September's feature pages:  Nightime at the Symbol <> Final Odyssey

Doing the Impossible with Crystals


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The Ghost Light of BaconsCastle and LawnesCreek Church

Chapter 7

All too often when one is delving into the realm of the ethereal and searching for any pertinent information that will shed light on the subject, strange forces seem to interfere and thwart every effort we put forth. Such has been the case with this particular entity. After years of research and interviews with old-timers who did possess a wealth of knowledge, I thought I had just about completed an acceptable overview. Then to my amazement, things came into being and are still coming into being to prove I have not yet even scratched the surface.

Now that I own an old historic home with three resident ghosts of my own, I no longer spend much
time there but one day I did decide to visit Bacon’s Castle and the Lawne’s Creek Parish Cemetery just to see how it had fared over the years. The mansion today is owned by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities and is open to the public. Unfortunately, it no longer contains any of the furnishings that I remember from my youth when Mr. Walter Pegram Warren owned it. He was the last owner and he made it well known to everyone that it was his wish when he died, to have the place sold or given to some organization that would protect both the building and its environs from the ravages of time plus one particular request above all the rest, No One was ever to be allowed to molest the ‘ghost light’ that so frequently visited from the Lawne’s Creek Parish Cemetery.

Today only one room in the ‘castle’ contains period furnishings along with a scattering of pieces elsewhere. This is understandable and although the house may have lost a lot of its old charm when the furnishings were removed, it did not lose what is most important to so many of the visitors, its most famous occupant -- its’ Ghost!

I had the opportunity to chat with many persons who knew of incidents that have taken place since I left the area and for the most part they all seem to tie in to the happenings of the past. A little old lady in a faded blue dress now seems to be the entity most prevalent. She has been seen both inside the mansion transcending the stairs and crossing the front yard. Is this the same little old lady whom I met in the graveyard years before? She appeared out of nowhere then and vanished after giving me those boxwood cuttings as I related in the main story. From what I have been told by many reliable people still living in the area, no one has seen the ‘light’ for about thirty-five years. That was when I took the picture of what I thought was his grave. Did I by chance happen to capture his spirit on film as so many races of people believe to be possible? I think I did! As many researchers have proven today, everything in our universe is governed by electrical energies one sort or another. The electrical impulses generated by our bodies control both our brains and our actions as well as having the capability to affect even our surroundings. Was this the reason behind the ghost coming into being on my computer as the film image was being transferred from the camera to the computer? Over the years, was the orange glowing ‘light’ that we all called the ghost really no more than charged electrical ions that gave him his being? I along with so many of the old-timers still remember that this ‘light’ could always be relied upon to appear sometimes as much as a day following an electrical storm! If any of this seems plausible, then it would make sense that it received its’ ‘being’ from the electrical energies generated by the computer! Someday, continuing research may prove this hypothesis one way or another. As it stands now, I do have the most vivid picture of a ghost that anyone has ever had the privilege of viewing and I seem to think I know who he could be. That picture has since appeared on the internet as ‘picture of the month’ on the The Virginia Ghost and Hauntings Research Society site!

It is only fair that I risk divulging some of the things that have been happening to both the computer and me since that fateful day he came into being here at my home. It is nothing for me to encounter all sorts of out-of-the-ordinary happenings that seem to defy all reasoning. One day when one of my buddies was using my computer, every imaginable thing began to be thrown around the room. Shoes, a sword, vases! Needless to say, it unnerved all of us and sent our brains reeling. Had my ghost been trying to get our attention? Was he begging to be released from this computer prison and taken back to his former residence? We all think so! Unfortunately, he will find that his home base has changed dramatically. After the church was burned in 1868, the ruins were allowed to be overgrown with English Ivy. It was beautiful and picturesque beyond belief and made a beautiful ‘haunt’ for a ghost. Then as I previously related, a few years ago a group of history buffs (?) in the county thought that the ivy was depriving the mortar in the walls of its lime and the roots were loosening the bricks. So the chemical Roundup was used to kill the ivy. Once it was dead, they determined that some sort of frame support would now be needed to keep the walls from falling down. The ivy had played an important part in really protecting the walls and no one had realized it. Its roots and vines secured the brick walls and the leaves kept the driving rains from washing the mortar from the bricks. Telephone poles and steel girders have now been placed to surround the walls and secure them. Today, the entire area is no longer the beautiful, picturesque scene I can so vividly remember. From all appearances, it would no longer be a favorable haunt for any ghost. I don’t think my ghost is aware of this and he would be quite upset if and when I should ever figure a way for him to return. I wish I knew how to communicate this to him and just let him stay here with me and my three other resident ghosts in my home.

Compare the pictures below taken in 2001 to the ones taken 35 years ago:








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There are several other incidents that have occurred in the past few years that bear telling. It seems that ever so often the big fire bell that used to hang in the belfry of the barn at the ‘castle’ has been heard to ring although both it and the belfry are no longer there! I was told of a candlelight tour that was being given one night for some visitors that caused quite a furor. I was told how the group was suddenly thrown into darkness when a strange ‘wind’ blew out the candles they were carrying as they reached the entrance to the garret room on the top floor of the castle. This was where the ghost always entered the house. I asked about both this incident and the little old lady who has so often been seen roaming the grounds of the castle and the cemetery, but no one would discuss either incident with me. I was told that the mansion was not open to exploit the spectral world of ghosts but instead was maintained to be observed as an excellent example of early Tudor architecture in this country! I disagree with this thinking. History is multifaceted and everything that occurred during a particular period in the settling of this country is important regardless of how ridiculous it may seem to some. From conversations with owners of other old historic ghostly homes, especially the ones along the famous James River, the first question a visitor wants to know is, "Do you have ghosts" or "Do any ghosts live here". Everyone is intrigued by ghosts! I do know that the owners of these homes and the keepers of their ‘ghosts’ are proud to have them in residence and would not want them to leave for anything. I doubt that there is one person alive today who has the means to conclusively prove or disprove that ghosts and all the many other unexplainable events of the paranormal do not exist but the greatest majority of persons do believe! As we become more and more involved with the intricacies of the electronic world and especially EMF meters and recorders, we find we are now able to explain such happenings in a more scientific manner. We still have a long way to go however and I hope I am still around when all this becomes commonplace! Until then I will nurture my own thoughts which have been so greatly empowered by happenings that I myself cannot fully explain!

For now, I know what I see but I don’t see what I know!

©Benjamin N. Keys, Jr. 2001

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