Ghost Hunters Charged with Massive Blaze That Destroyed Historic Plantation (Updated)

Ghost Hunters Charged with Massive Blaze That Destroyed Historic Plantation (Updated)


Seven “ghost hunters” were arrested in Louisiana yesterday after accidentally setting fire to a turn-of-the-century plantation, burning it to the ground.

The suspects told police they were visiting the historic home to search for ghosts after hearing stories about the building’s alleged hauntings. Fox8 News reports that at some point during the evening the men abandoned their paranormal investigation to get fucked up on some cheap beer and dank weed. That’s when things got a little out of control.

Police responded to the scene around 2am Friday morning, but by that point the plantation was fully engulfed in flames. All 7 men, ranging between the ages of 17 and 31, were arrested and charged with arson, burglary and criminal damage over $50,000.



Luckily, no one was harmed in the blaze.

The Lebeau Plantation was built in 1850, and during its time had served as a home, a hotel, and local festival ground. The St. Bernard Parish community is obviously devastated by the loss of history, and residents are demanding the men be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

It would be an understatement to say the situation is an unfortunate one for paranormal enthusiasts everywhere, and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect fewer and fewer locations to allow ghost hunters on the property due to increasing “accidents” like this one.

UPDATE: Why They Firebombed the Building

Even more news about the St. Bernard Parish plantation that burned to the ground early friday morning:  the men who have been formally charged with the crime apparently set fire to the mansion because they were “frustrated” at the lack of paranormal activity taking place. Authorities have officially announced that the blaze was not an accident, but was actually intentionally started with stacks of wood.

“They were in there looking for ghosts, drinking, smoking dope, and for some reason they made a decision, a conscious decision — before they left to set this building on fire,” James Sheriff Pohlmann told local news this weekend.

The fire has left other paranormal enthusiasts furiously shaking their heads. This new information will surely continue to fuel the discussions about the responsibility “ghost hunters” should take when visiting historical sites around the country.

Is this the fault of paranormal television popularity?  What kind of responsibility do you believe people take on when they are visiting these types of historic sites, legally or otherwise?

Let us know what you think on Facebook, on twitter @WeirdHQ, or in the comments section below.


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  1. echar

    11/23/2013 at 2:02 PM

    This is incredibly unprofessional.

    • Greg Newkirk

      11/23/2013 at 2:31 PM

      Your comment just made me laugh harder than I have in weeks.

      • echar

        11/23/2013 at 6:57 PM

        Now I understand why the local ghost hunters have rules against alcohol and drug use.

        besides, who would want to be ripped in a spooky old building?

        • Shane J

          11/25/2013 at 6:57 PM

          The alcohol was a necessity. Everyone knows that you aren’t going to see any ghosts if you haven’t been drinking.

  2. Marlena VanHelsing

    11/23/2013 at 6:32 PM

    These days….everyone seems to be a paranormal investigator,psychic. ghost hunter…all in part by the huge commercialism of the subject.In that respect its getting harder and harder to differentiate between a real serious responsible professional ghost hunter and just regular people looking for some unusual fun.It is apparent that the people responsible for this tragedy were not profesionals

  3. mark jaycox

    11/23/2013 at 7:41 PM

    Obvious to me but apparently not to you is the fact these were NOT ghostbusters at all, just a bunch of derelicts claiming to be so to get out of their responsibility. Every ghost hunter takes responsibility, so calling these morons ghost hunters by you and asking your stupid questions assuming they are ghost hunters is ridiculous. Go in the other room and spank yourself.

    • Luke

      11/24/2013 at 3:56 AM

      And here, friends, we see a classic example of the No True Scotsman fallacy.

    • Dana Matthews

      11/24/2013 at 7:52 AM

      Thanks for contributing to this discussion so eloquently.

    • Chasing Midnight

      11/24/2013 at 10:24 AM

      Anyone that thinks that E.M.F meters, K2 meters, Ghost Boxes, E.V.P’s or psychics are proven ways of communicating with dead people are by definition morons. Although this doesn’t include every ghost hunter, it does apply to the majority of them. So referring to a ghost hunter as moron although somewhat of a generalization, is probably going to be statistically correct.

    • Tess

      11/24/2013 at 12:52 PM

      I fully agree with you Mark. I am a Paranormal Investigator, and there have been times when we’ve actually kicked people off an investigation because they’ve came in smelling of alcohol. No, it’s never been one of our own, it’s been people who have came to join us on a public investigation. There are guidelines that need to be followed, and insurance forms that every professional investigator should have in hand. Sad part about this is, is it’s going to effect all paranormal teams as a whole. Once word gets out about this a little more heavily we’ll be lucky if we ever get back into another historic building again.

    • Scott Stenerson

      11/15/2015 at 11:55 AM

      Amen. Well said. I am a Paranormal Investigator , and I have nothing but respect for every place I investigate

  4. Cat

    11/23/2013 at 7:50 PM

    I really don’t think the “f” word and such is necessary in this article. This journalist should be made to return to school and learn how to write.

    • Greg Newkirk

      11/23/2013 at 8:09 PM

      Ohhh nooo… did the widdle “f” word offend your delicate sensibilities?

      Grow the fuck up.

    • Chasing Midnight

      11/24/2013 at 1:01 AM

      The “f” word ? Do you mean Fox8 News ? I agree with you Cat, it is offensive. Everyone knows Fox News is fucking shit.

  5. Pingback: Moronic Ghost Hunters Burn Historic Louisiana Plantation to the Ground | Chauvet - The Dream Unlocked

  6. Hugh Mann

    11/24/2013 at 4:30 AM

    That’s one way to rid a house of ghost.

  7. JohnnyBubonic

    11/24/2013 at 7:46 AM

    These were guys out looking for fun getting spooked and drinking & smoking, not ghost hunting. I’m not sure why you, as a supposed ghost hunter, can’t tell the difference. Also, would you blame a school for some idiot going out and digging up something without a license because he learned about native burial grounds in his history class? How about blaming these idiots for their own actions instead of using media as a scapegoat?

    • Greg Newkirk

      11/24/2013 at 8:36 AM

      Not a scapegoat. Unlike an archaeologist, no training is necessary to be a ghost hunter. You just say “I’m a ghost hunter” and POOF – you become one. So I hate to break it to you, but yes.. these guys were literally looking for ghosts, they were trying to find evidence of paranormal activity, and they ended up burning down a building. Ghost hunters burned down that building. It sucks, but we should acknowledge that there are ZERO rules and guidelines for being a ghost hunter, and just like there can be upstanding citizens who hunt ghosts, there can also be dirtbags and criminals who do it and give us a bad name. We need to be aware of it and strive to do better.

  8. MSpence

    11/24/2013 at 9:44 AM

    The headline needs to be changed for this news story. It makes it sound like these were “professionals” (I use the term loosely for paranormal investigators) and they were not. This articles should read “seven individuals set fire to a historical landmark while looking for ghosts.” or something along those lines. It would be akin to saying “chef serves human meat to guests” when it was someone cooking for their family.

    • Greg Newkirk

      11/24/2013 at 11:25 AM

      That makes zero sense. The only professional ghost hunters I know are the ones on television. Everyone else is a hobbyist. Including these men.

  9. Amanda

    11/24/2013 at 11:04 AM

    As a Paranormal hunter, my team signs a waiver and a pledge with the team and always asks that someone from the property be within calling distance if not with us while we investigate. People like that give those of us who are dedicated a bad name.

  10. Barb

    11/24/2013 at 11:23 AM

    Hi, I’m the founder of a group, and it’s other teams like this that ruins things for everyone. There are great groups out there that are committed to helping people, and then there are crappy groups who conduct themselves in a non-professional manner. Most of the groups I know have rules, like no drugs or alcohol before or during an investigation. That’s not what it’s about – these guys sound like immature, selfish individuals that “just want to see ghosts,” and that’s not why we do what we do. All of my team members have had experiences of their own. We are seeking the truth, and debunk many claims, while others – not so much. But, it’s groups like this that make it hard for us to gain entry to historic places – one thing we love to do, whether or not we have a paranormal experiences or get evidence of such.

    Sickening to lose such an excellent piece of American history, though. It shouldn’t have happened, and I’m sorry it did. I really wish paranormal groups could get licensed according to a set protocol, so this could be avoided in the future.

    Thanks for reading.

    • Dana Matthews

      11/24/2013 at 2:05 PM

      Thanks for your comment, Barb.

      I think the saddest part about situations like this one is how much it fundamentally contradicts what most paranormal enthusiasts love, which is history. Most of the people I’ve met in the 12 years I’ve been involved in the community are history nuts through and through, and it sucks when one group of “bad apples” ruin it for the bunch.

  11. Coppertop

    11/24/2013 at 12:29 PM

    You couldn’t find any ghosts, so you burned a historic house down.

    You. Fucking. Idiots.

  12. Jeanette

    11/24/2013 at 2:15 PM

    This is tragic. I am a part of the TAPS family. We are respectful, we are professional, and if we ever happen to break or hurt anything on the property the investigator pays for it. This is why people need to go to the website of any investigator they welcome into their home or business and check the references,and affiliates. There are professional teams out there. At our site if we do not cover your area we can recomend a good team that does.

  13. Donb01

    11/24/2013 at 5:20 PM

    For the people that are serious about Paranormal Investigation the term “Ghost Hunter” is rather annoying and in some cases offensive. Most of these folks are not directly out there looking for ghosts, but are out there in an attempt to learn more about these phenomena, how they come to be or from where, and if there are ways of intelligently communicating with the source. There is really no such thing as a “Professional” Paranormal Investigator, but there are rules for professional behavior and conduct, safety and common sense. There seem to be two different camps among the folks that take it seriously – some will make great use of their own senses, technology or other means in an attempt to find out what is going on, and others are taking a far more serious path of scientific processes, quantum physics and the like. It is difficult to say any one method is right or wrong, because at this point no one knows for sure what is causing the phenomena, although there are a multitude of theories, and some animated discussions out there. The majority of serious Paranormal Investigators are out there to help people who are having problems in their homes, businesses or just in their lives, and take great care in their work in an attempt to cause no harm to the environment or to do anything that would make the circumstances worse for the client, including insuring themselves against accidental damage or injuries. The idea is to attempt to investigate the situation thoroughly to attempt to determine if there is a logical real world reason for what they are experiencing. EMF, for example, if one really understands what it is and how it affects the environment, CAN be detected with portable meters, and if you know what the meter is for and how to interpret its results, it can be quite helpful, but EMF in itself does not have to be paranormal. High voltage electrical wiring and appliances can emit EMF energy, and that EMF energy CAN make you sick, and cause the “heebie jeebies”, nausea and other illnesses, but that does not make it paranormal. That is only one example of what a “serious” Paranormal Investigator tries to discover to better their clients.

    The TV shows have been both a blessing and a curse. In one way they have made people who have been having bad experiences be more willing to speak out and seek help for their problems without fear of being sent to the looney bin, and the negative way, every thrill seeker looking for a quick adrenaline burst goes out and buys gadgets they see on TV without having a clue how they really work and their real life uses, and then goes and either trespasses on property looking for “ghosts”, goes to a “pay to play” site looking for them, or in the absolute worst case passes themselves as “professional” investigators and go into private homes under the guise of “helping” people and can actually do much more harm then good – especially if there is something mildly paranormal going on and they end up angering it or making it worse.

    This particular example is a prime example of such idiots on their quest for adventure that trespass onto a piece of property, which by speculating from the news stories was not even open to paranormal investigation, then get upset because “nothing happened” even though they had not even left the site to review the evidence to see if anything in fact had happened – they might have actually gotten something but were too stupid to even understand how to tell, and then for whatever alcohol and drug induced version of stupidity passed for reality for them decided to burn the place down for fun… That was senseless, and the comment someone posted up above “that’s one way to get rid of ghosts” is obviously from someone who has no clue that if some poor spirit is bound to that property it probably did nothing to cross them over and now they are destined to be even more miserable than they were before this whole thing started… These people need to be punished in such a way that they receive a serious wake-up call, and so does the rest of the “thrill seeker ghost hunter” community.

  14. DebV

    11/24/2013 at 6:45 PM

    I totally agree with Donb.
    I also think somehow we have to find a way to get the public and news agencies to recognize the difference between paranormal investigators, who are serious and looking out for the best interest of the location and the client and “ghost hunters” which are often just yahoo’s out to get into mischief and think they know what they are doing and break all the rules for a thrill.
    This situation is a good case in point along with another one not long ago where they used ghost hunting as an excuse to explain why they were out cooking crack or something in the woods.
    Unfortunately the reporters are all about ratings, a headline saying ghost hunters gets attention so I don’t see them changing a thing any time soon.

  15. John

    11/24/2013 at 7:17 PM

    I think it’s more the fault of drugs and alcohol abuse and poor parenting than ghost hunting shows.

  16. Diane

    11/25/2013 at 4:37 PM

    I’ve been a paranormal investigator for 7 years. We do have rules and guidelines (very strict ones) Saying that the only professional ones are on TV is just a stupid remark. You can bet the TV channels are paying them plenty to do their shows. A professional investigator is not interested in TV. Their goal is to bring awareness and understanding of the paranormal to the people. Some people on here should do a little more digging into the subject before posting.

    • Greg Newkirk

      11/25/2013 at 5:28 PM

      You clearly don’t know what the word professional means, do you?

      Done as a profession. As in, ghost hunting as a job. As in, they get paid by production companies. You don’t get to decide if you’re a professional.. getting paid to do your job makes you a professional.

      You’re probably looking for the word “responsible”. If that’s what you meant, get down with your bad self. But seriously, the only professional ghost hunters are the ones who are actually paying their bills doing it, and that’s mostly the people on tv.

      • Bon

        11/26/2013 at 9:29 PM

        Professional implies more than just getting paid for an activity. It also indicates that a person is somehow trained and qualified to meet a set of standards.

        • Greg Newkirk

          11/26/2013 at 9:48 PM

          Well no kidding, not arguing with you there.. just with people who don’t understand the root word of “professional”.

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  18. geni

    12/05/2013 at 10:36 PM

    I have gone “ghost hunting” previously and not once was alcohol or drugs used. In my personal opinion anyone who does either when “investigating” isn’t serious about it. You don’t know what can happen. You can get seriously hurt even when sober when you are investigating the paranormal. It sounds like they just wanted to have some fun and are using “ghost hunting” as a scape goat.

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