Top Ten Haunted Places in Alexandria
Alexandria has a rich paranormal history dating back to 1749. Many of the cities buildings have been preserved from their historical origins, giving the place an old town feel. Within these haunted places in Alexandria, you might experience some previous residents who never checked out after checking out.
With a history in slave-trading and freedom, tobacco trading, and as a Civil War supply center for troops fighting for the Union, there were bound to be a few spirits left to haunts the homes and businesses in the area.
The story of the haunting on Red Hill, off of old Braddock Road, begins with a reclusive couple who lived high up on the bluff. The husband was a Captain, and their towering home allowed the wife to see her betrothed’s ship arrive back each time he’d return to her.
The story goes that when he did not return, and she was told of his death, the woman went to her garden and killed herself. While she may have taken her own life, the widow still roams the area of her homestead, probably continuing her wait for her husband’s return.
Monarch at Colross Plantation
Colross Plantation originally stood at 1111 Oronoco Street but was moved to New Jersey. While the old plantation home may have been shipped off, the ghosts still hang about that location in Alexandria.
In the place of the Colross Plantation now stands the Monarch. The Mason family occupied the plantation in the mid-1800s. According to legend, two of the Mason children to occupy the home, one boy and one girl, died on or near the property. The boy, William, died when a storm came through and crumbled the chicken coop he hid in on top of him. The girl, Ann, drowned during a bath shortly after. Both children have been seen at the Monarch.
The Marshall House
Where the Hotel Monaco Alexandria sits was once the home of Marshall House. Unlike the large hotel in its place, the small inn was unassuming aside from the owner’s love for the confederacy, which he showed by flying a massive flag atop his inn. It’s said that President Abraham Lincoln could see that flag from Washington, D.C. Lincoln sent Colonel Elmer Ellsworth to the inn on May 24, 1861, to attempt to get the flag removed—but the in keeper, James W. Jackson, killed Ellsworth. Jackson was killed shortly after.
While more than one ghost has been spotted at the place of the inn, throughout all of the businesses that have inhabited the space since then, Jackson seems to be one of the most commonly seen. Some believe he’s still trying to protect his property and way of life.
The Schafer House on North Fairfax Street
The building at 107 North Fairfax was owned by a confectioner in 1868 when tragedy struck—a tragedy that would leave behind a tormented ghost to haunt the building no matter what kind of business made its home there.
The newspaper article from the incident reads that a young woman had a horrible accident with a kerosene lamp that broke while she carried it. It doused her in the oil, and she promptly lit ablaze. By the time she was put out, it was too late, as her injuries were far too severe. The young girl’s boyfriend took his own life only hours after the death of his love in a liquor store on that same street.
According to the book “Ghosts of Alexandria” by Michael Lee Pope, not only are the ghosts of these two sometimes spotted in the business on the street, but often a sense of sadness and melancholy is felt around the area.
Clem of St. Asaph Street
Clem’s story could be anyone’s when it comes to unrequited love. The tale tells that Clem was in love with Rose, but she didn’t feel the same way. When Rose started seeing the town’s butcher, Clem sought revenge. Clem attempted to take Rose’s life and then took his own—but Rose survived.
There have been claims that Clem’s ghost can sometimes be seen walking St. Asaph Street. What makes him a spooky ghost is that he’s usually carrying a bloody razor with him, the one he used to do his dirty deed of attempted revenge.
Another interesting story mentioned in “Ghosts of Alexandria” is that of the house located at 414 Franklin Street in Yates Gardens. There’s some historical confusion about whether this house was once a tavern where George Washington visited to celebrate Independence Day back in 1798 or if that tavern was located elsewhere. Nonetheless, there are still some spirits in this residence.
Some people have spotted a soldier inside the house. Richard Dowell, one person who has owned the home at 414 Franklin Street, reported experiencing all sorts of spooky feelings. He’d heard footsteps when no one was around, felt drafts where there should be none, and never felt alone even when he was home alone.
Town Square Clock Tower
Clock towers have a bit of an ominous look, like strange relics of time’s past. The clock tower standing at City Hall in Alexandria is even more frightening when you hear the spooky stories from locals.
The clock tower is home to a devil bat, or so reports from 1976 are said to convey. One guy called on the devil bat when some guys started talking about vandalizing the city hall building and claimed the devil bat appeared in the clock tower and scared the men away. Then again, there was also, reportedly, a huge skunk in the road when those guys dispersed.
Green’s Mansion House
The Carlyle House is a well-known building in Alexandria, but it’s what once stood next door to the property that makes this a haunting place to visit. Now Green’s Mansion House, also known as the Braddock House Hotel, is long gone, but ghosts from the few who died there still haunt the lawn. Some believe they’ve seen the ghosts inside Carlyle House as well.
Of the ghosts, three are believed to be of men who fell from the hotel’s windows. And, while some report that these ghosts all stick to the outdoors, others think they’ve seen John Carlyle’s second wife, Syble, in the still-standing home, or at least that she causes many a draft.
The townhouse located at 210 Prince Street was built as the dream home of Colonel Michael Swope. Swope was a commander of the Pennsylvania Brigade in the Continental Army. According to “Ghosts of Alexandria,” there are various stories about his life, some saying he was captured and died as a captive and others that say he returned home after being captured.
After Swope did die in 1809, he was buried in his family’s vault in Pennsylvania. During a Yellow Fever epidemic in 1859, the vault was disturbed, and it seems that ever since then, Swope has been lurking about his townhouse in Alexandria.
Gadsby’s Tavern, now a museum and dining establishment, once also had rooms where visitors to Alexandria could stay. In 1816, a woman who showed up at the Tavern with her husband would draw her last breath in room #8 after a few weeks suffering from a mysterious illness. Not only was there a mystery around her sickness, but no one seems to know who the woman was or who her husband was. All of the people in the Tavern at the time of the couple’s stay and medical personnel who came to help the woman as she was dying were sworn never to divulge her identity.
While there are rumors of who she may have been, even her tombstone at St. Paul’s Cemetery reads, “To the Memory of a Female Stranger.”
Touted as one of the most haunted places in Virginia, Woodlawn Plantation is another ghost story that ties into ex-presidents. The presidential connection here is that the home was originally built in 1805 for Martha Washington’s granddaughter. There have been many owners since the plantation was erected, and some of them seem to be hanging around after death.
From the rumors that George Washington himself has haunted the halls of Woodlawn to the idea that the well in the basement is where many of the spirits come from, Woodlawn is rife with ghosts according to “Ghosts of Alexandria.” If you visit and hope to see ghosts, ask if the lid is off the well.