Ferry Plantation, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Ferry Plantation House. Photo from My Files

The Ferry Plantation House is set in the center of the Church Point subdivision in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The houses surrounding it are half million dollar homes and this mansion fits right in. The house sits on .1 acres that is owned by the city and is surrounded by 2 acres of land owned by the homeowners association. Behind the house is an herbal garden with benches and an outside fireplace. There is a large backyard with a tree that was reported to be the spot that two slaves were hung and a large magnolia that was planted 6 Apr 1863 by Sally Rebecca Walke in memory of her fiance who was a fallen Confederate officer.

The site is dated back to Indians in the 16th century. An Indian burial ground was discovered beyond the Ferry Plantation grounds. In 1642, Savill Gaskin started the second ferry service in Hampton Roads to carry passengers on the Lynnhaven River. There is still a cannon in the river near the house that was used to signal the ferry, which had eleven stops along the river.

In this spot the first brick courthouse was built, the third courthouse in Princess Anne County. This courthouse was used until the Walkes built their home.

The Walkes had built their mansion in the 1700s but it was destroyed by a fire in 1828. It is believed the Walke ran a tavern from his home during the Revolutionary War.

The present house was built in 1830 by slave labor. It was done in Federal style with bricks used from the ruins of the Walke home. Bay additions were added in 1850, one of brick and one of wood. It was covered with oyster shell stucco at one time.

The house has been used as a plantation, courthouse, school, tavern and a post office. It is currently a museum and an educational center.

It is reported that 11 ghosts haunt this building. These include people who died in an 1810 ship wreck at the ferry landing, Rebecca Walke, the Lady in White who supposedly died in 1826 after falling down the steps, Stella Barnett who died after eating poisoned mushrooms, a male slave who lived in quarters above the kitchen and still comes down to start the fire, and a cat. It is also believed that Grace Sherwood still walks the grounds. She was called the Witch of Pungo, and was tried by dunking near this location and the only person tried for witchcraft in Virginia. Mary is a little girl who has been seen frequently. Legend state that spots appear on the walls that she passes through. Eric is a little boy who fell out of a window in the late 1800s. A male servant name Henry is seen in the yard. His job was to escort house guests from the ferry landing. A nanny has been seen on the third floor, wearing a dark dress. Is she mourning on of the children? Supposedly several children named Margaret were born here but died shortly after birth.

Supernatural Investigators of Virginia had the opportunity to spend the night in this haunted museum. We were given a tour when we first arrived. Going up the stairs we were hit by a strong, overpowering fish smell. Our guide said she had never smelled that before. Oysters were a commodity at the home at one time and a sign proclaimed the oysters were shucked in a room at the top of the stairs. Phantom smells?

We were shown the rooms that Eric fell out of the window and that Stella died in. We were taken to the kitchen were the slave is frequently seen. We were also told a story about a previous investigation where a candy bar was placed on the fireplace mantel and it moved on its own. So, since we rarely travel without chocolate, we placed a candy bar on the mantel and video camera facing it. Our candy bar didn’t move.

Our team took pictures, ran video cameras and did EVP work. The kitchen is where Tracey had heard a cat meowing on an earlier day trip. We captured an EVP that sounds like a cat, but it sounds more like a child calling for her mother. In the gift shop, we picked up a name: Jasper Moore. We haven’t found a connection to the house with this name. Maybe one of the passengers that were killed when the ship wrecked?

Our staged candy bar did not move, but in the middle of the night some of the team were laying down in the dining room. They heard the rustling of candy paper but no one was eating candy. Someone had left a candy bar on the dining room table and it seems there is a Ferry Plantation spirit that likes chocolate. We recorded the sound on a digital recorder, but unfortunately, we didn’t have video set up in this particular spot.

The parlor was used to lay out the dead for viewing. I was not able to walk into this room without my ears hurting. It felt like I had a double ear infection, but it only was in this room.

Four of us were sitting in a room downstairs between the parlor and dining room. The hallway to the front door and staircase was between this room and the dining room. Two of our investigators heard voices coming from the hallway. The voices were male and it had the sound of an old fashioned radio. We looked for anything or anyone that could have been heard talking but there was no explanation.

We would have loved to get visuals here but we loved this museum and the history it holds.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: