They say Virginia is the most haunted state in the U.S., and Mathews County is certainly no exception. Here are a few stories, some of which we have some personal experience with. Happy Haunting!
“Auburn Plantation” – Located on the North River in Mathews County, this is probably the most famous of the Mathews Haunted Houses. Built in 1824 by Philip Tabb, (yes there were and are still a lot of “Tabbs” around here), it became the home of his son Dr. Henry Wyeth Tabb until 1863. Good Ol’ Dr. Tabb ended up having 3 wives, (he outlived the first two), and several children. The house had seen it’s fair share of good times and tragedies, but the most famous tragedy happened when one of his daughters, Mary Eliza, suffered a terrible fall down the grand staircase in the middle of the foyer of the house. It was supposedly on her wedding day, and Dr. Tabb reported hearing the most terrible noise only to find his daughter at the bottom of the stairs. She died later that evening, and it has become a tradition that her white leather wedding slippers would always remain with the house and have been handed down from each subsequent owner to the next.
In the 1970’s, the house was purchased by John Lennon and Yoko Ono who were seeking a quiet retreat in a remote location where they could escape their hectic life in NYC, (yep, I can bet that @ 90% of the residents of Mathews at the time would not have recognized John Lennon if he went up and punched them in the face), and apparently Yoko was very superstitious. She refused to have those wedding slippers in the house, (I’m with her…that’s just creepy), had the house exorcised, and then had the basement filled with sand as she heard that would keep the ghosts away. Our first year open as a B&B, we had guests that were related to the owners who purchased Auburn after John Lennon’s death, and they told us they spent quite a bit of money to empty the basement of all that sand. And then they started hearing and seeing a few ghosts.
Apparently, the most “seen” ghost is a confederate soldier, and not sure what his story is, but my brother David who works with us here at The Inn at Tabbs Creek can vouch for the other most common paranormal activity which is audible. Back in the mid 90’s, Dave had his own small catering business here in Mathews, and was hired by the owners to do a cocktail and appetizer event at Auburn on New Years Eve. After the festivities, all the guests left for the next leg of the party at another old house, and Dave had been left alone to clean up the mess. He had not heard the ghost stories, but just as he was finishing up, he definitely heard a loud tumbling noise that sounded like someone falling down the stairs! He ran to the foyer, but nothing was there. He was so shaken that he hightailed it out of there so fast, he forgot to close the back of his truck and most of his catering supplies ended up all along the side of the road. He didn’t believe in ghosts before, but now he does.
“Uncle Willies House” – I only know of Uncle Willies house as it was right across the river from my parents house here in Mathews. The owners got to know my parents, and told them that the house was haunted. Apparently, Uncle Willie only appears in the master bathroom, mostly when the homeowners got out of the shower. They would also see him in the bathroom mirror while getting ready, and described him as a kindly old bearded man who was always smiling. I don’t know about you, but a pervert ghost would make me move even faster than your average ghost. They lived there for many years, and said they got used to them.
“Old House Woods” – By many accounts, (ghost and paranormal blogs mostly), this is THE most haunted place in Mathews County, and possibly the whole state of Virginia. Old House woods is a 50 acre patch located in Diggs and sits on Whites Creek across from the Chesapeake Bay. There are so many sightings reported here, and one of the interesting things is how many different paranormal experiences have been reported. It is supposedly always 10 degrees cooler in the woods, and many have reported a green concentrated light that hovers through the woods, and has even chased a few people. I actually believe this one the most as I had a similar experience off an old logging trail in SC, but that’s a different story. Other sightings have included Ghost Pirates, Ghosts of British soldiers burying gold, Headless Cow Ghosts, a Ghostly Woman and/or Witch floating through the woods. Many reports have described a feeling of unease and anger when in or around the woods, and even reports of being “attacked” by the ghostly apparitions. Then there is the Ghost Ship, reported by many as a 3 masted Spanish Galleon that floats above the Bay and into the woods. Now that I would like to see, although I would probably chicken out at first nightfall 🙂