Local History: Fauquier County Ghosts

Posted by Aaron on

Home of numerous battlefields and historic landmarks, Virginia has its fair share (“scare”?) of ghostly grounds, including a number located right here in Fauquier County. Study up on local spooky sightings with a trip to the Warrenton Library’s Virginiana room, where you can check out the following titles: 

Picture of Old Gaol; link goes to Ghosts of the Old Jail by Frances A.R. Allshouse (bib record)Ghosts of the Old Jail by Frances A.R. Allshouse & Andrew B. Allshouse

Frances, formerly the director of the Old Jail Museum and now a clerk at the Bealeton branch library, guides readers through one of Warrenton’s most haunted buildings, the “Old Gaol.”

Virginia Ghosts by Maguerite duPont Lee

Originally published in 1930, a number of Fauquier County locations are featured, including:
‘Avenel’ (a mysterious lady dressed in white)
A haunted kitchen of a home on Culpeper Street in Old Town Warrenton
Leeds Church (hope you enjoy organ music during the evening!)
The home known as ‘Loretta’ (wicked stepmothers, watch out!)
‘Snow Hill’ (a pirate looking for his buried treasure).

If you’re interested in historic preservation and old homes, you’ll find the descriptions of the properties to be particularly useful.

The Ghosts of Virginia (series) by L. B. Taylor, Jr.

Full of fascinating bits of history, Taylor surveys a large swath of paranormal activity in Virginia, including sites in Fauquier County. Vol. 4, chapter 17 is devoted to “Phantasmal Entities in Fauquier County,” detailing accounts of a ghostly hitchhiker on horseback and a lovesick spectre searching for her long-lost fiance. Vol. 7 features a resident of Warrenton’s Old Gaol (“A Prisoner for Life – and Beyond!”) as well as “The Psychic Recollections of Mrs. Molly Mayhew.” Vol. 8 profiles Snow Hill, Edgeworth, the Black Horse Inn in Warrenton and Grace Church in Casanova.

Front cover of Haunted Virginia by L.B. TaylorHaunted Virginia: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Old Dominion by L. B. Taylor, Jr.

While there aren’t any tales that take place in Fauquier County,”The Librarian Who Will Not Leave” (p. 12) was reason enough for me to check this book out.  Apparently, if iron-fisted librarian and ghost Gertrude Robey thought something was too “off-color” for Purcellville library patrons (she did not approve of romance titles), she’d simply chuck the offending books off the shelf! Luckily, we don’t have any Gertrudes lurking around Fauquier County Public Library!

For more tales of a ghostly nature, try our catalog’s new genre search to find ghost stories, paranormal fiction and more. You can also use our NoveList Plus tool for a list of haunted reads (hint: browse the Recommended Reads Lists, under Horror and Thrillers and Suspense).

~ Alison Pruntel, Library Systems Administrator

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