Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Writer books night at haunted B&B

Let’s just say this writer is quite brave when it comes to going overseas by myself, wandering in the jungle by an active volcano, braving non-English speaking locales and dealing with cultures so unlike my own…but when it comes to ghost stories, horror movies and haunted houses I’m a big chicken.
 
A few years ago, right before Halloween coincidentally, I had to go to Lafayette on a business trip and decided not to stay in a hotel but go with much more character - a bed and breakfast or B&B.
 
I chose a beautiful one called “Aaaah! T’Frere’s B&B.” According to their website, the house was built in 1880 of Louisiana red cypress hauled from a nearby Vermillion Bayou and the structure’s architecture was inspired by the Acadian colonial style.

From their website
It seemed like a nice place and they had won various travel awards and accolades for their nice accommodations and the amazing gourmet breakfast prepared by the owners, Maugie and Pat Pastor. Mrs. Maugie is well known for serving breakfast in her silk red pajamas. It all sounded good to me, so I booked a room for the night.
 
It wasn’t until about an hour later that I discovered I booked a bit more than just a bed and breakfast. This B&B has been featured on The Travel Channel’s “Haunted Hotels.” I could almost hear the movie climactic sound effect “duh…duh…duhhhh” play in my head. “Great,” I thought, I had unknowingly booked a haunted B&B for the night.
 
According to www.GhostTraveler.com/Louisiana, a phantom woman, who is apparently a benevolent (friendly) spirit, abides there. On the site it reads that “a young woman either killed herself or accidentally drowned in a cistern on the property decades ago, while she was running a high fever; the Catholic church ruled her death a suicide and she was never given a proper Catholic burial. Patrons credit her spirit with moving objects - including furniture, walking around at night, and generally being a kind spirit. She has been known for playing the piano and music boxes, and was blamed for changing the color of one guest's wedding punch.”
 
I arrived in Lafayette around 7 p.m. and was given a quick tour by the owner’s son, John. The two-story house was lovely—painted white though covered in shadows in a ghostly night way. The large wraparound porch and small balcony lent a cozy factor to the establishment and the interior was just as comfortable with dark wood antique furniture and soft floral prints on sofas, curtains and bed spreads.
 
My room was the one with the balcony, which was fitting since it is referred to as the “Widow’s Balcony” and the ghost is supposedly seen roaming on it. It was actually attached to the bathroom down the dimly lit hallway. I had to take a quick peek and knew it was a bad idea when I was met with two sets of glowing eyes. I clutched my chest in fright, then realized it was just two spooky Halloween ghoul decorations hanging up.
 
Upon descending the narrow stairwell, I was offered the welcome appetizer of crab crustard—lightly toasted French bread topped with a delicious spread of crabmeat and melted cheese. I also took the chance to ask John about the house’s “history.” He caught on.
 
Some people can be a bit superstitious, so I didn’t want to ask outright. He said he doesn’t talk about it because the last time he did something strange happened. He told the story to two women guests and afterward while they were in the dining room and when he was in the kitchen he felt someone pass behind him and whisper over his shoulder. He turned and no one was there. He was creeped out and decided to not talk about it again. However, he did show me the “Haunted Hotels” Travel Channel segment as I sat in the glass enclosed porch dining extension.
 
The young woman’s name was Amilee Comeaux and it is believed her brother-in-law was the owner of the house. She lived there in the late 1880s after her husband passed away. She went into the Acadian tradition of a mourning year, which required her to dress in black and not go out in public. Thus she was confined to the house. She spent her days turning a wistful gaze at the outside world from the balcony.
 
She never remarried, thought to have taught math to local children and lived at the T’Frere’s house for years until she grew gravely ill in her early 30s. She was running a high fever—tossing and turning in her bed—and in desperate need of water to quinch her thirst. She ran out of it in the house so, in perhaps a delirious state, she stumbled outside for more from the backyard well. She never made it back to the house and was found dead in the well.
 
The local Catholic church deemed it a suicide and denied her body’s burial in hallowed ground thus leading many people to believe her spirit is at the house to this day—unable to rest. Several occurrences over the years have caused belief from dishes crashing noisily to the floor, to music playing in the house or babies crying to even sightings of a young woman looking through the curtains. Let’s just say I had plenty of information about the house’s “history” now but it somehow didn’t help the matter. We would have to see how the night progressed.
 
[To be continued later today…]

2 comments:

  1. Why am I just now hearing of this? When did you stay and did you stay by yourself? SCARY! The house is so beautiful!

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    1. lol. Sorry didn't tell you! It was two years ago. I did stay by myself. I accidentally booked it. It was a memorable experience...to say the least. :)

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