Thursday, July 31, 2014

Once Owned by Family


Summer Home:  Located in a picturesque inlet on Mobjack Bay, sits the historic summer home of my friend and co-author, Sharon Day.  She and her family spent many summers there in the 1960's and 1970's.  Sharon wrote an amazing book accounting all the paranormal experiences she had while vacationing with her family.  Be sure to pick yourself up a copy:
Vacationing With Ghosts




Little England:  This plantation overlooks the York River in Gloucester County and was built in 1716.  It is a Georgian style brick structure and was restored in 1939.  It now sits on 58 acres, has at least a mile of water frontage, and is the "best preserved colonial plantation homes" in all of Virginia.  It is also on the National Register of Historic Places and once owned by my 4 times great-grandfather on my Dad's side from 1836-1856.  When he purchased Little England, it sat on 300 acres.

Sharon and I did drive to the location of this historic plantation but were unable to get inside the gates.  However, when we visited Gloucester Point Beach and Pier (featured on my next post), I could see Little England from across the bay.  Thank goodness my camera has a great zoom feature on it because I was able to get pictures.  I was very happy.





Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Old House Woods and Ghost Pirates



Whenever Sharon and I take a trip, we usually will look up the urban legends surrounding the area.  Somewhere in the Chesapeake Bay area, there are legends about an old house in the woods and another about the ghost pirates still looking for their buried treasure in the thick forest.  These tales were so intriguing to us that we had to check it out.  (Sharon writes about the stories on her blog: (Pirates and Wraiths in the Woods.)






After hitting the beach with our “pirate” scarves on our heads, we then drove along the marsh lands, and into the woods.  We found the “Old House Woods Rd” sign and drove down the dirt road.  At the end of the road was a gate with “Private Property” on a sign.  We drove back to where the road curves, and stood outside the car while the sun was going down.  It was basically quiet with a few critters making their presence known.  We decided that the pirates were not interested in looking for their treasure that night, so we left.  We did find a couple of abandoned houses we thought could be the old house mentioned in the fables, but we were not sure.  On the way back to our hotel, we were treated to an amazing sunset.








Sunday, July 27, 2014

Haunting: The Murder/Suicide House



Somewhere in Gloucester is an abandoned house that sits at the end of a cul-de-sac known as the murder/suicide house.  It is partially hidden by shrubs and vines and is located at the water's edge.  The house has been empty for over 60 years after a murder-suicide took place inside the now decaying walls.

The story has been told many years about the family who once lived there.  The father was abusive, the mother was weak, and a little girl was often neglected by her parents.  I am not sure why, but for some reason while the father was gone, the mother killed the daughter and then herself.  Some also say it was a place where witches once gathered to unmask evil.  Many say the place is haunted by the mother, daughter and some demon spirits.  I don't know exactly what happened, or if any of the stories are true because I couldn't find much information on the place.

However, Sharon and I had a weird experience on our first visit to the house.  While checking out the woods right next to the house to see where the creek was, we heard some leaves and branches crunching as if heavy feet were walking upon them.  This was followed by a whoop, weird calling, dogs barking, crows cawing loudly, and other questionable sounds.  Many associate this type of activity as a Bigfoot being nearby.  Did we have a Bigfoot encounter?  Was that what made the noises and was walking near the creek?  Did the crows warn them of us being nearby?  Did it make the fake rooster "cocka-doodle-doo"?  We don't know what we experienced, but we did feel like someone was watching us the entire time we were there.  Was is a Sasquatch?  It would be cool if it was, but I am not sure.  Here is the link to Sharon's post of the murder/suicide house and Bigfoot:  http://www.ghosthuntingtheories.com/2014/06/murder-suicide-house-and-bigfoot.html

Friday, July 25, 2014

Abandoned Virginia


All around the state of Virginia are abandoned structures that stand empty and alone.  You find them along the highways or on the back roads.  Some are almost hidden by the vegetation which surrounds it.  I put together a video from the many photos I took on my trip to Virginia.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Little Churches With Eerie Cemeteries


Throughout our trip in Virginia, we ran into lots of little old and/or historic churches with eerie little cemeteries on their properties.  I took many pictures and put them together on a slideshow video.

One church is Vauter's Episcopal Church & Cemetery along Highway 17 between Fredericksburg and Gloucester.  "Vauter’s Episcopal Church, the upper church of St. Anne’s Parish, was built in 1731 on land belonging to Bartholomew Vauter (originally spelled Vawter). One of the county’s oldest structures, it is the eleventh oldest of 48 colonial churches still standing in Virginia. The masonry is among the finest of any colonial church. Bricks, which are laid in a Flemish bond pattern, were probably fired on site and the mortar made from oyster shells." (Source: http://www.us17coastalhighway.com/)

A couple of the other churches are Mount Zion United Methodist Church with its cemetery on a hill, and Smithfield Baptist Church which was built in 1880.  Both churches are located in Gloucester.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Historic Gloucester and The Doug


The Gloucester Museum of History is located on Main Street in historic Gloucester, VA.  The Botetourt Building where the museum is located was built in 1770.  It is a pre-Revolutionary brick tavern, where the county seat (Botetourt Towne) was once housed, and named after Virginia's first governor, Lord Botetourt.  The building was first recognized as John New's Ordinary where many loved to shop.  Inside the building are many exhibits including Gloucester Archaeology, Civil and Revolutionary War displays, the old county store with post office, and memories of the Hotel Botetourt.

Gloucester Museum of History
6539 Main Street
Gloucester, Virginia 23061

We spent four nights in Gloucester because we had lots to see.  We dined at a couple of restaurants we can find around Arizona (Red Robin and Ruby Tuesday), but we also enjoyed a couple of local places located in historic Gloucester.

We found the Courthouse Restaurant (http://www.thecourthouserestaurant.com/) a fantastic place to have breakfast.  As a matter of fact, we had breakfast there a couple of mornings.  The place had a charming look and feel to it.  I ordered the "Doug's Breakfast Bowl" both times.  It had scrambled eggs, with hash browns smothered with sausage gravy.  It was a slice of heavenly delight, and my taste buds were very happy.  They offer homemade rolls with your meal.




On our last night in Gloucester, and after a very full day, we choose Olivia's in the Village for dinner.  (http://oliviasinthevillage.com/)  I ordered a bowl with crab, shrimp, spinach, mozzarella melted in a cheesy cream sauce with a side of coleslaw.  It was very delicious.  Both places had quick and friendly service.




Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center


Located in the heart of Fairfax, VA on Main Street lies the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center.  It is located in a historic building which was constructed in 1873.  It started out as an elementary school for the city and on July 4, 1992, it became a museum and visitor center.  It was renovated 1996 and 2003 to "increase gallery space and enhance service for local residents and tourists.  The Museum and Visitor Center presents exhibitions and programs on regional history.  The gift shop features local souvenirs and history books."  Also, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.










Main Street, Fairfax, VA, 1903

by Sharon Day

Thursday, July 17, 2014

St. Mary's Church and Cemetery


St. Mary’s Catholic Church sits on a parcel of land bestowed by a couple of Catholic families in 1838.  Their wishes were to have a Catholic church with a cemetery located on that piece of terra firma.  Fairfax was in need of a place to hold services since on occasions the pastor held mass in railroad boxcars for the immigrants moving to and working in town.  In 1858, the first cornerstone was laid, and the wooden church was constructed.  By 1860, it was completed, the steeple bell was added, and the church was dedicated.

During the Civil War, St. Mary’s became the center target for both the north and south looking to take over the nearby railroads.  The ground for which St. Mary’s sat on saw many fierce battles.  St. Mary’s also became a place where the injured were brought.  They were scattered amongst the hill where the church sat, and laid on pews taken from the church.  The wounded were then sent to Alexandria by train.

In the cemetery surrounding the church, many Civil War soldiers were buried there.  All were eventually relocated to Arlington Nation Cemetery except a Confederate soldier named Kidwell.  His family asked that his remains stay buried on the Catholic grounds.  In 1972, Fairfax County declared St. Mary’s a historic district and had strict zoning put on the land surrounding the church and cemetery to preserve it.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.  Also, the Grotto located in the cemetery, was hit by lightning.

The Grotto


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Inside Aspen Grove


If you thought the outside was gorgeous, the inside is equally as nice.  I want to thank Aspen Grove's current owner for being a gracious hostess, and not only let us roam freely around your house, but take photos as well.  I know it meant a lot to Sharon.








Don't forget a couple of books that deal with Aspen Grove and Civil War manions:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Outside Aspen Grove


I have heard Sharon talk about her childhood home, Aspen Grove, for a few years now.  I have been wanting to see this historic mansion, inside and out ever since.  We got the opportunity to travel to Fairfax, VA, so she could revisit Aspen Grove and see if any of her deceased family was residing there. We were invited inside by the current owner (inside is the next post), and she got to see how it looks today.  We also walked around the entire perimeter outside where she pointed out all the changes and what it used to look like.  I am not only posting a video of my pictures, but her video taking you around and explaining what Aspen Grove looked like when she was a child. Check out all her stories and the history of Aspen Grove on her blog: Ghost Hunting Theories




Sharon's book, Growing Up With Ghosts, recounts what it was like growing up in this over 200 year old house.  You see what happened not only through her eyes, but her family's as well.

Also, check out our book, Paranormal Geeks Gang: Geeks and Ghosts.  Two of the characters are simular to Sharon (She-She) and her brother Scott (Ben).  They live in an old Civil War home much like Aspen Grove, and have paranormal experiences along with their friends Kennedy and Clayton.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Legendary Bunnyman Bridge


With an intriguing story of the Bunnyman Bridge told by many, Sharon and I made sure we added the famous location to our list of must see places in VA.  Since I grew up in Arizona, I was not aware of this legend until Sharon wrote about it on her blog, Ghost Hunting Theories.  I could write you a long post about the legend, but Sharon explains it so well in her Vlog, so you can click on that and hear all about the Bunnyman legend and why it scared the hell out of everyone in the area.  I will add my photos of the place and a short documentary for your viewing pleasure.