May 13, 2008

Looney Lucy Haunts Her Old Home

Front of the house from the street

Side of the house looking at it from the street

Looking at back door of the house

A well that is in the backyard

Some of the backyard

Ludwell-Paradise House built around 1755
Midway on Duke of Gloucester Street between Queen and Colonial Street in Colonial Williamsburg (Next to Prentis Store)

Haunted by Lucy Ludwell.
Lucy was a member of one of Williamsburg’s most prominent families. Her grandfather was a member of the House of Burgesses and one of the city’s orginial trustees. Her father was a member of the governor’s council. Lucy was never liked by the townspeople and was considered unkind. She met John Paradise in London and they settled there. After the revolutionarily war the state of VA. confiscated Lucy’s house in Williamsburg.
When John died in 1795 it took Lucy until 1805 to get permission to return to Virginia and claim her home.
It was clear when Lucy returned that she was in a deluded state of mind and thought that the people of Williamsburg should treat her as royalty.
She paraded up and down Duke of Gloucester street waving with her servant following behind. She would dress herself with two or three dresses and walk for hours down the street. She would also take make-believe carriage rides by having her slaves push and rock her horseless couch in her stable.
In 1816 the townspeople had her committed to the public hospital, a mental institute
on Frances Street
As they carried her away screaming and shouting she vowed she would return home someday. With in two years of her incarceration she went completely insane and died in the asylum.
Her home was sold several times before the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg and it was five years after it was purchased by CW that restoration began on the home.
Workers would report tools missing papers thrown about documents missing, water turning on and off by itself, and noises from empty rooms. Some are convinced that Lucy has come home to stay.

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