Ghost Bride of Brandon Plantation
Many ghost stories begin with love. This story involves a love unrequited, and vengeance. Todays haunted place is the well known Brandon Plantation in Prince George County, Virginia. On what should have been the happiest day of her life, a young bride was the victim of unspeakable evil.
During the 1700s there lived a girl named Jane Evelyn Harrison. Eighteen and by all accounts ravishing in her beauty Jane was a sight to behold. She also was well aware of her beauty and was not above using that along with her families influence to break the heart of any man who fancied her. One such young man was Pierre Bondurant, a Frenchman who fell for the young Ms. Harrison as hard as any man has ever fallen for a woman.
They met at a spring dance and it was only after a short while that the Frenchman began proposing marriage to Jane almost on a daily basis. Jane used every trick in the book to keep stringing Pierre along. Finally, as Pierre was leaving for a long trip back to France, he practically begged Jane for her hand. Jane told him that she would only marry him if her father would agree to the union. Pierre was overjoyed as he left on his trip. However, Jane knew her father would never agree to the match.
Jane was right. Only in Paris for a month, Pierre received a letter that destroyed him. Jane was engaged to another man and was to be wed at Brandon Plantation that fall. What even worse was that Pierre himself was invited to the wedding of the girl who had his heart. So, on the last day in November Pierre was among the over one hundred guest that gathered to see Jane Harrison marry Ralph Cocke.
Pierre humbly asked the groom if he might be the one to toast the couple first. Seeing no harm in the gesture, his request was granted. Pierre raised his glass and said "Whatever fate may be, and this day alone will tell, may both of you be happy and free from sorrow, malice and ill". The wedding happened without incident and after a huge reception was thrown.
During the party, Pierre pulled Jane aside and offered her a glass of champagne. "Let us toast to our health" he said. Overjoyed he displayed no animosity about their earlier fling, Jane took the glass and drank it down. Pierre then recited these words to Jane: "Twas you I loved when we first met. I love you then and I love you yet; 'tis vain for me to forget, Lo! Both of us could die before sunset". Pierre then saw that Jane's new husband had heard those words and embarrassed, quickly drank his champagne and left the house.
By the time the last guest left the party, Jane had fallen in the drawing room and now was on her deathbed, poisoned from the drink given to her by Pierre. She would die that evening gasping for breathe. As they prepared the body for burial, it was discovered that her wedding ring was missing. It would turn up in the coat pocket of Pierre Bondurant, who was found dead in the carriage that carried him from Brandon Plantation. The ring was returned to Jane's family, but her aunt who owned Brandon at the time, claimed the ring was now cursed and had it embedded in the plaster of the ceiling over the spot where Jane fell.
After that, people who worked and lived at Brandon began to see a ghostly image of a woman in white who appeared only in late November. Years later the house changed hands to a woman named Helen. One night, Helen was walking by the family cemetery on the grounds when she saw a figure drifting towards the house. She hurried inside the house and when she was safely inside, she heard a crash coming from the drawing room. She went to investigate, and found the same figure hovering over the floor. Helen claimed the figure was going from place to place before settling over the fallen piece of plaster. It looked as if the ghost was looking for something. A few seconds passed before the spirit looked up, and floated through the wall and disappeared.
Helen looked through the fallen plaster and found a tarnished wedding ring. Figuring that's what the ghost was looking for, she had the ring suspended from the ceiling on a string. It remains there to this day, as does the ghost of Jane, looking for her ring.