Latta Plantation was an early 1800's river plantation.
5225 Sample Road
Huntersville , NC 28078
Phone: 704) 875-2312
Open to the public: Unknown
Demographic Rank: 6
Vistor Rating: 4.0
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History information is some background and history about the location. This is meant to be a basic summary. Below the history records you will find sources in which you can click on to find out more information. There may be multiple history records per location.
Latta Plantation was an early 1800's river plantation. It has been owned by many during the years of its existence. The most noted is James Latta. He was a traveling merchant who bought his goods in Philadelphia and Charleston. He then would sell his goods to his fellow neighbors. When he bought the property from Moses Hayes in 1799 it only contained 100 acres and a log cabin. Mr. Latta built a Federal style home in 1800 and is what we know as Latta Plantation now. He bought more property and eventually in his time owned more than 700 acres. He planted cotton on much of his land making it a plantation. He also had slaves, and the most he ever had was 23 adults and 11 children. After his death others took over the land until eventually the house and land was deeded to Mecklenburg County. It is run now as a living history museum. The Latta Plantation house has been restored twice, once in 1976 and again in 2004.
Added by: jragan on 01/09/2011
Stories are just that. Stories and personal accounts that have been reported about the location.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- With a distant rumble of thunder still in the air and droplets of water falling around me, I stepped out of my car at the Historic Latta Plantation last Friday night with one thought on my mind: “Please don’t make me wish I hadn’t done this.” Two deer had already darted across my path and away from the plantation as I approached, almost as if they knew it was a place they didn’t want to be as night fell. I couldn’t help but consider the same thing. There was still time to back out if I wished; claim my camera’s battery was dead or I’d forgotten my tapes. But I didn’t really believe in the paranormal, did I? Surely there was nothing to fear by spending a few hours in the pitch blackness with a team of experienced ghost hunters.
Part I Getting ready for the haunt… or hunt. The main house of Latta Plantation. Employees who work near the grounds say they've seen and heard a number of odd things happening inside. I hoisted my camera bag out of my trunk and turned to meet Maggie Terry and Karen Thompson from the North American Paranormal Society. N.A.P.S. took legs in 2006 when co-founders Eric Singleton and Shawn Litton put together a team of investigators to study the paranormal. That team now includes Maggie, the group’s case manager and one who convinced me to join the team at Latta, Karen, a new investigator and former employee at the plantation, and a collection of other investigators. Eric was soon to join Maggie, Karen and myself on the grounds, but in the meantime I got my bearings of the buildings that made up the plantation while firing off a few questions.
According to Latta history, the land was purchased around 1797 by Moses Hayes before the Latta family turned the 100 acres into a plantation after purchasing it from Hayes in 1799. James Latta, a slave owner, bought parcels of adjoining land until he owned some 700 acres – much of which was used for growing cotton. The land was owned and worked by various individuals up until eventually the property fell into the hands of Duke Power – which donated the house and three acres to Latta Place. The plantation house is the main building of those at Latta, and is where I would soon spend a good portion of my evening. Surrounding the house are a number of smaller buildings, including a kitchen structure, slave cabin, yeoman’s cabin, barns and other various dwellings and shacks. But the most intriguing of these was the general store/miner’s cabin.
Located the furthest away from the main house and built in a covey of trees, the miner’s cabin was slightly concerning in gloomy, rainy twilight as I approached with the team during my quick tour. It was to be much, much more concerning once the sun went down and we were all shut inside – and prove to be the last straw in my before-unshaken journalistic courage. Explaining how things go bump in the night Cameras were placed throughout the plantation house in hopes of catching something during the long evening hours. While I got the last of my shots in the fading daylight, Eric, Maggie and Karen finished setting up their equipment inside the plantation house and some of the other buildings. Cameras and voice recorders situated through the buildings were meant to pick up anything the team and I didn’t or couldn’t catch with our own eyes, such as electro-magnetic fields and electronic voice projections from spirits or any other signs of something paranormal.
Storing my gear and coming to terms with the fact that there was nothing left now to delay the hunt any longer, I entered the plantation house with Eric to get in the last of my questions before the lights were turned off. Naturally being skeptical of everything in life, be that tomorrow’s weather forecast or the possibility of there really being such a thing as ghosts in this world, I was eager to determine where the organization’s co-founder stood on the issue of the paranormal. Obviously he believes that such things exist, otherwise he wouldn’t put his life and money into the investigations he routinely does. But there’s a difference between being a believer that something can happen and someone who sees ghosts every time they turn around. I was happy to see that Eric was someone who was more interested in finding out what was out there to see in the wide world, instead of someone who sought the camera’s eye while exaggerating every house creak into a ghost attack.
“Disproving” was a term Eric said again and again as the night would wear on, telling me before hand that N.A.P.S. main goal is to, if possible, disprove a believed haunt through rational evidence. And as the plantation house groaned under our steps or a faint passing sound seemed much too much like a whispered, ghostly secret, Eric was the first to suggest possibly explanations to answer his team’s queries and calm my fears. However, he wasn’t able to come up with a disproving answer for everything.
Inside the plantation house
Inside the plantation house. Are the ghostly inhabitants still around?
With the misty sky glowing slightly orange from the nearby Queen City lights, Karen, Eric, Maggie and I closed ourselves in the plantation house, where families had lived and slaves had toiled for many long-past years. I was somewhat relieved to find the orangey outside penetrating some of the home’s windows and keeping me from total darkness, though the sky provided just enough light for me to continue thinking I saw hazy goings-on in the surrounding grounds.
It was enough to make me wonder where I rather be: in the house where we would soon be calling upon the paranormal for answers, or outside in the rainy dark. Tales of nearby bobcats and a story about things heard last time the N.A.P.S. team was out at Latta kept me inside.
It is important to note here an interesting phenomena, of sorts. In common terms, you might call it the “I’m scared so I think I keep seeing things” effect. Technically, it’s called matrixing: your brain tries to make something out of a collection of things that you see out of the corner of your eye, or hear around you, or smell on the air. You want to see something, or at least, you expect to see something, so you make yourself think you have.
Regardless of what it’s called, I quickly found the need to remove myself from any window or piece of glass in the plantation house. Frequently jerking my head to the side to stare after something that had just passed between myself and a nearby window, it didn’t take me too long to realize I was seeing things that weren’t there – mostly because I had just seen my own ghostly reflection flashed at me in the light of my own camera or a passing flashlight.
The point is, when the four of us first gathered to begin asking questions and calling for signs of the paranormal inhabitants, I was already on edge. Every sound, every movement, every everything sounds like a ghost when you’re looking for ghosts after listening to past ghost stories.
Needless to say, I was a little concerned.
Despite that, I was eager for my first ghost sign. Eric, Karen and Maggie began asking questions into the darkness.
“Could you give us a sign of your presence?”
“Is there anyone here with us tonight?”
“If you want us to leave, knock on the wall or move something around.”
I was prepared to leave, if asked nicely by the paranormal. But with the majority of these questions, nothing would follow. Now and then one of the group would freeze and ask if the others had heard something. Most of the time, I hadn’t heard anything. Other times, I had definitely heard something.
Even other times, I would hear something that nobody else would hear. It was these times, as my partners tried to hit on something that would bring a reaction from our surroundings, that I would try to answer for these sounds in my own head. Buildings, as we all know, make a certain amount of sound constantly. Only when we silence ourselves do we hear it.
So, how do you tell if what you just heard was simply an insignificant board creaking, or perhaps something more noteworthy? That’s, as they say, is the fly in the ointment, and something I’m still trying to figure out as I think back on all I heard.
First Real Scare
N.A.P.S. has been out to Latta Plantation before. In one past instance in the plantation home itself, the crew was upstairs in what was the children’s bedroom. According to Eric, a few toys that would have been common for kids during the 1800s were set upon the floor as they tried to get the paranormal to play with a doll and a ball. While observing that, Eric and the team say their flashlight went out.
Assuming bad batteries were at fault, Eric asked for the light to be turned back on, and on it went. Still concerned that battery trouble was masquerading as ghostly actions, Eric asked for the flashlight to shine with half power, which of course it did.
Now, batteries and extraordinary timing could be to blame for all of that, and I’m not going to attempt to quantify something I was not on hand for nor can I use that story to back any argument for or against there being such a thing as haunting. Again, I can only say something happened for a fact if I witnessed it taking place.
Regardless, that story was fresh on my mind as myself and the team returned to the children’s bedroom that night, placed the doll and ball on the floor with a flashlight and waited for something to happen. We all waited as Eric asked the spirits of any children who may still reside in the home to play, and Maggie sang “Ring Around the Rosie” in hopes that something paranormal would take part.
It was as I looked down to check the battery life on my camera when it happened. Maggie let out a blood-curdling scream, which had me trying to decide if I was going to either jump out the upstairs window or take my time to run all they way downstairs first so I could get out of the house to safety.
In fact, I had to do neither of these, as Maggie apologetically explained that a rather large spider had scuttled across the floor near her in the eerie darkness cast by the room’s one flashlight. Just a spider – no ghost. But, if something had moved past me instead of Maggie at that same moment, somebody would have had to return to Latta the next day to retrieve my gear and replace the Michael-shaped hole in the bedroom's window, so I have no ill will against her for the scare of my life.
Not much else happened following that episode in the children’s bedroom, though the team thought they might have heard a few voices and I definitely smelled something very flowery in the home that still gives me a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach when someone passes in the office wearing perfume.
The kitchen sits right beside the plantation house. I few odd sounds were heard by the team here, but not much came of it.
The plantation kitchen, as it turns out, is not inside the plantation house but in a separate building nearby. It is there we headed next, and where I for one recorded what was likely the closest thing for me to a paranormal sign.
Prior to beginning, Eric had explained the idea of “provoking” to me. In short, provoking a ghost would involve saying or doing something possibly less-than-friendly in hopes of getting a response. Eric and his team have moved away from such practices, for obvious reasons.
While in the kitchen, the team didn’t exactly work to provoke any possible spirits, but being someone eager to not upset anything that might still inhabit the kitchen building I stayed quiet as Eric, Maggie and Karen asked what was for dinner, or why dinner was taking so long, or other things that might be of interest to someone who had devoted their life to cooking and feeding the Latta family.
In fact, inside the nearby home there was a spot just outside the dining room where Eric informed me the in-house slave would have stood during the family’s dinner. Standing in the spot myself, it was easy to feel the indention in the wood made by a person standing in the spot every day for years. It was my goal not to upset this person if they had decided to linger around for eternity in the kitchen structure.
And it seemed that, as we stood in the kitchen with a cat that still lives on the property winding its way between our legs, someone or something might have been reacting to our presence. At least twice if not three times, something in the vicinity of the fire place and overhead mantle moved, making a grinding noise and slightly vibrating the floor beneath our feet. The cat disappeared from the room for a while, but eventually returned.
Possible explanations for such an experience? Well, there was the nearby storm, and I was aware of distant thunder before we entered the kitchen. After checking outside, Karen became aware of the thundering as well, though I don’t believe it was the cause of what we heard inside the structure.
Perhaps, the sound of the thunder reverberating down the fireplace chimney would be enough to cause the sound we heard. But when Karen pointed out times of thunder while standing outside the kitchen door, the sounds inside did not reoccur. I was interested in seeing what, if anything, the team’s equipment picked up inside the kitchen during these times when they went over their tapes later, but it was time to first move on to other buildings.
A Tad Bit Creepy
Following a quick stop in the yeoman’s cabin, the team and I headed to the place I was the most curious about, but also the most apprehensive to enter. That’s partly due to its location – the miner’s cabin is off the beaten path and located, as fate would have it Friday, in the misty, foreboding woods. Also, those woods would cut me off from what was left of the odd, but somewhat comforting orange glow hanging in the air. The cabin was going to be pitch black.
But stories told to me by the team from past experiences in the shack were more concerning.
According to Maggie, and verified multiple times by Eric and Karen, the team once recorded a male voice inside the cabin saying “Help!” I've attached that recording toward the end of this piece. Another voice, that of a girl, was recorded as saying “It’s coming.” It was very important to me that I not hear these voices, though the team kept attempting to bring them forth once we were closed inside the tiny room.
Standing near the back door of the shack, listening to the rain drops fall around us, the team started asking questions, which seemed to sometimes be answered by a creak or shuffle. Informed that the back door wasn’t completely shut, I quickly found a new place to stand safely in the middle of my three ghost hunters. Karen had already entered the shack with a bleeding hand, possibly suffered when closing the slave cabin door, while Maggie was trying not to speak out too much about an uncomfortable feeling she told us later about that had come over her once we entered.
Then, Eric, who was standing to my left, started focusing on what he called a black shadow moving across the room behind Maggie. In a pitch black room, seeing a black shadow move wasn’t something I was hoping to take part in. Soon, Karen, sitting to my right, at least twice saw the window near Eric’s black shadow be completely overtaken in a different kind of darkness.
It was then that Eric unknowingly interrupted one of my two silent prayers to ask me where I was looking, wanting to know if I had seen what he did. I informed him that I was looking in somewhat the same direction as he was, though in the darkness he could not tell that I would have been actually staring directly at my own feet, if my eyes had been open.
I chanced a couple of glances in the direction of the window, both interested in seeing and not seeing the shadow. I never saw it. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.
Regardless, I was pleased when our time was up in the miner’s cabin, and even more pleased to see that I had filled my third and final tape. Approaching midnight, I gathered my gear, walked a little quicker than normal to my Kia, and wished Eric, Maggie and Karen good luck with the rest of their hunt.
Added by: jragan on 01/29/2011
Here are the paranormal claims for this location. These have been found through Internet research, reports from members, or reports from personal interviews. To add a claim, please contact PANICd.com, and we will review and add your information.
|Claim #||Added||Added By||Claim|
|1195||01/29/2011||jragan||Sounds of children playing were heard coming from the empty attic area during tours.|
|1196||01/29/2011||jragan||A cane belonging to a former resident of the home, was seen moving as if someone were using it to walk and then it quickly dropped to the floor; this incident was apparently witnessed by an entire, shocked, tour group|
|1197||01/29/2011||jragan||People have reported feeling extreme cold and "overwelmed" with sadness.|
|1198||01/29/2011||jragan||There have been knocking sounds heard when nobody else has been in the building.|
Paranormal evidence is based on claims that have been reported for this location. There can be several types of evidence; however, we have grouped them based on media type for better organization. Here you will find evidence that are logs, audio, video, or photographic.
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Added: 01/29/2011 By: jragan
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