On Saturday, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested seven men for the fire that destroyed the historic LeBeau Plantation House in Arabi.
The plantation is famous for its ghostly presence, most notably a woman in a white dress. It is also rumored to have been the site of some of the most brutal treatment of slaves before the Civil War.
The men arrived at the historic house, built in the mid-1850s, late Thursday night and intended to spend the evening ghost-hunting. “They had been looking for ghosts, trying to summon spirits, beating on the floors,” Sheriff Colonel John Doran toldThe Times-Picayune.
The men — who had been smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol while on the hunt — became frustrated when no ghosts materialized, and at that point, police believe Dusten Davenport floated the idea of burning the house to the ground.
He began to stack firewood around the base of the house, and at some point around 2 a.m. on Friday morning, either Davenport or one of his seven compatriots allegedly set the house on fire.
Davenport — along with Joshua Allen, Joshua Briscoe, Jerry Hamblen, and Joseph Landin — has been charged with arson, burglary, and criminal trespassing. Two others, Bryon Meek and Kevin Barbe, have been charged with accessory to arson.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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