The gently rolling hills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains are home to Sweet Briar College, a seemingly serene college for women.
Yet, amidst the peaceful setting, supernatural events are openly reported on a consistent basis.
This historic college is host to a couple of well-known ghosts who have an intimate and eternal connection with the establishment.
Indiana Williams, the founder of Sweet Briar, and her daughter are said to still be present on campus in ghostly forms…
Family History And Spooky Beginnings
Indiana Fletcher Williams owned the Sweet Briar plantation which made her a wealthy and respectable woman. The plantation was inherited from her father, a former teacher and advocate of education.
Indiana married Henry James Williams, an Irish immigrant, in 1865. Daisy was born two years later and was raised in a sheltered, pampered lifestyle.
Sadly, Daisy died when she was 16 from an inherited enzyme disorder. Henry passed away a few years later, leaving Indiana a widow and bereaved mother.
Upon Indiana’s death in 1900, she stated that her entire estate was to be turned into a school for women. The estate was comprised of over 8,000 acres and was worth approximately $1 million.
This gesture was intended as a tribute to her young daughter, but other members of the family did not agree with her decision.
These family members fought Indiana’s will and lost. The college was founded one year later. However, before it was officially opened, a good friend of Daisy’s claimed she saw Indiana’s ghost wandering in the dining room several times. Signora stated that Indiana wasn’t talking or interacting, just floating around.
The First Year at Sweet Briar
In its beginnings, Sweet Briar’s campus consisted of four buildings and 50 female students. The Williams’ family grave is located on campus and a special statue was placed over Daisy’s grave.
Apparently, a bitter family member defaced the statue, destroying all but the base. A new statue was erected and it came with a new feature. On a windy day, students can hear the statue “screaming.”
It has been determined that a certain part of the statue’s construction is the cause of the sinister sound. However, this is still accepted as a proper ghost story on campus and students still frequent the screaming statue.
Tucked away in a remote forest with no form of communication, the first graduating class at Sweet Briar had ample sources of inspiration for spooky stories.
These ladies ended up writing a book titled In The Light of Ember which is a collection of accounts of strange and spooky experiences on campus.
An Adolescent Ghost
Students and visitors have been reporting experiences with Daisy’s 16-year-old ghost for over 100 years. Many of these stories feature incidents with the same objects.
For example, an old music box from the Williams family that is out of order is sometimes reported to be playing eerie music.
However, the most commonly repeated story is the echoes of supernatural laughter heard all around the campus.
A former school president had a young daughter who acquired an imaginary friend upon moving into the President’s House on campus.
This house was in fact the home of Indiana, Henry and their daughter. Daisy’s room still contains her original furniture.
Barbara Hill was not concerned about her daughter’s imaginary friend until her daughter informed her that her friend lived in the walls of the house and was named Daisy.
One of the girl’s dormitories holds an off-limits attic. Local police have been called several times to investigate the attic when residents complained about hearing noises up there. The source of these noises was undetectable by the police officers.
The Mystery of the Medallion
Mrs. Martindale was the director of the halls of residence for over 20 years at Sweet Briar and she was a meticulous lady.
One day, she required something from her supply storage on the first floor of the Gray Residence Hall. In addition to her supplies, Mrs. Martindale discovered a framed medallion featuring the bust of Daisy.
Nobody in residence had ever seen or heard about this medallion. It was found on the same day the Daisy Gymnasium was completed, and it ended up being mounted inside the entrance to the gym.
Over 10 years from Signora’s original silent sightings of Indiana, the woman’s ghost appeared to her again. This time Indiana didn’t keep quiet; she told Signora that there was silver stashed in one of the walls in her house.
Signora came to the school’s president with this story and the president had the school’s carpenters break open the wall that Indiana said the silver was in.
To everyone’s surprise, the silver was there, wrapped up in paper packages covered in grime.
The Ghosts of Sweet Briar College
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