It wouldn’t be October without a few ghosts and ghouls creeping around, and various “haunted houses” popping up in shopping malls to frighten us. Not surprisingly, Virginia claims quite a few legitimately haunted houses, and woods, according to Marguerite du Pont Lee. In her book, Virginia Ghosts (Galvin Rare Book Room F 227 .L48), she relates eye witness accounts such as the ghost of Aquia Church, in Stafford County. A woman was murdered in the church, sometime in the early 1800’s, and her body was hidden in the belfry. Her ghost has been reported by many, walking the aisles of the church at midnight.
On Leigh Street in Downtown Richmond, stands the Hawes homestead. Many reports tell of a small lady dressed in gray gliding along the second floor hall only to disappear through a closed
door. And Matthews County contains the Old House haunted woods where from as early as 1798 there have been reports of the ghosts of pirates, murdered royalists, and officers and men of British General Cornwallis’s army, seen roaming through the trees.
Mrs. Lee signed her book, dedicating it to the Marion Garnett Ryland Virginiana Collection in 1932. Underneath her inscription she wrote:
Spirits from brighter stars draw near
When camps are lit, and fires burn clear.
With gentle touch, and loving look
Bless them for me, my little book.
Come down to the Rare Book Room and take a look and Virginia Ghosts, and some of our other chilling reads. If you dare.