Staunton Stories and Tips

Selma House

Selma House Photo, Staunton, Virginia

The end of the Civil War saw more and more Yankee occupation of the Shenandoah Valley, it being only three hours from Washington, DC.

A young Confederate soldier separated from his troop knew that he had to hide from his Northern Army pursuers. But where? He ran into a white house atop a hill in Staunton to escape capture -- or death. He turned around just in time to see an enemy soldier in Northern blue standing in the doorway, where he had just entered. I'm sure he drew his gun to fire, but not quick enough. He was shot in front of the fireplace hearth. His wound fatal, he sunk down onto the hearth and took his final breath. His blood seeped onto the floor and the wall, staining where it touched.

Not long after the war, occupants of what is now known as Selma house began reporting that they saw a soldier in uniform walking down the stairs, or standing by the fireplace. or walking out the door. Through the years, more and more reports flowed out of the house about the "nice gentleman" that could be seen throughout the house. A friend of a friend that lived in the house (now converted into apartments) claims that the "ghost" even helped out around the house. She had set her laundry down at the top of the stairs, and gone back to shut her door. She came back to see her laundry at the bottom of the steps.

These stories made Selma house famous, at least in certain circles. When we were in the 4th grade, our teacher, who lived on Selma Blvd, two houses down, read the story of Selma House from a book on registered haunted houses.

I recently read a story, that said a group of parapsychologists managed to set the spirit free, and the house is no longer haunted. Now what fun is that? However, I'm sure the Confederate Soldier was tired after nearly 100 years of haunting the house.

Selma house is a residence, not a museum or a tourist attraction. However, you can easily find it sitting atop of Selma Blvd., near the park in the center of town. You can get most anyone to talk about it. And perhaps, if you ask nicely, a resident will allow you to see the blood stains on the floor and the wall that could never be covered -- the blood would seep through all rugs, coverings, etc.

Mostly, it's just a fun local story, and the house itself is a beautiful southern house -- fit with columns and all -- that has stood since before the Civil War.

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