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The Haunted Old State Capitol

What Mark Twain described as a “little sham of a castle” is Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s Old State Capitol. Constructed between 1847 and 1852, the building was a newer construction style but was criticized for looking gothic, which at the time would have made it an older architectural style. On top of its architectural scrutiny, it was also symbolic of a castle which was not southern Louisiana style at all. Citizens of Louisiana heavily criticized the building for not reflecting the traditional style of the people as a capitol should. The beautiful castle is comprised of large towers, enormous stained glass dome, and a winding cast-iron staircase.

Since its restoration in the 1990s, the former capitol building serves as Louisiana’s Museum of Political History and houses an infamous resident ghost or two. The museum presents an extensive collection of the state’s historical documents, art, and artifacts that represents the state’s politics and culture.

Museum guests can also visit Sarah Morgan and watch “The Ghost of the Castle,” a theatrical presentation given by a depiction of Sarah Morgan herself.  Morgan was a Civil War-era figure who was fascinated by the castle and wrote an intimate publication titled A Confederate Girl’s Diary

Sightseers may also choose to take an interesting tour that consists of an intimate discussion of the controversial life of Louisiana Governor and United States Senator Huey Long.  The tour goes in-depth on Long’s life, career, and assassination, allowing visitors to decide for themselves whether or not Long was a Louisiana hero or villain. Tour guides play a crime scene investigation game to bring Long’s assassination to life and let visitors figure out who killed him and why. According to legend, after Long’s assassination he has been seen lurking the halls of the castle, spooking tour guides and guests.

The most paranormal activity in the castle supposedly comes from the basement where it had once been occupied as a hospital and jail cell. Paranormal investigators reportedly ran out of the old building after one of the men felt someone pushing down on his head, and another investigator concurred and said that he felt someone patting his head too. Former night guard Wanda Porte had the unlucky draw of receiving the night shift, where she watched the motion sensors light up as something undetected made its way through the governor’s room, baby’s room, and dining room. As a security guard it was her job to check out the disturbance and when she made her way to the governor’s room she saw wrinkled sheets as if someone had been laying in the bed. Guests on tours have reported the smell of cigars and hearing loud footsteps while trying to enjoy the castle’s beauty.

Whatever the story may be, if you decide to move to Baton Rouge and are looking for a fright, be sure to check out the Old State Capitol.