Westover Plantation's Heartbroken Ghost

Westover Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia is a shining example of the architecture of the 1700s. But as lovely as the house is, the grounds are walked by a ghost with a broken heart. Evelyn Byrd still haunts the plantation grounds hoping to heal the sorrow she bore in life.

Born in the early part of the 1700s to a prominent statesman, Evelyn Byrd was the picture of happiness. At the tender age of ten, she was taken by her father to England where she blossomed into a beautiful young woman. While she was overseas, Evelyn fell in love with a young man named Charles Morduant. Evelyn's father was utter against the idea of his young daughter marrying Morduant, going so far as to tell her that if she went ahead with the marriage, she would be cut out of both the family and his money.

Going against her heart, Evelyn returned to Westover with her father. However, she was never the same. The sparkle was gone from her eye and her smile had dimmed. While many suitors came calling on her, she rejected them all leaving her frustrated father to refer to her as the "antique virgin". Evelyn spent her days either alone in her room or wandering the Westover grounds with her friend Anne Harrison.

One day, while walking, the girls made a secret pact that whichever one dies first, they would make an effort to come back and visit the other (but not frighten them). It wasn't long before Evelyn died of what some called a broken heart. Anne was crushed at the lost of her friend and for weeks did not venture out of her house.

Finally, one day she took a walk and found herself at the poplar tree where the two had made their pact. It was then that Anne felt a presence. Turning around she saw Evelyn bathed in a white light. Evelyn smiled at her friend, blew her a kiss and vanished into thin air. The appearance of her friend's ghost shook Anne to her core.

It was after that day when the sightings began. Everyone from owner to servants to maintenance workers have had run ins with Ms. Evelyn. Once, a woman staying at Westover remarked to the owner that a lady had woken her up at night standing at the foot of her bed dressed in an extravagant gown. The owner smiled and simply stated "Oh yes, that was Evelyn Byrd".

Several butlers had told stories of walking through a narrow passage when the were met by a woman. Stepping aside to let her through, the watched as the woman would take a few steps and then fade into nothing. As you might imagine, this rattled many servants through the years.

Of all the tales of meeting Evelyn, one thing seems to remain. None of the people who have seen her were scared of her. She seems to be a very friendly ghost. Although what causes her to return and haunt a place that was so unhappy for her is still discussed and today still remains a mystery.


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