Monday, September 14, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This is a very interesting article from Gloucester, Va. This county is about 45 minutes from Hampton. This is just another interesting story regarding the history of Virginia.
www.dailypress.com/news/gloucester-county/dp- local_gloskeleto n_0831aug31,0,2278045. story
www.dailypress.com/news/gloucester-county/dp- local_gloskeleto n_0831aug31,0,2278045. story
Monday, February 2, 2009
Ft Monroe is located in Hampton, Virginia. This fort was constructed between 1819 and 1834. The fort consists of six sides and has a moat around it. The fort was designed to protect the opening to the Chesapeake Bay. During the Civil War this moat was occupied by Union Troops.
Ever since I was a small child I always enjoyed visiting Ft. Monroe. I have so many fond memories. There was a swimming pool that was built right in front of the moat facing the Chesapeake Bay. My sister and I frequented this pool with some of our good friends. I always remember going out there to watch the awesome fire works display during Fourth of July. Not until I became interested in the paranormal did I find that beyond the historical documentation was there more to know about Ft Monroe. Many stories about ghosts have been told by those who have worked and or lived there.
One of the first investigations that I have ever done there during operational hours involved the sighting of Jefferson Davis' wife, Varina Howell. As the story goes, Jefferson Davis was a prisoner at Ft Monroe. After finding out this horrible news, Varina goes to Virginia to be near her husband. The ghost story that has evolved concerns Varina as she wanders the top of the fort, trying to catch a glimpse of her husband. It has also been said that you can hear her sobbing.
After several attempts to catch this phenomenon, My ghost hunting friend and I were unable to document it. We had a lot of fun trying though. It is very spooky up there, especially at sunset. Another eerie element is the animal cemetery!
Not only was Mrs. Davis a return visitor, so was Jefferson Davis himself. It has been said that people have seen his apparition in different parts of the Fort. Also during his incarceration there, he was held in chains and part of the legend is that people have often said that they have heard chains rattling in the fort.
Upon touring the fort, which includes the room of Jefferson Davis' imprisonment, I must say that there is not much to tell. The room is made of stone and furnished with a cot, table and chair. Right outside of his room are a few items he had with him, an ivory pipe and some books. Jefferson Davis was always under the supervision of union soldiers. When visiting this room, I could definitely feel an energy in there. It was amazing to know that some one of this velocity was kept a prisoner right here in Hampton Roads. Truly amazing.
Another great ghost story is "Ghost Alley." This is possibly a true story where a relationship goes bad. There has never been any documentation found to verify this tragic event. My former ghost investigator friend and I spent many a time trying to pick up on this "lady in white." Allegedly she was an officers wife that had an affair with another officer. The story is that he comes home to find them in "bed." He then chases them out of the house, down the back alley, and then proceeds to kill her. What has been seen is a woman dressed in a white night gown running down the back alley. I did pick up energy in that area of where she was allegedly seen running from her husband. Many of those that have lived in that row of homes state that they have seen her.
I have several personal accounts of ghostly encounters within the old fort. When I was about ten years old I had a friend that lived at Ft Monroe. Her dad was in the Army and they lived in one of the grand three story homes located on the fort. She used to tell me that her sister who was older, would never be alone on the third floor. They both said that they would hear weird noises. I spent many a night and never saw anything, but I never disregarded my friends ghostly story.
Another story told to me by a friend lived in another set of quarters inside the moat. My friend's dad was also in the Army. He told us stories of being home alone and being able to hear music and people talking on the second floor of the house. When he would go up there to checkout the situation, only to find no one there. He also said that things would be moved around. I remember being over there at his house for a party one time in high school and even though it was a celebratory event, the house, as I remember it, was quite uncomfortable.
Finally the most interesting story to tell came from the manager of the gift shop at the fort at Ft Monroe. I asked her if she ever experienced any phenomena. She told me that there were certain parts of the fort that she did not feel comfortable in. She also informed me that she can often hear the voices of children at play, running up and down the stone floor of the fort. The manager of the gift shop also told me that the store's location in the fort is the same place that used to be housing for military personnel and their families. She said that the gift shop was actually the bedroom area for the children that resided there. She told the story of coming in many a morning to find things strewn on the floor. The manager said that she makes it a point to say "good night" to the kids as she exits the gift shop for the day. She says as long as she acknowledges them things will remain in place at the gift shop.
I think Ft Monroe is a wonderful place to visit and highly recommend it on your next visit to Hampton. Other than the ghosts, the great thing about the Casemate museum is that the museum is free!
Friday, January 30, 2009
St. John's Church is located in Hampton Virgina. It is the the oldest active Episcopal congregation in the US. The location in downtown Hampton is the fourth and final location of this parish. The church has been located on three different sites in Hampton. The original parish began in 1610. The final location was established in 1728. From what I understand the original congregation moved from Jamestown Virgina to escape famine. The Hampton Roads area offered the settlers from Jamestown healthy fields to grow their crops. As an added bonus, the settlers were able to have an amicable relationship/friendship with the Kecoughtan Indians that inhabited this area.
When I was the assistant director of the Ghost Research Society of Tidewater Virginia, the director and myself chose to investigate this location on many occasions. We were not able to ever enter the actual church, but there is a very large cemetery around it. We always visited this location during posted visitor hours. We were never able to pickup any EVP's or images, but we were both always able to pick up energy. This particular cemetery has a lot of activity. Every time I have visited this location since the first investigation I have picked up "something."
While I was home visiting during the holiday season 2008. I had the opportunity to visit the graveyard there at St John's Church. It was a cold and dreary day in Hampton. Those are the best days in my opinion to do an investigation. I entered the church from the side gate next to the parking lot. The time was about 2:00pm in the afternoon. As soon as I entered I could sense something in the graveyard. I decided to start in the front of the church where the oldest graves are located. The oldest grave in the cemetery belongs to Captain Willis Wilson who died and was buried there in 1701. The second item of interest in the graveyard located around the corner near the south wall is a memorial to Virgina Laydon. She was the first surviving child born to English parents in the "new world". Virginia's parents were also members of St John's parish. So I followed this path around the graveyard. The energy that I was picking up moved around the cemetery. With this I began taking many photographs. While doing this I took photos of the many beautiful headstones located in the cemetery. I believe I spent a good hour and a half there walking around and enjoying the atmosphere.
Once I had completed my visit to the cemetery I wrapped things up and went home. I went through many images, but unfortunately was unable to pick up anything paranormal in nature. There has never been any stories about this location being haunted, but with all the history that has manifested in the city of Hampton, I was sure "something" might still be lurking around. Along with Hampton being burned down, the church had also experienced affliction from the British during the Revolutionary and War of 1812.
If you are ever in the Hampton Roads area. Please take the time to visit this magnificent historical landmark. It makes me proud to be a Virginian.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
This blog is for the SPIRITS of Virginia Verna Peddi, an officer of the SPIRITS of St. Petersburg, started a team in Virginia before moving to Florida. As she has friends and family in the area, she continues to visit the area and to do investigations when there. This blog is a way for her to describe her findings, investigations in the area, and any significant history. Additionally, any SPIRITS members who are in the region may also add their thoughts and posts to this blog.