There’s certainly more to a state than facts and statistics, but Virginia happens to have some alarming data. Here are 10 surprising, and in some cases quite terrifying, facts you may not have known about our state:
1. Virginia is home to three kinds of deadly spiders.
Most people don't associate Virginia with deadly wildlife, but the spiders alone are enough to cause nightmares. The ones to avoid are the Black Widow (photographed above), Brown Recluse, and the Yellow Sac Spider.
2. There have been at least 20 shark attacks in the past century.
Shark attacks in Virginia are very rare, but the fact that they can and have occurred is worrisome. These attacks have been reported in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, False Cape, and other coastal areas.
3. Virginia experiences an average of 18 tornadoes per year.
Despite being a coastal state, Virginia is not immune to destructive tornadoes. The photograph above shows damage from a tornado that struck Washington County in 2011.
4. Some Virginia cities have high murder rates.
Among some of the places reporting the most murders are Norfolk, Newport News, and Richmond. While Virginia as a state is considered among the highest, there seems to be pockets of areas where murder and crime are particularly dangerous.
5. There's a chance that some of these wild cats still roam in Virginia's woods.
Officially, the eastern mountain lion has not been spotted in decades and is claimed to be extinct. However, more than a few have witnessed these beautiful and deadly creatures roaming in Virginia's Appalachia.
6. Virginia is home to some of the most haunted sites in the country.
Every state has its fair share of haunted locations, but it seems like Virginia has more than the average. The Peyton Randolph House, photographed above, is one such site that is particularly paranormal.
7. Three deadly kinds of snakes live in VA.
While most snakes you'll encounter here are harmless, there are three that should be avoided at all costs: the Eastern Cottonmouth (pictured above), Northern Copperhead, and the Timber Rattlesnake.
8. Virginia has potential to experience some deadly flooding.
Virginia's identity as a coastal state makes it especially prone to tropical storms and hurricanes, both of which can cause immense flooding. Hurricane Camille of 1969 was one such event, flooding the James River to such high levels that it actually flowed backwards.
9. There's a field of abandoned President statues in Williamsburg.
Presidents Park was an attraction in Williamsburg that was short-lived and eventually abandoned. Today, the statues of several U.S. Presidents are slowly disintegrating in a field in a way that is truly eerie.
10. There is allegedly a vampire at Hollywood Cemetery.
This one is neither a fact nor a statistic, but definitely counts as terrifying. Supposedly, a man by the name of W.W. Pool was forced to leave England because he was believed to be a vampire. His grave can be found in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery, and many believe he remains an active presence there.
Despite some of these truly alarming facts, there’s no denying that Virginia is still one of the loveliest states of all. What did you think about these facts? Be sure to share your thoughts!