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Do you have the gumption to stay at a haunted campground? There is a beautiful RV park and campground located in Hampton, Va.
The Colonies at Fort Monroe is a small and beautiful park that has 14 full hook up sites and plenty of tent camping. Their amenities include a country store, horseshoes, laundry facility and more. The Cononies campground is surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay. It is within walking distance to the old fort at Fort Monroe. Is it a haunted campground?
Location and Campground
Fort Monroe is located in Hampton, VA. The Colonies Rv and Travel Park, a haunted campground, is located at the end of Fenwick Rd. on the smallish peninsula. Camping at this park requires advance reservations due to it’s popularity and awesome location.
History of Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe is full of history. The fort, also known as Freedom’s Fortress, was built in the 1800’s as a strategic defense point near the Chesapeake Bay. It is now a decommissioned army base. The Fort, itself, stands as a national monument that is open to visitors.
Fort Monroe has seen it’s share of conflict. It has stood through several conflicts and wars, including the Civil War and both World Wars. Due to it’s violent history, the area is rumored to be haunted by several prominent ghost figures. Some of the sightings include The White Lady, Edgar Allen Poe, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, and Abraham Lincoln.
The Fort, in Hampton, was one of the only strongholds not captured by the confederate army during the Civil War. It is the place that the first enslaved Africans arrived and were traded for supplies and food. Later, escaped slaves would seek shelter at this very same location.
Wars and conflicts were planned and executed by presidents and military men at Fort Monroe. It was home to several artillery schools. The area is penned to have housed some infamous prisoners during its long history.
Fort Monroe has such a complicated history. It has been witness to many historical events. It is no wonder that the ghosts of the past seem to keep watch over the area.
The White Lady
The White lady, or lady in white, is said to wander the grounds near the old Chamberlain Hotel (now the site of a retirement community). The lady in white was said to be the wife of a captain who was stationed here on the Fort. While she was married to her older spouse, The Lady in White became unhappy and went on to seek comfort in the arms of a different man. Her husband, the captain, allegedly found the two in bed and shot his wife.
The story tells the tale of a ghost-like figure, wearing a white nightgown, roaming the surrounding areas on Fort Monroe. People have speculated that she is looking for her clandestine lover. Many visitors and residents have reported her presence.
Edgar Allen Poe
Edgar Allen Poe, a soldier at the time, was stationed for a stint at Fort Monroe under the moniker, Edgar A. Perry. The story relays that Poe wasn’t suited for military life and that he requested to be discharged. After his discharge he went on to attend the military academy at West Point. He visited Fort Monroe 20 years after his stay. The story reveals that he requested the company of a young woman to whom he could read his poetry.
You may be able to see his ghostlike figure sitting on a porch of the Chamberlain reading to a young lady. Some fans of Poe’s work have speculated that his poems, The Ravan and Annabelle Lee, were inspired by his stay at Fort Monroe.
Abraham Lincoln, a former president, lived at Fort Monroe at Quarters Number 1 during 1862. This is where he helped to plan the attack on Norfolk. People have reported encountering his presence in Quarters #1. The reports are of a man standing by a fireplace, preoccupied and thinking.
Jefferson Davis was imprisoned for treason and planning the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. He was shackled and locked up in a casemate at Fort Monroe. You can visit “The Casemate Museum”. It is open to visitors and is full of information to fuel your imagination.
There are reports of a ghostly woman watching out a window near the casemate. Many have said that you can see the window vibrate when her ghost is present.
Davis was said to be taken for walks every evening. His wife would watch from a nearby window to ensure the health and safety of her husband.
If you pay attention, you may just see a specter of a man walking at night near the ramparts has been reported by guests and residents. This specter is thought to be Davis.
Oozlefinch Beers and Blending
The brewery named Oozlefinch is located on Patch Road in Fort Monroe. This is a popular place for people to gather and have a refreshing brew. The brewery has made valiant efforts to honor the history of this special location. They have done this by using yeast from past artifacts in their recipes.
The brewery also has an aptly named delight, called Lady In White. Lady in White is a tasty Hefeweizen beer that is sure to quench your thirst.
If you have a chance to visit Fort Monroe, make sure to save time and stop in at this brewery. Enjoy a refreshment and learn more about this haunted place from some of the residents and locals that patron this establishment.
This establishment has reports of a protectant spirit that haunts the location. They have dubbed this presence “The Night Watchman.” Many employees have experienced encounters with this ghost.
Interview With Oozlefinch Staff
I had the opportunity to interview Paul Metzger-Smith, the manager at Oozlefinch. He was happy to share his experiences with the watchman and working at the brewery.
An Experience with The Night Watchman
“One night I was at the brewery and it was close to closing time. We had two employees working and only two customers at the time this “ghostly” experience occurred. I was walking from the back room to the the brewery when I heard someone call my name 3 times. “Paul, Paul…. Paul!!” (the last one being more emphatic…almost irritated).
I immediately respond to the first “Paul” by saying, “What?” and again saying, “What?” after the second time. I thought it was the one employee calling for me.
I walked back up the ramp to the back room and asked him what he wanted. He said that he didn’t call for me. I thought he was lying.
When we closed I called the owner and asked him to pull the camera footage of all the cameras when this happened. Upon watching we realized that no one in the brewery said my name 3 times. It was so loud and pronounced that it couldn’t have come from outside either.
All three cameras pick up the voice. Now, I don’t know who or what this was but it could very well have been the Watchman that has been known to do things like this.”
How Often Do Patrons Talk About The Hauntings At Fort Monroe or The Brewery?
“It’s not often that patrons talk about hauntings at our place. That being said, multiple women have had unexplained experiences in the women’s restroom or just outside of it.
The experience is usually very similar in nature. Someone or something will touch their shoulder or blow on their neck. Just enough to let them know they are there.”
Your History With Oozlefinch
“I started working at Oozlefinch back in May of 2018 as a seasonal bartender. Since then, I have since been promoted to the taproom/production manager. I have known the owner and his wife since 2011 approximately 5 years before Oozlefinch opened.”
Other Odd Occurrences?
“Fort Monroe is rich in history so suffice it to say there is a lot of energy floating around the fort. There have been MANY nights where I was the only one in the building but I just knew I was not alone. “
One other experience I had was when I was getting ready to lock up one night to head home, I heard what sounded like a ball (like a baseball or something a little more bouncy) hit the ramp up that goes up to the restrooms. It then changed into very distinct footsteps.
Anyone who has been to Oozlefinch knows that when you walk up that ramp it has a very distinct sound. I thought perhaps the owner, Russ Tinsley, had snuck in and was trying to scare me (He is a bit of a jokester).
After I got my nerve up, I walked up the ramp and checked both restrooms. No one was there. Needless to say… I left quickly that night. Perhaps that was the Watchman making his rounds in the brewery. Making sure we were all safe. I left very quickly that night. I may have even left the lights on….”
Thank you, Paul for telling us your history and information about Oozlefinch and The Watchman!! I am sure that it will keep people visiting your brewery for many moons and brews!!
If you are looking for a wonderful campground in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, The Colonies won’t disappoint. It is very quiet and clean. The staff is ultra friendly and accommodating. The location is the best in the area.
If you can handle a friendly ghost sighting or two, this is a must-stay location on your travels. Check out the history, museums, beautiful views, and the fantastic brewery. You won’t be disappointed. Plan your next stay at this haunted campground.
What are your best ghost stories? Do you know of a haunted campground?
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Sources for this article are listed below:
- America’s Haunted Breweries, Distilleries and Wineries, book by Amanda R. Woomer
- Easy Campfire Desserts: Recipes for an Awesome Summer Night
- The Best RV Toilet Paper: How to Keep Your Sanitation System Running Smooth
- RV Gifts Under $100: The Best Gifts for RVers
- RV Cleaning Checklist: How to Keep Your RV sparkling clean
- 11 Tips for RVing With a Cat: Ultimate Guide to Keep them Safe And Happy
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