317 E Main St.
New Iberia, LA 70560
Deep in the city of New Iberia, along the murky waters of Bayou Teche, lies an interesting plantation home, ever so deservingly named Shadows on the Teche. We have often heard the old saying “if these walls could talk.” If this is the case, you could hear quite an earful out of this beautiful home! Over its many years of existence, it has seen its fair share of birth, sickness, and death; much of it being documented in over seventeen thousand pages of the previous owners' accounts. Known as the Weeks Family Papers, these documents account for every purchase, sale, and substantial event that took place here throughout the years.
Our story begins with a young builder and sugar entrepreneur by the name of David Weeks. As a young man, David Weeks began working with his father, William Weeks, accumulating a great deal of property in the Felicianas and the Attakapas in the early 1800's, purchasing most of Grand Cote (now Weeks Island), over two thousand acres by 1818. They grew cotton in the Felicianas, and attempted indigo and cotton in the Attakapas before David Weeks began concentrating on sugar in the early 1820's. While establishing the plantation at Grand Cote, David found time to court and marry Mary Conrad, Mary being twenty-one years of age and David thirty-two. The couple resided on William Weeks' plantation on Bayou Sarah near St. Francisville.
After David's father died, they decided to move to their Attakapas properties to concentrate on the production of sugar at Grand Cote. Though Grand Cote was ideal as a sugar plantation, its location was considered too remote for his family, so David first acquired property on Bayou Parc Perdu where they lived for four years, before he bought the property in New Iberia on Bayou Teche in 1825.
Construction of the new house began in 1831 and was finally completed in 1834. One of only three brick structures on the bayou in the vicinity, the Shadows was constructed in a Classical
|Early photograph of the home in its infancy.|
Following the death of David Weeks in 1834, his widow Mary C. Weeks was kept extremely busy seeing to the well-being of the estate, which would ultimately become her children's inheritance. Not only was she responsible for feeding and providing education for her six children, she was also accountable for the one hundred and fifty slaves on the property, consisting of men, women and children.
|Bedroom where Mary Moore passed away.|
The home continued to pass down through several generations of the Weeks’ family until eventually ending up being owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation society. The group now proudly displays the home as a centerpiece for the community, regularly offering tours and other special events. As an interesting piece of collectible history, one of the doors to the home has become a celebrity graffiti wall, so to speak. Great-grandson of David Weeks, Mr. Weeks Hall, had quite the list of friends. This is apparent by their names they scrawled on the door, visible to this very day. Some of the names include author Henry Miller, Elia Kazan, the director of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and a guy by the name of Walt Disney; you may have heard of him!
For years, guests and staff have reported haunted activity at Shadows on the Teche. Many feel
|Signed message from Walt Disney himself.|
During our investigation, our night was filled with unexplainable sounds and disembodied voices. It began with audible footsteps in the empty attic. This was soon followed by an unknown cough, heard by two investigators. They examined all adjacent areas and no one else was present. Further activity seemed to concentrate in the room where Mary Moore had died. As various questions were being directed to her, an unexplainable cold spot and a sudden spike in electro-magnetic energy was simultaneously detected. The night concluded with additional strange noises being heard in the master bedroom along with what sounded like music appropriate for the era that Mrs. Moore had been alive.
About a year ago, I was hosting a Continuing Education course through ULL. Portion of the course consisted of a hands-on investigation, which we chose Shadows on the Teche as the location. We were accompanied by a reporter and cameraman from one of the local news stations to cover the investigation. The reporter covered the story as usual and we concluded the group investigation with no significant activity. The next day, we wrapped up the class with a summary and a lecture on matrixing and false positive evidence. The reporter returned to finish up her story. Once the class was
|Small property on the grounds where several of the Weeks'|
family members are buried.