Typically, the historical accounts displayed on Ghost Hunters International are somewhat close to actual facts. But I've been noticing, on occasion, how completely off they can be. For example, they visited the Gran Hotel Viena in Argentina last year that supposedly was a hot spot for the Nazis maybe even Hitler after WWII. After writing an entry about this location, reporting very much the same, I was contacted by the descendants of the hotel's original owner, stating the stories were fabricated. I believe I may have found myself in a similar situation.
During last night's premiere, viewers were given a short and sweet history behind the Lopinot Plantation. Also known as Compte de Loppinot Historical Complex, it was established in the 1800s by Charles Joseph, Compte de Loppinot. He was a general in the French army and later a member of the Trinidad military. He settled there with his family and 100 African slaves on several hundred acres of land. This portion of the back story appears to be agreeable by all accounts. However, it's his treatment of his slaves that is under question.
It was not uncommon for some plantation owners to mistreat their slaves. According to the story told on GHI, Lopinot was among them. Supposedly, he abused them, locked them up in the cocoa house and even hung them on a cashew tree (a tree that has died and been replaced by another -- something else not mentioned) for undisclosed reasons.
While researching the location further, I first came upon a write-up by Gertrude Carmichael in the Caribbean Quarterly, Vol. 6 No.4 published in 1960 quoting a book about La Reconnaissance (as the estate was once known as) and Lopinot's treatment of his slaves. A Book of Golden Deeds of All Time is by Charlotte M. Yonge, published a few decades before the fore mentioned article. In it, describes Lopinot as "...a man of noble character who was kind and considerate to his slaves. He won their affection and respect so much so that when the Revolution came to his estates in 1793 and he was in danger of being killed, his slaves instead of joining in the revolt hid him from threatened dangers and voluntarily left the island with him." This, of course, took place before his arrival in Trinidad but the book goes on to say the love extended beyond the move and even after his death.
As stated before, this was all published in the late 1800s or early 1900s. It's quite possible documents and such may have been discovered since then especially after the Lopinot Village began restoring old structures in the 1970s for historical value. It is also possible a story about an old plantation owner who tortured and killed slaves now haunts his estate is good for tourism. Which one is likely true? It's hard to determine without more information.
In the meantime, it is believed the former cocoa plantation (now a museum) is haunted by Lopinot and former slaves. He has been often seen riding a white horse, sometimes near the "hanging tree". Witnesses have reported hearing voices, footsteps and door slams. Seeing shadows and being physically attacked. There's even a vampire called a soucouyant, an old woman by day and a fireball demon by night, that supposedly seen around the nearby Arouca River.