Ghostly sounds of children at play and a vault lock that never rusted nor stayed locked for more than a day or so are at the heart of this story which takes place at Colross, one of the largest and most beautiful houses ever built in Alexadria, Virginia.
It once occupied an entire city block and was surrounded by a very old brick wall ten feet in height. It was said that the ghost of a bounty hunter and at least two Civil War deserters shot in front of the wall haunt the grounds. But our story is far more tragic in that it was the lives of two children that were taken and the ghosts of those same children that haunted Colross.
in the 1850's a colonial patriot named George Mason won the house in a game of cards. Mason moved into the house with his wife and two young children, William and Ann. Reports vary as to how young William ended up in the chicken coop. Some say he was hiding during a game og hide and seek. Other claim it came up a storm and he ran to the coop for shelter. What is known is that a gust of wind toppled the chicken coop, killing William instantly. The Masons were devestated, but none more than Ann. She never recovered from the loss of her brother, and soon after drowned in the bathtub. Both children were intered in a vault on the grounds. George Mason and his wife, having lost both of their children, left Colross never to return.
Almost immediately, new owners of Colross reported hearing young children playing on the grounds of the house even when there were no children around. It was occuring so often (almost daily) that the owners had trouble retaining servants. Some have claimed to see two children, a boy and a girl, laughing or singing in the yard. Always dressed in pre-Civil War clothes.
A side oddity of this story is the large iron lock to the vault that held the bodies of the children. Even though the lock was exposed to the elements for over seventy five years, the lock never rusted. It was always in perfect condition. Whats more, is that according to Mrs Smoot, an owner of Colross, the lock would never stay locked for more that three days. There was only one key, and that was with Mrs Smoots father. He would lock the vault himself, but three days later the lock would be open. It wasn't broken, it would just... open.
Was the ghosts of William and Ann opening the lock to play in the yard that had brought them happiness before their untimely ends? Sadly, the house has been moved to New Jersey and the vault with its mystery lock was destroyed. The bodies of the two children moved to a cemetery in the area. No one has seen or heard from the Mason children since. Perhaps they are finally at peace.