Sunday, October 22, 2006

Back to Leesburg



We made it back to Leesburg and the Glenfiddich House. Privately owned, the main portion of the Glenfiddich House was built in 1840 (it is attached to its original log cabin built around 1783) by Henry T. Harrison. Gen. Lee stayed there in 1862 as he recuperated from a wrist injury and it was the site of his war council while en route to Antietam. Thanks to the Historical Society of Loudoun County and Glenfiddich's owners, we were able to return on the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Ball's Bluff.

On 10/21/1861, the Battle of Leesburg/Battle of Ball's Bluff was fought and the commander of the 18th Mississippi Regiment, Col. Erasmus R. Burt, was shot in the right thigh and mortally wounded. Brought to Glenfiddich (then called Harrison Hall), he was laid in the foyer before being taken to an upstairs bedroom where he died 3 days later. His ghost has been seen and experienced by both the owners and their employees (the main building is used as an office).

Col. Burt has been heard regularly walking in the parlor on Sundays, cold rushes of air have been felt, sounds of the back door slamming although it has been locked, pacing in the hallway and even his apparition in the foyer have occurred. The owner and the employees have become used to him and coexist well with him, treating him as a protector of the house.

We had a full team this time and ran video, EVP, and took photos. We also tried a biofeedback experiment. That was interesting. We staked out the room Burt was brought into (and where a body impression's regularly seen on the bed) and I got comfortable in a chair. Let's just say that I was calm, but the feedback machine said otherwise and it would also spike when the UV flashlight was used on me. Go fig. The purpose of that experiment is to see if a person if possibly physically affected by a spirit's presence. Something new. We tinker sometimes. Experimenting is a good thing.

The most interesting was in the basement. It had a thick feeling, but that could've been due to the damp, mustiness of it. We noticed the floor had been redone. Turns out it was the former well/cistern. Duh. Of course! That's usually one of the first things I look for. In the back office, I stepped towards the center and my whole head tightened up and I swear, my ears started ringing and aching. When I left out of the office I was fine. We ran EVP later on in it and immediately after Al asked the spirit if it was comfortable having us there, upon playback everyone in the room clearly heard a voice say "NO." That was enough for us and a DCMAG first. After hearing that, we thought it was time to wrap up, LOL. No need to tell us twice, LOL. We spoke to the owner more about her experiences and packed up.

Having a historical society official on hand, many of my historical questions were answered. I still have some though:
  1. The footsteps are regularly heard on Sundays. What's the significance?
  2. Why is the Lynch House across the street so very haunted too?
Glenfiddich is privately-owned, but the public can visit many of Leesburg's haunted sites on the guided ghost tour, which is considered one of the best in the area.

2 comments:

lynne said...

Thanks for the description of your investigation-I was especially interested in the use of biofeedback. It seems like it could be a useful tool...how interesting that there is a way to detect the subconscious/conscious reactions of the body. Do you think you'll use that method again?

tcb299 said...

I am a gg grandaughterof E.R. Burt that is fortunate enough to be staying at Glennfiddich during this 147th death day of him. I wonder what my chances of experiencing any activity from him are? My husband and I are traveling from Ca. for this adventure and we are really lookng forward to it. Trisha Borders trishasplace3@aol.com