'Spirits' event shares spooky Southwest Louisiana stories

'Spirits' event shares spooky Southwest Louisiana stories

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - This story isn't for the faint of heart.

Southwest Louisiana is - of course - rich with history, but it's a heavily haunted history.

An upcoming event highlights some of Southwest Louisiana's spookier stories.

The Imperial Calcasieu Museum is hosting "Spirits," on Wednesday and Thursday, to pass on some of our area's haunted history.

Local historian Adley Cormier serves as ghost storyteller.

One story is about Toni Jo Henry - it's a gory tale of murder and execution.

Henry is the only woman to be executed by electrocution in the state of Louisiana. She was executed in the Calcasieu Courthouse, where people still report sightings and strange smells.

They report hearing laughter and the smells of burning hair and cheap floral perfume. They also say lights blink unexpectedly and equipment starts and stops.

Toni Jo married a man by the name of Cowboy Henry - he  killed a Texas Ranger and was sent to prison. So she teamed up with an accomplice and began to hitchhike to the jail - and  Joseph P. Calloway picked them up.

Her accomplice eventually ditched her and she ended up confessing her crimes to her family. Henry was arrested and tried at the courthouse three times - the third time, she was convicted.

Witnesses said the lights flickered and they could smell the scent of burning hair and cheap perfume as she was electrocuted - the same things that still happen today.

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