Virginia is one of the oldest states in the country, meaning there has been plenty of time to acquire a haunted past. It’s no secret that our state has one or two frightening tales to tell. Or one hundred. So in the spirit (no pun intended) of embracing our spookiness, we have compiled a list of reasons that make Virginia so uniquely terrifying.
1. Virginia was settled over 400 years ago.
Since its establishment as a British settlement in 1607, the area has been ridden with tales of hauntings, eerie phenomena, war, and unsettling crime. Some of these were inherited from the Native Americans while others happened not too long ago.
2. Haunted houses exist almost everywhere.
There are 170 sites in Virginia that have documented paranormal activity, and no part of the state is exempt.
3. Abandoned houses are a common sight too.
In rural Virginia especially, there are many of these abandoned properties that nature slowly reclaims. Could you imagine having to stay here overnight?
4. Old and abandoned prisons speak of a tormented past.
You can almost hear the prisoners (or their ghosts) rattling the bars of their prison cells.
5. The oldest psychiatric hospital in the nation is located in Virginia.
Old Public Hospital is in colonial Williamsburg was founded in 1773. Conditions here were far from what you'd find in today's institutions, as patients were not diagnosed by doctors but rather by jury members.
6. Civil War battlefields remind us of tragic history and loss.
This photo shows Malvern Hill battlefield in Richmond, VA where nearly 5,000 men lost their lives. This is just one of many battle scenes of the Civil War located in Virginia. Although these are sites of great honor, the haunted nature of such loss cannot be escaped.
8. Virginia is the setting of many a scary movie.
This horror film from 2013 is set in Clifton Forge, Va. and tells the tale of orphans raised by an unidentifiable spirit in an abandoned cabin. You don't even need to see this film to be able to imagine the setting perfectly, as it's probably a little too close to home!
9. Even the roads and bridges are haunted.
This particular bridge, known as Bunnyman's Bridge, has a chilling tale about a convict who escaped from an asylum and became a notorious serial killer on Halloween nights.
10. The hotels are as eerie as they are beautiful.
The Wayside Inn, pictured above, was built in 1797 and is the oldest operating motor inn in Virginia. This inn served as a hospital during the Civil War, and it appears as though some of those spirits never left. There are several other haunted hotels in the state.
While many of these stories could be purely fictional, there is more than ample evidence to suggest that Virginia cannot escape its haunted history. What do you think it is about our state that makes it so terrifying?