Four Haunted Houses in Coastal Virginia
As you’d expect from an area with as long and rich a history as Coastal Virginia, there are plenty of haunted tales to go around. Discerning fact from fiction can be a challenge with stories like these, so take each of these ghoulish yarns with a grain of salt.
1. The Peyton Randolph House, Williamsburg
Considered to be the most haunted place at Colonial Williamsburg, the Peyton Randolph House has had a long history of death surrounding it.
Built in 1715, the home eventually came into the possession of Mary Monroe Peachy. According to legend, one of Peachy’s sons died when the branch of the tree he was climbing snapped, breaking the boy’s neck.
Another tale tells of a girl falling to her death from one of the second floor windows. Differing accounts hold that either a young soldier or Confederate veteran attending the College of William and Mary suddenly fell ill and died while staying at the house.
Since then, there have been reports of broken mirrors, ghostly footsteps and visions of a white, shimmering male figure in the house. One story tells of a security guard who became trapped in the basement. While trying to escape, he heard a large growl and was unable to move his legs. He used his radio to call for help and lived to tell the tale.
2. Rosewell Plantation, Gloucester
Built in 1725 by the Page family, Rosewell Plantation was one of the largest and finest homes constructed in the colonial period. The Page family hosted elaborate balls here, and Thomas Jefferson was a frequent guest. It’s said that he penned an early draft of the Declaration of Independence in the manse’s Blue Room.
But since it burned a century ago, many a spectral tale has been reported at Rosewell. Floating orbs of light are seen both day and night. Some have had bricks thrown at them from an unknown source or can’t get their dogs to stop barking when visiting the site.
The most interesting accounts involve the recreation of lavish parties, with ghostly servants attending to distinguished guests as haunting violin and harpsichord music plays.
3. Bacon’s Castle, Surry County
One of the few examples of Jacobean architecture in the New World, Bacon’s Castle is named for a person who probably never visited the site. The house was built by Arthur Allen in 1665, and was occupied by the followers of Nathaniel Bacon in Bacon’s Rebellion, thereby acquiring its current name.
Full body apparitions, ghostly voices and objects moving by themselves have been described, but a floating ball of fire is the most commonly reported phantasm at the house. The ball appears and floats through and around the house before disappearing just as suddenly as it came.
4. Cavalier Hotel, Virginia Beach
Erected in 1927, the swanky Cavalier Hotel hosted many celebrities in its early days, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Will Rogers and Jean Harlow. If you believe the stories, one of the hotel’s most famous occupants never left.
Adolph Coors, founder of the beer that still boasts his name, most likely jumped from his sixth story hotel room window in 1929. It was the middle of Prohibition, and Coors was unable to make the only thing he seemed to love.
Strange happenings have been reported on that floor ever since, especially when the hotel would close for the winter. Lights would randomly turn on, and switchboard operators would receive phone calls from the floor with no one on the other end. Sometimes the operator could hear jazz music playing through their headset. As the Cavalier continues to undergo a $4 million renovation, we’ll see if Mr. Coors decides to stick around.