It goes without saying that Virginia is reportedly one of the most haunted states in the country. For the last several years, near the end of October, Stratford Hall has hosted evening tours on the last Saturday of the month that delve into both the history of the house and the ghostly apparitions that are rumored to haunt it. Each year, ghost stories are seamlessly tied to the rich history of the house, giving tourists a memorable experience while they trick-or-treat.
While the tour was rather short, facts and stories were expertly mixed by the guides, who knew what stories to tell to keep their audience riveted. Those expecting just a rehash of the same stories from last year were in for a pleasant surprise. Rather than just repeat the same stories from last year, the guides made full use of its near 300-year history, bringing plenty of fresh stories to mix in with the old. Given that they spend the most time in the Hall, the maintenance staff is the main source of many of these stories.
The primary haunts touched upon included one called The Running Man. This mysterious individual had reportedly been seen several times running across the property late at night, when any sensible person was fast asleep in bed. Nobody’s sure just who this spectral runner is or was, but the primary speculation from the tour guides was that he was a runaway slave or indentured servant.
Another type of haunt, the benign haunting, where the apparition doesn’t really pay attention to those still in the land of the living, was mentioned when the tour reached the men’s sitting room on the main floor. Reportedly, one of the housekeepers saw a gent wearing colonial clothes, rifling through the contents of a desk. When she returned with someone else, the fellow was gone without a trace. Who was this visitor? Well, according to the guide, a very strong contender for that visit was Lighthorse Harry Lee himself, as he was notoriously bad with money, even spending a stint in debtor’s prison and going into bankruptcy multiple times.
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northumberland Echo 10/31/18