QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2004-09 > 1095616304
Subject: Excerpt Of History
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2004 13:51:44 EDT
The Martha Washington Inn
(A Room with a BOO)
The Martha Washington Inn, in Abingdon, Virginia, hosts a number of ghosts
left over from the Civil War. Built in 1832 by Congressman General Francis
Preston, the house passed into the hands of the Methodist Church upon his death
two years later. The church then founded the Martha Washington College for
young ladies on its premises.
When the war reached their doorsteps in the mid 1860s, the college doubled as
a hospital for the war wounded. One soldier, John Stoves, had been badly
wounded and lay dying in what was to become room 403. Beth, a student of the
college, tended to him and fell in love. As he passed from this life, she played
the violin to ease his pain. Beth herself died a few weeks afterwards from
complications of typhoid fever. Her music can now be heard faintly caressing
the night, playing to her dead lover and sometimes accompanying her solitary
visits to the room.
A phantom horse waits for his master outside the front steps, a Union soldier
that was shot in front of the house in 1864. On moonless nights, the horse
has been seen roaming the grounds searching for his owner and awaiting the call
to ride home.
The basement holds the spirits of black slaves, they were kept in an
underground chamber and some were buried within its stone walls.
Before being killed by enemy soldiers, a young confederate entered the house
and ran up the stairs to warn of encroaching Union troops. Shot upstairs, his
blood still stains the floorboards outside the Governor’s Room. A bellhop,
who’s been with the establishment for over 30 years, tells that carpets that
lay over the area develop holes over the spot where the soldier lay dying. Cold
spots, apparitions and self-turning doorknobs have also been reported.
One ghost is still looking for half of his head. Numerous accounts of a
soldier hobbling with help from a crutch and leaving a trail of mud in his wake
have been reported from a hallway of the Inn. Long past medical help, there is
only speculation why he is here at the old hospital, a ball leaving only a
hideous mangle of bone and sparse flesh had split his head.