14 Haunted Places in Virginia (+ Where to Find Them!)

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There are so many historic places in Virginia and many of them have creepy stories to tell and share with the world! These are some of the most haunted places in Virginia!

Did we miss any of the best Virginia haunted places that you should visit this Halloween (or any time)? Please share them in the comments! Thanks!

Swannanoa Palace - Haunted places in Virginia
Swannanoa Palace – Haunted places in Virginia

Haunted Places in Virginia

St. Albans Sanatorium (Fairlawn near Radford University)

The ghostly St. Albans Sanatorium can be found in Radford, Virginia. Originally, it was a Lutheran boys’ school. Bullying was expected and encouraged in this dreadful environment in order to attend class.

A handful of pupils have committed suicide as a result of the constant bullying and bad behavior, leaving this place haunted and creepy far after it was left abandoned!

St. Albans reopened as a psychiatric infirmary in 1916 after the school closed. Dr. King, the property’s owner, envisioned a facility where patients would be meticulously cared for and accommodated.

St. Albans Sanitarium - Jason Lincoln Lester - Shutterstock.com
St. Albans Sanitarium – Jason Lincoln Lester – Shutterstock.com

But it wasn’t like that at all!  The victims were treated like lab rats, exposed to torturous tests that resulted in their death or a permanent disability.

Several patients ended up committing suicide as a result of the inhumane treatment at the place. As a result of the sanatorium’s unfortunate deaths, it is known as the most active paranormal location on the East Coast.

Visitors reported seeing shadowy figures, bodily apparitions, and flying items all over the place… and hearing voices is also a typical occurrence when visiting this creepy Virginia place.

The Winery at LaGrange (Haymarket)

The Winery at La Grange is a haunted place with spirits that still wander the grounds. Experiences such as doors closing on their own and frigid gusts of wind coming from nowhere have been reported by customers and staff.

In the tasting area, the staff usually leaves a glass of wine for Benoni E. Harrison sitting on the fireplace. They frequently find the glass rapidly emptied because the ghostly occupant is known to savor his wine.

Another apparition that haunts the upstairs rooms is that of Benoni’s young niece. In 1827, Harrison bought the La Grange estate and remained there until his death in 1869.

LaGrange Winery via Sharron McClellan (Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0)
LaGrange Winery via Sharron McClellan (Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0)

He was known for being a wealthy man with a tumultuous marriage. The winery now includes an area devoted to him called “Benoni’s Lounge,” which is a popular escape for many tourists.

Despite the fact that the site is haunted, the ghosts do not hurt the guests, despite their mischievous nature.

Swannanoa Palace (Afton)

Augusta County is home to the Swannanoa Palace, which was constructed in 1912 by James H. Dooley. The gorgeous place was inspired by the Villa Medici in Rome.

The estate was created as a vacation house for Dooley’s wife Sallie, and they named it Swannanoa since Mrs. Dooley adored white birds. Sadly, the couple never got to enjoy their mountain getaway since Dooley died of a stroke in 1924 and Sallie died two years later.

Since then, there are so many tales about the estate, and several paranormal investigations have taken place there. Sallie’s spirit has been spotted on several occasions on the third level of the mansion.

Swannanoa Palace
Swannanoa Palace

Other ghosts such as groundskeepers and staff have been seen in the mansion. After asking the spirits questions, they also reported hearing sounds and footprints throughout the library.

As the investigators have suggested, the place seems to be caught in a state of limbo. So, if you want to be afraid and don’t mind higher altitudes, this is the place to go.

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (Alexandria)

During the post-Revolutionary War economic boom, John Wise bought a lot and opened this bar, Gadsby’s Tavern, which became a hangout for the rich and famous. The property was purchased by John Gadsby in 1796, and the narrative of the infamous couple begins there.

In 1816, a man and a woman arrived from the Caribbean on a ship and requested room number 8. They appeared to be wealthy, and the woman was described as both attractive and unwell.

The man’s peculiar behavior began when he summoned the doctor and refused to reveal their identities, forcing anybody who came into contact with them to swear never to expose their identities.

Gadsby's Tavern - LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES - Shutterstock.com
Gadsby’s Tavern – LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES – Shutterstock.com

Sadly, the woman died, and her husband erected a magnificent monument commemorating her life as “The Female Stranger.”

The spirits of the women are said to have never left the hotel, and cries can sometimes be heard from room number 8. She had also been seen glancing out the window of the room on several occasions.

The female stranger’s spirit was never depicted as hostile or bad; she was just described as a part of the Alexandria museum.

Bacon’s Castle (Surry)

Bacon’s Castle (also called the Arthur Allen House), in Surry County, is one of a few structures that has housed people for over 300 years and is said to have been haunted.

Arthur Allen designed and erected the mansion in 1665. Allen’s son acquired the property after his death, and three generations of Allens lived there.

Paranormal Research and Investigation has been investigating the ancient estate for the past six years. Sounds, cries, laughter, and footsteps have all been reported. The ghosts who haunt the location are reputed to make a lot of noise.

Bacon’s Castle
Bacon’s Castle

Some people were touched, and one intern reported to have seen a ghost, making this definitely one of the most haunted places in Virginia (and one that gets a lot of attention these days).

Because the house is old, it has a lot of turbulent history. During Colonial times, the site was known to have over 300 Enslaved People working there. The disembodied head of an African-American woman is one of the creepiest objects in Bacon’s Castle.

The Castle provides haunted tours, where you may go around the creepy halls and learn more about its history.

Pocosin Mission Trail (Shenandoah National Park)

The ruins of a once-thriving community can be found in Shenandoah National Park’s woods, with a past as dark as the park’s night skies.

Sisters Florence and Marion were sent as missionaries by a priest who believed the people needed spiritual guidance. The sisters were well-known in Far Pocosin for their motivating and challenging work. Living there meant being cut off from the rest of the world.

Pocosin Mission Trail
Pocosin Cabin

The sisters gathered for religious instruction in a schoolhouse and a church on the property. They were inspired by the individuals they met and believed that the youngsters were full of potential.

However, as the evenings drew nearer, the sisters began to feel alienated. The unwelcome sisters were alarmed by the sounds of horses’ hooves and drunken men’s roars.

Both the mountain people and the missionaries were forced to leave the forests because they were seen as “different.” The location isn’t known for paranormal activity, yet a visit will reveal that something extremely strange happened there.

Pocosin Mission Trail ruins
Pocosin Mission Trail ruins

You can see a bit of this history along the Pocosin Mission Trail in Shenandoah National Park today. It is one of the park’s most famous trails.

The Martha Washington Inn & Spa (Abingdon)

The Martha Washington Inn, built by Francis Preston in 1832, is one of Virginia’s most haunted places. Preston  and his family remained there until 1858 when it was purchased by the founders of “Martha Washington College.”

What happened after that is most likely what makes the location haunted and one of the best landmarks in Abingdon, VA.

During the American Civil War, the facility was used to teach soldiers for the Confederate Army of the area. Soldiers who were sick or injured were also treated there, thereby converting the college into a hospital.

Unfortunately, many people died there. People have said throughout history that an injured soldier’s horse was tied to a tree as he was transported to the hospital.

Martha Washington Inn via Jason Riedy (Flickr CC BY 2.0)
Martha Washington Inn via Jason Riedy (Flickr CC BY 2.0)

The horse vanished after waiting for hours for its owner, who had regrettably passed away. Many people claim to have seen the horse about the region at night, but when they investigate, it vanishes.

The story of Beth, a student who went on to become a nurse, is well-known. She used to play the violin for the soldier since she was in love with him. Unfortunately, once he died, her death wasn’t far behind because of an outbreak of typhoid fever.

Many individuals claim to have heard a violin being played in the area, and her presence has been felt in Room 403.

Wise County Orphanage (Wise)

The abandoned Wise County Orphanage, located at 9619 Turkey Branch Road, is a famous haunted place in Virginia. The building served as a home for orphaned and abandoned children in the state.

The Wise County Orphanage is a place where there isn’t a lot of information but the creepiness surrounding it is felt almost instantly. Everyone knows, however, that after it was abandoned, spirits were left behind.

Wise County Orphanage via DM (Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0)
Wise County Orphanage via DM (Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0)

Many people who are interested in the paranormal claim to hear youngsters giggling and seeing bouncing balls and floating lights when they visit the location.

People have also reported seeing ghostly figures standing in front of the orphanage’s windows, which is rather frightening!

The Renaissance Faire (Fredericksburg)

The Renaissance Faire in Fredericksburg was a reproduction of medieval European architecture with towns and buildings that ran from 1996 to 1999 in Fredericksburg.

Knights and ladies dress up in their finest attire to attend the festival grounds and enjoy the cheerful music and the recreated Renaissance rendition deep in the forest.

Unfortunately, the bad weather and long journey time were too much for the tourists, and the fair had to close its doors and abandon the site.

Renaissance Faire (Fredericksburg) via Will Fisher (Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)
Renaissance Faire (Fredericksburg) via Will Fisher (Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

There are no reported paranormal phenomena at this location, actually. What makes it creepy is the fact that the Elizabethan-style architecture has been abandoned and deteriorating for nearly two decades.

The area is now covered in graffiti, decay, and paintball damage. The area in Fredericksburg, VA is overrun by hunters and shooters and visiting is technically not permitted these days.

Selma Plantation (Leesburg)

The Selma Plantation is located in Loudoun County, at the top of Catoctin Mountain. It is in one of the cutest small towns in VA, Leesburg.

The plantation is currently abandoned, which has resulted in a mold infestation. Armistead Thomson Mason, a U.S. senator from 1816 to 1817, built the property in 1815.

He married Charlotte Eliza Taylor in 1817, and the couple had their first and only son two years later. Regrettably, he will also be discovered to be one of a string of Selma’s male relatives who died tragically.

Barn at Selma Plantation via Viola Aragon (Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0)
Barn at Selma Plantation via Viola Aragon (Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0)

Mason was slain in a duel with his cousin, who escaped with only a wound, the same year they had their son. After a while, the relative relocated to a house in Selma. The family’s relationship, however, was never repaired, and McCarty died in a hunting accident.

During the following years, the son enlisted in the army, which resulted in his death during the Mexican-American war, only one year after his mother’s death.

If you wish to go to the historic mansion, bear in mind that it is on private land, therefore you won’t be able to do so without permission.

Adam Thoroughgood House (Virginia Beach)

Adam Thoroughgood developed this home, which is now a museum in Virginia Beach, in 1636. In 1680, his grandson built the main cottage after he died at a young age.

The Thoroughgood family owned the house, now known as the Adam Thoroughgood House, until the 1860s when it was sold (and then eventually went through many other owners).

Many visitors and museum interpreters have reported seeing ghostly activity in the area. Several visitors to the premises have reported seeing a red-haired woman dressed in Colonial-era attire and a male ghost dressed in a brown suit.

Adam Thoroughgood House via Puddin Tain (Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)
Adam Thoroughgood House via Puddin Tain (Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

The spirits are entertaining and enjoy moving objects around the house. Four glass domes containing Christmas candles were lifted and crushed to the ground, according to one of the workers.

A psychic was invited to the residence for a reading, and she detected a huge amount of unhappiness and pain. Because there were so many people living in the house back in the day, some of them, of course, died violent deaths.

In the 1700s, for example, a tenant shot himself in the stairwell. Keep a keen eye when you visit this creepy place in VA!

Hollywood Cemetery (Richmond)

A haunted cemetery is nothing to be surprised about, right? Hollywood Cemetery, in Richmond, Virginia, is a picturesque burial place built by John Notman. It is the resting site for three US presidents as well as thousands of Confederate troops.

There are three primary ghost stories associated with this well-known resting spot. The Richmond Vampire is one such urban legend. A tunnel was being built in 1925 when it collapsed, killing the laborers.

Bystanders claim to have seen a blood-covered figure emerge from the ruins with his skin dangling. However, it was revealed that the person was a 28-year-old railroad fireman who had been scalded in an accident.

Despite the facts, people still like telling this story about the area to scare others!

Hollywood Cemetery
Hollywood Cemetery

The other tale is about the Pyramids in the cemetery, which were built in memory of the thousands of troops who were buried there. Inside the pyramid, visitors have reported hearing moans and cries.

Finally, there’s the account of a young girl who died of Scarlet Fever at the age of three. Her family opted to build a dog statue at her grave, and visitors frequently describe seeing a girl playing with a dog or a dog growling and barking as they approach the burial site.

If you’re looking for a mysterious hike in Richmond or simply a place to stroll, head over the Hollywood Cemetery grounds.

DeJarnette Sanitarium (Staunton)

Western State Hospital, founded in 1825, was Virginia’s second mental institution. Dr. Joseph Dejarnette, a prominent eugenicist, acquired administration of the hospital and renamed it after himself.

DeJarnette Sanitarium is riddled with ghostly activity as a result of his heinous acts, such as performing hundreds of forced sterilizations. It continued into the 1970s, with the majority of the victims either African Americans or Native Americans.

DeJarnette Sanitarium via Kipp Teague (Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
DeJarnette Sanitarium via Kipp Teague (Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Visitors claim that the restless ghosts of Dejarnette’s victims are still roaming the hallways and that their screams and cries can be heard. They have also reported hearing footsteps, moans, murmurs, and doors opening and closing on their own at this abandoned Staunton landmark.

The Cavalier Hotel (Virginia Beach)

With its timeless elegance, the beautiful and historic Cavalier Hotel is known not only for its charm but also for its ghost stories. One of the most well-known stories is about a cat that broke free from its hotel room and rushed to the pool.

The cat’s small owner leaped in to save her pet, but they both drowned. Usually, there are reports of a little girl searching for her cat around the hotel.

The Cavalier Hotel is also connected to the Pocahontas Room legend, allegedly to which a female guest always shows up without a reservation and walks into rooms.

Cavalier Hotel - James Kirkikis - Shutterstock.com
Cavalier Hotel – James Kirkikis – Shutterstock.com

The most well-known and creepiest story takes place on the sixth floor of the hotel. Adolph Coors’ lifeless body was discovered on the grounds of the hotel in 1929.

Many guests have reported strange occurrences after that night, including chilly patches in the room, windows opening and closing, voices, and sounds from the room’s corner.

This is one of the most accessible and well-known haunted places in Virginia (and it just so happens to be a popular attraction in Virginia Beach)!

>> Click here to book a stay at The Cavalier Hotel 

Captain Timothy Hill House (Chincoteague)

On Chincoteague Island, the historic Captain Timothy Hill House, built in 1800, can be found. The mansion is said to be haunted because of a tragic love story that previously occurred there.

Captain Hill had a large family, but his favorite child was his daughter Jennie. He’d always wanted to marry Jennie to someone well-off and wealthy, and someone who could give his daughter a wonderful life.

As a result, he refused to allow Jennie to marry Tom Freeman, her childhood friend. 

Captain Timothy Hill House - Linda Harms - Shutterstock.com
Captain Timothy Hill House – Linda Harms – Shutterstock.com

Jennie’s presence is believed to still haunt the house, seeking answers for what happened to her. Those interested in taking a tour of the residence can do so throughout the spring and summer months. This is one of the creepiest haunted houses in Virginia!

What are the creepiest haunted places in Virginia, in your opinion? Let us know in the comments! Thanks!

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