Dismal Swamp

The Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia has a rich legacy of ghost sightings dating back some 100 years.

Dismal Swamp

The Great Dismal Swamp is vast and ancient, sprawling across the borders of Virginia and North Carolina. Tall, twisted cypress trees rise eerily from the murky waters. Spanish moss clings to their branches and their tangled, exposed roots. Wild creatures roam through the undergrowth and the cries of birds echo in the distance. Desolate wilderness extends as far as the eye can see and the entire area is bathed in a strange green glow.

At the very center of Dismal Swamp, lies a moss-green tarn called Lake Drummond. It was named after William Drummond, who went exploring in the swamp with a group of hunters. The only one who came back from the doomed expedition was Drummond. He staggered out of the undergrowth, his clothes ragged and his body nearly dead from starvation and his mind nearly insane from fear. He kept babbling incoherently about strange forces at work in the swamp.

The famous ghost story of the Great Dismal Swamp begins with two young lovers. A boy and a girl were about to be married but on the eve of the wedding, the girl went out walking in Dismal Swamp. She was never seen again.

After a few weeks, people believed that she must be dead and gave up searching for her. But the boy never gave up hope. Maddened by grief, he became convinced that the girl was not dead, but lost in Dismal Swamp.

He heard stories from local men who had spotted a ghostly girl dressed in white wandering through the swamp. The boy went out every night, exploring the depths of the swamp, searching for his lost love.

One night, the boy didn’t return. Even though the people in the area searched for him for weeks, his body was never recovered.

Through the years, many hunters and fishermen claim to have seen the ghostly young girl paddling a white canoe through the swamp at night, lighting her way with a fire-fly lamp.

But oft from the Indian hunter camp,
The lover and maid so true,
Are seen at the hour of midnight damp,
To cross the lake by firefly lamp,
And paddle their white canoe.

One night, a man went down to the swamp and was astonished to see two people walking ahead of him towards the lake. He noticed that they were wearing very odd clothing. The woman was wearing a long dress and the man was carrying a fishing pole. When he walked up to them, they vanished into thin air.

Another man was paddling his canoe at night when he suddenly saw a lady dressed in a long white flowing gown standing by the water’s edge. When he passed by her, she just stared at him. When he looked back over his shoulder, she had vanished and in her place was an eerie white mist.

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