Most Haunted Places in America: Major Grahams Mansion
Major Graham Mansion is a historic Civil War homestead located in Graham’s Forge, Virginia, about 10 minutes from where I-77 meets I-80. Named for the son of its original owner, Major David Graham, Major Grahams Mansion is not just a place to learn important history of the Civil War, but a favorite stop for paranormal investigators.
Major Grahams Mansion is haunted by several known ghosts and offers a famous Ghost Walk tour. The apparition of a young girl and a woman in a bridal gown have both been reported on numerous occasions, as have the ghosts of past slaves and confederate soldiers.
Major Grahams Mansion was originally called “Cedar Run” It was built by Squire David Graham after he purchased the 1,000 acre lot that it sits upon. Construction started in the early 1830s with the large, more formal brick frame section added in the 1850’s.
The Squire’s son, David Graham, who went on to be a Major in the Confederate Army, was born in 1838 and spent his entire life living in the mansion. It was eventually renamed Major Graham’s Mansion.
The town of Graham’s Forge got its name from this famous family. Squire David Graham built an iron furnace on the front lawn of the mansion. He would later add 12 more furnaces on the property for the forge. The Grahams’ forge business was known far and wide, transporting its pig iron as far as England.
Major David Graham would later have more work done on Grahams Mansion, including an ornate tower, dormers and replacement of the slate roof in the 1870’s. The exquisite Victorian style porch was added in the late 1800’s.
Much of the mansion and its outbuildings still contain the same original workings today. The dumbwaiter and old ringer washer are the same ones installed by Squire Graham himself.
According to local legend, Major Grahams Mansion was a secret meeting place for the Confederate army. Officers would gather in the 3rd story attic to discuss battle tactics against the Union army.
A lot went on in the mansion over the years. It was home to a slaved-supported business and rest stop for soldiers during a time of terrible unrest in the country. With such tragedy and suffering, paranormal activity has come to be expected of such places, and Major Grahams Mansion is no different.
Some very strange phenomenon has been reported from Major Grahams Mansion. Disembodied voices, hot and cold spots, inexplicable noises – all have been detected by visitors and ghost hunting investigators alike. It is believed that numerous slaves and confederate soldiers continue to haunt Major Grahams Mansion.
Two of the most common reports of haunting at Major Grahams Mansion are that of a young girl and a soon to be wed woman.
The girl is seven-year-old Clara. She died of illness – some say pneumonia, others say tuberculosis – in the classroom of Major Grahams Mansion. Betty Graham, descendant of Squire David Graham, is believed to have taught school children at the mansion during Civil War days in what is now known as the “classroom”, located on the 2nd floor. Clara’s presence has been seen, felt and heard for many years since.
Another room on the 2nd floor has gained the title “Bridal Room”, so named for the apparition of a lady in a bridal gown who etched five different sets of initials into the room’s glass window along with the date February 24, 1864 and the name M. Belle Pierce, presumably with the diamond setting of her wedding ring. A feeling of nervous unease is often described by those who enter the room, which leads many to wonder if the marriage was arranged, or some other circumstances interrupted the union.
A multitude of EVPs have been recorded at Major Grahams Mansion. Some of the clearest EVPs included that of a young girl – perhaps Clara? – asking “What’s your name?” near the entrance to the attic. In the parlor, a man’s voice was recorded saying “I don’t play that tune”.
The actual number of ghosts haunting Major Grahams Mansion is unknown, but the incredible amount of evidence of paranormal activity in this historic location is undeniable. Major Grahams Mansion has been investigate by multiple respected ghost hunting teams, and featured on several special paranormal investigation shows. All agree on one simple fact – Major Grahams Mansion is haunted!