CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — In anticipation of Halloween later this month, Chesterfield County has released an archival review of potential hauntings and paranormal happenings that have occurred at various historic sites across the county.

“When you look at the rich history we have here in the county — the historic buildings, but also the number of Revolutionary War battles that were fought here and Civil War sites we preserve, it’s easy to see why some spirits are still connected to various facilities — particularly people who may have died tragic deaths,” said Bryan Trussie, historic sites and programs manager for the Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation Department.

Chesterfield County has reportedly worked with RTL Paranormal in the past for paranormal investigations at historic county buildings such as Magnolia Grange and Castlewood.

Magnolia Grange

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Magnolia Grange property. (Courtesy of Chesterfield County)

According to Chesterfield County, there have been multiple sightings from visitors of a lady dressed in Victorian attire on the landing of the second floor of Magnolia Grange. When the venue used to be used for weddings, there were several instances of attendees thanking staff for enhancing the authenticity with a costumed actor. According to a spokesperson with the County, “there weren’t any staff in costume at those weddings.”

A medium who visited the site also reported seeing a man dressed in a black suit downstairs in the first-floor parlor.

“It was believed to be the spirit of William Winfrey, who built the house in 1822 and was found murdered while doing business in Richmond in the 1840s,” a spokesperson for the County said.


Historic Castlewood property. (Courtesy of Chesterfield County)

Documented accounts of Castlewood detail the death of a boy who was the son of Park Poindexter, the county clerk who built the house in 1817. Poindexter’s son reportedly died of severe burns after his clothing caught fire from candles on the family Christmas tree.

People have reported hearing a child’s laughter and footsteps coming from the second floor during evening hours.

There was also an incident in which a photographer for the Progress-Index newspaper were covering a story on a historical society exhibit but upon developing the film, they saw what appeared to be a child’s face in the glass exhibit case.

“Castlewood and Magnolia Grange seem to have the most activity people have experienced in Chesterfield,” said Ray Savino, founder of RTL Paranormal. “The spirits aren’t at peace so their energy is going to be stuck there.”

Other sites and upcoming events

Other areas in the county with reported paranormal activity include Trinity Church, the Defense Supply Center Richmond on Route 1, Henricus Historical Park and the 1892 Jail.

Here are some upcoming events for those interested in Chesterfield County’s paranormal activity:

  • Chesterfield Historial Society of Virginia will be hosting “Paranormal Poe,” exploring Edgar Allen Poe’s connection with the 19th century Spiritualism movement
    • Friday, Oct. 20, starting at 6 p.m. at Magnolia Grange
    • $10 admission fee
  • Guided tours of Henricus Historical Park with an emphasis on folklore stories of witches, ghosts and goblins
    • Sunday, Oct. 29, and Monday, Oct. 30, from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. at Henricus Historical Park
    • $10 admission fee, Henricus Members get free admission
  • Magnolia Grange Paranormal Event hosted by RTL Paranormal
    • Saturday, Nov. 4, starting at 6 p.m. at Magnolia Grange