UMW Unsolved: the tale of the Virginia Hall ghost
By MADISON REID
For some students, the mysterious slamming of doors and eerie creaking of floorboards are just two, on the long list, of quirks experienced in on-campus living. For others, it is the manifestation of the Virginia Hall ghost.
Most students move in already aware of the legend surrounding the building, with no clear consensus as to what actually happened. The most popular story told is of a resident who hung herself on the stairs leading down to the basement, or in a closet, and now peacefully haunts the building.
Only to be disturbed by the more courageous students trying their hand at summoning her. However, others believe that it is a man who roams the halls, disrupting the current residents. The exact details are still up for debate.
“Ghosts make for a good story but, personally, I don’t buy it,” said sophomore environmental science major Isabel Faust, who is a former resident of Virginia Hall and nonbeliever. Faust was one of the few students who were unaware of the myth surrounding the residence hall when she first came to the University of Mary Washington. Her understanding is based on what she sees, and throughout her year living in Virginia she experienced nothing to make her think there was any credibility to the ghost story.
In contrast, sophomore history major Kaylee Tye heard these stories and believed every word. Tye is a member of the Catholic Campus Ministry here on campus, where she was told that the Priest, Father Vaccaro, would bless your room if asked, an offer that she was quick to accept.
According to Tye fellow members of the CCM, “lived on the third floor of Virginia and had their rooms blessed twice because of the spirits.”
Some students, however, were simply curious, such as sophomore Hannah Backe.
“[I] was really intrigued by the idea of a ghost being in a dorm,” Backe said. Backe was told that the ghost was a woman who had hung herself in a closet somewhere in Virginia, but nobody knows the exact location.
While living in Virginia, Backe had no personal experiences with anything supernatural. However, her roommate claimed to have been locked out of her room when nobody else was there, assuming it to be evidence of the ghost.
Backe did not feel any less comfortable living there than she had before, stating that, “nobody really looked for the ghost until somebody said they came into contact with it. Rumors spread of a girl on the third floor using a Ouija board to make contact.”
Sure, it is fun to believe in a vengeful ghost haunting the halls or a peaceful ghost watching over you as you study but regardless, it has just become UMW tradition. The Virginia Hall ghost brings together the community as a pivotal part of campus history, real or otherwise.