For hundreds of years, a small 50 acre wooded area has claimed to be one of the most haunted areas in Eastern Virginia. Located on the coast of the Chesapeake Bay, Old House Woods has been the setting for many stories about ghost pirates, British Soldiers, pirate ships, wailing women, ghost livestock, ghost lights, and headless ghost dogs. I think there is even mention of a man wearing Spanish armor. Added to that is the fact that several years ago, a VCU student was found murdered within a mile of the woods. No matter how you slice it, the atmosphere in that area is thick with the paranormal (and it ain't just the humidity!).
Our team has conducted several investigations to this area, and it never disappoints. One of our first experiences of the area occurred while visiting the beach. A man appeared seemingly out of nowhere, dressed in a tattered striped shirt and tattered khaki pants. He walked past us, did not acknowledge us sitting there, and continued on before suddenly disappearing from view. There aren't too many places a person can go to hide on the beach. Was this possibly a pirate encounter? Who knows, but it makes a good story.
During our first investigation of the woods, we parked along the road and our group began to get out of the car. As I was about to close the back passenger door, it slammed shut on its own. I made a note to check it out later. There was also a strong sulphur smell in the area. While therw we witnessed the mysterious lantern lights in the woods. The lights appeared slightly lower than waist height- as though it was a lantern-type light being carried by someone. One of our investigators felt very unnerved and ultimately we ended the initial investigation because the investigator felt so overwhelmed we felt we needed to leave. During the review of the evidence we collected, we inspected the car door to see how much pressure was needed to close it. After several attempts, we determined that a large amount of pressure was needed to slam the door completely closed. The door actually would stick, like a safety mechanism, and needed to be forcefully pushed in order to have it close and latch completely. No one was near the door when it was slammed shut during the investigation. Also, at no other time have we smelled the same sulphur scent in that area (and we have been there in different seasons of the year as well). We have also looked for the same lights to rule out possible house lights. The lights have never appeared again in that area, and during the daytime inspection, we were unable to see anything through the thickness of the trees. Looking at aerial photos, there does not appear to be a house located in the general area where the lights were seen.
During another investigation, we were able to set up stationary cameras and take many readings and recordings with out equipment. We obtained one piece of interesting video. This shot is a still frame pulled from that video. By viewing the other video cameras, we determined it was not from any light source that we had as we were operating with lights out during that point in our investigation. We also obtained EVP recordings and EMF readings as well as seeing a partial apparition in a UV light.
On one of our more recent trips to the Woods, we heard a strange metallic clicking noise we had not heard previously. I heard the noise and asked a fellow investigator if they heard anything. Her reply was "You mean that clicking noise? It's getting closer". At the same time someone else saw something moving towards the car. We opted to leave the area more out of fear of the possible living person who might be approaching in a secluded area, not because I was concerned about a ghost. We were later able to recreate the noise by clicking a pair of metal tongs together. The sound was similar to what it would sound like if someone were wearing a metal object that clicked to the rhythm of that person's gait. Upon further research, there was another group who had heard the very same noise during an investigation in the same area of the woods. Several months later, we heard footsteps on the gravel walking up to the vehicle. No one was there, but again, concern over a living person approaching unseen in a very secluded area had us leaving again.
What is lurking in Old House Woods? Does it house the ghosts of pirates or soldiers guarding their gold? Or is the the souls of those who have perished looking for the lost gold?