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Fredericksburg, Va House Haunting


In 1992 I rented a house in Fredericksburg, Virginia following several years of living abroad. It was a rather pleasant house, a ranch design, in an older neighborhood. There were many large trees that gave shade in the summer, and a wooded area behind the house. Along with friendly neighbors and a genuinly placid calm overall, it was a nice place to live. There was not a hint that this house was haunted by an active, though unhappy, ghost.

As ghost implies a frightening specter in my mind, I think I prefer the term spirit. This haunting was confirmed to be human.

The haunting did not begin immediately. Months passed, perhaps a year. It began unannounced; there was no warning of any kind, nor even a hint of warning from the landlord.

On what I recall as a very lovely late summer day, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, our front entry door opened with a bang, and the loud clatter of swinging Venetian blinds. My wife and son were with me in our family room watching television. My daughter was serving in the military and was far off and unexpected.

Our heads snapped sharply as we quickly looked into each other's faces for a hint of understanding regarding what was happening. There was none. Two probabilities came to mind - the first being my daughter home on unexpected leave with the intent of surprising us. The second was criminal home invasion.

After a moment spent gathering my wits I moved from the family room to the living room. I found our entry door wide open, and the blinds which covered its window still swaying side to side. The door, for those prone to detail, opened inward. There was no apparent explanation for what had happened.

That door was little used by our family and was kept locked. The door was rather difficult to open, as the door itself was simply stuck in the frame. It took a lot of effort to open, and when the door finally did, it popped free rather heavily. As a result of being stuck, or jammed, and the force it took to open it, the metal Venetian blinds would swing, sway and clatter. In all, annoying enough that our front door was almost never used.

After that first experience, things changed. The front door continued to open, although not frequently. The back door would also be found open from time to time. Bedroom doors opened much more frequently, and on 1 bedroom in particular.

As we were never in fear, and there was no show of hostility, we accepted our new reality. There may also have been an occasional noise during the night, but nothing of real note. We simply adopted whoever this was and often spoke to them with simple greetings or conversation.

This came to an end for us in 1998, when it was time to return to my work abroad. Movers came to take away our belongings. While this went on the lady living next door spoke to me over the fence, and asked if anything unusual happened during our stay. I affirmed that it had. Then she told me the following:

A woman and her daughter lived in that house in years past. The girl, a high school student, was 16 or 17 years of age. On a New Year's Eve, the girl wanted to attend a party. The mother declined because of a severe ice storm. The girl went anyway. The mother waited until the early morning hours for her daughter's return before crying herself to sleep. The mother was awakened by crying and discovered her daughter sitting in the chair next to her bed. The girl sobbed " Oh, mother, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry!" The girl repeated her statement, then vanished. After 3 days of searching the girl's car was located upside down in a canal used by a local power company to produce electricity. The girl's body was in the car, which had slid off the icy road into the frozen canal.

The woman who told me this was the sister of the girl's mother, making her the aunt of the girl. They had lived side by side as neighbors, as well as relatives.

I recall all of this with great clarity. This is a true and accurate presentation of what I experienced.

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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, MrRiggs, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

ajonverge (6 stories) (84 posts)
7 years ago (2017-12-01)
Thank you for sharing the experience. So many times, we sidestep our parents wishes or just plain disobey and disrespect them. This story is a small reminder to all of us to be kind and respectful of our parents wishes since there's no one else in this world who loves you more than them. Rebellion here caused the teenager to lose her life. It's really sad. And my heart goes out to her mother, who has been emotionally scarred for life. I pray - Both be blessed with the power to move on...
Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
7 years ago (2017-11-26)
Mr Riggs, I wonder if the spirit of the girl was opening what was her mother's bedroom door in the hope of seeing her mother again. That sad thought brings a tear to my eye. I feel that the acceptance shown by your family at the time brought a measure of comfort to her. I sincerely hope that her spirit, as well as her family, has found peace now.

Your account has reminded me to be more appreciative of my folks - warts and all. I look forward to reading more about your other experiences.
MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
7 years ago (2017-11-26)
Yes, it was the spirit of the daughter that was tied to the house. According to her aunt (the neighbor), the mother pleaded with her daughter not to go to the New Year's Eve party because of an ongoing ice storm. The girl willfully and knowingly disobeyed her mother. This, of course, brought death to the girl, but more importantly, a lifetime of ceaseless grief to her mother. I believe her daughter to be guilt ridden and filled with sorrow.

I do not know why manifestation was delayed. Perhaps because my own daughter was there. There was no paranormal activity until my daughter left for the military. The aunt knew full well that there was an active presence in the house that other renters had experienced. My experience with opening doors, especially the mother's bedroom door, paralleled what happened to previous tenants.

Looking back, our hauntress was no more than the spirit of a 16 or 17 year old high school girl who seemed stuck in place. While she had the personal ability to stand up to her mother in life, she was not a confrontational spirit with the strangers occupying her home.

I have had no further contact with her aunt/neighbor. My occupation required frequent household moves and I tend not to develop personal connections with temporary neighbors.

Your well considered questions did spark a thought. The aunt appeared to be of middle age. That would have made the daughter's death a fairly recent event. This was not an old haunting but a still open wound. I was an onlooker to an unresolved family tragedy where pain still lingered.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience. My life has contained a few unusual occurrences and I present them that others may know what is possible.

Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
7 years ago (2017-11-26)
That poor family - what a tragic thing to happen.

Do you feel that it was the spirit of the daughter returned to the family home? If so, why did it take a year for her to manifest? I'm curious as to what had been known to happen at your place before you moved in. Did your neighbour elaborate on what she meant by "unusual"?

Still, the haunting was obviously benign as your family felt no fear and was able to co-exist with the spirit on fairly amicable terms. Perhaps the bedroom with the door opened most often used to belong to the girl and all the activity was simply a way to tell you: "Hello, I'm home".

Have you kept in touch with any of your neighbours in Fredericksburg? I wonder if the people now staying at the house get along with their house-mate.

I hope her spirit has moved on and is now at peace. Thank you for an interesting narrative.

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