Virginia is not short of paranormal happenings given its long and torrid history. But did you know about Virginia's cursed forest?
Of all the alleged haunted woods around the world, perhaps one of the most active is a small, remote forest right here in Virginia. The wood is so completely steeped in mystery that it falls into a weirdly paranormal category all of its own. Let's take a stroll through the cursed forest of Virginia, shall we?
Resting along the Chesapeake Bay is the quaint little town of Diggs, Virginia. Charming and scenic in its coastal glory, the rural town is pretty much unassuming—yet any horror buff knows it's the cute little towns of this world that harbor the most mystery. Branching away from Diggs is Haven Beach Road, which leads to a 50-acre patch of dense pine woods and marshland near Whites Creek. Much like Diggs, if you didn't know any better, the little forest is just as unassuming. But those who do know better are aware of the shocking amount of super-strangeness and paranormal phenomena surrounding the area.
The Frannie Knight House
Commonly know as Old House Woods, the area used to be a productive port before and during the Revolutionary War. The origin of the forest's name itself, Old House Woods, is creepy enough to stir up some scary tales. The name is said to have come from the fact that in the 1700s there was actually a home nestled in the middle of the cursed forest. Known as the Frannie Knight house, according to local lore, the structure was long-abandoned, decrepit, and haunted by ghosts. The house "set itself on fire" only to put itself out again on its own. The house eventually caught fire again years later, this time to burn all the way down.
Buried Pirate Treasure
Another notable mystery is centered around Whites Creek. A large amount of treasure was supposedly buried along the shore by pirates in the 1600s. The buccaneers were then swept away in a huge storm, and the treasure was never found. Unwilling to let go of their booty, to this day there are occasional sightings of a band of ghostly pirates digging along the shores of Whites Creek.
Phantom Pirate Ships
Accounts of pirates and treasure-hunting apparitions (of course) come with "sightings" of ghostly ships! The most well-known sighting was made in the late 19th century by fisherman Ben Feribee. Feribee was out on his boat, fishing on Whites Creek near the Bay, when he saw something that terrified him. According to the report, a large mated wooden vessel suddenly appeared with "lights at every mast and spar." Shadowy crew members were also visible standing on board, peering out to the distance. The ship was headed right toward Feribee, who was calling out to the ghostly ship. As he moved his small boat out of the ship's path, he stared on in astonishment as the ship sailed onto shore and floated above the trees as if it were still on water. Then, a rope ladder could been seen dangling off the sides of the phantom ship, with men carrying "tools and other contraptions" climbing down into the wilderness. Much like the many buried treasure stories, there are tons of these ghost-ship stories, all very similar to one another. In most reports, the ship is completely silent, and it is described as being surrounded by a mysterious fog that seems to roll along with it as it hovers.
The Storm Woman
Aside from all the maritime paranormal sightings, local stories also mention a ghostly woman who lives in the cursed forest. This figure of a woman is said to be dressed in a flowing white gown (typical) and is described as emanating a blue or green glow. The spectral woman is known to roam around the trees or float right above the ground while letting out a deafening scream. Lore claims her appearance is an omen of impending storms, which has led to her being named "Storm Woman."
The most odd and terrifying of the many accounts within the cursed forest are strange skeletons dressed in armor wandering the woods. One witness, Jesse Hudgins, reported in 1929 that he had been approached by a group of strangers carrying lanterns that gave off a mysterious glow. As the strangers came closer, he realized they were skeletons wearing strange old fashioned armor. One of these strangers came up to Hudgins and menacingly waved an archaic sword at him. In another account, a man's car broke down on the road that runs through the woods. Suddenly, he was approached by what he described as a skeleton in armor. The specter came up to him and said "Is this the King's Highway? I've lost my ship," to which the man responded by running away for his life.
Long plagued with various strange occurrences, the cursed forest has become a hotbed for paranormal investigators who have come to explore the supernatural phenomenon, only to be faced with a myriad of technical complications. From what they could scrape together, ghostly images, bizarre videos of strange lights and figures, EVP recordings of voices, footsteps, and even the sounds of cannon fire have been heard.
Are YOU brave enough to explore the "Cursed Forest" of Virginia? Have you been there before? Tell us in the comments!