I am kicking off my Halloween Virtual Haunted House Tour with a stop in Huntersville, NC at the Latta Plantation. I had the opportunity to visit the Latta Plantation earlier this week. The first thing I noticed was that it took a little while to get there. Even after turning off the main road and entering the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, it was still almost 2 miles to the actual Latta Plantation Historic site.
A narrow, tree-lined road winds through the preserve, and eventually deposits you into a small parking lot that looks out at the expansive green area that encompasses the Latta House and the surrounding outbuildings.
One thing I should mention: plantations aren’t always like what Hollywood would lead you to believe. (You’ve got an image from Gone with the Wind in your head, don’t you?) The homes aren’t large, ornate mansions. You have to remember that at the time that they were built, these were working farms in the middle of nowhere. The families may only have lived a portion of the year (if at all) on the grounds. The outside areas though are often expansive, green, and lovely.
As a special treat, here’s a video blog from my visit.
The Latta Plantation was built in 1800, and the residence shown here is the original home built by James Latta. There are eleven buildings on the 52-acre historical site, that the guide says offers a glimpse into life in North Carolina from 1800-1865. The plantation produced cotton, corn, wheat, potatoes, and more.
James Latta was an Irish immigrant and successful traveling merchant who became a prominent figure in Mecklenburg County in the early 1800s. A sad part of the history was that unfortunately he and his wife, Jane, outlived all but one of their children.
The Lattas were slave owners. A sign on the small slave cabin on the property provides a memorial to the Latta (and later owner William Sample’s) slaves.
The reported paranormal activity on the Latta property seems to be contained within the walls of the Latta House. Volunteers and staff members report hearing noises while in the house alone, most often heavy footsteps.
Other reported incidents involve hearing children running and their laughter on the garrett above, which today is impossible due to obstacles that prevent people from crossing the garrett.
All in all though, people who hear these strange noises don’t feel anything threatening about them. They believe them to be either James Latta, checking on his home, or the Latta children who are still at play even in death.
Personally, I think a place like the Latta Plantation would certainly be haunted. The land and house have seen a lot of history happen over the years. Add in the fact that there were slaves on the property at one time as well almost guarantees it. Calling slavery a cruel practice is an incredible understatement, and I think we can only imagine what difficult lives they were forced to endure.
Today, the Latta Plantation has a very peaceful feeling and you could spend an entire afternoon there exploring the outbuildings and drinking in the lovely scenery. I would highly recommend a visit if you are in the area.
Tomorrow we’ll be visiting the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA. If you are enjoying the virtual haunted house tour, please share it with your friends! See you again soon!
Don’t forget that there is a Monster of a Sale going on. Just in time for Halloween, three of my monster-ish tales are on sale for $0.99 through October 31st. Click the book cover to snag your copy now!