June 30, 2008

Review of my ghost hunt

Saturday evening my husband and I met up with a local paranormal group to go ghost hunting in a cemetery about 40 minutes from our house. This was my first time meeting them, so I wasn't sure what to expect. They all seem nice, but I didn't get a chance to talk to anyone other than the usual hello's because everyone went off on their own once we went inside. The cemetery itself was very interesting and had mostly old graves. Most of them were from the later 1800's to early 1900's with some from the civil war. We walked around about an hour and during this time I found a lot of family plots. Several of these were surrounded by the old iron fences. I love these kinds of graves and find it comforting somehow that the families are buried together. You don't find that often now days. When I was growing up my parents would take me to Georgia where my grandparents lived and we always went out in the countryside to an old rural cemetery where my great grandparents were buried. In those days the graves were still raised a bit above the ground with the dirt making a mound of sorts. I found a few here that reminded me of those except these were covered in ivy.

Also one thing I noticed about this cemetery was it seemed to have a "feel" about it. The only way I can describe it is it seemed to have high energy. At one point I was especially drawn to three graves surrounded by one of the fences I mentioned.
I was inside the fence looking at the grave in the middle when all at once I felt dizzy. I told my husband who was sitting outside the fence waiting on me that I felt "weird". At that point I came out and found the lady who was in charge of the hunt. Without telling her what had just happened I asked her to go inside and see if she "felt" anything. She took her EMF meter and did a reading around the area. Everything was normal until she scanned the center grave. At this point the meter reached a .4 reading. While this is in no way a high reading she said there was no reason for it to be past a 0-2 because there was no source of electricity to cause a spike. One of the other women on the hunt with us came over at this time and said that it smelled different to her. That there seemed to be a vacuum here with NO smell where the rest of the areas to her had an old smell to them.

I had my voice recorder with me but do not seem to have any type of EVP that I can detect and nothing shows up in my photos, but all the same it was an experience for me that I usually don't have.
Nothing usual happened the rest of the time I was there and I had an enjoyable time looking around and taking photos. When I got home I listened to my recorder and within the first seven minutes of entering the cemetery I got a very clear EVP. This was recorded BEFORE I stopped at the graves were I got dizzy.
I am posting it here and would like to know what everyone thinks it is saying. When you click on the link it will take you to a site where the recording is at. You will need to click on the download bar and it should load to your computer where you will be able to listen to it in what ever type of player you have.
Let me know if you have trouble listening to this and I will try and send it to you a different way

I won't tell you yet what I hear, because I really would like someone else to tell me what they think first.

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June 27, 2008

Visiting Endview Plantation

The Hauntings
Endview Plantation
Used by both sides during the civil war as a hospital. Reports have said that a woman has been seen crossing the road from the cemetery towards the house during re-enactments that are held at the Plantation Reports also show that the room, that was used as a nursery has curtains that open after they have been closed for the night.

The History and Tour
Yesterday we took a trip to Endview Plantation. This plantation is one of the smaller ones that we have visited. It is located about 10 minutes from my house and I have passed by it several times without stopping. Although there is both Revolutionary War and Civil War history recorded here, the owners center more on the Civil War. During this time the home was owned by Dr. Humphrey Harwood Curtis. The young doctor established his medical practice at the plantation in 1856 and married Maria Whitaker in 1858. The 1860 census shows that Curtis owned $8,000 worth of real estate, $21,000 worth of personal property and 12 slaves. As disease and fighting took their toll, the Confederates used Endview briefly as a hospital.
The tour proved to be interesting due to the fact that we were the only ones there at the time. The guide was very friendly and took his time talking with us and answering questions.
We got a tour of all the rooms which included the Doctors office where we saw some of the original old medicine bottles. A few pieces of the Curtis family clothing and furniture are still in the home.
At this time the history of the home is still being researched and no one knows yet where the out buildings such as the kitchen and slave quarters were.
We did get to see the family cemetery and a natural spring on the property. Also they have day camp for kids there.
For girls ages 8-12. Includes tour of local historic sites, needlework instruction, etiquette, parlor games, dancing, campfire cooking.
For boys and girls ages 8-12. Includes camp life, drills, skirmishes and basic soldier’s equipment.
One thing I did notice while we were they is how hot the room the girls were in. They were sitting on the floor listening to a story and reading. I thought to myself.
BORING. According to the web page for the plantation the parents of these kids were paying about 100.00 to a 150.00 for the camp. Better them than me.

My Opinion...Is it haunted?
I would say no, not this one, although some stories have been told.
I think it is just a lovely old home, but no investigations have been done (I asked) on the property, so perhaps something may happen later to change my mind.

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June 26, 2008

The Ghost at Westover Plantation

While visiting the beautiful Westover Plantation I took a short walk to the cemetary where the Byrd family is buried. I had read about the tragic love story of Evelyn Byrd and wanted to see her tomb. While standing there taking photos "something" brushed my arm. I thought it was a spider web and went to brush it away only to find nothing was there. I commented to my husband that Evelyn must have touched me. Is the place haunted. I would say YES to this one.

Story of Evelyn Byrd
(Taken from the Internet)

This stately plantation is said to be haunted by the lovely, Evelyn Byrd. Miss Byrd, was born in 1707. She was the daughter of William Byrd II.

Mr. Byrd was a very prominent statesmen during the colonial era. He was an advisor to the governor of Virginia and the founder of the city of Richmond, to name just a couple of his jobs during his lifetieme.

Evelyn when she was young, was considered an intelligent child, but on the other hand she was also considered to be spoiled. Although, Evelyn has been dead for over 250 years, many witnesses have reported seeing her at Westover.

When Evelyn turned 10 years old, her father sent her to England to be schooled. It was here that Evelyn fell in love with a man, many historians believe to be, Charles Morduant. But her father was adamantly against the relationship.

He ventured as far as telling Evelyn,
as to any expectation you may fondly entertain of a fortune from me, you are not to look for one brass farthing...Nay besides all that I will avoid the sight of you as of a creature detested.

So with heaviness of heart and reluctantly, Evelyn returned to Westover in 1726, forgetting the romance. But William Byrd would live to regret his decision. Because in 1737, Evelyn Byrd, many say died of a broken heart.

Evelyn has been spotted at Westover over the years. The first time was in about 1738, when Evelyn's dear friend, Anne Harrison, saw Evelyn walking towards her in the gardens of Westover.

Another relative of the Byrds, committed suicide here in 1777. William Byrd III was distressed over financial matters and committed suicide at Westover sitting in his favorite chair in his bedroom.

The first wife of William Byrd III, Elizabeth, was killed at Westover when a heavy cabinet fell on top of her, crushing her to death.

It is said that William Byrd III can still be seen at Midnight slumping over his favorite chair in his old bedroom. Elizabeth, it is said, you can hear her wailing still echoing through the halls of Westover, still awaiting for someone to help her.

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Ghost Hunt

The next few days should prove to be exciting. Coming up on Saturday night I am going on a ghost hunt with a local paranormal group to a cemetery. Then next Tuesday I will be meeting with the group I told you about a few weeks ago that is interested in spending some time with my grandson. We will be meeting at the farm where he first "saw" the ghost lady I have in my photo. The group wants to spend some time with him. I am guessing that they will set up some equipment in the area and see if anything happens. Both trips should provide some interesting post, so check back for them. In the mean time here is a slide show from The Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond VA. (This is NOT the same cemetery that I will be going on with the group this weekend). I know I showed a few photos from there in a previous post, but with approx. 75,000 people buried there I thought you might like to see more.

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June 23, 2008

Photo's Day One

For more information on Bacon's Castle and what happened to us there go to my Other BlogDoes It Go Bump In The Night

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Richmond Vampire

As you know from my previous post, I visited the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond VA today. The cast iron dog is not the only "haunted" story that comes from the cemetery. There is also a legend of The Richmond Vampire. Read the story below, and enjoy the photos. I have to tell you vampire or not this mausoleum was creepy.

From Wikipedia

The Richmond Vampire is an urban legend that began soon after a collapse on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad's Church Hill Tunnel at Church Hill, a district of Richmond, Virginia, which buried several workers alive on October 2, 1925.

The story told of a blood covered creature with jagged teeth and skin hanging from its muscular body that emerged from the cave-in and raced toward the James River. Pursued by a group of men, the creature took refuge in Hollywood Cemetery, where it disappeared in a mausoleum built into a hillside bearing the name W.W. Poole.

Gregory Maitland, founder of Night Shift, a Richmond-based group that researched urban legends and oral traditions, and the Virginia urban legend and folklore expert of the Virginia Ghosts & Haunting Research Society (VGHRS), became interested in the Richmond Vampire story. His study of the disaster confirmed that after the tunnel collapsed a living being escaped from the wreckage. It was, however, a big and strong 28-year-old railroad fireman, Benjamin F. Mosby (1896-1925), who had been loading coal into the steam tank of a train with no shirt on when the cave-in occurred and the oven ruptured.

Mosby's upper body was horribly scalded and several of his teeth were broken before he made his way through the opening of the tunnel. Witnesses reported he was in shock and layers of his skin were hanging from his body. He died later at Grace Hospital. It was from there that the story took on a life of its own through decades of retelling.

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June 21, 2008

Hollywood Cemetery-Richmond VA

I visited Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond VA today. Among the graves this was my very favorite. It is the statue of the cast iron dog. I had heard this story for a long time and was excited to have found the grave. Hollywood Cemetery has appox. 75 thousand people buried there. Here is the story of the Iron Dog

The cast iron dog used to sit out in front of a general store in Richmond. A little girl used to visit the store with her father weekly and always petted and talked to the cast iron dog while her father did business inside. The young girl later died of scarlet fever. During the civil war, which broke out soon after the young child died, the demand for iron was high. The cast iron dog was placed on the grave of the little girl. This was done to prevent it's being melted down and used to make weapons and to preserve it as a work of art.

This dog is said to guard her grave, and comes to life to chase people from her grave site. It has also been known to move on occasion. Many people have reported seeing it pointed in one direction and passing it later, it was pointed in another direction

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Bacon's Castle

Bacon's Castle was Built in 1665 by Arthur Allen, Bacon's Castle is the oldest documented brick house in America. In 1676 it was taken over by Nathaniel Bacon and his men, who rebelled against the governor of Virginia and burned down Jamestown.
It took four years before Mr. Allen got his home back. The house had been passed down several generations and owned by numerous families. Additions to the house have been made at lest three times.
The family owning the home in the 1800's had both indentured servants and slaves who worked in the house and the adjourning fields. An original slave house is still on the property.
Several of the windows in the home had initials or names etched into them, including one which had an entire love letter from one of the young owners to his wife.
I am sorry I can't remember their names, but it was a bit of a sad story. They were only married about four years before she died at the age of 25 (or so)
Also we saw two previously hidden pieces of wall which was covered with sketches and signatures of the house's previous occupants.
This was by far one of the best tours that I have been on. The guide was very knowledgeable and took us to three different levels of the home, and the basement. The basement was the original kitchen.
The top level was where both indentured servants and slaves slept. One room was furnished to show a bedroom. The door was roped off so no one could go in, but as I stuck my head in the door I felt the energy in this room was "different". I made the comment that the room felt weird. My daughter seemed to pooh pooh this idea until about three minutes later when she was carrying my grandson down the stairs. She took one step and fell down the remaining stairs. (about 4 steps)I screamed out her name and rushed to her. Thankfully they were both ok and she jumped right up, more embarrassed than hurt. On the next level my grandson seemed to trip over his own feet falling to the floor. We all got the giggles at how clumsy they both were, but when we got outside my daughter swore to me that a ghost pushed them. She said "mom we never fall" I asked her did she really feel as if she was being pushed. She said she wasn't sure, because it happened so fast, but swore the rest of the day it was the ghost. I later read on the Internet while searching for more information on the home that during another tour someone had fallen down those same stairs.
this is also the same stairway that the young lady who haunts the house was said to trip on in the video at the end of this post.
Could it just be coincidence? Perhaps, or perhaps there is a ghostly presence that pushes young ladies down. You be the judge.
Just a side note here. While in the home on the main level, my grandson told his mother that he saw a papa outside near a tree, There was no one out there, or at lest no one we saw.
In my opinion, I did feel as if Bacon's Castle had some activity. I would love to get into this house at night with a ghost hunting team. I plan to make another visit back there soon.
In the meantime here is a
podcast of one of our local radio stations Halloween Haunts talking abut the castle
for photos of the house and grounds itself see my blog at Autumns Meadow
Also there are photos there of Lawnes Creek Church Cemetery where the mysterious fireball is said to have some from.

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June 19, 2008

Fort Delaware Hauntings

(Photo Courtesy of Harry Flagle)
"FORT DELAWARE, Del. (AP) - June 19, 2008 -- Ghost Hunters from a Sci-Fi Channel TV show of the same name say they have found evidence of ghosts at Fort Delaware."

Did everyone watch last night's Ghost Hunters Show on Ft. Delaware?
I watched it with great interest since I had already heard some of the stories. I have a friend that visited a couple of years ago and told me then that the place was haunted. During the Civil War, Fort Delaware was a prison for Confederate Prisoners of war. During the war, more than 2,400 people died there, on Pea Patch Island.

Here is his photo of what appears to be a woman (possibly a slave) holding a baby.

(Photo Courtesy of Harry Flagle)

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June 14, 2008

The Door

I have to tell you about the cool thing that happened tonight. My husband and I were invited to the home of an old friend of mine. C and I grew up together but had not seen each other in about twenty years. We do occasionally stay in touch via email or myspace, and I recently mentioned to her that I am into ghost hunting She wrote back and told me that she has one in her home. As it turns out the house is an old farmhouse about 150 years old and now sits in a quiet neighborhood with other homes around it. I loved it of course from the minute I walked in since that type of house is my dream home. I got a tour of the house and the grounds and a bit of history on the home. C and her husband are not sure who the original owners were, but they didn’t think anyone had died there. They had owned the house about ten years and they said there has always been a ghost or two, (they are not sure but feel like there is both male and female energy there) C went on to tell me that she has heard footsteps coming from upstairs in the part of the house that does not have an upstairs. (Only part of the house has the second floor) She went on to tell me that the door to one of the rooms downstairs opens on its own. Also just so you know the house is on the market for sale and that they are really having a hard time selling it.
It seems that every time someone comes to see the house, they leave saying the house feels strange or they smell an odor in the bedroom (the one with the door that opens)

Upstairs there is a small room that sits empty. C said she thought it might have been some sort of storage closet. I spent a few minutes in there, I noticed it had a window. For some reason I felt that this room had a female spirit that looked out the window as if waiting for someone to return home. I am not a sensitive, but have read in more than one case that hauntings in a home of this age seem to be women waiting for someone who does not return from the Civil War. The really strange thing about this room is it has the original door clasp and it was placed on the outside of the door as if someone was trying to lock something in the room instead of being in the room itself to lock someone out.
At no time did I feel uneasy or think there was any negative energy in this room or anywhere else in the house.

When I went back downstairs I and did not notice any type of smell. I went into the room in question several times to check.
Each time I made sure the door was closed well. At the end of the night I was not convinced the house had a spirit. Until we got ready to leave that is…..

The door was open, just slightly, but it had been closed security I am sure. C showed me that just turning the knob would not open the door. You had to push it after you turned the knob. No one had been near the door. At lest no one human.
I hope she invites me back. I suggested to her that I come sometime when it would just be her and I at home. I want to do some EVP recordings. See if anything shows up.
I will let you know if I get a chance to go back.

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June 8, 2008

Don't bug me. I'm ghost hunting

The Rosewell Plantation Ruins are located in Gloucester Virginia. This is about a half hour drive from my daughter's house. I have been interested in visiting for a while now because of all the reports that I had read about it being haunted. Since we were so close to home we decided to take a picnic with us. (I had read somewhere that there was a table) When we arrived we stopped at the visitors center where we paid our four dollars each to get in. While there we got a brief history of the place and watched a short film. Being anxious to learn more about the paranormal activity I question the worker there, who was happy to tell me that most of the stories could be explained. One example she gave me was that evidence of rats living in the walls had been found when the ruins were excavated Also she debunked the story of an old car blocking the drive, by telling me that someone living in the area had parked it there. I was still hoping to have some sort of experience so we drove a short distance up to the main area itself. My first thoughts were awe at how tall the structure is. The photos do not do it justice. I am not sure if you can call an old ruin beautiful, but I certainly thought it was. There was only one other person visiting while we were there. There was a woman by herself so we hurried and ate our lunch while she was looking around.

Now before I go any further let me tell you right up front, that it only took me about five minutes to debunk any and all ghost stories about this place. There is NO WAY there can be any ghost out there because.
I have never seen so many flies, gnats, bees and creepy crawlies in my entire life.
It was bad enough that we picked the hottest weekend we have had so far (Temps at 100 degrees) but the BUGS ate us. In fact it was so bad that as soon as we finished our sandwiches my husband retreated to the car. My daughter was a bit braver, but soon started cussing and yelling about the bugs. They were all over her and my grandson. For some reason when we first got there they were not bothering me. I told my daughter she could go to the car that I wouldn't be mad and she was about to when my grandson told me his momma and Dean were bad. He told that he would stay with me and go Ghost Hunting! I thought that was so funny and so sweet, since he is only three. After a few minutes they did give in to the bugs and went to the car. I was determined to see everything in the area so I walked back to the ice house, which is near the river. The woods were pretty, and I keep waiting for the temperature drops or noises I had read about but nothing happened. While there I did do some EVP recordings, but it doesn't appear to have anything on it other than my own voice. I had planned to do one in the family cemetery, but the bugs that had plagued my family earlier were now chasing me so I gave up and ran for the car.

We headed out of there and stopped at the Abingdon Episcopal Church. This church has a connection to the plantation because tombs of the Page family who were the original owners had been moved there. The bodies themselves are still buried at Roswell, so I have no idea why they moved just the tombs there except that some of the other family members are laid to rest in the church cemetery. Perhaps there is not enough of the remains to move? I am not sure.

The church and the cemetery were interesting and thankfully there were no bugs here. We spent several minutes walking around. I didn’t feel like the place had any type of activity although I did get a cold chill as I approached one area near a front corner of the cemetery. I am not sure who was buried there, but there was a grave sitting off a little near the trees. The feeling only lasted a moment and didn't happen again while I was there. I had not thought to get the recorder out of the car so I didn't do any EVP work, but may go back to that area again sometime.
Oh I forgot to mention. My daughter did have one experience at the ruins. As she approached and looked in the cellar area (By the way pretend you are not reading this part because we were told not to go into the center of the structure, but you know I am like a little kid and can't listen) she screamed and jumped back. She said she had seen something move in there. I looked and didn't see anything, and took a photo so I could use the flash as light and nothing shows up.
You can view the photo of the cellar in the slide show above.

So is Rosewell Plantation and Abingdon church haunted? I can't say for sure. All I know is it BUGS me that I didn't see anything but BUGS!!
Enjoy the slide show.
Oh also you might want to turn your volume off or down before you click on it to watch it. I added this really annoying spooky music.

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June 5, 2008

My List

I am taking a week's vacation soon, and of course you already know what want to do. Yep go ghost hunting. I know there are only so many hours in a day, so I made a list of what I really want to get to during my time off. Of course we all know that night time is best when trying to capture the paranormal. Unfortunatly I won't get to do most of these at night, but it will still be fun to viist.
Here is my list.

Places to visit while on vacation

Berkley Plantation
Visitors to the restored mansion have reported seeing and hearing the ghost of a little drummer boy. The apparition of a tall, gaunt man has been seen walking along the riverbank, sometimes walking side-by-side with the little drummer boy along the old picket fence that runs up the hill to the cemetery.

Edgewood Plantation,
Haunted by Elizabeth (Lizzie) Rowland She died in 1870 at the age of 47. It is said that she died of a broken heart while waiting for her love to return from war. Before she passed away She etched her name on the upstairs bedroom window Legend has it that she still waits for him watching from the upstairs window. She is friendly

Westover Plantation
said to be haunted by Evelyn Byrd, daughter of William Byrd II When she was 10 years old she was sent to England to live and go to school. While there she met and fell in love with Charles Morduant. Her father was against the relationship and she came home to live at Westover in 1726 forgetting the romance.
William Byrd would live to regret his decision. Because in 1737, Evelyn Byrd, many say died of a broken heart.
Evelyn has been spotted at Westover over the years. The first time was in about 1738when Evelyn's friend, Anne Harrison, saw Evelyn walking towards her in the gardens of Westover.
Another relative of the Byrd’s committed suicide here in 1777. William Byrd III was distressed over financial matters and committed suicide at Westover sitting in his favorite chair in his bedroom.
The first wife of William Byrd III, Elizabeth, was killed at Westover when a heavy cabinet fell on top of her, crushing her to death.
It is said that William Byrd III can still be seen at Midnight slumping over his favorite chair in his old bedroom. Elizabeth, it is said, you can hear her wailing still echoing through the halls of Westover, still awaiting for someone to help her.

Rosewell Plantation.
Only thing left if ruins, but Reports of hauntings at the site are frequent. Music is heard playing, guests are seen descending an invisible stair, boys with lanterns stand where doorways once were and a woman in a red cloak rushes into a rose garden. Also, strange drops in temperature, odd noises and perhaps chatter from slaves as they return from working in the fields.

Bacon’s Castle-1655
An iridescent ball of light has often appeared and disappeared. Also seen is a woman with black eyes and a white scarf around her neck. Things have been moved around and smashed in the home.

Williamsburg Ghost Tour
This tour is based on L.B. Taylor’s books “The Ghost Of Williamsburg” and is approximately an hour and a half walking tour on the streets of Colonial Williamsburg.

Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond VA
Hollywood cemetery has numerous ghost stories including a dog statue that comes "alive" and is the home of the infamous "Richmond Vampire".

The Boxwood Inn
10 Elmhurst Street, Lee Hall Village, Newport News, VA (757) 888-8854
The gentle spirit here is said to be one of Nannie Curtis. Harmless activity is the norm, such as doors opening and closing on their own. She is also said to enjoy knocking on doors in the morning. Sleeping in is apparently not her idea of fun for this world. There is also an elderly gentleman, holding a cane, who appears on occasion

Old House Woods.
Some of the recurring tales are about British Redcoats, pirates, skeletons in knights armor, mysterious groups of people with shovels digging, ghost horses and cows which appear and disappear before one's eyes, a full rigged Spanish galleon which vanishes in thin air, mysterious floating lights in the woods similar to lantern light, and a "Storm Woman" who floats above the pines warning fishermen of impending gales.

Abingdon Church
Reported to be haunted by a white figure, first seen in 1863 by a Union soldier. The young cavalry soldier was separated from his unit and came upon the church. He went inside to hide from Confederate troops, but when he entered the church, he saw a ghostly white figure descending the stairs from the North Gallery

Endview Plantation

Used by both sides during the civil war as a hospital. Reports have said that a woman has been seen crossing the road from the cemetery towards the house during re-enactments that are held at the Plantation Reports also show that the room, that was used as a nursery has curtains that open after they have been closed for the night.

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Kings Arms Tavern

I haven't mentioned any of the huanted establisments in Colonial Williamsburg for a few days so I thought I would take up where I left off with the Kings Arms Tavern

It is believed to be haunted by a woman named Irma. She lived and died in the 1700'a
As the story goes she died because of a fire when a candle was dropped. She isn’t seen very often, but she is heard speaking to staff and people have felt her presence. Irma blows out candles and helps the staff. She is very friendly. Rumor has it that the staff says goodnight to her each night upon closing for the evening.

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June 2, 2008

Duddley Diggs House

Dudley Diggs House Yorktown VA

Dudley Diggs inherited this house from his father at age 16. Soon after he married Martha Armistead and they lived happily for ten years. Sadly she died wile giving birth to their second child. Dudley remarried two years later but never forgot his beloved Martha. The story has it that he felt that she never left his side and talked to her spirit in times of trouble.
She is said to haunt this house even today.
While visiting Yorktown over the weekend we walked past the Diggs house. The present owner happened to be out it the yard, and I stuck up a conversation with him. When I asked him about the ghost he was more than happy to talk about her.
He showed me the window to the room where Martha died (last window to the left upstairs in the photo). He went on to tell me that they had moved into the home three years ago and while he himself had never felt or seen anything that the family cat would not go into that bedroom. He also said that his wife feels the percents of Martha and that his brother has seen her coming down the stairs. He said she is very friendly. I talked with him awhile hoping that perhaps he would invite me in, but he didn’t so we moved along.

Second floor window of room where Martha Diggs died in childbirth

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