The Williamsburg Colonial Village is a museum made up of 160 renovated buildings located on 175 acres. This fully restored 18th century village is experienced like a living museum, where visitors can see how the colonists lived, and experience a taste of colonial life. People dressed in authentic costumes offer various demonstrations of crafts, etc.
The following Georgian mansions located in the village still have authentic, ghostly presences, as well as the atmosphere and furnishings of their colonial times.
The George Wythe House
One of five original structures at Williamsburg Village.
Photo from bluffton.edu
Located on the tree-shaded Gloucester Street, and on the west side of Palace Green, this mansion was built during the mid-1700s, around 1755, designed to be a wedding gift for the newly wed George Wythe and his new wife. His wife’s father generously footed the bill for this lovely project. George Wythe, a dedicated patriot, has the distinguished honor of being America’s first law professor, and was the teacher and mentor of Thomas Jefferson. Sir Peyton and Lady Ann Skipwith would come and stay for extended periods of time, up until 1779, when Ann died in childbirth. After the capitol was moved to Richmond, in 1780, the Wythes moved there as well. George suffered a painful death by poisoning in 1806. A greedy relative did the dastardly deed, in hopes of a large inheritance. George quickly changed his will before he died.
When the Wythes moved to Richmond in 1780, Sir Peyton’s brother, Henry Skipwith, and his wife, Elizabeth, moved into the Wythe House.
Colonial Woman apparition
Around midnight, many have heard a peculiar clicking rhythm going up the main staircase. Many think it is Ann Skipwith, running up the staircase in anger, after having a spirited fight with her better half at the Governor’s palace nearby. On her way back to the house, she lost one of her dress slippers, and the strange clicking rhythm sound still heard is the sound she made with one shoe on and one shoe off.
Her apparition has been spotted coming out of her bedroom closet, dressed in a satin gown and red shoes. She also has been seen sitting at her dressing table, combing her hair.
One evening, a custodian saw a detailed, life-like apparition of a colonial woman in an evening dress standing on the staircase. Thinking she was a guide, he went over to speak to her. Imagine his surprise when she melted into thin air.
The Wythe House Hostess Guides’ Experiences
Some unseen presence tapped gently on a hostess’s shoulder. Turning around, she found no one in sight.
When the house was empty, a hostess heard furniture being moved around.
The air on the second floor landing, at the top of the stairs, is an area that often has unexplainable cold spots, even on a hot day. While walking through this frightfully cold spot, a hostess suddenly felt a presence try to push her back, for a few moments.
Other employees have seen and heard other apparitions going about their business.
A difference of opinion between apparitions? – After the house had been closed for the day, a custodian heard a man and woman discussing something in the parlor. As he walked down the staircase toward the parlor, to see who was in there, the voices got louder and louder. When he opened the parlor doors, the voices were stilled and no one was there.
A ghostly Gentlemen’s club – Other various employees have seen a cordial group of “spectral gentlemen,” sitting together in wingback chairs by the unlit fireplace in the study.
The Peyton Randolph House
In Williamsburg Colonial Village, the house faces market square, and is another one of the original structures.
Photo from History.org
DESCRIPTION & HISTORY
This two story Colonial mansion was built in 1715, by Sir John Randolph. His family lived there throughout the 1700s, and was eventually sold to someone outside of the family. In 1824, Mrs. Mary Monroe Peachy owned the house, and its’ history of sadness began. One of her children died after falling from the tree. Several other of her children died from various diseases and illnesses. A male relative of the Peachy’s killed himself in the drawing room. After the Civil War, a young orphaned soldier stayed with the Peachy family while he went to William and Mary College. Unfortunately he came down with TB, and suffered a long and agonizing death. Throughout the years, many families have lived here, before it became part of this historical living museum.
The ghostly apparitions have been round for at least 200 years. It is hard to speculate who they are, though some educated guesses have been made.
Many throughout the years have heard the shattering of a mirror and the sound of heavy tramping of boots going across a polished floor.
Psychic visitors have picked up uncomfortable, uneasy feelings on the stairs and in some of the rooms.
In an upstairs room various past residents have awakened in the middle of the night, to see a white, shimmering, “translucent” male apparition standing in the corner of the room.
Employees have seen a life-like apparition of a young man in a colonial outfit. He is assumed to be a fellow employee until he suddenly disappears.
One female employee had a terrifying experience, when she met an evil, angry presence on the top of the staircase on the second floor, that tried to push her down the stairs. She hung tight to the banister, until the attack stopped. Perhaps this is the entity of the disturbed man who killed himself in the parlor, or perhaps this entity is the same one who likes to hang around the second floor landing of The Wythe House, mentioned above. But, in that case, the entity didn’t try to push the hostess down the stairs; only hold her back. Because of this hostile presence, some hostesses won’t work in this house, or won’t go up to the second floor alone. He or she had better behave, or a para-psychologist could be called in to make him/her leave for the other side.
The Grieving Old Lady
With manners – Who lives upstairs.
In the small, oak paneled rear bedroom on the second floor, many guests over the years at first enjoyed the warmth and coziness of the room, that had a nice, corner fireplace and two narrow windows that face north. A low-post bed was next to one of the windows. Traditionally, after midnight, when the unsuspecting guests were asleep, a very gaunt old lady, dressed in a flowing gown, with a laced night cap on her head, would wake them up politely by calling them by their first names, and then go into mourning, wringing her hands. The moonlight would shine through the windows through the apparition, “polishing the bones on her skeletal face,” perhaps trying to warn the living about staying in this house of tragedy. Perhaps, this is the apparition of poor Mrs. Peachy.
The Presence in the Basement
Another suicide took place in this house sometime during its history. Perhaps the second suicide happened in the basement, and this is the unhappy entity of the disturbed person.
In the 1970s, just as security guard, Mr. Jones was about to leave one night, he heard moans and groans coming from the house’s basement. After he entered the basement to investigate the eerie sounds, something slammed the basement door shut and locked it from the outside, and he found himself unable to move; in a paralyzed state. When his boss knocked on the front door of the house, the basement door unlocked itself, and Jones was released from his paralysis. He left this job and got another one without ghosts.
The Ludwell-Paradise House
Photo from History.org
This two story brick House, located in The Williams Colonial Village, became the home of Lucy Ludwell in 1806, who didn’t have both oars in the water. She lived in her own fantasy world, and loved to take baths ritualistically several times a day in the second floor bathroom. By 1812, she was committed to the state mental asylum. However for over the last hundred years, various residents of this house report the sound of someone taking a bath in this now empty second floor bathroom. It is Lucy Ludwell back in her beloved house, doing a favorite activity.
ARE ALL THREE HOUSES STILL HAUNTED?
A definite yes would be the right answer.
The Williamsburg Colonial Village can be found in the old section of Williamsburg, Virginia, that was the capitol city of colonial Virginia.
- Official Web site history.org