While most people were going to parties at friends' and relatives' homes or to bars and cocktail lounges to celebrate the new year in, I drove to Edgewood Bed and Breakfast in Charles City, Virginia on New Year's Eve 2011. There would be a paranormal investigation at the place that night. While millions watched the ball drop at Times Square on television, I and the others would take a break to toast each other with champagne or sparkling cider, before using a last half hour afterward to investigate, before taking off at 1:00 p.m. for our homes or rooms rented out to those who would stay the night.
I'd been to the bed and breakfast in September 2009 to interview Dot Boulware about their place and its haunting, particularly about Lizzie Rowland who had lived in the house in the 1800s, for Virginia's Haunted Historic Triangle: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and Other Haunted Locations. At that time, using my digital recorder to record our interview and maybe to capture some EVPs, plus taking pictures with my camera, I never got anything. Last night, was different (at least the pictures, as I still must upload the recordings and listen to them). I did video too, and least showed on them at one point, the constant lights flashing on my EMF meter, which happened at all the places we visited except in the Tavern downstairs.
Edgewood had once been part of Berkeley Plantation. Benjamin Harrison had gone to King Carter of Plantation and asked if he could purchase some land for a mill. He ended up buying 22,000 acres. In 1725, he built the grist mill. It was so successful, that he built Berkeley Plantation in 1726. During the Revolutionary War, Benedict Arnold visited here, too. The Harrison slaves lived in their cabins on the land and worked the mill.
But in 1840, maybe due to a need for money, 1,800 acres and the mill were sold to a Yankee, Spencer Rowland, from New Jersey. Spencer built his house on the land. He moved into it with his wife and daughter, Elizabeth (this was Lizzie).
When everyone had arrived who was coming, Dot took all on tour of the place, telling what happened to her (the same thing she’d told me back at the interview, that is now in the chapter in my book). Team members of Ghost Eyes who set this whole cool event up had heard the stories before, so they sat out in the parlor.
Since I had heard it before and I wanted to do some investigating on my own, I wandered into the dining room, the room off that, and then upstairs to the second and third floors. I turned on my digital recorder and took pictures, plus did a couple of videos in the dining room. I also took my EMF meter which did nothing, though I thought the third floor felt freezing, even though the heater was working, and I had the sensation I wasn’t alone. The third floor bothered me, unlike the rest of the house. I had been up there in 2009 when Dot showed me around, but unlike then, it was hard staying up there by myself. At one point, my throat tightened, and I could hear the pulse there sounded loud to my ears, boom, boom, boom.
Suddenly, the cold left and I grew warm again and my throat released. It felt like whatever had been with me wasn’t there anymore. I got off the small sofa and headed back downstairs. One of the pictures I took at the doorway before entering the floor was very dark, though the flash had went off. I've been told when that happens that it's a sign of a presence.
Dot had finished with the tour and most of us split up into no more than five people each. I joined up with Carol, head of Richmond Paranormal Society, and another member who’d just joined, Luke. We decided to do the third floor first, but another group had beat us to it, so we settled for the second floor, since it appeared no one else was doing it. We didn't do Lizzie's room, as Carol's husband, Stewart, was inside there. The first room we investigated was the one to the left of Lizzie's. Suitcases of some planning to stay the night there later were on the floor. We turned off the lights, including the tree in the room, and closed the door. I set out and turned on my EMF meter beside my recorder and my LED flashlight, which had acted weird, flickering, on the bed. I had never seen it act like that before. Later, at one point in our investigation, Luke thought the batteries might be dying. But after the last time the flashlight did this, it never did later and even today, I got nothing answering me. Funny thing, I never unscrewed the part you’re supposed to, so how did the spirit (or was it more than one?), had done this.
Using the EMF meter, my ghost box, and Carol's Ovilus, we tried to communicate with it. We also did this in the bedroom across the hallway, where I also used my dowsing rods. In our communication, the spirit mentioned it stood behind Carol, and Luke thought he saw the curtains at the window move. Though he still wasn't sure if he really did see it for sure or not.
We finally climbed the stairs to the third floor where my EMF meter's lights began flashing all the way to red in the same sequence. It did this for ten times, then stopped, changing to another variation on the sequence, when Luke said it had to be something else in the house causing it, like maybe a computer. Was it trying to use some form of communicating with us, or playing around?
When someone came in on us and told us it was time to switch, even only we'd been there no more than fifteen minutes, we decided to head out to the mill. The night was clear, and the air felt freezing cold, with a multitude of brilliant stars and a crescent moon scattered across the night sky. Charles City has no towering city buildings or light and it would be the perfect place to stargaze or watch for UFOs.
We walked up the steps and entered the mill. My meter on, the lights began to flash crazily again, although Carol's (different from mine) didn't move its needle at all. The entity appeared to communicate through mine. We got it to answer us when we asked if it came from the Civil War era, which it flashed, meaning yes. It flashed once when Carol asked if it liked me. I told it could not follow me home as my husband would not like it. It dropped all lights, but the initial one that comes on when you turn the piece of equipment on, and it didn't come on for about maybe ten minutes. Had I upset the entity? Luke went upstairs to the second and third floor of the mill. He came back down to join us again. I noticed a shadow moving on the box above his head and took a picture. In the photo, I got an orb above the box, close to the right edge.
We left the mill, still taking pictures of the surrounding area outside. We walked until we came to a spot where a path was broken up and I snapped a couple of pictures, which I got mist in both. Now understand, there was no mist that night. Remember, it was a clear night where one could see the stars and the moon. I didn't see any mist with my naked eye, and neither did Carol or Luke. Later, it was Dot who pointed out as I showed her the pictures on my viewfinder, that the second one held two dogs. I peered at it, as did Carol and other investigators, who all agreed that indeed the mist was dogs. Though later, my laptop screen, I am not sure there are two canines, but I can say definitely I see one. What you think? Very cool that I got something like that. The photo after that only contained orbs. The first photo before the dogs held mist too—someone pointed out that it looked like figures. All Carol got was orbs in her pictures and yet. we used our camera shots at the same time.
We went back to the house, where we investigated the room between the dining room and the front hallway before we did the dining room. At one point, my EMF meter flashing, I asked if possibly the spirit with us was a child, that it could even be a girl? It flashed the lights on. When I asked again if it was a boy, to see if it would flash the lights again, it didn’t. Later, the wife of the head of Ghost Eyes told me when they had stayed overnight before she had left her recorder on all night. On her recorder, around 4:30 a.m. a little girl's voice could be heard, and they even hear her footsteps as she went downstairs! So now it appears that more than Lizzie haunts the bed and breakfast. Who is this little girl? It would be interesting to find out.
Afterward, my partners and I joined another paranormal group downstairs in the tavern to do a EVP session where we saw shadows moving and heard some noises. Were these intelligent spirits or residuals as one member of the other team asked?
Close to midnight, everyone gathered in the tavern to share either a flute of champagne or sparkling cider to toast 2012 in. I took cider as I would be driving home. Once home, I would share a glass of champagne with my husband and son then. We all got in one more investigation before we all had to leave at 1:00 a.m.
(kitchen blurred and I did not move the camera--paranormal?)
I wondered if Carol got anything else as she and her husband had stayed the night? It will be interesting to learn what she did or did not get. Check out some more of my pictures and to learn more of what happened that night (including any EVPs) by coming to my Marscon panel, "Ghosts and Legends of Southeastern Virginia" on January 13th at 10:00 p.m., in Room 103.
It was a super way to ring in the new year. After all, hauntings happen all year long! Happy 2012.