Haunting experiences at LA Old State Capitol

Published: Oct. 29, 2012 at 8:40 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 29, 2012 at 8:47 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Footsteps heard down empty hallways, doors slamming when no one is around, even feeling that someone or something just shoved you; these are just some of the haunting experiences that the staff at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge, LA has reported.

Is it their imagination or the castle's very own ghost?

Overlooking the Mississippi River and guarded by the eyes of those who walked its halls, the Old State Capitol is filled with more than a century of history, and perhaps a little more.

"Being in security, we have cameras and monitors and motion sensors throughout the building. Quite often you'll be watching your monitors and you'll see either like a flash of light that will pass in front of a camera or sometimes even a shadow," said Tom Clarke, a security officer at the Old State Capitol.

The Old State Capitol is guarded 24 hours a day, and odd experiences often plague those on the late night shift.

"I've had an experience where I was patrolling the building about 2:15 in the morning, walking across the balcony that's above the House of Representatives and about halfway across it was like I ran into someone passing. It turned me sideways, unsettled me and I'm pretty sure that was the last round I made that night," said Clarke.

Another encounter happened early in the morning when a maintenance man was clearing tables after an event. The security guards on duty heard a loud boom followed by a very frightened employee rushing into their office, convinced someone else was in the building, because they heard footsteps on the balcony.

"When the footsteps reached the end of the balcony the door leading to the offices slammed and that's what Officer Mayou and I heard," said Clarke.

A sweep of the building turned up empty. One theory is that the ghost is that of Senator Pierre Couvillian, who supposedly died from a heart attack during a passionate argument. Perhaps it is even a spirit trapped in the basement jail that once housed political prisoners during the Civil War. Whatever the reason, the staff believes more than tourists walk the halls.

"I believe angels and demons walk among us. Who's to say what's in the building but there's definitely something here," said Clarke.

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