The French Soldier in the President's House at William and Mary College - Williamsburg, VA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 37° 16.254 W 076° 42.520
18S E 348504 N 4126293
Quick Description: William and Mary College's President's Home, which dates back to before the Revolutionary War, has been the sighting of a French soldier apparition and has other stories and unexplained sounds.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 12/29/2009 8:13:59 PM
Waymark Code: WM7ZN9
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 12

Long Description:
In Williamsburg, at the eastern end of the campus of the College of William and Mary, stands three of the oldest buildings on campus. The building on the north side of the Wren building is the President's House. This building has been used as the residence of the college's presidents since it was built in 1732. Several stories have surfaced about unexplained sounds, and the sighting of a French soldier.

During the Revolutionary War, the house was temporarily used first as the headquarters for British General Cornwallis, then by the French army led by General Lafayette as a hospital. In December 1781, a great fire burned down much of the structure. Everyone escaped but the building was devastated, with only the two-foot walls remaining. The French government provided funds to fully rebuild the house.

There is a story of a French soldier spirit that has been sighted in the house. According to the book, The Ghosts of Williamsburg...and Nearby Environs, Tom Graves, then President of William and Mary College, and his wife, Zoe, had told of the story that a French soldier had died of his wounds on the third floor. His spirit seems to linger on the second and third floors. Tom felt that there was a certain 'presence' in the house that he could feel. The book also mentions that Dr. Paschall, another former president, had encountered the spirit at least twice, and distinctly hearing footsteps on other occasions. Both of these names are listed as former presidents of the college (see link below). By all accounts, he appears to be a harmless presence.

Another source states that the Wren Building next door also has a soldier spirit visiting it. Could it be the same spirit or a different one?

In another story, a skeleton was found pressed into a brick wall within the house (Taylor's book). This story has not been found in other sources, yet.

Sources:

Wikipedia (List of William and Mary College Presidents):
(visit link)

Most of the stories reported here came from the book by L. B. Taylor. An online version of the text is in the link below to a site that references vaghosts.com, which is also the web site of the author of the book (but the vaghosts.com site did not open at the time of this writing).

True Hauntings of America (Williamsburg):
(visit link)

College Explorations (Even More Campus Ghost Stories):
(visit link)

Book:
Taylor, L. B. The Ghosts of Williamsburg...and Nearby Environs. : Progress Printing Co., 2006.
Public access?:
No public access inside. This is a private residence for the college. The house can be viewed from the outside, though I would not linger long to avoid being called by the campus security.


Visting hours:
None.


Website about the location and/or story: [Web Link]

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