Latta Place History
Around 1800, a man named James Latta, along with his family, purchased land in what is now Huntersville, North Carolina. Latta was a successful merchant at the time, and had purchased the property with the intent of building a large cotton plantation. Within a few years, the Latta Plantation was complete.
The fifty-two acre property consisted of a house for the family to reside in, a smoke house, extensive gardens, and fields, as well as buildings suited for livestock.
The Latta family lived on the plantation until the late 1830s, though it is not altogether clear why they selected to move. In 1853, the Sample family purchased the plantation, and they presided over the land until 1922.
After the Sample family moved on, the Latta Plantation was left to individuals who worked the land to maintain, and care for it.
Due to the large size of the plantation, as well as the surrounding countryside, the property caught the interest of the Southern Power Company, and Duke Energy. The companies collectively purchased the property, but allowed workers to oversee maintenance of the fields, and buildings, until 1960.
Despite the frequent exchange of hands, the Latta Plantation had been lovingly taken care of. The interior of the house, including most of the furniture, had been meticulously maintained–so much so, that today the house, and property are an official living history exhibit.
Every year, families, and schools flock to the property to learn about what life was like for North Carolinians in the early 1800s.
The Latta Plantation was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Today, the plantation, along with over a thousand acres that surround it, are considered the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve. Mecklenburg County owns the site, while the Parks and Recreation Department oversees its daily maintenance, and upkeep.
Apart from supernatural experiences, Latta Plantation Nature Preserve offers a lot of recreational services. Many people utilize the nearby Mountain Island Lake for fishing. Dozens of hiking trails offer scenic views of the water, as well as forested areas.
The Carolina Raptor Center is also stationed with the preserve, where visitors can learn about rehabilitating birds of prey. The preserve has been put in place to protect several endangered types of plantlife, and is an excellent place to visit for anyone who enjoys deer, and other small wildlife.
Latta Place Ghosts
The Staff and Spectres
Employees have been hired by the county to reenact historic chores, hobbies, even local battles. Many of these employees have experienced supernatural phenomena while on the property.
Matthew Waisner, the site director, states that while he has never experienced any ghostly activity, numerous docents, volunteers, and board members have been very upfront with their experiences while visiting, and working at the property. Many claim to hear furniture being moved about, when the room, and furniture in question seem visibly empty.
Creepier still, some state they have seen shadow people, and foggy apparitions, wandering about on the property, and roaming through the halls of the house.
One curious incident occurred when an employee was preparing to leave the plantation for the day. Adjusting the thermostat, he suddenly heard a loud crashing sound, emanating from a room that had once been used as a family parlor.
The mirror was found in the center of the room, face down. Despite the loud crashing noise, the glass itself did not have a single crack on its surface. Many who heard of the bizarre incident believe it was the spirits. While the shadowy apparitions have never been extremely clear, many are convinced that the plantation is haunted by the original owners, the Latta family.
Children in the Attic
Out of all the supernatural activity that occurs in the house, activity in the attic gets the most heavily reported.
Time, and again, visitors state they have heard children playing with toys, and laughing in the attic of the house. Footsteps can be heard, running back, and forth above their heads, as well as the sound of doors being slammed shut. All of this activity is particularly eerie, considering that the third floor of the house lacks actual flooring. It is impossible to attribute these noises to live children.
The Dancing Cane
Tours of the house are regularly scheduled as part of the overall experience of Latta Plantation. One of the most famous incidents that happened on the property occurred during a tour.
A docent was showing his tour group a cane that had once belonged to the Latta family. As he handled it, and demonstrated it for the group to see, the cane slipped out of his hands. Rather than fall to the floor like one would expect, the cane remained upright–and began to move about the room, as if being used by an unseen hand.
The Latta Family are Home to Stay
Despite the intensity, and the frequency of paranormal phenomenon that happens on the property, staff, and volunteers alike all seem to agree that the entities are not evil in nature. Many people hold true to the idea that the spirits are simply that of the Latta family, come to permanently reside in the home they had so lovingly built centuries before.
Waisner admits that despite the undeniable energy, and activity at the plantation, the house has never felt ominous, or violent by any means.
Embracing the Supernatural
With so much activity, staff, and board members agree that the only way to handle the supernatural is to embrace it as part of the Latta Place history, and charm. Therefore, ghost walks, and ghost tours are offered to the public during the cooler months of the year.
The tour includes information about eye witness accounts, as well as an extensive walk around the property, and the surrounding woods. Considering the many experiences people have had here, it comes as no surprise that the ghost walks are not recommended for small children.
Please Note: As of March 28, 2022 (time of writing), Latta place is undergoing several changes including the changes in name from Latta Plantation, and a change in website address.