The 5 Most Haunted Locations in Virginia

The creators of the famous Virginia tourism and travel slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers,” probably never knew they talked about paranormal lovers when they developed their advertising. But it’s true. Virginia is for lovers of all things paranormal. In this blog, we’ll explore 5 of the most haunted locations in Virginia.

Harboring some of the earliest colonial settlements in the United States, it’s no wonder Forbes magazine awarded Virginia the number 10 spot on its “10 Most Haunted States in America.” Where there is history, ghosts are an inevitability. And Virginia is resplendent with paranormal history and activity. 

Forty-three percent of all battles during the Civil War were fought on Virginian soil, largely because the Confederacy had to defend its capital, Richmond. In addition, the state was adjacent to Union territory, making it the front defensive line during the war effort. As a result, soldiers on both sides of the war suffered and died here, leaving an energetic imprint on the land that is still experienced by paranormal investigators hundreds of years later. 

Added to this dark history are Virginia’s geological forces. Much of the state is built upon limestone beds, especially in the Shenandoah Valley. And many of the more significant buildings outside the valley – like grand hotels and asylums – used limestone as part of their design. Among the paranormal community, limestone is known to be a type of transmitter, especially in combination with water. Science has recently confirmed this. 

Limestone’s ability to absorb and release electromagnetic energies augments the expression of paranormal activity in any area. Therefore, the combination of the abundance of limestone in Virginia and its extensive, intense, and bloody history give Virginia more than a state’s share of paranormal activity, making Virginia is a paranormal investigator’s dream. 

1. Swannanoa Palace

The Swannanoa Palace in Afton Virginia
The Exterior View of Swannanoa Palace

Summer home to the millionaire philanthropist James H. Dooley and his wife, Sallie, Swannanoa Palace sits atop Alton Mountain and overlooks the Shenandoah Valley. And according to paranormal groups, the ghosts of James and Sallie still live here, in addition to servants and groundskeepers who also called the place home.

They can be heard via spirit boxes and digital voice recorders; and can also be seen using SLS cameras. Built during 1912, its history includes alleged alliances with the Illuminati and other occult organizations. Some say it’s a portal for psychic energy. 

Learn more about the haunted Swannanoa Palace.

2. The Cavalier Hotel

Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach
An Exterior View of the Cavalier Hotel

Colorado has the Stanley Hotel, and Virginia Beach has the Cavalier. Virginia Beach is known for paranormal activity and its association with mysterious individuals like Edward Cayce. It’s also known for the Cavalier Hotel, an opulent grand hotel that’s been host to some of our country’s most remarkable politicians and entertainers, including a few wealthy gangsters. 

Here, in 1929, Adolf Coors Brewery founder met his death on the pavement below room 606. It’s unclear whether he jumped from the 6th story window or was pushed, but people still witness a replay of his body falling and the sound of his body thumping on the pavement. He also shows up in pictures taken at events. So not only is the room haunted, but the whole 6th floor is also rife with paranormal activity. 

The ballroom piano frequently plays on its own, ghostly animals roam the halls and restaurant, elevators move of their own accord, and WWII soldiers roam the grounds, all captured on investigators’ equipment.

Learn more about the haunted Cavalier Hotel.

3. The Town of Staunton, Virginia

The Town of Staunton Virginia
Sky View of the Town of Staunton Virginia

This town has so many haunted buildings it’s called the most haunted town in Virginia. Some even say it is the most haunted town in the eastern United States. 

Here you’ll find a haunted hotel, a haunted town hall, a haunted sanitarium, a haunted train depot, a haunted restaurant and pub, a haunted church, a haunted college, a haunted inn, and even a haunted creek.

First settled in 1732, it is one of the earliest incorporated towns in Virginia and served as the county seat, then the capital of the Northwest Territory. Its long history and the fact that limestone deposits abound here both contribute to its vibrant paranormal activity. 

Learn more about the haunted town of Staunton Virginia.

4. Hollywood Cemetery

Hollywood Cemetery Confederate Pyramid is one of the most haunted locations in Virginia
A View of the Pyramid in Hollywood Cemetery

Located in Richmond, this cemetery’s 135 acres of natural beauty earned its recognition as a registered arboretum in 2017. Not only is it a graveyard, but it’s also a garden sanctuary for visitors who frequent the cemetery to stroll its grounds and escape city life. It’s a haven for both the living and the dead. 

Hollywood Cemetery cradles the graves of over 18,000 confederate soldiers, 11,000 of them still unidentified. Some think the compelling paranormal evidence experienced here by locals, groundskeepers, and tourists results from these unknown soldiers seeking recognition from beyond the grave. 

EVPs, cold spots, sightings of soldiers, ghostly mists, orbs, and a little girl playing with a dog upon her grave, are common recorded experiences.

Learn more about the haunted Hollywood Cemetery.

5. St. Albans Sanatorium

St. Albans Sanatorium is one of the most haunted locations in Virginia
An Exterior View of St. Albans Sanatorium

A destination for paranormal reality TV shows, St. Albans Sanatorium is considered one of the most haunted locations in the eastern United States. It is haunted by a myriad of departed souls who suffered through decades of atrocities as patients within the walls of the 68,000-foot structure. In addition, many were victims of medical experiments for treatments such as lobotomies, shock therapy, and insulin-induced comas. 

Full-body apparitions have been seen here, and objects levitate. Disembodied screams, laughter, and crying can be heard throughout the building. Chairs rock by themselves while shadow people and orbs dart in and out of hallways.

Deaths occurred here, including suicides. Torture and abuse by both staff and patients were rampant. Dubbed “The House of Horrors,” it harbors some of the darkest energy in Virginia and some of the most profound paranormal evidence in the United States. 

Learn more about the haunted St. Albans Sanatorium.

Are these the 5 Most Haunted Locations in Virginia?

With the state of Virginia’s rich history, steeped in early settlement politics, and war; there’s plenty paranormal to go around. This list touches only on a few of the most active hotspots of paranormal activity in Virginia. Is there anything you’d like to see covered? Reach out to us, we’d love to hear from you.

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