Shirley Plantation

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The very first house on the plantation was built in 1613–reportedly the oldest house in the U.S. But it’s the mid-18th-century house here, possibly owned by private residents, that has a ghost story involving a painting in a second-story bedroom. It’s a portrait of Aunt Pratt, and its story began in 1858 when the portrait was put away in the attic. After that, weird knocking sounds came from the attic throughout the day, increasing daily, until the residents at the time put the portrait back up. But in 1974, the portrait was taken off the wall again to be shipped to a New York City comference about items associated with paranormal phenomena. While in its exhibit, the portrait began to rock crazily in front of many spectators. Further, when the painting was locked up at night, it somehow escaped, and was found the next morning outside its storage container and pointing toward the exit. When the portrait was shipped home again and placed back onto the wall, the eerie occurrences stopped.

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Geographic Information

501 Shirley Plantation Rd
Charles City, Virginia 23030
United States

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37.341908068725886, -77.2609973251383
Charles City County, Virginia
Nearest Towns:
Hopewell, VA (3.0 mi.)
Enon, VA (3.5 mi.)
Fort Lee, VA (7.7 mi.)
Prince George, VA (8.5 mi.)
Colonial Heights, VA (9.5 mi.)
Chester, VA (10.0 mi.)
Charles City, VA (10.3 mi.)
Pocahontas, VA (10.5 mi.)
Petersburg, VA (11.0 mi.)
Bellwood, VA (11.2 mi.)

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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.