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  • Writer's pictureWILLIAM HAZEL

On A Williamsburg Ghost Tour

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Alias Little Red Riding Hood, that’s what she called herself, sort of looked the part, kind of Grimm, with a red trimmed cape thing, but she didn’t pull up the hood or tell us her name, actually she did tell us her name before the alias bit but it wasn’t too clear if we should use her name or call her Little Red Riding Hood, or maybe Lil Red, it wasn’t exactly clear, but we could all tell she was the guide since she had one of those fake lanterns, the kind that looks like maybe it would be kerosene, like in the old movies, the type that gets knocked over during the fight, then the purple velvet curtains start burning like hay in a barn, that’s where the fire always blazed in the westerns, the kind with the white actors dressed up as Indians, but it wasn’t kerosene, Lil Red’s lantern, it was the fake kind with the LED bulb and it was pretty bright and made a nifty shadow across her face since she didn’t hold it when she was talking, but put it on the ground down at her feet and I never thought of that when I was a tour guide, damn, putting a bright light below me to make me look all spooky and weird and it helped the mood since this was a ghost tour in Colonial Williamsburg on an October Friday night, so me and M met up with a friend to get in the Halloween mood and walk around the fake Williamsburg town at night, well, it’s only kind of fake, some of the buildings aren’t that old, but a bunch of them are very old and that’s where the ghosts would probably be, I imagine anyway, and there are some creepy ass stories associated with structures that have been standing here since George Washington played craps or cards or whatever he played, maybe with Lafayette, the French chap who seemed to show up every place in those days, he must have kept changing horses for I doubt one animal could have taken him around so many places and Lil Red mentioned his name, of course she did, the dude was everywhere back then, said he stayed in the Randolph house, and he left because he was scared of the ghosts and Lil Red said the ghosts are still in there, people come running out of the joint, and it has some kind of odd effect on modern cameras, makes your pictures come out all blurry, so we all started taking pictures and, sure enough, a woman showed her phone pic and it had some kind of weird blob all over it, I don’t think it was her thumb, and she couldn’t get a good shot, she said, but mine were crystal clear, I-phone clear, when it prompts you to keep holding still and pulls every scrap of bright during an extended exposure and most of my shots from the tour seem pretty bright and I’m sure I will need to doctor them darker, maybe a little creepier, but the house was super, very, really, fucking creepy and I didn’t want to stand that close since it’s known as one of the most haunted buildings in this part of the country, Lil Red didn’t make that part up, it really is, just google haunted Peyton Randolph house and all kinds of scary stories show up, and that wasn’t even the scariest story, there’s some long necked apparition with red eyes who roams around the old Parish, the one with the Judge's obelisk, and we talked some time trying to figure out what the stains covering the tall tombstone looked like, some people saw dogs or devils, and the long neck thing roams around at night, Lil Red said his neck was long cause he was probably hung, like they would do to you back in the day, like they did to people even after I was born, and no way is some dark apparition with a too long neck and red eyes a lonely spirit, that sounds demonic to me, fucking evil, like maybe the church ain't so holy, but even though the stories were scary as hell, none of them sounded that scary cause Lil Red was a happy Middle School teacher, had this fun, upbeat, happy teacher energy, and who wouldn’t with a walking around Williamsburg at night in low lantern light side hustle, I liked her and all, but I mean, it’s a ghost tour, and we dropped 35 bucks a head, so lower your voice a bit, get some dark going, like when I was a ghost walk guide, I worked pretty damn hard at being pretty damn dark and back then it was like 10 bucks, and I could scare snail trails out of the tweens and they’d hold their mommy’s hand, maybe not even know they were holding their mommy’s hand, but they’d be doing just that, but no one was holding hands on our tour, and I liked Lil Red, don’t get me wrong, maybe we weren’t helping since M was carrying a ghost plushie, this palm held stuffed upsell I got since M likes little stuffed animals, and she got one of those meters that lights red if there’s a ghost or energy or some weird shit close by, but it wouldn’t light up, except when she pointed it near me, and we also paid extra for the extended tour, it was extra for some extra scary, and we toured into the William & Mary campus, and it was extra spooky at nighttime, and this is where my friend sleeps, not outside, he has a room, but it felt pretty weird at night and it occurred to all of us that it would be way more weird to not take any tour, and there are a lot of tours, cause when you’re on a Williamsburg ghost tour, there are a dozen other tours, gosh, it could have been maybe 23 or 4 other tours walking around, Williamsburg at night is a ghost tour palooza, and it occurred to us three that it would be way more scary to not be on a tour at all, just go walking around Williamsburg at night, peeking into windows, staring into the fields, creeping around that old cemetery without being on a tour, that would be pretty fucking scary.

Anyway, we took a ghost tour in Colonial Williamsburg and I would definitely recommend this, but it might be more fun to do your own research, read up on the ghosts and the hauntings, and it will take a while because this is a very haunted place, and then just walk around by yourself at night and maybe bring a lantern, a real kerosene lantern, turn the wick a bit low so it makes that perfect glow, and just walk around without talking, listening hard, eyeing deep into 300 year old houses, looking long into grasses covering thousand year old native remains, that might be better is all I’m saying.

1. Photos by author

© Copyright William Hazel, 2023

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