September 26, 2018

The Haunting of Ashley Mansion Has Been Released!

The Haunting of Ashley Mansion

The Haunting of Ashley Mansion Has Been Released!

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Where in the United States will you find a greater concentration of and a more vivid assortment of haunted dwellings than in New Orleans? Oh…perhaps due to local pride or some an overreaching Chamber of Commerce marketing representative trying to draw in more tourist traffic and dollars in New England, there might be a vote or two. But an unbiased and purely subjective survey will inevitably return to the macabre deep south of The Big Easy. Most of the places in this area have colorful and intricate historical backgrounds reaching even as far back as the 17th century. But have you ever heard the one about The Ashley Mansion? I thought not. The Ashley Mansion is a relatively young haunting, dating only from the 1970’s and it often gets overshadowed by much more famous locales such as the Lalaurie House in the French Quarter to name one you may have heard of.

In the 1960’s, a young couple, Bryan and Ellen Ashley came back home to New Orleans following college to begin a family and they stumbled upon a rare open patch of ground in the 7th Ward that they built a classic 2-story brick home on. As a joke, and poke fun at some of their pretentious neighbors, they laughingly christened the house Ashley Mansion, despite its rather modest appearance. All was well for years, even as they had their first child, Brandon, but when Bryan was murdered by a disgruntled former client, all that changed. Ellen fell into a downward spiral of alcoholism and drug abuse, eventually turning her anger and depression outward on young Brandon, beating him mercilessly when she was under the influence.

Eventually, after no one in town would believe the young boy, he murdered his mother to stop the abuse, only to take his own life in a cloud of confusion, guilt, and rage. Authorities wrote off the incident to the child’s PTSD, and the house went unoccupied for years. No one anywhere within miles wanted anything to do with a place that had the dark cloud hanging over it that the Ashley House did. At least, that is, until Dr. Myranda Black, fresh off her internship and residency in Arizona came to town to work at The Tulane Medical Center’s new cancer clinic. Myranda had a bustling professional life but was still reeling personally as she had discovered she could not have children, a long-time dream for her.

Myranda arrived in town accompanied by her beloved Labrador retrievers, Blondie and Scout, both adopted from a shelter in Arizona as well as her cat, Violet, who was left on her doorstep by a neighbor in Chandler. The local realtor in New Orleans listing the Ashley Mansion purposely withheld the backstory of the place from Myranda when the good doctor was thrilled with it. She was just glad to get the albatross of a listing off her hands. Myranda is not much of a believer in anything supernatural or otherworldly, relying on her scientific and medical training to answer any oddities that cross her path.

But soon, it is apparent something in Ashley House is not quite right…things are happening to Myranda that her education and training are not able to solve. Inexplicable screeching and crashing sounds from inside…the feeling of hands on her when no one is around…a crying child that seems invisible. Not only is it freaking out Myranda, but even Blondie and Scout are not themselves. Myranda begins to question her sanity as she cannot explain it all. Does the house have malevolent spirits as housemates she would prefer to not have? Or is it simply the atmosphere and aura of old New Orleans that is getting to Myranda and making her imagination run wild? Perhaps someone is trying to drive her mad…Take a read and find out for yourself as Myranda Black gets a good taste of life in Cajun Country.

Riley Amitrani

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