Seven people have been arrested in connection with a fire that destroyed the LeBeau Plantation house in St. Bernard Parish.
Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann said the suspects are believed to have been smoking marijuana and drinking in the vacant house when the fire broke out at about 2 a.m. Friday. St. Bernard Parish Fire Chief Thomas Stone said the building was fully engulfed in flames when he arrived on the scene.
St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Col. John Duran said the men were apparently looking for ghosts at the mansion, which has long been the subject of ghost stories in St. Bernard.
The suspects ranged from 17 to 31 years old – a key demographic for ghost hunting shows. They were charged with various crimes, including arson, burglary and trespassing. The mansion was built in the 1850s and the fire chief says it was a devastating loss to the community.
The house was reportedly built on an indigo plantation, was later used as a hotel and casino and then was left vacant for its last 30 years. Local lore said that the house was haunted. Law enforcement told reporters that trespassing was a regular problem.
“They had been looking for ghosts, trying to summon spirits beating on the floors,” said Col. John Doran of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office in an article posted on his office’s Facebook page.
When no ghosts emerged, the group set the mansion on fire, Doran said.
The Bernard County Sheriff’s office has more info about the history of the place on their facebook post. They seem pissed. No one was hurt in the fire. Sadly, the owners, the Meraux Foundation of St. Bernard Parish are being blamed by some because they did not have adequate security to keep people out. What a travesty! This is private property and valuable at that. Instead you have boneheads like this trespassing and destroying things while having a jolly time getting high and summoning spirits.
Tip: Martin Clemens and Paranormal Bullies FB group