The Buckner Mansion is located in New Orleans' famous (and opulent) Garden District. And it's for rent. Yup, you can rent this gorgeous stately manor by the month or even book it for the night. There's a few catches though. 1.) It's pretty pricey (more on that in a bit); 2.) It also may or may not be haunted; and 3.) It's a bit of a local celebrity, so you'll have to deal with flocks of tourists gawking, oohing and ahhing over it while they snap a bazillion pictures.
About that ghost... The mansion is allegedly haunted by the ghost of a slave, known only as Miss Josephine. After the Civil War, Miss Josephine chose to remain at the mansion even after death. Over the years people have claimed to hear her sweeping and the inexplicable smell of lemon, with which she used to clean. Also, some even claim to have seen her ghost on the stairs. As far as poltergeist activity, the house has that too...in abundance it would seem. Lights turning on and off, doors open and close, all on their own. Oh, and some have claimed to have watched chandeliers swing, by themselves, for over an hour. I personally haven't had the opportunity to visit the house, so I can't attest to this paranormal activity, but if you go, or have already visited the Buckner mansion please share your experience in the comments. Today, most people recognize the mansion from the television show American Horror Story: Coven. The Buckner mansion was featured as Miss Robicheaux's Academy, which trained witches.
The history of the mansion is fascinating even without the paranormal factor. Henry Sullivan Buckner was a cotton kingpin. He wanted to build a house on Jackson Avenue that would be bigger and more grand than Stanton Hall in Natchez, Mississippi, the regions most opulent manor at the time, and home to Henry's ex-business partner and rival. The Buckner mansion, built in 1856, exceeded most, if not all, of Henry's expectations. The house was designed with 48 fluted columns as well as a unique cast-iron fence, which was unusual at the time, adorned with an intricate honeysuckle design. The mansion also has galleries on three sides and three, that's right, three ballrooms!
According to Deep South Magazine:
"The mansion served as a home to the Buckner family until 1923, when the prestigious Soule Business School moved in. Soule was the best business school in the South until it closed doors in 1983. The mansion is now a private residence, available as a vacation rental for the tidy sum of $20,000. According to the show’s Facebook page “Extreme precaution was taken to not damage the 156-year-old mansion.”
So, if you're convinced and want to book a night, here are some more details from the vacation rental listing on VRBO:
"It is 1853...'Cotton is King,' New Orleans is the center of the universe, and you are Henry Sullivan Buckner. You commission renowned architect Lewis E. Reynolds to build the most beautiful and magnificent mansion in the very heart of New Orleans' Garden District. The result is one of the finest examples of Southern ante-bellum architecture, having a scale of elegance from the 19th Century that is rarely found. The Buckner Mansion, with its urban setting in unique New Orleans, is indeed the envy of the Garden District - a 'landmark amongst landmarks.' This 20,000+ square foot residence is soo stately with its Forty-Eight monumental Ionic and Corinthian fluted cypress columns and, yet, so charming with endless Verandas, ornate cast-iron, and 'floor to ceiling' windows. This combination of power and shear beauty sparks one's imagination back in history to pre-civil war New Orleans. Just Imagine!"
What will all these amenities cost you: Well, $4,700 a night. Also, the mansion is only available for rent two weeks a year.
MORE INFO: Curbed NOLA
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