Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Accursed Ashley-Alexander House

The Ashley-Alexander House outside Little Rock is an unassuming historic treasure with a ghostly legend and a curse.

Originally dubbed the Ashley Mill Plantation, the home was built around 1835 near Scott, Arkansas (12 miles from Little Rock) by Chester Ashley, a wealthy landowner and a prominent man in the annals of that state who served as US Senator from 1844 to 1848. Ashley died in 1848.

Afterward, Watt Worthen took possession of the plantation for another ten years until Arthur L. Alexander arrived in Arkansas in 1883 with his three cousins. The family first settled in Scott and Arthur began work as a bookkeeper at Fred Bryson's plantation. In 1897, he married Otelia George and they moved into the Ashley Mill Plantation in December the following year despite not having much money. But Otelia was a driven women and the two soon made a successful pair in the region. Arthur Lee Alexander died in December 1938.

It is through Otelia that we know of the home's haunting and of the curse she says has been placed upon it.

The strange goings-on manifested early. Shortly after moving in, Otelia spotted a black woman in the reflection of her mirror. However, as she spun to face the woman, the new owner was startled to see the apparition suddenly vanish. Frightened, she asked the staff who the woman was and found out that one of the previous owners had bore a child with a slave. The owner then sent the woman and child way, which angered the new mother who placed a curse on the home. Every five years, they say, some tragedy would befall the owners and occupants of the house.

Balking at such superstitious nonsense, Otelia plowed on as she always had. "Don't think for a moment that I believe in ghosts," she was once reported as saying in a newspaper article from 1949. Still, she couldn't deny the uncanny occurrence of marked tragedies every five years for the next fifty: deaths, fires, floods, financial problems. Each seemed to come about five years apart.


Gatekeeper said...

Anyone currently living there today?

Cullan Hudson said...

In as far as I know, it is now by and large a venue for weddings and events of that nature.