While in college, I roomed with a girl whose family, at that time was living in an old rented house in Bolton, Virginia. Quite often, on weekends, we would ride home together, with me dropping her off at her parent's house on my way.
The house that the family rented was quite old,( though I am not sure just how old) and rundown. The upper floor of the house was simply a converted attic, that encompassed the entire length of the house, excluding the wide front porch. Becky, my friend, had two younger brothers who were living at home at that time, and had made the upper story of the house their domain. In the corner of the attic room, they found an old trunk. When they examined the contents, they found various articles of old clothing, as well as an assortment old buttons, papers and various other paraphernalia. Of special interest to the boys was an old, tattered military coat of the type worn by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Though the trunk and its contents at first sparked some lively interest in the boys, it was soon forgotten in the pursuit of other, more modern interests.
Opening the trunk, however, seemingly served as the opening of a Pandora's Box of paranormal activity for the family.
Shortly after the first examination of the box, the two boys began to complain of their sleep being disturbed my unexplained noises in their attic bed room. Many nights, their sleep would be disturbed by the sound of someone moving around the room, and mysterious shadows were spotted in the darkened room. Footsteps were heard by all family members issuing from the attic room, at various times of the day and night, when the room was not occupied by any family member. Becky's mother suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and often rambled on about seeing a man wandering the house during the day. Since delusional thinking is a common effect of the disease, her family at first, took no real notice of her proclamations. It was only after Becky's brothers, and her father had their own personal encounters with the mysterious man that they began to give some credence to her story. On separate occasions, each brother had seen, upon entering the attic, a man, dressed in Confederate gray, standing by the window. Each time, the figure had simply vanished as they entered the room.
Crisis came to the haunting when the father also spotted the spectre, dressed in the southern colors, in the back yard, leaning on what looked to be an old rifle, staring up at the attic window. Within moments of the sighting, the figure simply vanished before the astounded eyes of Becky's father.
This sighting prompted much action by the family. Soon afterwards, Becky's father drug the old trunk from the attic, carried it outside, and there burned it along with all its contents. The family then quickly left the house, and found residence elsewhere , vowing not to return to the house to live.
Through a little investigation, it was learned that the house that they had lived in had the reputation of being haunted, and that no family that had rented it had ever stayed very long.
Not long after Becky's family moved, the house was demolished, making way for a new home built upon the lot. I do not know whether the new residents had any other sightings of the lone soldier who had haunted the old house.
© Paulette Boyd
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