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3944 Cameron Street
Status: Former Vestry; Former Residence; Historical Museum
Ghost Tours Available During the Halloween Season
The house was originally used as a vestry for the Quantico Church.
In 1798 the house was bought by Parson Weems who would write the first biography of General/President George Washington in the house. He was the creator of the famous Cherry Tree story in Washington’s legend.
Weems also wrote biographies of other legendary Americans: Benjamin Franklin, Francis Marion and William Penn.
In 1802 Weems sold the house to the lawyer Benjamin Botts who would, famously, successfully defend Vice President Aaron Burr’s infamous conspiracy and treason trial. Botts would die in the Virginia Theater fire in 1811.
The house had many owners until it was purchased by the Merchant Family in 1869. The Merchants would continue as the owners until 1968 or 1969.
The house was then restored and opened as a museum in 1975 or 1976 – depending on which article you read - as part of the upcoming bicentennial celebrations in the United States.
The haunting is thought to date back to when the house was owned by the Merchant family. Two sisters suffered terrible lives of suffering in the house.
Mamie – who probably had epilepsy – suffered from terrible seizures which – in the 19th century – were seen as either madness or possession by the Devil. Most people had 2 choices when they had seizures: exorcism, which usually resulted in the patient’s death, or being locked up for life in a giant insane asylum. Mamie – because her family had money - was locked away for life in an upper bedroom.
Mamie lived 23 years in her lonely room before she died; probably from a seizure.
Mamie’s sister, Violet, escaped the house and was just beginning her life with her fiancé when her father died. Her mother, Annie, demanded Violet return to the family home and take care of her. Annie would live another 46 years stealing all of Violet’s life and freedom. Violet would leave the house only to move directly to a nursing home.
The shadow of Violet is still seen to this day pacing back and forth in her once bedroom late at night. Her phantom crying is also reported; often as loud gasping sobs.
Both Mamie and Violet’s steps are heard on the upper floor by witnesses on the lower floor.
Apparitions of both sisters have been seen in the house many times. There are many stories of them interacting with the living visiting the home and are often mistaken for reenactors.
Other Reported Activity: apparitions of other former residents of the house including a young girl; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen entities; light anomalies; electrical disturbances; disembodied voices and the feeling of not being alone.
6248 University Park Drive
Status: Former School, Former Insane Asylum, Haunted AttractioN
Paranormal Investigations are Permitted
Previous to any structures being built on this land it suffered more than one tragedy and horrible act. In the 18th century the new European settlers clashed over the land with the Indigenous population. This culminated in a raid that led a number of pretty gruesome murders and hostages being taken. In the Civil War the Union shelled Confederate positions from the spot where the sanatorium is now in one of the most violent battles of the war.
This building opened in 1892 as a Lutheran all-boys school. Not only was bullying not stopped it was avidly encouraged as part of a competitive environment. The only real results of this social experiment were a large number of suicides – God culling the weak in the eyes of the Lutheran masters – oh and a championship football team. The school closed in 1911.
With the school was shut down the building soon re-opened as an Insane Asylum in 1916. The asylum was originally designed to be one of the better ones of the time with a rooftop garden, a farm and a bowling alley.
Unfortunately, St Albans seems to have become an experimental treatment center – even more so that its sister asylums. All sorts of treatments were tried on the patients who were left no choice. Many of these so-called “treatments” ended the patient’s left or exuberated their conditions.
These treatments included prefrontal lobotomies, electroshock therapy – often used against something as common as depression, cold water therapy – wrapping the patient head to toe in freezing cold wet towels or hydrotherapy – leaving the patient in a bath for long periods; up to days at a time. There was also Insulin Therapy where insulin was injected into a patient resulting in a coma that was supposed to cure many mental illnesses.
St Albans also suffered from the same issues as other asylums in the same time did; overcrowding and under staffing. In 1945 it was running with 6,509 patients and only 48 staff making care an impossibility. Between the experimental treatments and terrible lives that patients led the building was – once again – home to a large number of suicides.
As with other similar institutions with the advent of anti-psychotic and mood enhancing drugs the population of the sanatorium began to fall and so did the budget. In the 2003 – after many cutbacks - the hospital closed and the doors were locked.
For a period of time, it was abandoned and thus vandalized and became a famous late night party spot.
Eventually a former patient bought the old sanatorium and refurbished it. It has been re-opened as a haunted attraction hosting events such as a haunted house. It also, periodically, hosts overnight paranormal investigations. All events and investigations can be booked on their website.
This location has been called the most haunted in eastern North America.
Full body apparitions are most often seen – and photographed – in the part of the building used to treat alcoholics.
The phantom sounds of old rifles being firing, the smell of canyon smoke and misty swirling mists are thought to be from the Civil War battle and are most common on the hospital grounds.
The bowling alley is haunted by 2 female ghosts: 1) Allie who is thought to be a young daughter of one of the patients; 2) Gina Hall who was murdered near the sanatorium in 1980.
People have been touched by an invisible entity in the “suicide bathroom” located in the female ward. No less than 4 people committed suicide in this room.
Disembodied voices have been heard in the former electroshock therapy room.
Shadow figures have been seen darting up and down the stairs.
Other Activity: warm and cold spots; unexplained winds and breezes; phantom laughter, crying, footsteps and screams; feelings of being watched, not being alone and not being wanted.
412 South Cherry Street
Status: Historical Cemetery
This 42 acre parcel of land was once called Harvie’s Woods and owned, not surprisingly, by the Harvie Family.
In June of 1847 some of the more prominent citizens of Richmond purchased the property – which included the Harvie Family cemetery that is still on the property – with visions of creating of beautiful cemetery. The land was just outside of the city at the time and had breath taking (no pun intended) views of the nearby James River.
Its name comes not from the as yet unknown section of Los Angeles but from the numerous holly trees that grew in the woods on the property.
In 1869 a large pyramid was constructed on the property to honor the 18,000 Confederate enlisted men who died in the Civil War and are buried in the cemetery.
There are some very famous people buried within the cemetery including the only President of the Confederate States of America – Jefferson Davis – as well as well known Confederate Generals including J.E.B. Stuart. There are also 2 United States Presidents buried here: James Monroe and John Tyler.
The 90 foot pyramid honoring more than 18,000 Confederate dead is said to have been cursed from the very beginning. There were very numerous worksite accidents in the year it was constructed – constructed by prison labor – so many, in fact, the prisoners feared the monument would create nothing but misery for future generations.
The man who placed the capstone on the monument – because no one else would do it – disappeared from the face of the Earth once the deed was done. Optimistically he was given a pardon – he was horse thief – for his deed; or maybe the monument claim one last life.
Many historians and archeologists believe there are in excess of 11,000 more bodies on the site. Of course, no one can go digging in a cemetery let alone at the base of one of the most important monuments to the former Confederate States of America.
Paranormal Activity reported near the pyramid: ghostly moans at both dusk and dawn; disembodied voices including full conservations; freezing winds out of nowhere at the rear of the monument and feelings of not being alone and not wanted.
In February of 1962 two year old Florence Rees passed away from Scarlet Fever. She was buried in the cemetery but with something very different than any of the rest of interned. Florence has a guardian in the form of a life sized Newfoundland dog cast in iron.
It is thought her father – an outspoken pacifist – knowing the iron in his possession would soon be appropriated by the government for use in the Civil War cast the dog knowing no one would dare desecrate the grave of his baby girl. Apparently he was right, as Florence’s iron guardian stands to this day.
The dog’s position tends to change according to witnesses as it watches over the little girl. It will turn toward any approaching threat – no one sees the dog move it’s suddenly just facing another direction. Anyone with questionable energy and/or intent has hears a phantom deep growling near her grave. No one has dared put the guardian to the test by either interfering with the girl’s grave or the dog.
The grave of W.W. Poole is said to hold the remains of the legendary Richmond Vampire. Apparently, Poole was forced out of England to the Americas for feeding on the living.
The collapse of the Church Hill Tunnel – also said to be haunted and will be covered in a future blog – is also linked to the vampire legend. The noise of the tunneling is said to have awakened the vampire who burrowed to the work site and collapsed the tunnel. Rescuers found a blood soaked creature with elongated canine teeth and tattered skin when they opened the site. Allegedly, the creature fled the men and disappeared near the tomb of W.W. Poole.
The more acceptable story is that they actually found Benjamin Mosby – the fireman on the train – who was horribly disfigured when the train’s boiler exploded near him. Most of his teeth were broken and his upper body was burned so badly his skin was coming off in tatters. He died of his injuries and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery.
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:RVA_all_day&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:RVA all day (page does not exist)">RVA all day</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
(Allen’s Brick House)(Arthur Allen House)
465 Bacons Castle Trail
Status: Former Residence, Former Fortification, Historical House Museum
Paranormal Investigations Available Seasonally
/wiki/User_talk:Yellowute" class="extiw" title="en:User talk:Yellowute">talk</a>) (<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:ListFiles/Yellowute" class="extiw" title="en:Special:ListFiles/Yellowute">Uploads</a>) - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, Public Domain, Link
Built in 1665 this house is the oldest documented brick building in the United States. It is also one of the very few examples of Jacobean architecture in North America.
The house was built shortly after the Royal Colony of Virginia was divided into Counties by Arthur Allen as a residence for himself and his wife, Alice. Upon his death the house passed to his son Major Arthur Allen II who served on the Virginia House of Burgesses – the elected assembly who governed the colony.
In 1676 this house was seized and fortified by the followers of Nathaniel Bacon – Bacon never resided in the home and probably never stepped inside – thus gaining its name of Bacon’s Castle. The house became of the failed Bacon Rebellion – an insurgency against the lawful Royal Governor of the Virginia – and a prelude to the American Revolution.
After the failed rebellion the Virginia newspapers started to refer to the house as Bacon’s Castle thus gaining the house its nickname.
The house remained a family residence through the next 300 years taking no significant historical part in either the American Revolution or the Civil War.
It was owned by the Hankins family during the Civil War but the emancipation of the slaves after the Confederate loss crippled the plantation’s workforce resulting in the family having to sell it. It was bought by the Warren family and passed down until 1973 when the current owners perished in car accident with no heirs.
The house, out buildings and the remaining 40 acres passed to the Preservation Virginia who converted the property into a non-profit house museum. In 2015 they acquired enough of the surrounding land to guarantee the area can never be converted by residential or commercial development.
This location is arguably the most haunted property in the State.
Most of the paranormal activity is thought to be directly related to the slaves who once lived here and became the forced labor that kept the plantation afloat.
Phantom balls of fire have been seen forming and flying across the property.
The apparitions of floating heads are frequently seen.
Unexplained noises of guns being shot.
Ghosts have spoken both on video and audio recordings. They also frequently show up in photos taken on the property.
Disembodied voices have been heard as well as other unexplained noises from loud bangs to screams to whispers.
Other Activity: cold spots, unexplained mists, light anomalies, electrical disturbances, phantom footsteps, touches by unseen presences and feelings of not being alone, being followed and being watched.
4136 Cheswick Lane
Status: Former Plantation, Courthouse, Post Office and School; Museum
Paranormal Investigations can be Booked
This land was originally cleared in the 16th century by the Aboriginals who lived in the area, long before European colonization. Many Native artifacts have been found on the site.
In 1642 it became the home of the second ferry service taking people to the County Courthouse as well as to plantations along the river.
The first brick Courthouse in the County was built on this site including stocks and a pillory.
In 1735 the courthouse was torn down and the Walke Mansion was built by William Walke. It is possible he ran a tavern out of the house around the time of the American Revolution. In September of 1828 the mansion was destroyed by fire.
The current house was built here in 1830 using the bricks of the burned out Walke Mansion. In 1850 an addition was added to the home.
In 1986 the last owner of the house passed away and donated it to the City of Virginia Beach. The house was left abandoned – and very nearly demolished – until 1996 when a citizen’s group called Friends of the Ferry Plantation began renovating the house in a partnership with the Virginia Beach Courthouse.
It is now run as a museum including summer camps and social events.
This location is recognized as having no less than 11 ghosts.
There have been hundreds of paranormal investigations done at this location.
Paranormal Investigations can be booked here using the website link above.
Grace was accused multiple times of witchcraft for bad crops and dead livestock. It wasn’t until 1706 that she was finally brought to trial for causing another woman to miscarry. She was tried at the courthouse that once stood where the house is now.
She was subjected to trial by water – if she sank and drown, she was innocent; if she rose to the surface and lived, she was a witch – and Grace bobbed back up to the surface. She was convicted as a witch and was executed.
She is said to be buried under a large tree on the plantation. Her apparition is often seen near her burial spot.
Sally Rebecca Walke
The daughter of William Walke lost her fiancé Revolutionary War and is still wandering the grounds and garden still waiting for his return.
Henry, The Former Slave
Henry was a slave on the plantation. He is seen coming out of the basement and walking across a room before kneeling down and performing a task then walking back to the basement. When the wall was removed where he kneeled down a fireplace was found.
Through the use of a medium the ghost’s name is discovered as well as living quarters on the 3rd floor of the slave’s quarters. He lived his entire life on the plantation and is, apparently, happy to continue to in death.
On January 1, 1811 The Lucy wrecked on Cape Henry was a heavy human loss. The sailors from The Lucy wander the grounds of the plantation for eternity. They are often reported by witnesses.
The Lady In White
The Lady in White is said to have fallen down the stairs and broke her neck in 1826. Her apparition is seen throughout the house.
The ghosts of 2 children, a boy and a girl, are seen on the second floor landing. The girl is believed to be the 5 year old daughter of Charles and Isabella McIntosh who died in 1860. The boy is believed to be named Eric and to have died in the 1850’s from falling out of a window.
The boy is said to be very friendly to investigators.
(The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club)(The Cavalier Hotel)
4200 Atlantic Avenue
Status: Hotel and Resort
By <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/people/67958110@N00">Serge Melki</a> from Indianapolis, USA - <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sergemelki/4665105594/">The Cavalier Hotel</a>, CC BY 2.0, Link
This hotel was established in the year of 1927. In the earliest days of World War II, the hotel was used as a training center for the United States Navy.
From the year of 1927 to the year of 1942, the hotel was quite busy accommodating famous political figures and celebrities. Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Xavier Cugat, Cab Calloway, Glen Miller, Lawrence Welk and Bing Crosby were among the many that played at the Beach Club. Seven U.S. presidents have stayed at the Cavalier: Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.
Other famous guests include: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Will Rogers, Bette Davis, Jean Harlow, Mary Pickford, Betty Grable and the infamous Fatty Arbuckle. When Fatty visited, he would rent an entire floor for his entourage. Hank Ketchum drew several “Dennis the Menace” cartoons based upon his family’s stay at the Cavalier.
The first major incident occurred on the 5th day of June in the year of 1929. An individual that owned a local brewery by the name of Adolph Coors went out of a 6th floor window and tragically met his death. There is a lot of speculation about this event. Many believe it was purely accidental, while others believe it was a suicide. Still, there are some that believe that it was a murder. Several believe that the spirit of Adolph Coors remains in and around the haunted hotel. Many claim that they have felt cold breezes overtake them for which no rational explanation could be found. There are some that have stated that the apparition of a man on the 6th floor can be seen periodically. There are even reports of loud noises occurring frequently on the cement on the area where the man hit the ground and died.
A young girl was staying in the hotel and she had a pet cat that she smuggled into the hotel, because at that time, pets were not allowed in guests’ rooms. During the night, the cat escaped and wandered down to the pool where it fell in. The young girl went looking for her cat and tried to save it. Unfortunately, both the girl and her beloved cat drowned in the swimming pool.
Ever since then, guests at the Cavalier Hotel have reported seeing a trail of wet footprints and paw prints leading down one of the hotel’s hallways. Though the girl’s ghost has not been sighted, people only occasionally report hearing the strange sounds of a cat meowing coming from the pool area.
Some people were exploring the hotel and went up to the 5th floor where they encountered an elderly black man dressed in an old-fashioned bellboy uniform. The visitors said he waved his hands at them and told them to go back down and not continue up to the 6th floor. When they asked why, the man’s eyes grew wide and he replied “There are ghosts up there!”
When the people went back down to the lobby, they talked to the hotel manager who told them that the hotel hadn’t employed bellboys in decades.