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Visitors Beware


2015 - May - Colonial Williamsburg

I've always been interested in the paranormal so when I was looking up things to do in Williamsburg the Colonial Ghost Tour immediately caught my eye. I was thrilled! Instead of listening or reading ghost tales I would finally be apart of a real one. Typing that out makes me laugh because I didn't know then how true that statement would be. I went with my friends (there was five of us altogether) on the tour.

It was neat as we were near the historical college of William and Mary. The structures that surrounded us dated centuries ago fit snugly in cute little blocked off areas. The area we were in varied from dated shops, pubs, restaurants,- ya know, tourist attractions blended in with college life. We went late at night of course around seven or eight with a large group.

The tour guide was young and well informed and she told every story with detail. There were stories of ghost soldiers, of an apparition of a reformed Indian boy running across an open field that scared a college jogger, an underground vent that terrified a disbeliever with a menacing laugh, and even a girl that committed suicide during exams known to ask the students in the girls bathroom whether they passed or failed.

Out of all of them though I was afraid of the one from the first half of the tour. It was the last house (sorry still freaked) at the end about two to three stories tall and made of wood. It was regal yet dark but it had a tree as tall as the house to its left that was all twisted and bare. From what I remember before what happened happened the tour guide spoke to us in a quieting tone. She said the woman that had lived there (one of the original owners) was a slave owner during the civil war. She was awful to them when her slaves came back from the war with nowhere to go. She tortured them for that.

People were scattered on the lawn from other tours as she was telling this tale taking pictures, and braving whether to knock on the door. Now we were all already freaked out because the pictures of her in them all had an orb right behind her. She said it was like that after she made the mistake of breaking the rules and knocking on the front door during one of her tours. Low and behold during our tour a man captured that orb right behind her clear as day.

While our group of twenty lingered outside of this house I am growing increasingly uncomfortable. I didn't know why but I kept looking up at the side of the house we were facing while everyone is still talking about it. It was so dark and the windows were pitch black with little to no reflection but something bothered me. I couldn't stop looking and I kept telling one of my friends on the tour we should leave. He laughed at me of course and asked what the deal was. I looked up at the window and he just starts taking pictures of it. My fear became a weight when he showed me the pictures. In one of the photos you could clearly make out a face in the window I was staring at. It wasn't fully distinguish able but there it was.

That was it for me. Our group cut in half and we went to talk to the tour guide as we walked on to the extended tour. She quietly looked over the photos we showed her with interest and without missing a beat she goes "Actually if you look closely there are two faces. One up there and one near the windowsill." The second face, the one we didn't see before was the face of a child. The only question was, was it the one who died falling from the tree or was it the child known to follow her slave mother around. I slept with the lights on at the hotel that night.

I've never questioned the paranormal since.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Itscareyy, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
5 years ago (2017-06-02)
Oh, worry not, CW is definitely haunted - the real stories are in the history books... Read them well enough and the bumps in the night start making sense. And the best ghost encounter stories are the ones the employees have experienced -I have had a couple myself- but most won't tell you... As if to do so would break a code or something (that always baffled me but I found myself falling into the same habit as I am also reticent to share my paranormal experiences there).

And those orbs may well be something - it seems a likely place for it! Both the Revolutionay and Civil wars marched right through Williamsburg. The Battle of Williamsburg during the Civil War was particularly horrible and literally raged right through the city streets in the middle of a godawful rain storm that made it impossible to tell blue from gray... Even combatant from civilian... And then once the shooting stopped, the rains made it difficult to find wounded survivors in the night...

Fortunately, since you are dealing with an established museum, finding the history of the homes is fairly easy. Most can be found online (stay clear of Wikipedia... For some reason, their Willamsburg stuff is rife with misinformation... Particularly their Randolph house entry, actually... It has Peyton Randolph renovating his house seven years after his death - now THAT's a ghost story lol ha ha ha). If you can't find it online, just email the museum - they love fielding visitor questions and would be happy to give you whatever info you would like.
Itscareyy (2 stories) (3 posts)
5 years ago (2017-05-31)
Lol! Well I feel silly and less creeped out now. The orbs were still interesting though. I wonder if I could find out who lived there initially back in the day 😊
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
5 years ago (2017-05-30)
More often than not, when looking at alleged ghost images coming out of CW, the images can be attributed to the windows or the workers. The windows in those buildings are extremely misleading because most of them are very old - the glass has settled leading to an odd surface angle because the pane as it settles grows fatter on the bottom and thinner on the top and the surface becomes rippled. All of that leads to some very strange visual effects particularly when compounded by the dark, fire light, lanterns, candles inside and out, headlights, reflections from other windows and camera flashes - every now and then, we would experiment for grins and giggles to see what sort of images we could come up with.

As for the child's face... That could be explained by the reflections on the glass or could still be an actual person. Whereas the Randolph house is not rented out, the homes to either side are - a child may have snuck in to visit a parent (it happens a lot). Also, I had a few very short very young looking coworkers who, in full kit and aided by darkness and suggestion could absolutely look like a little kid in a window. Bear in mind the employees have all heard those stories 1,000s of times, we know them by heart and we know the houses where guides usually tell them... It is very easy to tailor your lurking to the story being told 😉
Itscareyy (2 stories) (3 posts)
5 years ago (2017-05-29)
Hey Augusta, I was hoping it was something in the form of that, however, if that is the case is there any explanation for the child? 😕 It was barely visible in the photos my friend took but he/she was there. And the window bore no reflection that is my biggest thing in trying to debunk it.

And BeautInside, I wish I had the photo to accompany the story for references sake but he told me he switched phones and didn't get saved to back up (cloud etc). I honestly don't know if I would ever look at it again.
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
5 years ago (2017-05-29)
That was most likely the Peyton Randolph House you were standing in front of. I worked for Colonial Williamsburg for a decade and, whereas the place is most definitely haunted, most of the stories you get on the ghost tours (particularly those run by outside companies) are fiction. The story they told you about the woman and her slaves - well, that's a new one to me but it was likely cooked up based on the account of a 19thC resident of New Orleans. I have heard it said many times that the Randolph House is the most haunted in North America but I and most of my coworkers would likely disagree - there are other places in that little old town with far more activity than Peyton's old digs. Also, bear in mind that more than half of the houses inside the museum are either rented out to employees as residences or as hotel rooms and, during evening programming, each house not rented typically has someone sitting security - either case could explain the faces in the window...and, yes, it often gets boring sitting in the dark buildings all alone for hours... Lurking spookily in windows and watching the tour guests get excited can help pass the time 😉
BeautInside (3 stories) (326 posts)
5 years ago (2017-05-29)
Hi Itscareyy,

Welcome to YGS and thank you for sharing this experience. 😊

I very much enjoyed reading about your encounter, and as I am always intrigued by photographs of paranormal nature I'll have to ask you this: could you please share that photo with us?

Thank you!


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