Chills and Thrills: Exploring Haunted Places in Virginia

Virginia, a state steeped in history and rich in ghostly lore, offers a journey into the supernatural. Let’s delve into the eerie and enigmatic, exploring haunted places that echo with whispers from the past. Virginia has many haunted destinations, from Colonial Williamsburg’s cobblestone streets to the eerie Civil War battlefields. 

Join us as we uncover the chilling tales of restless spirits and mysterious apparitions. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, we’ll guide you through the best ways to tour these haunted locales, allowing you to experience some of the most haunted places in Virginia.

Colonial Williamsburg (Williamsburg)

Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum that re-creates the atmosphere of 18th-century Virginia. Beyond its historical charm, it’s known for its supernatural tales. Ghost enthusiasts can join guided evening tours that take them through the cobblestone streets, past colonial-era buildings, and into shadowy alleyways. These tours reveal stories of restless spirits and eerie encounters, all set against the backdrop of this beautifully preserved colonial town.

Ferry Plantation House (Virginia Beach)

The Ferry Plantation House, dating back to the 1830s, is a hotspot for paranormal activity. Visitors can participate in guided tours that explore the plantation’s history, its role during the Civil War, and its resident ghosts. The Lady in White, a famous spirit, is said to roam the premises, making it a must-visit for ghost hunters and history enthusiasts.

The Cavalier Hotel (Virginia Beach)

As one of Virginia Beach‘s oldest and most luxurious hotels, The Cavalier Hotel has a storied past that includes tales of hauntings. Self-guided tours of the hotel provide insight into its opulent history and share spine-tingling stories of ghostly encounters. Guests can learn about the enigmatic apparitions and experience some of the hotel’s paranormal phenomena for themselves.

Fort Monroe (Hampton)

Fort Monroe, with its rich military history, is rumored to be home to the spirits of soldiers from the Civil War era. Guided tours of the fort delve into its historical significance and share chilling tales of ghostly encounters. Visitors can explore the labyrinthine tunnels, eerie casemates, and iconic fortress walls while hearing about the spectral inhabitants who are said to still linger within the historic site.

Bacon’s Castle (Surry Co.)

Bacon’s Castle is a historic gem called the “most haunted house in Virginia.” This 17th-century mansion boasts a dark history and is believed to be haunted by former residents. Guided tours not only showcase the architectural beauty of the building but also delve into the chilling stories of apparitions, unexplained sounds, and eerie occurrences reported by those who have visited this historic site.

Belle Isle (Richmond)

Belle Isle, an island on the James River in Richmond, is associated with natural beauty and a haunting history. Take a self-guided tour through the island’s history, from its use as a Civil War prison camp to its more recent recreational past. Along the way, visitors hear tales of the tormented spirits of former prisoners and learn about the island’s unique and eerie past.

St. Albans Sanatorium (Radford)

Once a psychiatric hospital, St. Albans Sanatorium is now known for its paranormal activity. A seasonal haunted house event offers a glimpse into the facility’s unsettling past, including its use as a place of treatment and confinement. Visitors can explore the decaying hallways and eerie treatment rooms and hear stories of the troubled souls who are believed to roam the premises still.

The Exchange Hotel (Gordonsville)

The Exchange Hotel, once a Civil War-era hospital, is steeped in history and ghostly legends. Guided tours provide insights into the hotel’s role and transformation into a medical facility during the war. Visitors can also hear about the reported paranormal encounters within its walls, making it a fascinating destination for history buffs and ghost hunters.

The Martha Washington Inn (Abingdon)

The Martha Washington Inn, an elegant hotel, has a reputation for being haunted. Guests can take part in self-guided ghost tours that recount the inn’s history, from its origins as a women’s college to its modern-day use as a luxury hotel. Along the way, stories of spectral apparitions, haunted hallways, and mysterious occurrences are shared, adding a chilling dimension to the inn’s rich heritage.

Old City Cemetery (Lynchburg)

Old City Cemetery, founded in 1806, is the final resting place for many prominent figures from Lynchburg’s history. Candlelight cemetery tours offer a unique perspective on the city’s past and share eerie tales of ghostly sightings. Visitors can explore the historic gravestones and mausoleums and learn about the reported paranormal experiences that have taken place within this peaceful yet haunted resting place.

Cold Harbor Battlefield (Mechanicsville)

The Cold Harbor Battlefield is a site of significant Civil War history and is said to be haunted by the soldiers who met their fate there. Guided battlefield tours immerse visitors in the history of the Civil War and share stories of the lingering spirits that haunt the area, making it a poignant and eerie destination for those interested in American history and the supernatural.

Aquia Church (Stafford)

Aquia Church, a historic place of worship, has garnered a reputation for being haunted. While no formal guided tours of the church are available to the public, stories of apparitions, unexplained sounds, and other paranormal phenomena have been reported within its ancient walls. Visitors can explore the church’s history while embracing its eerie side.

Paxton Manor (Leesburg)

Paxton Manor, an 18th-century mansion, is known for its paranormal activity. Annual haunted house events offer an opportunity to explore the stately home and hear about the resident spirits, including the tragic story of Emily, a ghostly figure said to roam the halls. Visitors can experience the mansion’s historical charm and its supernatural side.

Ball’s Bluff Battlefield (Leesburg)

Ball’s Bluff Battlefield is steeped in Civil War history and is rumored to be haunted by soldiers who perished in the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. Guided tours provide historical context to the battle and share spine-tingling accounts of ghostly sightings. Visitors can walk the hallowed ground and reflect on the tragic events that transpired there and the lingering spirits of the past.

Sutherlin Mansion (Danville)

The Sutherlin Mansion is believed to have its share of ghostly occurrences. Self-guided tours of this historic mansion may include stories of paranormal encounters and eerie happenings within its well-preserved walls. Visitors can explore the mansion’s elegant rooms while listening to the tales of the supernatural that have made it a mysterious destination in Danville.


Chelsea DeAngio
Chelsea DeAngio

Chelsea DeAngio is a freelance writer based in Greensboro, NC. Inspired by a rootless childhood as a Navy brat, she enjoys traveling every chance she gets. Pop culture often drives her trips. Whether channeling her inner Lady Mary at Highclere Castle in the UK or noshing on nachos at Showgirls filming locations in Vegas, Chelsea is always in search of a little silver screen glitz.