Hauntings of Williamsburg
The Ghosts of Colonial Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Virginia is one of the oldest cities in American history. Dating back to around the 1630’s when it was part of the Commonwealth of Virginia, becoming its capital in 1699. Before being a colony to the new settlers, the area that is now Williamsburg was occupied by the Powhatan Confederacy, which made up at least six Native American tribes. As we know, the tribes were gradually forced out of the area over time, and those times were not always peaceful leading to bloodshed along the way.
Over time, there were skirmishes with the Native Americans, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. There was an actual battle in Williamsburg in 1862 between Union and Confederate forces that resulted in the occupation of Union soldiers who damaged the city greatly during their time there.
Williamsburg, Virginia is famous for being unique in its colonial setting. Visiting there is like stepping through a portal to a different time. I love it there! Though many visit for the historical adventure Colonial Williamsburg provides, a lot of tourists visit for its haunted history.
There are a couple of locations in Williamsburg known for paranormal activity including The Wren Building at William and Mary College. Dating back to the 1600's, The Wren Building is one of the older structures in the United States. In its time, it has seen fires destroy parts of its structure, been a field hospital to not one but two wars, and seen countless deaths. With that history, it is no surprise that The Wren Building has some resident ghosts. Apparitions of Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers have been seen wandering the building. Disembodied voices and footsteps have been heard. Banging on the walls, cold spots and human like shadows have also been seen at The Wren Building.
The Peyton Randolph House is another spot said to be haunted. Built in the early 1700's, The Peyton Randolph House is the embodiment of colonial America. The ghost who haunts the halls of The Peyton Randolph House is said to have been a young man who died of disease more than a century ago. To this day, many have heard his footsteps on the stairs, saw his apparition in the halls and even heard a disembodied voice.
The Govenor's Palace, built in 1706, housed many Governors of the Crown before the United States Independence from Britain. Some very famous faces also resided there including Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. The main part of the home was destroyed in a fire back in the late 1700’s, but some parts survived and were used as a hospital during the Civil War. Phantom Civil War soldiers have been spotted all around the Govenor’s Palace. It is also said to be haunted by a woman died there in the 1920’s in a most gruesome way. Her apparition has been seen on several occasions. Her disembodied voice can be heard, along with her phantom footsteps.
Carter’s Grove Plantation is yet another location in Williamsburg, Virginia said to be haunted. Built way back in 1750, it has a lot of history attached to it. The ghosts who haunt the area, however, are not said to be tied to the home itself, but rather the land. Way back in 1622, with tensions extremely high between the colonists of nearby Jamestown and the Native American’s, a massacre occurred on the land resulting in the deaths almost 400 colonists. It was known as the Indian Massacre of 1622. Today, the disembodied screams of the phantom colonists can be heard. Sometimes their apparitions are seen, sometimes as full body, other times as a mist.
Oddly enough, inside the Carter’s Grove Plantation, the ghosts of several pirates have been spotted relaxing and joking around. I’m not sure where they came from, or how they got there, but they have been seen by quite a few people.
Many other places in Williamsburg are also said to be haunted, I can't wait to return and see for myself. Ghost tours are offered throughout the year, so the next time you are in town, check one out!