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


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