Ghosts of Leesburg highlighted in Hauntings Tour
It is said that if you drive up to Ball’s Bluff Regional Park at night and turn your car off, you can feel it being pulled, then you see a hand print appear on your window.
There are graves inside the park, but it isn’t necessarily recommended that you enter the park after dark, unless you want the cops called on you by the park’s neighbors.
Growing up in Leesburg there are always ghost stories the older generation tells the younger to scare them to death. Like that of Ball’s Bluff, the Tally Ho being haunted by the old groundskeeper, a town called Woodburn that was destroyed or Red Rocks.
But Peter Kelpinski, who is on the board of the Loudoun Museum and part of the Hauntings Tour that the museum does, says that a lot of the hauntings, especially in downtown, are centered around the Civil War, considering downtown’s proximity to where the Battle of Ball’s Bluff was fought.
The Glenfiddich House, also known as Harrison Hall, on North King Street in Downtown Leesburg is said to be haunted by Col. Erasmus Burt, of the Mississippi Regiment in the Confederate States Army. Burt was injured during the Battle of Ball’s Bluff and was brought to the Glenfiddich house and placed on the floor of the front parlor room. He was later taken upstairs where he died.
According to Kelpinski, people who have stayed at the house or who work there have had many run-ins with Burt. They have heard murmurs of voices, the shuffling of feet upstairs and felt the presence of Burt still lingering.
Some say that they’ve seen a dark stain on the carpet in the parlor, where Burt had once laid, and the next morning it had disappeared.
Kelpinski’s favorite story he’s heard is some people claim to hear the clinking of a wedding ring going up the banister on the stairs.
“They would hear people going down the stairs, but it was that extra little thing of the ring on the banister, which I just love that detail that somebody would just notice that,” Kelpinski said.
A diary of Virginia Miller was found in the attic of the Glenfiddich house that documented all of what happened to Burt, so that’s how Kelpinski makes some of the connections to him.
It’s also rumored that below the carpet there is blood stain or an impression in the hardwood floor of the parlor.
Kelpinski said that when the Miles family, who owns the home now, would come back after the weekend, when no one had been in the home, they would go up to the second floor room and find an impression in the bed.
“It was like somebody had been laying there, but they did-n’t leave marks of getting in or getting out of the bed,” Kelpinski said.
According to Melanie Miles, she says that Burt is a daytime ghost and doesn’t come out at night. Also, the staff in the house have gotten used to the presence of Burt, and for some reason Burt comes around when Melanie is in the house – like some sort of connection.
“They’re like, oh, Hi Col. Burt…I’m just filing,” Kelpinski said about how the staff interacts with him.
When a paranormal society came to investigate the Glenfiddich house, the investigators said they didn’t feel a presence. They called over Melanie because the ghost of Burt is somehow connected to her and to see if it would bring him out.
They decided to do Electronic Voice Phenomenon in the basement and when they asked the question if it was OK that they were there, they caught the voice saying, “No.”
Kelpinski also said that the Miles would find their car windows down right before it would rain, without them putting them down. The computers in the house would also go haywire causing the staff to call Melanie to come over – it was like Col. Burt was calling to her to come over, Kelpinski said.
The woman in white
The Lynch house, located directly across the street from the Glenfiddich house, is said to be haunted by two ghosts – one benevolent and one malevolent.
“It’s probably one of the most active on the haunting tour,” Kelpinski said.
Liza Thompson is the woman in white who haunts the house. One of the children who lived in the house would wake up in the middle of the night to find her standing in white at the end of his bed. But, the family didn’t start believing him until their extended family had stayed for the holidays and repeated the same story.
Thompson was said to have lived in the home during the Civil War and had received the house right after she was married. When the war started, her husband went off to fight and he left all the important documents, like the deed, with a banker friend who also went off to war. They both ended up being killed in action. The banker’s wife ended up finding the deed to Thompson’s house, and a battle ensued over the ownership of the house.
Thompson eventually won, and when she died, she ended up staying.
Members of the Lynch family has found that the ghost of Thompson is around. When they would leave the important documents about the lawsuit that Thompson had to go through and then leave the house, upon their return those documents would be directly on top of the desk for them to see.
Also, whenever the Civil War is spoken of, the light in the back hallway would flicker on and off.
Over the years, their car keys would be missing, and then they’d reappear.
One time when Mrs. Lynch was cleaning paintings and frames that hung on the wall, she had taken them all down and placed them on the corner of the door frame and left. When she came back, all the frames were lined up along the wall where they would be hung.
But, with the different activity inside the house, the helpful acts put against the mischievous ones didn’t match up.
Once Kelpinski was in the front room of house as a storyteller for the Hauntings Tour when he heard in his ear a maniacal laugh – one he tried to debunk but couldn’t.
A psychic came through Leesburg and said there was a man who stands in the corner of the front parlor room, a woman in white and a ghost presence in the attic of the Lynch house.
The psychic determined that the maniacal laugh coming from the corner of the room, the flicker of the light when the Civil War is spoken of in that same room, and all the other mischievous activity was coming from this poltergeist. This made sense to Kelpinski and the Lynch family because they never thought that Liza could do those “mean” activities of hiding keys since she seemed a good presence to the family.