Bedford Paranormal
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Grahams Forge Mansion

Grahams Forge Mansion is located in the southwestern part of Virginia. It’s a very beautiful home with a rich history. The website created for the home and the annual music festival held there has a lot of useful information. http://www.grahamfestusa.com/ . The website has a great page with a timeline showing insight into the lives of those who lived there and the different construction projects on the home. The website even has a great map to ensure you can find your way there.

Robert Graham was originally from beautiful County Down in the northern part of Ireland http://www.countydown.com/down.htm , http://www.oldukphotos.com/ireland-county-down.htm . He came to this country in 1774 and showed his loyalty to his adopted country by serving in the Revolutionary War. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolutionary_War . In 1800 his son Squire David was born who was the father of Major David for whom the mansion is named. Squire David Graham inherited the land the mansion is on from his father Robert. Squire David Graham built the original wood home which is now the rear section and many of the huge home additions later. A good businessman, Squire David eventually owned a dozen iron furnaces in the area around the historic home. His first was actually in the front yard. Around 1850, the very impressive and large brick section of the home was added. There are also several historic outbuildings intact around the home including a laundry, summer kitchen, and housing for servants.
Our group had been invited to conduct an investigation at Grahams Forge by Nick Ferra. Nick is the founder of the Virginia Paranormal Society.

www.VirginiaParanormalSociety.com  Members present on the investigation were Amy, Robin, Scott, Michael, and myself.  Since the Mansion was about 2 and a half hours away we decided to carpool. The difference in the ages of our team members became apparent on the way. Scott could sing the words to every song Amy played on the radio, yet I had never even heard any of them. Just another sign I’m getting old I guess. When we arrived at the mansion we found Nick and VPS’s case manager Donna already there. Both were very friendly and a wealth of information. They were gracious enough to take us on a tour of the grounds and then the home. I was impressed that both knew so much of the home’s history including many names of past residents and dates of construction and additions. As we entered what is now the front door we had a parlor type room on each side of the hallway. The one on the left had a fireplace and led into another room with a piano. The one on the right had a fireplace as well and many whitetail deer trophies placed there by a caretaker of the home. This room also led into another room. All four rooms had tall ceilings and must have impressed any visitor that had come to call at the mansion. From the front door you can also access a wide staircase to the second floor. Beyond these four rooms was a second staircase to the second and third floors and a room that is now used as a kitchen. We were then shown the second floor. A small pink room just over the front door is where a lady passed away and it’s reported that sometimes EVPs can be collected here. This room leads into the Squire’s bedroom which had a fireplace and a beautiful view of the property. The Squire’s room was in turn connected to another bedroom of equal size and then you gained access to the second stairway and the classroom in the older section of the home. We were told that there had been many paranormal experiences in the classroom, but while we weren’t told what happens there we were told that it didn’t like men and that if there were any men in the room, it was likely that nothing would happen. After hearing this I turned to Amy and Robin and said that it belonged to them, much to their delight. We turned back into the brick section of the home and were shown a “holiday room” complete with a Christmas tree, and then another bedroom next to it. This bedroom like the others had a fireplace and a good view. We were then on to the third floor by way of the back staircase. As we reached the top landing on the third floor, Nick and Donna told us how the finished room over the classroom had been used by Confederate soldiers to hold meetings and possibly make plans. We were also told that wounded soldiers were hidden in the unfinished section of the third floor over the brick section. What an interesting history this house has.
We gathered up our equipment and decided to concentrate on the second floor. Amy and Robin set up in the classroom with Donna while Michael chose the second floor landing on the front stairs with Nick. Scott and I chose the room over the front door where the EVPs are sometimes collected. I forgot to mention one other participant in this investigation – Dusty. Dusty is an old black and white cat that lives by himself in the mansion. Somehow he finds a way in and out of it and manages to get by finding food from somewhere. He decided to sit with me as we started the investigation. The room Scott and I were in is regular size by today’s standards, but is small compared to the other rooms in the mansion. I sat under the window and faced the open door to the Squire’s room. The door that led to the stair case was on my right. Scott started his voice recorder, I started my night vision camcorder and we settled in with the house dark except for some moonlight coming in. After about 15 minutes Dusty stood up and walked into the Squire’s room. Even though there was a little moonlight coming in I couldn’t make out any features in the room from where I sat. After a while I kept thinking I saw movement in the room. I told Scott that I wasn’t sure if it was an optical illusion, the cat, or something else, but that I was going to go in the Squire’s room and sit. I found a solid wood chair that had been placed so that if I turned right I could see Scott and if I looked forward I could see through the next room, the back stair landing, and into the classroom. I settled in and it wasn’t long before the cat found me and sat on my lap which was fine with me since I would know where he was and would be wondering if any movement was him. After about 20 -25 minutes Dusty stood up and was clearly looking at something. I looked up and saw the dark shape of someone enter the room next to mine from the back stair landing. I thought it was Nick and the cat got down and calmly walked into that room. I motioned to Scott to tell him that someone was walking around. Just then Nick and Michael spoke up to ask if anyone had gone downstairs by another staircase since they could hear someone moving around down there. This surprised me since I thought Nick was in the next room. Scott and I responded that we had not left the floor and the ladies in the classroom stated they hadn’t either. Scott and I quickly entered the adjoining room to see who was in it, but found it empty. There was no way for someone to leave the room without coming into my view. Also whatever it was, the cat was not only unafraid of it, but went to meet it. We all got together to talk. Michael and Nick didn’t see or hear anything once they got downstairs. Something paranormal had happened in the classroom however. As Amy, Robin, and Donna had sat in the room Amy noticed something moving out of the corner of her eye. It became clearer and she saw what she described as a small girl in a yellow dress come out of the closet and walk towards her. As she looked at it directly it faded away. We had not been told of what had been seen before in the classroom and as it turned out, a little girl in a yellow dress was just that. Donna told us that she thought the little girl might be the one they had heard a story about, but she just wasn’t sure. The story goes that a young girl was allowed to live in the home but for some reason was not allowed to be in the presence of the home’s owner. She was however cared for and educated. She died young at around 7 or 8, but the reason is unknown.  We decided to take a break at this point to change out video tape and batteries. I was disappointed that my night vision camcorders could only see in the darkness about 8 feet. I made a mental note to bite the bullet and buy better video equipment. We all gathered in the Squire’s room and spread out to quietly wait and see what might happen. After about 45 minutes Amy asked the rest of us if we had heard a voice. No one had. About another 15 minutes later several members heard what they described as a girl’s giggle from the Pink room area. Donna slowly walked into the Pink room, but nothing more was heard. I noticed scratched writing on the window in the Squire’s room and Nick told us that several female family members had written their names on the glass with their diamond rings. I remembered a similar custom at a plantation home I had visited near Hopewell.  At that house it was a custom for the ladies to write their names in a certain window and ensure that they really had a diamond on their ring. We decided to return to the classroom, but before we did Robin placed a voice recorder in the basement where the slave quarters were to let it run by itself.  Scott and I examined the two closets in the room and noticed a hole in the top of one. Scott commented that it reminded him of the movie “the Grudge”. We took note of the toys and balls scattered on the floor of the room. Donna and Nick told us that the period type toys were placed there to see if the ghost of the young girl or possibly another presence would move them. Amy placed some powder on one of the balls, but it hadn’t moved or been noticeably touched.  I set up some cameras and then sat outside with Michael and Nick so that hopefully the entity that seemed to be wary of men would show itself. Nick and I exchanged some ideas about running our different groups and about investigations in general. I decided to place a camera downstairs in the parlor to the left as you walked in and just let it run by itself. After another hour we decided to pack everything up and start the long drive home. We were thankful to Nick and Donna of the Virginia Paranormal Society for inviting us to Grahams Forge and for all of the information they provided. If you ever want to learn about this historical property, these two are the ones to turn to.

Footnote: On a return trip to the Mansion with members Robin and Amy, we were all sitting in the Squire’s room with Nick when I saw something very intriguing. I was sitting on the floor where I could see all the way into the class room. As Amy was talking to Nick I clearly saw a dark shape like a person come out of the wall as far as its chest. It seemed to look at us and then duck back into the wall of the classroom as if it had realized that I saw it. I was so startled I couldn’t think of what to say at first. Finally I said that I wasn’t sure if it was an optical illusion or what but I just saw a dark head and shoulders stick out of the wall in the classroom and look at us. Nick asked if it was short like a kid and I said yes, it exited the wall from a lower position that an adult would.  I was then asked if it came from the left hand wall, again I said yes. I was told that several people had seen that in the past. I felt very lucky to have seen it, but couldn’t help but wonder why it would have acted afraid of us or be very hesitant to be seen.

 

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