National Geographic’s Andrew Evans: Ghost Under The Stairs

National Geographic’s Andrew Evans: Ghost Under The Stairs

National Geographic’s  Andrew Evans has been traveling all of  October and has been live blogging and tweeting his unexplained encounters as he makes his way across Louisiana. Evans, Nat Geo’s “Digital nomad“, recently experienced a terrifying evening while staying at a local Bed & Breakfast.

Evans’ stay started off with a great deal of skepticism, but that soon changed when he learned about the resident ghost of a young girl that haunts the closet underneath the stairs. After nightfall, the housekeeper informed Evans that he would be the only guest at the B&B for the night; right before locking up and going home for the night.

What followed next was something Evans never imagined living through. A very boisterous night, complete with sounds of feet shuffling up and down the stairs and other loud noises. What’s interesting is that the Digital nomad, twitted his ordeal in real-time.

“There are strange noises coming from upstairs.” I was using Twitter to document the paranormal event that was unfolding around me.

Yes, I was terrified. I hadn’t taken the housekeeper seriously and now it was nearly midnight and I was stuck in a giant bed in a giant mansion that had suddenly come alive with strange noises.

The strange sounds in the otherwise empty house were getting louder and louder as the night progressed. What sounded like bowling balls rolling across the wood flooring and china plates being stacked only petrified a nervous Evans.

In an unnamed house in an unnamed town in a state named after King Louis XIV, I met a ghost.

We were never introduced properly – in fact, the housekeeper denied any and all ghosts the minute I walked in.

“Oh no, it’s not haunted – at least I’ve never seen anything,” she announced as she led me through the grand entryway and into the hallway dressed up with fall flower arrangements. The century-old house was massive – one huge square room after another, and each one decorated with antique parlor furniture, huge potted plants, heavy-framed mirrors and paintings, and crystal chandeliers that hung like glowing, upside-down wedding dresses.

It was a beautiful Southern mansion that like so many in Louisiana, now functions as a luxurious bed-and-breakfast. The housekeeper showed me my suite for the night – a tremendous king-size bed that weighed a few tons, smothered in a pile of pillows and with more white lace and satin than a royal christening.

I set my bags down on the floor and took in the size of the room—an immense place, cathedral-like.

Closet door under the stairs "where the little ghost girl lives." Louisiana (AE, NGS)

Closet door under the stairs "where the little ghost girl lives." Louisiana (AE, NGS)

“You’ll be staying alone in the house,” the housekeeper added, “There are no other guests tonight.”

I was afraid that would be the situation. It’s not the first time in my travels that I’ve been the sole inhabitant of some oversize, historic property. I’m used to it, though it’s not always comfortable.

“As long as you say it’s not haunted,” I joked, but the housekeeper did not laugh. In fact, she looked a little concerned.

“No, it’s not haunted,” she reassured me, but two seconds later, she began to elaborate. “Oh, there are stories, but nobody’s ever seen anything.” She paused, “I’ve never seen anything.”

I asked her to tell me more about the “stories” and out of the housekeeper’s mouth tumbled one Grade A Southern ghost story. Apparently the Cajun family who owned the house two owners ago reported the ghost of a little girl who, when she was alive, used to get locked up in the wooden closet under the stairs. Locked in the dark she would kick and scream against the door, a habit that she carried on into her next life.

Despite closing that door every night, the Cajun family noticed the closet door would always be wide open in the morning. Eventually, they began leaving little toys inside the closet at night to appease the unhappy little ghost.

The housekeeper told me this as if it were perfectly normal—and in my travels I’ve gathered that ghosts are pretty normal in Louisiana.

“Last year we had a Halloween party in the house and a lot of people dressed up as the ghosts that haunt their own houses. Guess what my costume was?” The housekeeper was suddenly cheerful again, “I dressed up as the little girl from under the stairs!”  She wore a short black dress, put her hair in pigtails and walked around with an armful of toys.

I think I could have handled just about anything—if the housekeeper had told me that someone had hung himself in the foyer, or that the mansion was under some swamp curse, or that it was built on top of some old French cemetery—well, I would have coped fine with any of those.

But no—instead she was describing a bothered little girl ghost trapped in a closet with an armful of old-fashioned toys. Now that was super creepy.

The housekeeper offered to spend the night in the house as well, but I said no—I’d be fine in the house alone. At least, I thought I’d be fine.

-Read the rest of the post over at Nat Geo.


Check out Andrew’s trip so far:


View Andrew in Louisiana in a larger map

Follow Andrew on Twitter: @wheresandrew