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Mace & Crown | March 24, 2018

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Get Spooked: The Five Most Haunted Places in Virginia

Get Spooked: The Five Most Haunted Places in Virginia

Emma Needham
Staff Writer

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.

  • jessica

    There is in fact, a former insane asylum in Virginia that many people claim to be haunted. The name of the hospital was St. Albans (it has relocated, but the old building still remains) and its located in the Radford/Fairlawn area. I may be wrong, its been awhile since I’ve read the article, but i believe it used to be an old boys school many, many, MANY, years ago, but something fell through with the school, community, teachers, funds….whatever and it was shut down. It was turned into a psychiatric hospital and the building remained in operation until about 6 years ago when they opened a new facility, but the old building still remains. There have been many reports of paranormal activity associated with the hospital and it has been investigated by both novice and professional ghost hunters, in fact they offer tours occasionally thorougout the year, even a couple of overnight stays. The building also serves as a haunted house around Halloween, and it’s always packed with people hoping to get a scare that wasn’t included in the price of admission;). I went last year and had a great time, got freaked out quite a bit, but not by anything that wasn’t part of the haunted house attraction. Also, Graham’s Forge Mansion runs a haunted house each Halloween which is pretty cool, and definitely provides scares. Both of these attractions seem to be the go-to choice for locals during the Halloween/Haunted House season.

  • Natasha

    Also, in Staunton VA! The old Dejarnettes Mental institution which is now known as Western State Hospital is said to be haunted. Supposedly the patients were tortured there at the old grounds.

  • Angie

    Major Grahams is NOT haunted. It’s all very fake.

  • Darrell Mitchell

    There are many famous prisons in Va. One is Mecklenburg Va state prison which is now closed but reported to be haunted by former inmates. it housed several murderers and was where a escape occurred in early 80’s resulting in murder. Then you have one of rhetorically oldest federal prisons in the country which is the old Petersburg Fci. Then you have the old D.C. prison Norton which was nicknamed the walls.. they closed it down because of guards missing , inmate murders drugs and a pure hell . Then there’s Greenhouse the home of old sparky and Virginia Seth chamber. Lots of souls. Not to mention other old haunted prisons. Then there’s the haunted old tuberculosis hospitals from early 1900’s in Charlottesville,Catawba etc which is haunted. Several people have had sightings at the old UVa hospital also. Lots of patients passed there and several confederate/union soldiers died and have been spotted there and out front where the fighting occurred. Also Monticello,Montpilier and Swanninoia etc….. Virginia has several famous places and that’s just a few.

  • morgan

    theres a old farm house in moyock north carolina on puddin ridge rd that is believed to be haunted. i have the ability to sence spirits hwen they are around. and i sence them in the house.

  • Tanya

    Morgan what’s the street address? My sister uses to live on that road in Moyock

  • Paul

    Yes there is an insane asylum in Virginia. The old Central state lunatic asylum. It was the first asylum in the entire country for people of color, opened in 1869. Get your facts straight before you write an article and lose all your credibility.

  • Sam

    Basically whoever wrote this ‘article’ knows nothing about Virginia or it’s history. To say that there aren’t “any insane asylums or famous prisons” is such an oversight…there were many of each, in all parts of the state. SMH.

  • Saylor Swift

    Virginia DOES have insane asylums, western state in staunton, St. Albans…..dejarnette…..a little research would help you out.

    • incognito67

      you are right, i did an investigation at St. Albans. caught an EVP of a little girl humming and saw a few orbs,.it was creepy lol

      • Arvis Alderman

        St Albans is a great place to investigate I use to volunteer there until I moved away!I saw a lot of spirits good and bad.I have my own team called spirit side kicks on Facebook please come check my page.Thank you

  • Marybeth French

    Dominion hospital in Arlington Va has been haunted for many years and continues to receive regular calls from the elevator phone near the old ER at night. An elderly man, a janitor of Asian descent, has been seen in the hall there and In the elevator calling for help.

  • Pamela K. Kinney

    Honestly, there are a lot more haunted spots in Virginia, some more haunted than above. Written five books now to know where some are, and working on a sixth set from Surry to Suffolk along 460 and Route 10. Henricus Historical Park, second after Jamestown has activity day or night, many places and spots in Petersburg and the Tri-Cities- I think of this as the ost hauted part of the Commonwealth–due to the Seige, battles, and more (my fifth book).