It comes as no surprise that a state as old as Virginia would have collected a few ghost stories along the way. There’s so much of a haunted history, in fact, that there are spots where you are nearly guaranteed to have a paranormal encounter. The following sites are considered among the most haunted in the state, and possibly the entire country. If you’re looking to find a ghost, you might just test your luck here:
1. St. Alban's (Radford)
The St. Alban's sanatorium is one of the most frequently-visited spots by paranormal investigators. This abandoned spot is actually considered to have the highest ghostly activity of all places along the east coast. In 1892, St. Alban's began as a boy's school before it was converted to a mental institution. Ghostly sightings include spirits of patients, former students, and even disgruntled staff members.
2. Edgewood Plantation (Charles City)
Located in Charles City, the historic Edgewood Plantation can be found just off the scenic Route 5. What stands today as a charming Bed & Breakfast was built around 1850 and was once the site of Berkeley Plantation. These halls are riddled with ghostly spirits still, one of which is the fiancée of a Civil War soldier, whose sweetheart never returned from battle. She still roams the halls today, lost and heartbroken.
3. Ferry Plantation House (Virginia Beach)
The Ferry Plantation House was built in the 1830s, although the site has been active since the 1600s. In those days it was used as a ferry service that would carry passengers to the Lynnhaven River. The building constructed on the same property has served the purpose of a plantation, school, courthouse, and post office. According to legend, there are no less than 11 spirits that haunt these grounds.
4. Cold Harbor Battlefield Park (Richmond)
Outside of Gettysburg, Cold Harbor is one of the most haunted battlefields in the state. It was here that Lee celebrated one of his final victories over Grant's forces. Today the area is protected by the National Park System, and ghosts are frequently spotted along the trenches.
5. Paxton Manor (Leesburg)
In its day, Paxton Manor was known as Carlheim, a mansion built in 1872. Today the manor functions as part of an educational center and a haunted house production. What makes this spot especially spooky is the fact that it may actually be haunted. Paranormal investigation suggests that some of the mansion's original family may have never left.
6. Staunton Train Depot
The Staunton Trail Depot has not had much haunted association until relatively recently. What appears to be a welcoming and charming train station has a truly haunted side once night falls. The station has bore witness to some tragic events, including its burning by Union forces in 1864 as well as the proximity to the cruel living conditions of the neighboring mental hospital. Many have reported spotting a variety of ghostly characters at night, from any and all eras of the site's history.
7. Fort Magruder Hotel (Williamsburg)
Fort Magruder is one of two hotels residing on an area of land known as "The Bloody Ravine." Needless to say, the hotel has experienced some frightening activity. The ghosts spotted here are all from the Civil War period and in January, there's even a ghost hunt scheduled on the hotel's itinerary.
8. Swannanoa Palace (Afton)
The construction of this mansion in Afton took eight years to complete. The original owners were the Dooleys, a prominent Virginia family who also owned the mansion at present-day Maymont in Richmond. During the Great Depression and World War II, the house was essentially abandoned and has since become a hotbed of paranormal activity.