Virginia doesn’t have any insane asylums or famous prisons, but that doesn’t mean it has no tales of horror. Haunted places where ghosts have reportedly been sighted, noises have been heard and goose bumps arise are right around the corner.
1. Peyton Randolph House – Williamsburg
Williamsburg has many ghost tales and haunted tours because of historic battlefields and wars there. Having been built in 1715, the Peyton Randolph House is one of the oldest structures in Williamsburg and the most haunted with a reported 23 ghosts said to haunt the house. A young soldier who fell ill and died of tuberculosis while staying in the house and a thin, old lady wearing a white gown and laced nightcap have been seen by the house’s past residents. The woman has been sighted by many people and is said to wake visitors up by calling their name then crying. A young girl was also killed after being pushed down the stairs by her ghostly friend, Elizabeth. The doctors said that a superhuman force would have had to be the cause of her death, since she only fell from the second story.
2. Aquia Church – Stafford
The earliest records of the church date back to Feb. 17, 1754 when the church caught fire three days before construction was complete in 1757. The first story that arose from the church was about a young woman who was murdered there during the revolution. Her body was hidden in the belfry, and because the chapel was not in use at the time, was never discovered. Years later, her skeleton and golden hair was discovered with her bloodstains that remained on the floor for 100 years until the floors were replaced. People have described loud noises, the sounds of running up and down the stairs and the image of a horrified woman standing at the window.
3. Major Graham’s Mansion – Grahams Forge
Owned by Major Graham, the mansion was once a home to slaves who were kept chained in the basement. Slave owner Joseph Baker was murdered by two of his slaves in 1786. The house is said to have pain and anger and common occurrences like the electricity pulsing, curtains moving and spirits walking up and down the stairs. EVPS, also known as electronic voice phenomena, captured sounds and images produced by Virginia Tech that resulted in evidence the mansion is haunted.
4. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park – Fredericksburg
This park commemorates four battles including the Battle of the Wilderness, Battle of Chancellorville, Battle of Spotsylvania court house and the Battle of Fredericksburg. Ghostly images dressed in civil war attire have been caught on camera and cries have been heard here often. Because of the amount of evidence captured and reported sightings, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park has been included in many of the top five most haunted battlefields of America.
5. Cavalier Hotel – Virginia Beach
Having opened in 1927, the hotel had many famous guests including Frank Sinatra, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and seven U.S. presidents. The Cavalier has been compared to the “Overlook Hotel” from “The Shining.” Adolph Coors of Coors Beer Brewery committed suicide by jumping out of the sixth floor window. Many people who stay on the sixth floor report sounds of flesh hitting the pavement. Guests have reported hearing cats scratching at their doors, which is said to be the pet of a girl who drowned in the hotel’s pool. Towels changing colors, toilets flushing by themselves and elevators running on their own have also been reported. Some guests claimed to have encountered an African American bellhop at the staircase of the sixth floor, warning people to stay away. When mentioned to the workers at the hotel, no bellhop as the one described works there.
Bonus: Gresham Dorms – Norfolk
In 2003, a woman and her husband were shot in front of this ODU dorm and the killers were never found. The woman is said to roam around the dorm looking for help for her husband. Sightings of the woman are reported to be most numerous at the ends of the months, but particularly the month of November, when they were killed.
Disclaimer: This article was originally published in October 2012. Some information may be outdated.