Gadsby's Tavern

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Gadsby’s Tavern was built in the 1770s and reportedly was visited by many of the country’s founding fathers. According to rumor, the tours through the historic site do not include one of its rooms, which is closed tight. Why? It’s said that a lovely ghost resides there. Legend has it that in 1816, a man and his ill wife arrived by ship. The couple rented a room at Gadsby’s Tavern, but the doctors couldn’t save her. Mysteriously, her dying wish was an oath taken by all present that her identity not be revealed. So, she was buried in nearby St. Paul’s Cemetery under the inscription “In memory of the female stranger, died October 14, 1816, age 23 years 8 months.” Afterward, her husband disappeared, leaving medical, boarding, and burial bills of more than $1,000. Now, folks say the woman’s ghost can be seen through the windows holding a candle, or on the stairway or in the ballroom. She also has been heard pacing the floors.

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Geographic Information

138 N Royal St
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States

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38.805582, -77.04343599999999
Nearest Towns:
Alexandria, VA (0.2 mi.)
Huntington, VA (1.7 mi.)
Belle Haven, VA (1.7 mi.)
Forest Heights, MD (2.5 mi.)
Glassmanor, MD (2.6 mi.)
Oxon Hill, MD (2.9 mi.)
Groveton, VA (3.5 mi.)
Rose Hill, VA (3.9 mi.)
Claremont, VA (4.2 mi.)
Hybla Valley, VA (4.5 mi.)

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  1. I was visiting the museum and as I walked from the ballroom into the adjoining corner room i smelt strong firesmoke. I thought the building was on fire. The tourguide said that old fireplace had not been used for years it was closed off and no one else could smell it.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.