Virginia is one of the oldest places in America, so it's no surprise the state's history has informed its rich folklore. There are plenty of creepy Virginia tales out there to make you second guess giving the state a visit if you're easily frightened. From murderers dressed in rabbit suits to buried treasure to alleged vampires, Virginia urban legends are truly something else.
These tales attract paranormal investigators, history buffs, rebellious teens, and even satanists. Specters allegedly haunt old plantation houses, bridges, cemeteries, and roads in the state. These Virginia urban legends will definitely keep you up at night. If you want to get a taste of a state full of ghostly tragedies attached to some of America's most famous founding fathers, read on.
Colchester Overpass in Clifton, Virginia has spawned a bizarre and eerie legend that has been a source of local curiosity for many years. According to the legend, a group of convicts were being transferred to a nearby insane asylum, but their bus crashed en route somewhere near the overpass. Two convicts evaded capture and a search party was sent out after them. Unfortunately, both met a dismal fate. The first convict was discovered dead hanging from the overpass with a note taped to him that read, "The Bunny Man." Assuming the second convict was the murderer, police set out to find him as fast as they could before he caused more damage. Supposedly, they discovered many half-eaten rabbits hanging from the trees in the surrounding area. When authorities finally found the second convict, he was hit by a passing train and killed before they could place him under arrest.
Like many urban legends, the facts behind the story are sparse. There was never an insane asylum near the overpass, for one, and no official record of the crime exists. However, that hasn't stopped local lore from cropping up around the tale. People have reported seeing a man dressed in a rabbit outfit near the bridge. Some say that, if you cross the bridge at midnight on Halloween, you'll come face to face with a hatchet-wielding killer dressed in a bunny costume.
American patriot Patrick Henry's wife Sarah is famous for haunting the Scotchtown Plantation in Hanover County, where she lived the last years of her life. After giving birth to her sixth child, she developed acute mental illness so bad she often had to be restrained with a straight jacket. Unable to bear the thought of putting her in a horrifying sanitarium, which were notorious for human rights violations at the time, Patrick Henry hid her in his home to keep her safe. Many people during that time period would have attributed her affliction to something like demonic possession rather than mental illness, which was then poorly understood.
Sarah died in 1775 and was buried in secret in an unmarked grave on the property. Visitors to Scotchtown Plantation still claim to experience odd occurrences, often attributed to the late Sarah Henry. Sarah's spirit, which appears as a figure in white, often lights candles at night in the windows. She can sometimes be heard screaming and has scared off some residents. Patrick Henry's own great-great-great granddaughter refused to stay in the house overnight as she felt an eerie, haunting presence.
The Pocahontas Parkway, officially known as state Route 895 in Henrico County, has sparked rumors of hauntings over the years. The patch of highway is reportedly home to Native American ghosts, who often appear as hazy spirits.
A truck driver once saw three Native Americans standing in the middle of the highway holding torches. Thinking it was some kind of protest, he notified a woman staffing a nearby tollbooth. She contacted the police, who found nothing upon investigation.
The police were likely unsurprised, however, as officers who take the graveyard shift along Pocahontas Parkway say strange occurrences are par for the course. Officers often see the cloudy outlines of Native Americans along the highway and hear unexplained whooping, yowling, and voices along the roads.
Richmond is home to the historic Hollywood Cemetery, which draws in paranormal enthusiasts in hunt of its alleged vampire. This myth was born in 1925. After the Church Hill Tunnel Train collapsed, a terrifying figure with pointed teeth supposedly emerged from the ruins only to disappear inside a sealed mausoleum in Hollywood Cemetery. The figure was never seen again, but that hasn't stopped locals from looking. Satanists and occult groups have reportedly gathered at the site for decades trying to contact it.