Louisiana plantations evoke images of grandeur and elegance. Beyond the façade of stately homes are stories of hope and subjugation, tragedy and suffering, shame and perseverance and war and conquest. After sixteen workers axed most of the Houmas House’s ancient oak trees, referred to as “the Gentlemen,” eight of the surviving trees eerily twisted overnight in grief over the losses wrought by a great Mississippi River flood. An illegal duel to reclaim lost honor left the grounds of Natchez’s Cherokee Plantation bloodstained, but the victim’s spirit may still wander there today. A mutilated slave girl named Chloe still haunts the halls of the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville. Cheryl H. White and W. Ryan Smith reveal the dark history, folklore and lasting human cost of Louisiana plantation life.