Two New Books Shine a Light on Haunted Tales in Virginia
What spirits lurk among us?
If you believe in ghosts and haunted spaces, two new books promise to send chills up your spine. If you don’t believe, the books can serve as sources of historic tales not found in history books.
“Haunted Charlottesville and Surrounding Counties” by Susan Schwartz covers many counties in Central Virginia: from Albemarle County to Culpeper County in the north, Nelson County, several counties close to Richmond – Goochland, Powhatan, Cumberland and Amelia – and a handful of others.
The narration includes historical background and Schwartz’s firsthand experience in visiting the places – sometimes with eerie details, sometimes not (like her visit to Grayhaven Winery, which details her enjoyment of the wine as well as the winery grounds).
More than just a teller of stories, Schwartz is a true believer. In addition to sharing anecdotes from others who claim to have had other-worldly visitations, she tells of her own experiences in visiting the sites: a force against her chest pushing her backwards, orbs and ethereal faces, and the feeling of being watched. The author also uses paranormal investigation tools such as REM pods and EVP recorders – notably in the lengthy exchange between the “inhabitants” of Exchange Hotel in Gordonsville and the human visitors.
The book also includes many photographs. Some of these supposedly show apparitions, but the graininess of the black-and-white pictures is unlikely make a believer out of any doubters.
More Haunts from Colonial Times in Virginia
The setting for “Virginia’s Haunted Historic Triangle: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, & Other Haunted Locations” by Pamela K. Kinney has no shortage of history from which to draw, at least by American standards. The second edition of the book takes readers deeper into tales of places settled by early Europeans coming to the New World – and the “people” who may still inhabit the area.
Also a believer and investigator, Kinney tells of using detecting devices, a camera and audio recording equipment. The color images in the book seem to reveal more promising evidence than the black-and-white images in Schwartz’s book (admittedly not enough to convince a skeptic but enough to please a seeker), including orbs and ghostly vapor.
Kinney’s engaging stories, including her firsthand accounts, may bring a few chills and thrills to open-minded readers. Her visit to the Crawford Road Bridge in Gloucester County, for example, feels unnerving, both from the author’s own admitted trepidation and her nighttime experiences.
Between the two books, you may note a few familiar venues: UVA, Monticello, Bear Creek Lake State Park, Saylor’s Creek Battlefield, Swannanoa Palace, Tuckahoe Plantation, William and Mary, multiple locations in Colonial Williamsburg, Colonial plantations and Fort Monroe. In addition to private residences, inns, churches and historic homes open to the public, you’ll find some public places just awaiting your visit – if you dare.
“Haunted Charlottesville and Surrounding Counties”
by Susan Schwartz
Published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., June 28, 2019
“Virginia’s Haunted Historic Triangle: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, & Other Haunted Locations,” 2nd edition
by Pamela K. Kinney
Published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., Aug. 15, 2019