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Haunted Virginia

By:
St. Albans Sanatorium

Virginia is one of the oldest states in the nation and is full of history.

By Kip Ruposky & Tracy Smith

The Old Dominion includes battlefields from both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, and encompasses many historic destinations. With all of this history, Virginia has more than its share of ghost stories. Here are a few of the “haunted” locations found around Virginia. 

Southwest Virginia:

St. Albans Sanatorium – Radford (Photo Above) Originally a boys’ school, this former sanatorium is said to be haunted by the spirits of students who were bullied to the point of taking their own lives. In 1916, it was converted into a hospital for the mentally ill, where patients suffered cruel experiments. The property was also the site of a violent Civil War battle. Visitors report seeing shadowy figures, apparitions and hearing voices.  

The Martha Washington Inn & Spa – Abingdon Built in 1832 as a private home, it later became the all-female Martha Washington College. The facility was used as a hospital during the Civil War, and many of the young female students stayed to help care for the injured. One spirit commonly heard on the property is Beth, who is said to have played her violin for the patients and can still be heard playing today. Other roaming spirits include soldiers, a wandering horse and slaves that were buried in the basement walls. 

FERRY PLANTATION HOUSE

Coastal Virginia – Hampton Roads:

Ferry Plantation House – Virginia Beach Dating back to the 1830s, this historic home is believed to be haunted by multiple spirits. One such spirit is known as the “Lady in White” and is believed to be a former slave named Grace Sherwood, who was accused of witchcraft and drowned in the Lynnhaven River. There is also a ghost cat that roams the property.

Peyton Randolph House – Williamsburg The oldest home in Colonial Williamsburg, built in 1715, is said to be haunted by the ghost of Peyton Randolph, Virginia’s first president. It has been reported that as many as 30 people have died in the house. Reports of hauntings go back as far as 1824, when French General of the American Revolution Marquis de Lafayette wrote of being touched and hearing voices in the night.  

Witch Of Pungo Grace White Sherwood (1660–1740), called the Witch of Pungo, is the last person known to have been convicted of witchcraft in Virginia. It is said that on the anniversary of Sherwood’s witch trial a light can be seen moving over the waters of Witchduck Bay. 

WITCH OF PUNGO

Shirley Plantation – Charles City One of the oldest plantations in Virginia, Shirley Plantation is located on the James River in Charles City County and said to be haunted by the spirit of a young girl and other ghostly figures. It is believed that a painting that hangs in a second floor bedroom of Martha Hill, the aunt of resident Elizabeth Hill-Carter who resided in the home in the mid-1700s, is haunted. Tales regarding the painting go all the way back to the mid-1800s.

Northern Virginia:

Carlyle House – Alexandria Built in 1753 by Scottish merchant and city founder John Carlyle, the building has served various purposes, including as a residence, a hotel and a military hospital. This Georgian mansion is believed to be haunted by the spirits of its former residents, including John Carlyle and his family.

Balls Bluff Battlefield – Leesburg Once the site of an 1861 battle in the Civil War known as the Battle of Balls Bluff, the site is now a regional park and national cemetery. Reports of “unearthly” noises in the area began as soon as a year after the battle. The plodding of ghostly horses was reported in the 1860s.  Modern day activity includes dogs whimpering and refusing to go to some areas of the park, mysterious sounds such as footsteps or phantom gunshots, and apparitions believed to be spirits of soldiers. 

BALLS BLUFF BATTLEFIELD

Town of Leesburg – Leesburg The Town of Leesburg is full of ghost stories and history of paranormal events, from its buildings that date back hundreds of years to its history-filled grounds and streets that have seen soldiers pass between Confederate and Union Battles in the Civil War.  

Central Virginia:

Exchange Hotel – Gordonsville Built in 1860 as a grand hotel along the Virginia Central Railroad, it served many guests along the train route.  The building was converted to a Civil War Hospital in 1862 and it is believed that many of the spirits that roam the building and grounds are from that era. Paranormal activity has been well documented, and includes apparitions, strange sounds and voices from the past. One prevalent spirit is Anna, who was a cook during the hotel years. Anna has been recorded as answering “I cook fried chicken,” when asked what she was cooking. Spiritual nurses and soldiers have also been spotted on the property.  

EXCHANGE HOTEL

Edgar Allen Poe Museum – Richmond This 1740s stone house is rumored to be haunted by two children of the home’s original owners, and a man that may possibly be Poe himself. Poe never lived in this house, but it does contain a variety of Edgar Allan Poe’s belongings and writings. 

Chesapeake Paranormal—a small team of investigators consisting of Kip Ruposky, Tracy Smith, Elizabeth Walsh, Shane Rossman and K Jo—investigates the paranormal of Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. The team considers Virginia to be one of the most active paranormal areas they investigate. For more information, visit ChesapeakeParanormal.com

Kip Ruposky
Author: Kip Ruposky

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