when that building was built. Who passed through those halls, what conversations were spoken aloud in the rooms, etc? There is a place in Louisiana where the past is still walking the halls and chatting in the rooms. I wonder if the spirits at the Old State Capitol people watch the visitors or talk about the workers?
The Old State Capitol is located in Baton Rouge. Due to its location and appearance it is often referred to as either the Louisiana Castle or the Castle of Baton Rouge. The architect that designed the building, James H. Dakin, wanted to design something different to stand out. It is in the Neo- Gothic medieval- style. The locals hated the building and didn’t feel like it represented them well at all. Mark Twain called it a “little sham of a castle”. It was constructed between 1847-1852. In 1862 Union troops took over the building. They used the basement as both a garrison and a hospital. During their stay in the building, the castle caught on fire twice. By the time they left, it was just an empty shell of a building. It was renovated and that’s when the stained glass dome and winding cast iron staircase was added to the castle. The building housed the Louisiana State Legislature from 1850 to 1932. In 1994 it reopened as the Louisiana Center For Political and Governmental History.
Among the exhibits and displays, you may spy a spirit or two watching you from across the room. The workers at the museum don’t dismiss the activity as most museum typically do. In fact they embrace it. One of the exhibits is called The Ghost Of The Castle. Its a 20 minute movie talking about one the most well known spirits, Sarah Morgan. Sarah’s family donated the land that the castle is built on when she was young. She grew up watching the castle being built and had mentioned in her diary that she loved the building so much that she wanted to spend her afterlife there. And it seems that her wish has come true. Sarah has been spotted at various impeachment trials and parties. It seems that she isn’t the only spirit here. The ghost of Senator Huey Long has been seen. There is also an urban legend that says Senator Pierre Couvillian has been seen and heard in the building because he died from a heart attack on the Senate floor while in the midst of a passionate argument. Except he didn’t die in the castle. He died in his home. But that doesn’t stop people from claiming the footprints seen on the Senate floor are his. Another set spirits often experienced, especially down in the basement, are the Confederate soldiers who kept in the jail in the basement. People say they feel their head being pushed down or patted in the basement.
All isn’t the only paranormal activity experienced at the castle. Footsteps are often heard when no one else is around. Doors open by themselves. People feel like they are being watched. They see flashes of light. Lights turn on by themselves. Cigar smoke is smelled often. The sheets on the former governor’s bed often look wrinkled. As if someone had sat down on the edge of the bed. Security guards say that they often see shadows on their monitors as well as seeing flashing of lights. They also said that motion detectors go off by themselves. One security guard, Tom Clarke, was quoted as saying “I’ve had an experience where I was patrolling the building about 2:15 in the morning walking across the balcony that’s above the House of Representatives. And about halfway across it was like I ran into someone passing. It turned me sideways, unsettled me and I’m pretty sure that was the last round I made that night.”
I do love how they have embraced the paranormal side of the castle’s history. Not only do they embrace it but through Sarah Morgan’s video, they are able to teach the history of the castle through the spirit’s point of view. I wish more places would do this. The paranormal isn’t a dirty secret to brush under a rug.
As I close out this post I do have a small announcement to share. I am taking a two week break from blogging. So no new posts next week or the following week. I am starting a really interesting new job and need to be able to focus on the training. I’m still going to do the trivia shows because I absolutely love that job but I have been hired for a second evening job. I wasn’t planning on this second job at all. Heck I wasn’t even looking for a second job but as soon as they offered it to me, I couldn’t resist. What is my new job??? I am going to be a tour guide for Ghost City Tours here in San Diego!!!! Yes!!! This spooky housewife found herself a job that involves haunted locations and ghosts!!! Once I am trained I will be conducting tours in Old Town (yes, one of the stops is the Whaley House!!!!) and in downtown San Diego. Y’all have no idea how excited I am for this. This job is perfect for me. But it also requires I learn routes and over 50 pages worth of scripts. Which is why I need to take a quick break from blogging. I am hoping that I will only need a one week break to get through the training but I am saying two weeks just in case. I put a lot of time into researching and writing these posts and that combined with the work that I put into the podcast, takes up a lot of my free time. But when I come back, not only will be able to get into a new routine that allows me to focus more on this blog but I will have all sorts of new spooky stories and experiences to share with you! I hope y’all understand why I am taking this break and are excited with me for this new venture. The next two episodes of the podcast will come out on time (June 8th and June 22nd) so you will have spookiness to look forward to. I will miss y’all but I will be back soon with new stories and locations to share with you.