Stratford Hall is the birthplace of one Robert E. Lee.  The house itself sits directly on the border of Virginia and Maryland, overlooking the Potomac river.  The architecture associated with this Colonial period mansion is amazing. The beautiful brick walls that enclose this mansion have been kissed by the sun for a few centuries now.  Yet, the house still remains as enchanting as it was when it was first built.

The paranormal claims inside this mansion are numerous, as are the ghosts who have been rumored to conduct the activity.  There were a few generations of Lee's that lived in this house.  Of course, Robert E. Lee lived in this house until he was three before moving to a new house in Alexandria (Also known as the Lee House... it too is rumored to be haunted). 

Most claims seem to be that of residual hauntings.  Staff members have claimed to see figures sitting on a bed, looking out a window, or working at a desk.  These all have the symptoms of being a moment in time playing itself over and over again when the conditions are right.  There are a few intelligent ghosts in the house but I cannot confirm that outside of what I've read in a few books over the past few weeks. 

I've linked the official website at the bottom and for those of you who are curious to check out Stratford Hall at night, they do allow overnight guests. 

Official Website of Stratford Hall
Paranormal Claims at Stratford Hall
StrangeUSA Post
Wikipedia Page

The Aquia Church has been home to paranormal activity for over the last 200 years, according to those who have visited and researched the location.  The majority of paranormal activity stems from a murder that occurred just after the church was built in the 1750's.  A woman, who was hiding from some highway men, was murdered inside the church.  Her body was hidden in the belfry not to be found until a few years later when the church began conducting regular services.  The blood from her murder remained ingrained into the floor before a concrete surface covered it during some renovations. 

The paranormal symptoms this location has is often during the night you can hear sounds of a struggle coming from the back of the church.  Footsteps can be heard throughout the day and night as if somebody was running frantically.  Whistling can often be heard when nobody else is around.  Lastly, the apparition of a young, blonde woman has been seen looking out one of the churches windows. 

Church's Official Website
Hauntings at the Aquia Church - Associated Content
Tri-Mar Investigation
More Info on the Aquia Church
Aquia Church Wiki Page

Fall Hill is more or less a private residence that is haunted by the ghost of a former Native American girl that used to live in the house.  The house was built for the Thorton family in 1726 but was extensively renovated in 1840.  The Thortons actually owned the home up until 1999 before turning it over to the historical landmarks register. 

The story behind "Katina" can better be described if you read through the story I have posted below.  She was believed to be a Sioux Princess who ended up becoming a Nanny for the Thorton family.  She died in 1777 and is said to still haunt this location today. 

Some of the activity that surrounds this house is numerous electrical problems, doors opening on their own, shadows moving across the wall, and even hearing random voices when nobody else is in the house.  Katina's apparition has been seen numerous times inside the house by former residents and I believe she is even burried somewhere on the grounds as well. 

Katina: The Nanny Of Fall Hill
Historical Background On Fall Hill

There have been more stories told about what happens around Crawford Road in Yorktown, Virginia than any other road in Virginia.  If you want to here some of those stories, feel free to sifter through some of the posts on the StrangeUSA link at the bottom of this article.  Obviously, when there's a lot of widespread paranormal claims about a location, you have to take it with a grain of salt until you visit the place in person.  Since this road is a good 4 and a half hours from me, it's safe to say I probably won't be visiting this place any time soon.

However the stories are enough to peak my interest and while they all seem a little outlandish, who am I to say that they're not true.  Crawford road has quite a history of misery and pain.  The road been the home of some recent murders as well as a popular spot for lynchings in the past.  Of note, there is a belief that a still practicing KKK group holds rallies and meetings somewhere along this road.  So if you do head out to Crawford road at night, make sure to stay safe.

The most well known claim is of the bride-to-be ghost that apparently killed herself on her wedding day.  Apparently, if the conditions are right you can still see her ghost tumbling off the bridge only to disappear before it reaches the ground.  Also, back after this bridge was built, the KKK used this site as a popular place to lynch African-Americans.

If you are brave enough to drive down this one lane road late at night, make sure you bring a camera and any other piece of equipment you have in order to document anything you find. Most of the people who have visited this place left with a memorable paranormal experience that they can't explain.

P.I.T.T. Investigation
Circling Light Blog: Investigation
Haunted Virginia Paranormal Investigation
Crawford Road Forum Topic
I Go Ghost Hunting Crawford Road Blog Post
More on the P.I.T.T Investigation
StrangeUSA Posts

One of the hardest things I've come across since starting this blog is how to cover certain paranormal locations.  Obviously, there are a lot of private residences that are haunted, do I cover them or do I not?  Same goes with places like Rosewell that are in ruins and have been for quite some time.  Seeing that my main reason for starting this blog is to educate paranormal researchers or the general public on some of Virginia's most haunted locations, I guess I should cover it even though an investigation here would be difficult.

Rosewell was once a beautiful home before being destroyed in a house fire since 1916.  However, the outer brick walls of the building have remained since then and the remaining structure has become a historical site that draws in over a thousand visitors per year.  Located on the York River, Rosewell is home to plenty of paranormal activity.

There have been stories of apparitions of former slaves walking around the grounds and interacting with anybody who happens to be at the ruins during the night.  The ghost of Letitia Dalton, a former resident of Rosewell who eventually died here, is said to appear when the atmospheric conditions are right.  Finally, there have been a few sitings of what is considered Thomas Jefferson's ghost but those stories are far less credible than the last two.

Rosewell would be an interesting investigation due to the uniqueness of the case.  If any of you Hampton Roads or VA Beach area groups investigate this place, let me know and I'll post a link to your findings at the bottom of this article.

Phillip Spencers Syrupy Encounter at Rosewell
Wikipedia Page
Tour of the Ruins - Youtube
P.I.T.T. Investigation

As a Radford University student, I'm intrigued at the amount of paranormal claims come from the students that attend here.  Some ignore it but ghost stories have a way at staying in your brain and making you wonder what really did happen on that night.  Thanks to some scanning of the McConnell Library archives, I've found an old student newspaper article that depicts the tragic death of a student who died in the tunnels that run underneath Radford's campus. 

I'll post a link to the PDF version of this article if you would like to download it yourself.  I haven't confirmed whether or not this is true but I let you guys decide for yourselves.

It's not known by many, but beneath the grounds of our campus there is a network of tunnels,  They were used by the women students of the past to move about campus without having to go outdoors.  The Tunnels have long since been closed and passage through them is forbidden. 
According to the legend, however, there is one student whose spirit occupies the tunnels every Halloween night.  Her name is Elizabeth and for years her voice has been heard, crying through the tunnels in a frantic search of her secret admirer.  She was to meet him in the tunnel beneath her dorm the night of the annual Halloween ball, but never did. Instead that night ended with her tragic death. 
 Elizabeth was very quiet and spent most of her days alone in her room.  There were rumors that she was psychic and could communicate with the dead.  Girls would often hear her mumbling strange words and smell incense while passing by her door.  Some claim she would contact her deceased mother and talk to her about problems she was facing in her life.  Others simply believed Elizabeth was crazy and they ignored her.
Elizabeth was far from attractive. Although her figure and features were nice, she never made any attempt to improve on them.  Her posture was poor and her face was always hidden behind her long, stringy black hair.  
She hated everyone on campus.  This included her house mother even though Elizabeth would run to her whenever she caught one of the other girls in mischief.  Her resentment was especially strong toward a group of five firls who lived on her hall.  They were all very pretty and were known as "The Five," because they were the five most popular girls on campus. 
 The Five got their kicks by picking on Elizabeth and were constantly pulling practical jokes on her.  It was one of their practical jokes that triggerd Elizabeth's death.  Unlike most of the girls, Elizabeth never caught the eye of male visitors.  The Five thought it would be funny to see what would happen if she had a secret admirer call on her.  The planned a prank that would not only humiliate her but would scare her at the same time.  It all started the Monday before the college's Halloween costume ball.
They sent Elizabeth flowers with an unsigned note attached.  At first she thought it was just another prank and put it out of her mind.  But the cards and notes kept coming.  Elizabeth soon believed there really was someone out there watching her.  The last note the Five sent asked her to come to the Halloween ball dressed as a princess.  He (the admirer) would go as a prince and would find her.
Elizabeth ruled out all possibilities of this being another joke and anticipated teh ball.  She worked hard on her costume and rehearsed what she would say when she met her prince.  The night finally arrived.  It was bitterly cold outside and the wind was gusting.  Elizabeth crossed the grounds from her dorm to the ball with her princess gown blowing int eh wind and her now silky black hair pulled back behind her glowing face.  She was beautiful.  When we arrived, the crowd became silent.  A look of astonishment was on everyone's face.  Elizabeth, however, didn't even notice the reaction of the people.  Her eyes were searching for her prince. 
She stookd motionless against a wall, scanning the crowd waiting for him.  The night was growing old and the crowd began to thin out.  But Elizabeth stayed, waiting.  By 11:30 p.m. the place had emptied.  Elizabeth stood there, but now she was filled with rage.  She was convinved that The Five had gotten her once again.  As she started to leave, a memer of The Five approached her and handed her a note.  Elizabeth was confused because the girl didn't speak and kept a concerned, almost sympathetic expression on her face.  The girl turned and walked away. 
The note was from the admirer and asked her to meet him in the tunnel beneath her dorm at midnight.  His name was signed at the bottom.  Elizabeth feared she was setting herself up but decided to show up anyway.  When she went down to the tunnel entrance it was very quiet.  As she passed into the tunnel she quietly called his name.  In an instant the entrance door slammed behind her and the light went out Elizabeth screaed and ran to the door kicking and pounding her fists on it.  She heard laughter from the other side.  She turned and ran down the tunnel calling the admirer's name.  It was completely dark and as she was running she tripped and fell, breaking her neck.  She died instantly.
It's believed that Elizabeth still visits every campus Halloween party dressed as a princess looking for her prince, and still visits teh tunnel eveyr year at midnight crying for him.  Legend has it that when she finds him (and she will) she''ll take him to their meeting spot in the tunnel where she'll keep him forever.  I haven't told you the admirer's name and for good reason.  There is a new student this year with the same name.  So if you fit this description, I suggest you don't talk to any princesses on Friday night.  She'll be looking for you!

Written by Richie Ellis.

PDF Version of this story

You could travel from Abingdon to Alexandria to Hampton and not find a more haunted place than Fort Monroe.  Perhaps, there are more active locations but the amount of "celebrity" sitings at the fort outnumber any other location in the Commonwealth.  Pick any famous Virginian from the early 18th century and even up until the Civil War and their ghost has probably been seen somewhere inside this fort.

If you want a full rundown of all the hauntings then you can click through the links I've posted at the bottom of this article.  For this article's purposes, I'm going to touch on a few of the more prominent vistitors that for some reason, refuse to leave this Fort.

First up, is something Joshua Gates and his Destination Truth team would investigate. Outside of the fort lies a large moat used in the olden days as a defense mechanism.  Back when the Fort was still a home to many American soldiers, there was a story of a large moat monster that lived in the moat.  A soldier even chased after it until it disappeared under one of the main bridges that leads to the compound.  For me, I just can't see anything that large living in such a tiny space without somebody noticing it.  Sure it's a nice story but the odds of it being remotely factual are slim to none. 

On to the ghosts.  If you ever visit this fort, you'll probably hear some stories about Abraham Lincoln's, Edgar Allen Poe's, and Jefferson Davis's ghost still lingering on the property.  Lincoln's apparition has been seen in one of the officers quarters.  Those who have seen the apparition state that he appears to be deep in thought and is often sitting at a desk with a look of concern on his face. 

Edgar Allen Poe's ghost is one of the more frequent visitors to the fort, showing up in different places throughout the compound.  The strange thing about this claim is that Poe only spent a brief four months at the fort, before leaving to pursue his dream of being a writer. Still, his apparition has been seen throughout the fort. 

Jefferson Davis is said to haunt the stone prisons of Fort Monroe, which is where he was kept after the Civil War ended.  Davis remained shackled to the floor for about a week and was given very little food or water.  However, with his wife's, Varina Davis, help he eventually was moved to a room with better living conditions.  After a few weeks, bail was posted and Davis promptly fled the country for Europe.  Of course, Davis died in New Orleans in 1889, which is where he is buried.  But, there are claims that both Jefferson and his wife Varina's spirits still haunt the cold, damp stone prisons of Fort Monroe.

There are many more apparitions that are spotted within this fort but at this point, it's almost too many to list.  The good news is that the Army is set to vacate the premise in 2011 and the fort will open up to public use giving paranormal teams access to the fort.  With so much history occurring here, this is one place that could use a thorough investigation by a well educated paranormal group. 

The Hauntings of Fort Monroe
A Soldiers Account of the Hauntings at the Fort
Future of the Fort
Article on Fort Monroe Hauntings
Fort Monroe - Ghost of America post

Continuing with our series of famous Tidewater mansions, today we examine Carter's Grove.  The house itself dates back to the 1750's when it was built by Robert "King" Carter, one of the more influential members of society during that time.  However, Carter died and left it to his grandson, Carter Burwell.

Although there are no known deaths that have occurred in the house, Carter's Grove is home to some unusual paranormal activity.  There are a few different occurrences that we will examine in this blog so we'll start with the earliest and work our way forward in time. 

The home was built on the site of the Indian massacre of 1622, which saw the slaughter of over 300 colonists.  Of course, the house wasn't built for another 130 years but seeing that it was built on or at least near the spot where the massacre took place, this could mean some residual energy remains from that tragic day.

Within the first twenty years after the house was built, both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington stayed the night inside the Carter's Grove mansion.  In fact, both of them proposed to their current partners at the time only to be turned down because neither was good enough to marry them.  Of course, what Mary Cary and Rebecca Burwell didn't know was that the two guys they turned down went on to be two of the most influential people in recent history. However, the legend has it that when word got out that George Washington won the battle of Yorktown, Mary fainted into her husband's arms and tore up the carnations that were sitting in what has been dubbed the "Refusal Room." To this day, if Carnations are placed inside this room, sometime during the day they will be ripped to shreds.

Carter's Grove also has a slave quarters where the majority of their workers eat, slept, and spent the vast majority of their lives.  Since no paranormal team has investigated this place yet, I don't have any else to add to that but that would be a high priority for me If I ever got to investigate this place.

Overall, this mansion sounds interesting with some odd paranormal claims.  If you ever get a chance to tour the mansion (the house is open to tours on a daily basis) then go.

Wikipedia Page
Mansion Sold for 15.3 Million
The "Refusal Room"

The Wythe House is gorgeous mansion that was built back in 1750 as a wedding gift to George Wythe, a law professor and signer of the Declaration of Independence.  The house has served as a private home, a military headquarters during the Revolutionary war, and now a museum.  In fact, this was a safe house for General, and future president, George Washington for a few weeks back in the late 1770's.

However, the most interesting story that resounds inside the brick walls is about a young lady named Lady Ann Skipwith.  Ann was a very outspoken woman, who didn't exactly agree with many of the gender role stereotypes that were existent in her day.  Nevertheless, she married a rich planter named Peyton Skipwith.  The two never lived at the house but they did visit the Wythe house for a gala in 1780.

Ann wore a beautiful cream satin dress along with elegant tiny red heeled slippers.  However, at some point during the festivities, Ann stormed out of the party dashing towards the Wythe house, where she was likely staying the night.  While the party continued, Ann hobbled to the Wythe house with what is suspected to be a broken shoe (this is important later) and eventually made it up to the upstairs bedroom.  Nobody knows why Ann stormed out of the party but it probably had to do with a disputed affair between her husband and Ann's sister, Jean. 

At this point in the story, there are a few different resolutions.  Some say she took her life in the house while most historians say that's false and she actually died in childbirth a few months later.

The majority of the visual paranormal experiences at this beautiful estate has to deal with this one story.  There have been sightings of a woman in her mid twentys come out of a bedroom, look at herself in the mirror, then disappear through a door.  Others have seen a woman in the upstairs bedroom as well.  After hearing this story, most of the people who work in or around this building assume that it's Lady Ann Skipwith.

Another reason why some believe her spirit is still hovering around this house is due to the sound of somebody in high heeled shoes hoping up the staircase around midnight.  With Ann breaking a shoe before she made it into the house, this would fit the story.

There have also been infrequent sitings of some colonial dressed soldiers that have appeared in the living quarters. 

Employees have experienced cold spots at the top of the stairs as well as the feeling of being pushed or grabbed.  The smell of perfume can be experienced throughout the house even when nobody else is around.  Footsteps can be heard from the first floor even when your alone in the house.  Doors have been seen opening and shutting by themselves.

All in all, if your a ghost hunter in the area, the Wythe House is must investigate. 

A few days ago, I posted a story about Miss Evelyn Byrd and her apparition being seen around Westover Plantation.  Today, we're going to discuss another Plantation that happens to be just a few miles from Westover. 

Shirley Plantation has a rich past.  The house was first built in 1613 and is known as the oldest house in the United States.  Of course, since then the house has undergone a few renovations.  In fact, the actual house you see to the left wasn't constructed until the middle of the 18th century.  Still, the original timbers were staked into the ground just six years after the first ships landed at Jamestown.  Today, the house serves as a private home that's open for tours and any other types of gatherings. 

There's really only one true ghost story associated with Shirley Plantation and it stems around a painting found in the 2nd story bedroom of this gorgeous mansion.  Aunt Pratt's portrait has a rather interesting past and one that's startling and quite creepy even for those of us in the Paranormal field. 

The story began in 1858 when the portrait was removed from the 2nd floor bedroom and placed in the attic.  That's when the trouble began.  For days, their were knocking sounds stemming from the attic as if somebody was shuffling around boxes and other items at random times throughout the day.  Every time one of the current residents climbed up to the attic, all they would see was your typical attic clutter and of course, the portrait of Aunt Pratt. As each day went by, the knocking and activity level increased.  In fact, the knocking became almost permanent, which led the current residents to place the picture back on the wall and leave it there for the rest of the time they occupied the house. 

The activity level remained at a low until 1974 when the portrait was shipped to New York city for a conference involving artifacts that were associated with paranormal phenomenon.  However, when the picture was placed in an exhibit, it began to rock wildly in front of numerous spectators.  According to numerous reports, an NBC reporter captured the rocking on film but I cannot confirm that.  After the show that night, the painting was locked away with some of the other items that were on display.  However, in the morning, the curators of the event found the painting outside of the locked storage container and was described as if the painting was headed for the exit.

However, once the portrait was returned to it's right place in the 2nd floor bedroom of the Shirley Plantation, all the activity stopped. 

Is it a wild story, yes.  Is it probably true, well that one is up to you.  Stories like this are interesting because they offer very little plausible explanation for why something like this would happen. Part of me wants to believe it but the other part needs documented proof of this happening.  So, if you ever get a chance to investigate this house (and if the current owners will let you) remove the painting and place it in a different location and see if the activity starts back up again. 

Official Website- History
Wikipedia Page

We do not know what causes certain spirits or ghosts to linger around after death but normally it's caused by a highly traumatic experience.  Westover Plantation is one of the most historic houses in the Jamestown area.  Built around 1720 by William Byrd II, the house is often considered one of the finest examples of Georgian style architecture in the United States today.  Despite holding numerous parties and diner gatherings of future high ranking political figures, the house is also home to the tragic and heart breaking story of Miss Evelyn Byrd.

Evelyn was born in 1707 and was a very enthusiastic young girl, yet spoiled by her parents high ranking among the social scene at that time.  At the age of 10, she traveled to Europe to be properly educated.  However, during her nine year stay in England, she fell in love with an unknown English boy.  According to some historians, it may have been Charles Morduant, who went on to become the 3rd Earl of Peterborough.  Despite her feelings for this boy, her father scorned her and threaten to disown her if she continued to see this man.

In 1726, Evelyn returned to the colonies with her father, leaving her one true love behind.  While Evelyn didn't have very many friends, she did befriend Anne Carter Harrison of the Berkeley Plantation (one of five Jamestown Plantations still standing today).  They both made a pack that if either of them were to die, the deceased one would return to visit the other. 

At the age of 29, Evelyn died in her sleep.  A few months went by but eventually Anne Harrison went back to their favorite spot, out beyond the garden and was met by a glowing white figure that looked like Evelyn Byrd.  As the legend goes, the spirit kissed Anne's hand then dematerialized in front of her.  Today, there are still sightings of a white lady walking around the premises of the Westover Plantation.  Most who work there or spend time inside the house claim that Evelyn's presence can be felt all over the house.

Since this home did house Evelyn Byrd,  who died in 1737, and William Byrd III, who killed himself in 1777, I'm going to guess and say this is a fairly active place.  The history is right and with numerous slaves living on the plantation as well, this is a must investigate if your within driving distance of this lovely plantation.