8211 False River Rd.
New Roads, LA 70760
Now that we have finally made it through the wild city of New Orleans, hearing some of the most gruesome and off-the-wall stories imaginable, what could possibly be left? With many states, covering this many reportedly haunted locations would be squeezing the sponge dry. However, we are in Louisiana and we are only starting to scratch the surface of all that is strange, weird and unknown. We now move from the bustling streets of Bourbon to the calm and serene waters of False River in New Roads.
False River is a beautiful ten and a half mile oxbow lake that once served as the main channel to the Mississippi River for the area until it was cut off in the 1720’s when seasonal flooding cut a shorter channel to the east. Today, the area is an outdoorsman’s dream, being home to great fishing, incredible water sports and multi-million dollar homes. As you drive along Highway 1, admiring the waters to your left, you also may be intrigued by some of the older homes to your right. As you continue to drive, you are amazed at the huge amounts of peat moss that hang from the centuries-old oak trees. The moss adds quite a unique touch, causing the trees to appear as if they are melting or, better yet, weeping.
One historic home along this scenic route truly sticks out as the quintessential French-colonial home, appearing as though it just sprung out from a painting. Parlange Plantation is nearly as old as the waters that it sits across from, being the oldest structure in the vicinity. The home was built in approximately 1750, while some say the completion date was as late as 1754. This Creole mansion was built by the Marquis Vincent de Ternant on ten thousand acres of land that was obtained through a French land grant and quickly grew into a successful indigo plantation. When de Ternant died in 1757, his son inherited the plantation. It would eventually fall into the hands of de Ternant’s grandson, Claude, who would change the crop of choice to cotton and sugarcane.
Although Claude followed in his grandfather’s footsteps by becoming financially successful, he was stricken with tragedy at an early age when his first wife, Dorothee Legros, and their only child died during childbirth. After a short period of mourning, Claude felt the need to remarry and he
|Virginie Amelie Avengo (left) & Valentine (right), |
daughters of Anatole Placide Avegno
& Marie Virginie de Ternant
The bad luck of Claude seemed to be passed down the family tree of woe. While Virginie lavishly spoiled Marius Claude, possibly due to the guilt of tragically losing her first son, she was extremely strict on her daughters. The spoiled lifestyle and sense of self-entitlement would soften Marius, leading him on a wild path of alcohol abuse and fast living. He would die at the young age of twenty-five in 1861.
|Parlor of Parlange Plantation.|
Notice the large portrait of Julie Eriphile.
By this time, Colonel Parlange had passed away and Virginie was all alone. She moved to
|Virginie Amelie Avengo featured in|
"Portrait of Madame X"
As Union General Nathaniel Banks arrived at Parlange with his troops, Virginie greeted them warmly, inviting the officers to a huge feast and even allowed the general to sleep inside the house, while the soldiers were encamped in her formal gardens. Little did they know what treasures were laying beneath them as they slept. The Union Army would go on to use her home as their headquarters. Fortunately, due to Virginie’s tactfulness and slyness that made her so despised by the community, she ultimately would impress General Banks enough to spare her home from being destroyed. Virginie would move to which ever direction the wind blew, as when Confederate General Richard Taylor and his troops later arrived, she offered them the same warm hospitality.
Once the war was over and the land was free of Union and Confederate forces, Virginie attempted to retrieve her chests of gold and silver. However, there was one big problem; only two of the three chests were there! To this day, the third chest has never been found. Could it have been secretly discovered by the Union Army, which may have been the reason they did not pursue destroying the home, or perhaps the treasure is still out there! I don’t know about you, but I have the sudden urge to go visit the property with a metal detector!
To this day, Parlange Plantation is still owned and operated by the direct descendants of Virginie Parlange. The home is open to tours, allowing you to admire the beautiful landscape along with ornate design of the plantation. As you focus on the ancient bousillage walls and solid cypress floors, keep an eye out for the spirit of poor Julie Parlange, as she is the most commonly seen ghost here. She has been witnessed running around the grounds, still appearing to be in a panicked state as on the day she died. Visitors claim she still wears her veil and long flowing wedding dress, sobbing as she wanders around the massive oak trees. I can only assume that her body is still not at rest, especially if the story is true that she was buried in the dress she was to wear for her wedding that she strongly protested. Poor Julie, a lost soul who was never allowed to join the love of her life, forced to live in eternity lost and alone.