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A Haunting In Fredericksburg

 

My son (Cooper) and I enjoy visiting Civil War battle sites. We just returned from Fredericksburg, Manassas and Antietam. This represents our third year of visiting such sites. In the past, we visited Gettysburg, Cold Harbour, Sailor's Creek, Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Petersburg, etc. The term we use for these entertaining and educative ventures is "edutainment".

Two years ago, my son experienced an unnatural occurrence while visiting the Sailor's Creek Battle Site Center. For your hungry eyes, please see the following details:

A Spectral Encounter

Of all the battle sites we visited in December 2015, the Sailor's Creek, Virginia visiting centre was the last one. Sailor's Creek represented the undoing of the Confederacy Army. The Confederates lost one-third of their remaining army there.

Anyway, Cooper and I entered the battle site visiting centre and there was a bus load of people inside viewing the various exhibits. After a short period of time, the bus left and took the visitors away. As a result, Cooper and I were the only ones left viewing the exhibits.

When viewing Civil War exhibits, I take my sweet time; whereas my 15 year old impatient son literally whips through the exhibit displays.

After an hour of viewing the exhibits, Cooper approaches me and inquires as to when we can leave. I assured Cooper that just 15 more minutes was needed to complete the exhibit cycle. Cooper said okay and returned to where he was seated.

The padded bench that Cooper was sitting at was a tight squeeze for two people and the bench was facing a video monitor that wasn't working.

Within ten minutes of returning back to the bench, Cooper hurriedly came up to me and stated, "Dad, we have to go now!" I replied with, "Just 5 more minutes, Coops." Cooper snapped back with, "No, dad, now!"

While running out of the battle site centre, I asked Cooper what happened. Coops said, "I'll tell you in the car." Once we were in the car driving away, Cooper explained the following to me:

When you said 15 more minutes, I returned to the small bench.

While waiting for you, I was thinking about the video game "Call of Duty" and various ways that I can play this game better.

After 5 minutes of thinking about Call of Duty, I heard some footsteps walk up to me. Thinking it was you, I turned, but no one was there.

I thought that I was just hearing things so I returned back to my thoughts of Call of Duty.

5 minutes after hearing the footsteps, I then heard, "Move over." And no one was there.

That's when I bolted over to see you again.

Cooper was quite spooked and didn't want to discuss this experience much. However, I did ask him the following, "What kind of male voice did you hear?" "Did the voice have a distinct accent; was it deep, regular or high-pitched?" Cooper explained that it wasn't a man's voice, it was a woman.

Astonished, I probed, "Nearly 20, 000 soldiers lost their lives at Sailor's Creek, are you sure it wasn't a man with a soprano voice?" Cooper's deadpanned response was as follows, "Not only was it a woman's voice, but I sensed her." Cooper then said to me that he felt that the lady was really nice (?). I asked my son how he knew that the female apparition was nice and Cooper responded by saying that he sensed this as well.

We are not alone.

Eventually, Cooper got over this strange encounter and would discuss it with me more readily. With this in mind, I asked Cooper this year (2018) if he would mind staying for three nights at a Fredericksburg Bed & Breakfast (Richard Johnston Inn) that's allegedly haunted. Cooper was game and inquired as to why the Inn is haunted.

What we learned is that the Richard Johnston Inn has three unearthly inhabitants. One of which is a Confederate Sharpshooter by the name of Private Ron who was shot by Union troops in the upper bedroom window. The second non-paying tenant is a black slave by the name of Toby. Toby was hung by the neck on a front yard tree for stealing a side of bacon. The third apparition is a little 4 to 5 year old unnamed girl. The little girl was brought to the Inn by her mother from a rural area so that the town doctor could administer to the girl's ill-health. Obviously, the doctor was unsuccessful at saving the little girl and she died in the Inn.

We further learned that Private Ron likes to make appearances in the Inn's kitchen (must be a foodie). Toby's passion is to playfully move the silverware around on the dining room table. Apparently, Toby didn't take his untimely death personally. As for the little girl, guests have heard her lively footsteps scampering throughout the Inn.

Upon enduring three airplane flights and a one and half hour rental car trip from the Washington DC airport to Fredericksburg, Cooper and I arrived to the Richard Johnston Inn at 1am on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

Isabella's Suite at the Inn was magnificently spacious, adorned with eighteen century furniture, art and fixtures that were augmented by modern day conveniences (Wi-Fi, two televisions, telephone, mini-fridge, wet bar and a coffee maker). Quite simply, the suite was beyond ideal.

With casual thoughts of the Inn's three spiritual forms, Cooper hopped into his Queen bed and I retired to my Queen bed at approximately 1:45am. Because of the extensiveness of that day's journey, I was extremely tired. However, sleep didn't come easily as my mind was still racing with thoughts of our upcoming Civil War explorations.

Nearly drifting off to snoozeville at 2:30am, I was suddenly alerted to the faint smell of smoke. Knowing that the suite's fireplace was not in operation, I sensed that the smoke smell resembled clothes that became smoky after being near a source of fire.

To confirm my suspicions, I smelt the bed covers and sheets for signs of smoke. There were no smoke smells emitting from the blankets or sheets. Yet, my nostrils were distinctly filled with smoke.

Not really understanding why there were whiffs of smoke in the air, I started to get uncomfortably frightened. Within two minutes of breathing in smoke, it suddenly stopped.

At this point in time, sleep was utterly impossible. With the thought of smoke resonating in my mind, the reflections of our ensuing Civil War adventure quickly disappeared.

Pondering the smoke scenario for several moments, my senses were put on guard once again when the aroma of smoke reappeared. If one thought I was shaken upon the first sign of smoke, I was now petrified.

The second bout of smoke lingered around my bed for a couple of moments, and sure enough, it went away. With the scent of smoke on the third occasion, my skin went prickly when I perceived a presence directly behind me in bed.

Shuddering and not willing to turn around to confront this strongly felt bed-sharing companion, the odour of smoke surfaced for a third time. Not only that, but my unwelcomed bed companion's presence became even more apparent. I figuratively jumped out of my skin with fear. With tingling goose bumps larger than skittles, body hair standing at full attention and the breakout of a cold sweat, I steadfastly refused to turn around in bed to meet this uncharacteristic apparition.

After two minutes of non-stop quivering like a full-bodied bobble head, the malignant sensations suddenly ceased. The smoke completely dissipated and the ghostly bed guest impression was not felt any longer.

Do you think that this moment of reprieve brought me any sleep? You can forget about that notion. With a radiating fear that there should be an uninvited return of who knows what, sleep might have finally been greeted at 6am.

With three hours of disturbed on and off sleep, I awoke to check up on Cooper. Not wanting to wake Cooper from his deep sleep, I slipped off to the Inn's dining area for breakfast.

Meeting the Innkeeper, Cheryl, for the first time, I was impressed with her friendly demeanour. In addition to being kind and personable, Cheryl is a kitchen wizard and prepared a palate pleasing breakfast for me.

Once her kitchen chores were over, Cheryl joined me at the table for a cup of tea. After last night's extravaganza, my inquiries for the Innkeeper were spilling over. The first question out of my mouth was, "Cheryl, have you ever encountered anything untoward in this Inn?" Cheryl briefly reflected upon this question and replied, "I have only been working at this Inn for one and a half years, but I have experienced some unexplainable occurrences." Begging the Innkeeper to continue, she shared the following with me, "On a number of occasions, I overhear little prancing footsteps gracing the upper floors of this Inn. At the time, I knew that there were no tenants in the Inn so I naturally thought it was the spirit of the little girl scampering about this seventeenth century facility."

"Did you happen upon any other questionable episodes, Cheryl?" I asked.

"Yes, but I do not tell this tale too often." said Cheryl in a solemn manner.

Inquisitive as all hell, I implored her for the narrative by promising Cheryl with my story of an unnatural involvement last night. Now curious, Cheryl was pleased to inform me of her experience relating to an elderly tenant who suddenly screamed and grabbed his right shoulder while ascending the main floor's stairs to the top suite. Luckily, the elderly man's wife and Cheryl were there to catch him as he was falling backwards from the fourth step at the bottom of the landing.

The agony stricken man was dragged to a chair in the dining lounge and as soon as he collapsed on the chair, the breathless man stuttered, "Did you see him?" The gent's wife and Innkeeper, Cheryl, inquired in unison, "See who?" The frightened man then firmly grabbed the chair handles, gazed awkwardly up and related the following story:

"A Confederate soldier by the name of Private Ron appeared at the top of the landing and through a series of flashbacks, he told me his story. Just seven days after his 15th birthday, Ron lied about his age and voluntarily joined the Confederate Army in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 10, 1862. Thanks to his father and grandfather, Ron was an avid hunter and very adept with his musket rifle. While training in Jackson, Mississippi, the officers were impressed with Private Ron's marksmanship and recruited him as a sharpshooter in a Brigade of Mississippians under General William Barksdale.

Private Ron and his Mississippian Brigade fought bravely from March through to September, 1862 in the Peninsula Campaign, the Seven Days Battles, the Charge at Malvern Hill and the Battle of Antietam.

Upon arriving to Fredericksburg in early November, 1862, Private Ron and his Brigade of Mississippians were given orders to slow General Ambrose Burnside's Union Army from crossing the Rappahannock River in the blue-bellies attempt to enter the City of Fredericksburg. After surviving a hellacious two hour Union Army cannon fire which reduced many of the Fredericksburg's riverside structures to rubble, Private Ron held steadfast at his upper window post within the unharmed Richard Johnston Inn.

After experiencing severe losses, the Union troops eventually managed to cross the Rappahannock to engage in a vicious building to building street fight battle with General Barksdale's Confederate Brigade. Inordinately outnumbered, Private Ron and his Mississippian sharpshooters managed to slow General Burnside's vast amount of advancing Union soldiers for several hours. While undertaking an exchange of fire with the enemy at street level, Private Ron was struck in the right shoulder with a musket ball. The pain Private Ron felt while lying on the bedroom floor was excruciating.

Seeing that the odds were insurmountable, General Barksdale had his bugler sound the retreat for the battered and bruised Mississippian Brigade. As Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade retreated to join General Robert E. Lee on Marye's Heights south of Fredericksburg, Private Ron was left for dead.

Because of his young age, the Union Army doctors earnestly administered medical treatment to Private Ron.However, like all upper body injuries to Civil War soldiers, Private Ron succumbed to his shoulder wound and died in that same bedroom's bed three agonizing days later on November 22, 1862."

Subsequent, to hearing this fascinating story from the slow to relax gent, his wife asked, "Dear, you were never interested in Civil War history; how can you now possibly be privy to this extensively detailed story." Nonchalantly, the husband stared unblinkingly at his wife and replied, "Private Ron informed me of all this while I was being struck in the shoulder with a mini-ball." With the conclusion of this tantalizing tale, the storyteller's spouse turned to the Innkeeper, Cheryl, and they cast a quizzical look at one another.

"It's your turn to regale me with your story." stated Cheryl. To Cheryl's patient ear, I described in every detail to what occurred during my unsettling sleep in the Inn that night. Once the story was finished, the Innkeeper matter of factly exclaimed, "Oh, you met the slave, Toby." Aware of the three ghostly forms that haunted the Inn, I asked Cheryl how she knew it was a visit from Toby. "It's a simple deduction." And Cheryl continued, "Before Toby met his unceremonious demise by the hangman's rope, he was tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the eleven fireplaces within the Inn. So that clearly explains why you smelt smoky clothing."

Alarmed, I asked Cheryl the following question, "I'm staying in the Inn for two more nights; what should I do?" Showcasing a wry grin, the sage Innkeeper quickly answered my nervous question with, "Let us hope that Toby doesn't feel lonely and hops under the bed covers with you." I left the dining area wondering if Fredericksburg's Holiday Inn Express had a vacant room for rent.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

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

Quirky (2 stories) (23 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2018-10-08)
Good day to you, ThunderBaby.

Thank you for the suggestion to post the haunting in Fredericksburg story in NaNoWriMo. When it comes to penning stories, you couldn't find a more amateurish writer than myself. As a result, I had no idea what NaNoWriMo was all about. After your vote of confidence, you can bet that I will be looking into NaNoWriMo (thanks again).

My belly is still aching after a fit of laughter when I read your other suggestion of switching beds with my son in Fredericksburg. The thought never dawned upon me, but it's one hell-of-an-idea (lol)!

Kind Regards,
Mr. Quirky
ThunderBaby (2 posts)
+2
1 year ago (2018-10-07)
Quirky you need to submit this on NaNoWriMo, it would have been a lot more believable if you had said you made your son sleep in that bed for the rest of your stay!
Jubeele (19 stories) (795 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2018-09-25)
Mr Quirky, your son's response made me laugh out loud. ๐Ÿคฃ His account was certainly short, succinct and to the point! Thanks for the list of books on the American Civil War. I'm sure the history buffs on YGS will appreciate that.

Apo - Thanks for the extra info on the colour purple. The dye was called "Tyrian purple" or imperial purple and the Romans used it for royalty. It originally came from the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre and was extracted by boiling lots of small murex shellfish, a type of sea snail. ๐ŸŒ
Https://www.ancient.eu/Tyrian_Purple/
Quirky (2 stories) (23 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2018-09-24)
Greetings Aporetic.

Thank you for taking the time to provide me with well-wishes and words of encouragement.

In terms of the feedback lashing that I received concerning my one and only submission to YGS; please be assured that from my perspective, the dilemma was far from a party (lol). Without question, I was in an apologetic scramble mode from that point forward.

I do realize that the constructive comments were warranted and I shall never make that mistake again.

Heck, I was absolutely guilty and I'm pleased that the judges gave me a light sentence.

Best wishes to you, Aporetic. I look forward to our next exchange.
Mr. Quirky
Quirky (2 stories) (23 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2018-09-24)
Good day to you, Jubeele.

Thank you for your welcoming message. Please accept my solemn promise to never again glamourize my written submissions on YGS.

Should anyone wish to learn more about the U.S. Civil War, I strongly encourage that they read the following fiction based on facts novels authored by Michael (father) and Jeff Shaara (son):
1) The Killer Angels (the Battle of Gettysburg) -- Michael
2) Gods and Generals -- Jeff
3) The Last Full Measure -- Jeff
Jeff Shaara also wrote four novels based on the Civil War's western theatre. To say the least, each of these novels prove entertaining and educative ("edutainment").

Thank you as well for the compelling invitation to have my son, Cooper, write his account of the Sailor's Creek experience on YGS. On the basis of your brilliant suggestion, I asked Cooper (now 17 years old) if this opportunity would interest him. Cooper politely declined the invitation and with his dry sense of humour, Cooper asked that I relate the following to Team YGS:
"I visited a battle site centre. After viewing the exhibits, I got bored and sat down. A ghost said boo to me, so I ran the hell out of there."
Oh, to be a teenager again (lol).

In closing, please know that when I first read the term "purple prose", I was "seeing red". (lol)

All the best to you, Jubeele. I'm looking forward to reading your 16 (wow) posts.
Mr. Quirky
Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2018-09-23)
Greetings, Jubeele

I've often wondered the same when I first came across the term. Why purple? So I went digging and these are my thoughts and findings.

If you've ever read Shakespeare's works, you have to admit the language employed is flowery and ornate. The term 'purple prose' is apparently named after the expensive and luxurious purple dye used in eras long gone. Then there's 'Blue Language' - cussing, profanity, vulgarity (you get the picture). I don't know why 'blue', so I figure it implies language used by blue collar workers (e.g. Truckers). Perhaps Bibliothecarius will bless us with a boon (I'm trying out this egregious bombast LOL) with regards to its etymology. Those I came across during earlier research ranged from p0rn to French erotica to books of questionable content being covered in blue paper.

Hope this helps. A bit at least LOL

Regards
Apo
Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2018-09-23)
Good grief! It seems I'm always late for the best parties.

Greetings, Mr Quirky

I am SO pleased to see your responses to the flood of critiques, and insist on adding my 2 cents worth. Though it's all been said, I am a firm believer in not only negative feedback, but giving someone their deserved dues.

Most important: Welcome to the YGS community - where we prefer poorly narrated truths to fanciful works of art.

Thank you for returning and addressing the various barbs - I'm sure it wasn't easy, and for this I award you an A+. I have never before seen someone come back in such manner and style, accepting responsibility for their actions and folly. They either stay away or layer more falsehoods on their ever-growing pile of half truths and outright lies. Well done on redeeming yourself.

Until your next submission. Remember - keep it simple.

Regards
Apo
Jubeele (19 stories) (795 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2018-09-23)
Hi Quirky, thanks for coming back to clarify the details. I did enjoy the read. A bit more restraint next time, perhaps? ๐Ÿ˜‰ What I really liked is that you and Cooper share an interest in history, and you spend time together. It would be good to have someone else with your knowledge on this historical period on YGS.

Since Cooper is 15, maybe he'd like to put his own account on YGS about the experience? In his own words and from his perspective. It might be interesting to learn what details caught his attention.

Augusta - 3 x cheers again for your superb research expertise.

As an aside, why is the phrase "purple prose"? Why not green or orange? ๐Ÿค”
Quirky (2 stories) (23 posts)
 
1 year ago (2018-09-22)
Thank you for the vote of support AugustaM.

One day soon, I'll be reading your four stories. I hope to have some supporting comments and questions for you.

Mr. Quirky
Quirky (2 stories) (23 posts)
 
1 year ago (2018-09-22)
Thank you for your heartfelt message, Bodi-Gundamma.

I look forward to reading your posts and stories.

Mr. Quirky
AugustaM (5 stories) (922 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2018-09-22)
Thanks for being straight up with us, Quirky and welcome to YGS:-) Looking forward to your input in future.
Bodi-Gundamma (1 stories) (17 posts)
 
1 year ago (2018-09-22)
Excellent and really feel like crying to read such a fascinating ones!
Quirky (2 stories) (23 posts)
+2
1 year ago (2018-09-22)
Thank you for your charming wit, Biblio. You brought a smile to my face.

I'm a victim of my own environment. You may ask how so. The long and short of it is that my son plays baseball in the summer and hockey in the winter; and for the past five years, I have been preparing game summaries for the amusement of his teammates, coaches and parents.

When penning these game summaries, tongue in cheek embellishment is my best friend. For example in baseball, a cheesy, duck snort, single can be described as -- "Little Johnny bashes a searing liner over the second base sack for a well-earned single."

At any rate, the copious amounts of embellishment is well-received and each member of the team looks forward to reading the game reports.

In thanks to Team YGS, I have now learned that embellishment in my story telling obviously doesn't work in all forums.

Now that the pitchfork has been put aside, my comfort level has elevated on the YGS site. Unquestionably, I like it here and it would saddened me if I were expelled.

Mr. Quirky
Bibliothecarius (8 stories) (994 posts)
+4
1 year ago (2018-09-22)
Greetings, Quirky.

I fully appreciate your candor (or "candour," eh?) in deconstructing your original submission to the site. Your divided enumerations of facts, beliefs, and falsehoods is just about where I thought most of the divisions were (I was wrong on two of them!). The facts you listed comprise a compelling list of data; your son's experience likewise rang true with no editorializing.

You admitted your interference when confronted; Dee is right, "We don't see that too often here." Usually someone who has screwed up decides to argue with everyone and pile on additional fabrications, which can become exasperating for the members who were willing to support the apparently-honest statements despite the addition of falsehoods. It is a relief to realize that --once in a while-- it's just someone who got a little carried away.

I'm also glad that you read the critiques for what they were: frustrated readers' objections. Welcome aboard, Quirky.

On that pleasant note, I have a pitchfork I need to put back into the shed; Val sometimes muddles my four-pronged gardening fork with the three-pronged hay forks.

Best,
Biblio.
Quirky (2 stories) (23 posts)
+2
1 year ago (2018-09-22)
Hello again -- it's the embellishing Quirky here. First and foremost, thank you for forgiving me. Now that I'm more familiar with the savvy audience of Your Ghost Stories, I promise to be "straight to the point" with regards to any future submissions.

In response to Dee's inquiry concerning my son experiencing any pre-Sailor's Creek or post Sailor's Creek spiritual visits, the answer is simply no.

Prior to my Fredericksburg experience, my family visited Waterton, Alberta in the late summer of 2013 and stayed at the Prince of Wales Hotel. We stayed for two nights in the Prince of Wales and I swear there was an invisible presence in our room.

I did not hear or see anything untowards. However, similar to my sense of Toby being in bed with me in Fredericksburg, I strongly sensed that there was a presence in our Waterton Hotel room.

Thankfully, my wife and son were spared from sharing that same sensory experience as I had in Waterton.

After the Waterton vacation, I casually mentioned my experience to my wife. Her deadpanned response was, "You're crazy."

Outside of Waterton and Fredericksburg (and to some extent, Sailor's Creek), my experiences with the spiritual world are naught.

As I'm a brand spanking newbie to the Your Ghost Stories site, I look forward to reading the experiences of others and chiming in with thoughts, questions and comments.

Thank you one and all for the second chance.
Mr. Quirky
CuriousDee (8 stories) (631 posts)
+2
1 year ago (2018-09-21)
Quirky,

I give you credit for admitting that you embellished parts of your story. We don't see that too often here. I appreciate your honesty. Remember for next time: no embellishments necessary. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I'm still curious (asked in my first comment)...

Did your son have any other experiences as far as hearing or sensing spirit before or after the incident at Sailors Creek Battle Site?

Looking forward to your response. All the best,
Dee
valkricry (45 stories) (3058 posts) mod
+5
1 year ago (2018-09-21)
Quirky,
To quote from the submission page, "Please don't embellish your story, it doesn't need to be spectacular or scary, just genuine." Having said that, I'm torn, 'twixt (how's THAT for an 'egregious bombast'? ๐Ÿ˜œ Or just archaic?) appreciating how difficult admitting to adding some fancy embroidery to your tale, and wondering if I should hand out torches and sharpened pitchforks to the villager- uh, members.
As you've witnessed, putting one over on this group isn't easy, we're united because of a fundamental belief in the paranormal, yet most of us go BEYOND to debunk it, even when it's our own experience, and as a general rule, we really, really frown on any 'Hollywood treatment' being given to the facts. It clouds the truth, and that's what we want and expect, the truth.
I don't think we'll ban you (as I said I admire the courage it took to admit to embellishing your tale), but don't expect any flowers from this group just yet. Personally, I think we've room for a history buff (especially of the Civil War), but it's up to you to earn our trust.
lady-glow (12 stories) (2543 posts)
+2
1 year ago (2018-09-21)
Mr Quirky - "siempre hay mรกs belleza en una terrible verdad que en una linda mentira" (a terrible truth is always nicer than a cute lie).

Most of the members of this forum will prefer to read a poorly written story as long as it is true, better than a wonderfully made up tale.

Thanks for being honest, just don't do it again.

Greetings from thr super natural BC.
Quirky (2 stories) (23 posts)
+4
1 year ago (2018-09-21)
Thank you for your candid feedback dear members of Your Ghost Stories.

At the risk of being kicked from this site, I must confess that you caught me red handed. This is my first foray with respect to Your Ghost Stories. Therefore, I wasn't fully aware of the site's rules and regulations in relation to submitting written stories.

Admittedly, in an effort to spice up my read, I added embellishment to the story; especially details relating to Private Ron.

To set the record straight, I will share with you the truth, the not so true and what I believe to be true.

Truth:
1) My son and I have visited various Civil War battle sites for the past three years. We thoroughly enjoy our "edutainment" tours.
2) We plan on visiting Tennessee in March '19 to visit battle sites (i.e. Chickamauga & Chattanooga) and stay in two allegedly haunted B&B's (Prospect Hill & Keith Mansion).
3) I honestly smelt whiffs of smoke (on three occasions) while attempting to sleep the first night in the Richard Johnston Inn.
4) I sensed that there was a presence in bed with me. I have never been more frightened in my entire life.
5) The Innkeeper, Cheryl, did presume that my ghostly encounter was with Toby.
6) Cheryl imparted that Toby was charged with the responsibility of caring for the Inn's eleven fireplaces.
7) To reflect humour, Cheryl actually did state, "Let us hope that Toby doesn't hop under the bed covers with you."
8) Cheryl did say that she has heard playful footfalls running about the Inn's upper floor on two occasions. Knowing that no one was upstairs, she assumed that it was the spirit of the little girl.
9) Cheryl did inform me of an elderly guest that fell into the arms of his wife and Cheryl from the fourth step of the landing. Cheryl related that the senior was feeling pain in his shoulder from an apparent bullet strike and asked if the ladies saw the Confederate soldier David (not Ron) at the top of the stairs.
9) Cheryl mentioned that the distraught tenant did state that David appeared to be a young teenage soldier.

Fiction:
1) The details relating to David's enlistment, actual age, regimental brigade, training, musket rifle skills, rank, other battle campaigns, Gen. Burnside's crossing of the Rappahannock the exchanged shots from the window, the medical treatment and details relating to David's death.

Thought to be True:
1) I'm certain that my son didn't lie to me while engaged in the Sailor's Creek Battle Site Centre. As such, I truly believe that the details with reference to this portion of my story are truthful.

Subsequent to our visit to the Sailor's Creek battle site, we learned that a farmhouse (Hillsman House) is allegedly haunted. The Hillsman House was used as a field hospital for both the Union and Confederate armies and is approximately one-half a kilometer away from the Sailor's Creek Battle Site Centre. During the carnage of the Sailor's Creek battle, the Hillsman House family members (5) were trapped in the basement of the home.

Whether my son's ghost ventured one-half of a kilometer from the Hillsman House to visit him at the Sailor's Creek Battle Site Centre is subject for discussion. However, I truly believe that he witnessed something unnatural.

Please know too that I don't profess to be a great writer of stories, but I have fun doing it.

In terms of the critique that I received concerning my writing skills on the forum, thank you for acquainting me with terms like "purple prose" and "mise en abyme". Your well-meaning messages have certainly enlightened me.

While hoisting the surrender flag, this proud Canadian says, "I'm terribly sorry." "Please forgive me, eh."

Mr. Quirky
lady-glow (12 stories) (2543 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2018-09-19)
"Let us hope that Toby doesn't feel lonely and hops under the bed covers with you."

Ha! It's hard to imagine poor Toby getting into his master's bed when alive. Why would he do such a thing as a residual or as an intelligent haunting? ๐Ÿค”

This story reads like a bad romance novel... With Fabio Lanzoni as the main character.
LuciaJacinta (7 stories) (272 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2018-09-18)
Well, it was a good read.

I enjoyed this. For sure there are a ton of ghosts in this area of the old battlefields. I don't deny it's filled with stories but I'm not so sure this story is true.

Can you explain further some of the misunderstandings we may have? If you can clarify, please do. Specifically for me, it's Cheryl's comments that seem off.
Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
+4
1 year ago (2018-09-18)
Bibliothecarius, I'm pleased you plodded on. One thing I did not mention was that purple prose (to me) is an attempt by authors to showcase their ill-perceived higher intelligence and superior vocabulary skills. As my teenage nephew would say "What a drag". Even for works of fiction, you have to do your research to avoid plot holes and implausibly, though you could get away with it if you're writing fantasy, new worlds, alien species type novels. And after reading Augusta's comment, I think Quirky painted himself as a 'history bluff'.

Noted: festooned.
My favourite: egregious bombast. LOL

CuriousDee, for the sake of your more than kind and tolerant comment, I also hope there's truth to the part about the father/son relationship and bond, and their shared 'edutainment' interests.
DirtCreature (guest)
+5
1 year ago (2018-09-18)
I think some posters on here find paranormal believers are wacko and want to mock them by seeing if any tale they tell will be accepted. If they think it's funny and are having a good laugh, they have the right to mock whatever they want. But, they are going to have to try a little harder as the veterans of YGS aren't that easy to convince. Also, thank you Biblio.
Bibliothecarius (8 stories) (994 posts)
+7
1 year ago (2018-09-18)
Greetings, Quirky.

On your bio page, I see you're from Canada. This is relevant because your spelling "Harbour" and "centre" (twice) in your description made me curious. The remaining commentary refers not only to your narrative but also to the reactions of other YGSers.

First, I'd like to tip my hat to Augusta who has, once again, demonstrated her exemplary research skills!

Dirt Creature's observation about the 'novel' structure is spot-on! In literature, we use the term "frame narrative" to discuss a story within a story. However, when it gets more complicated than that, we use the French heraldic term "mise en abyme" to describe the nesting of a story-within-a-story-within-a-story (ad infinitum). Literally translated, "mise en abyme" means "into the abyss." To demonstrate: the sharpshooter's ghost (1) told the old man (2) who told Cheryl (3) who told you (4) a detailed biography of the ghost so you could retell it to us. Sometimes, such convoluted narration works well: *The 1,001 Nights* and *Frankenstein* are the first two that come to mind. However, I'm afraid that each of these examples is a self-consciously fictional story desperately employing stylized narration to maintain the suspension of disbelief.

My only problem with Aporetic's critique of the "purple prose" was that Apo beat me to it by an hour or so. As an aside, I think that criticisms on this particular point require the critic to employ the verb "festooned." These convoluted structures detract from the narrative thread; they are made more exasperating by several errors in diction, incomplete conjunctions, awkward punctuation, etc. Frankly, the only reason I continued reading past the midpoint was to see what critiques and comments everyone else had written to evaluate your egregious bombast.

Biblio.
CuriousDee (8 stories) (631 posts)
+2
1 year ago (2018-09-18)
Wow Augusta! You killed it with the details! ๐Ÿ˜ I had my doubts as soon as I read what the innkeeper told the author... I'm hoping the bit about his son is true (shared interest, traveling, the woman he heard), but who knows?

Dee
Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
+4
1 year ago (2018-09-18)
I am SO pleased someone else said it, confirming my thoughts all along. The amount of detail had me going 'huh' and 'hmmm' - not in appreciation, but disbelief, especially those verbatim conversations.

As a work of fiction it lacks in hooking the reader (it's a yawnfest) and the purple prose, OMG - simple is better. The dialogue is stilted, and there's no flow. All that poofy language is better suited to a historical romance or some such.

I have often wondered whether people who do this view those who DO believe in the paranormal as idiots, but AugustaM skillfully twarts that notion with exemplary research and commentary. Thank you, Augusta.

Quirky - shame on you. There are groups on Facebook who willingly read submissions of all type and genre, but be prepared for a thrashing of this missive.

Regards
Apo
DirtCreature (guest)
+7
1 year ago (2018-09-18)
Thanks Augusta. This story smelled fishy to me. They should direct themselves over to Reddit.com/r/nosleep to post their story.

This is not a site to try out your writing skills. I think people need to understand that writing fake stories on a ghost website is akin to telling stories on a Mormon website. They are both belief systems people hold. This is a serious website for those that hold spiritual or supernatural beliefs.

I try not to outright call posters liars because I do not want to offend someone who is coming here honestly. But when details don't add up or a story is written with purple prose, it's not going to be very believable.
Haven (18 stories) (280 posts)
+5
1 year ago (2018-09-18)
I really enjoyed reading this story. But, I'm with DirtCreature and AugustaM on this one. Way too many details for anyone to remember.

Augusta - thanks for doing the extra research!
AugustaM (5 stories) (922 posts)
+8
1 year ago (2018-09-18)
Wow! You two made excellent time on 95!

Those casualty numbers for Sailor's Creek are a bit high - actually more than double. Combined casualties for both North and South are estimated to have been around 9,980. (https://www.battlefields.org/learn/civil-war/battles/sailors-creek)

"At the time, I knew there were no tenants in the inn so I naturally thought it was the spirit of the little girl scampering about this seventeenth century facility."...as the oldest building in Fredericksburg dates to 1737, that can't be correct. Settlements that far west in Va were exceptionally rare in the 17thC. In fact, according to the Inn's own website, the building was constructed in 1770 by architect John Taylow. (https://www.therichardjohnstoninn.com/en-us)

That young soldier sure did manage to impart a LOT of information and said older gentleman likewise absorbed a remarkable volume of facts in the mere seconds it takes to get shot. I have heard of spirits giving impressions but the entire military career of a young lad's life complete with commanders, movements, battles and dates is a lot to take.

At this point, my skepticism has been aroused so I decided to ask a few questions of very good friend of mine - who happens to be a history professor with a particular penchant for the Civil War. First of all, in general saying that any given wound (within reason) is always fatal is going out on a limb - though being wounded at the time was bad news and a body shot is particularly bad, there are plenty of accounts of men "shot through the body" who survived. As for the Union medics who tended to him - enemy captives were not regularly rounded up and shot by either side during the Civil War - wounded were generally rounded up and cared for in most cases regardless of the respective allegiances or ages of doctor and patient. Whereas my family is from the south (and so is his) and proud of it, the idea that all Confederates were natural marksmen is a myth and designated companies of Confederate marksmen were rare. Such companies were assigned to locations based on wed but they were not deployed to the front lines - that would more likely be skirmishers and scouts. During the Battle of Fredericksburg, there were Confederates taking shots from positions in windows but they were regular soldiers, skirmishers or scouts just trying to do some damage. Even with the Confederate need for men, by '62 they were not truly desperate yet - thus a kid lying about his age to join up, likely would have stayed low and not sought to garner the amount of attention necessary to be admitted into one of the few companies of marksmen within three months of signing - sure it isn't impossible but it is at least very highly implausible. Furthermore, Union forces did not cross into the river until December 10-11 - the Battle of Fredericksburg took place December 10-15, 1862.

The story of Toby and the sharpshooter are mentioned in an article on Fredericksburg.com, however, the sharpshooter is referred to as "David". (https://www.fredericksburg.com/news/who-s-haunting-your-haunts/article_0e6ab257-fbc5-5526-9036-bc2dd8a8dd48.html)
As does another article aimed at Civil War History Buffs: (https://www.selectregistry.com/blog/2016/best-places-civil-war-history-buffs)
Neither mentions the soldier's company or age or anything about the little girl.
๐Ÿค”

So...did the young man encounter the spirit of a woman in the museum? Why not - women were not unheard of in battlefields. They served in support capacities as camp followers and a few even disguised themselves to fight alongside their men. (https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1993/spring/women-in-the-civil-war-1.html). Was there something in the room at the Inn? Quite possibly and perhaps it was even Toby - though to our noses many if not most individuals from previous eras would smell of wood or coal smoke as fire was an integral part of everyday life not just for a slave tasked with cleaning hearths. Was Cheryl's account of the young soldier accurate?...I doubt it.
DirtCreature (guest)
+7
1 year ago (2018-09-18)
No offense. The way this is written seems more like a novel than a true experience. ๐Ÿค” The amount of details seems like more than a person could recall.

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