Weems-Botts Museum

Weems-Botts Museum

The ghosts of the Weems-Botts Museum will once again be the subject of a paranormal television show.

The Travel Channel’s “The Dead Files” will air “A Widow’s Revenge – Dumfries, Virginia” at 10 p.m. May 27 and at 1 a.m. May 28.

The paranormal investigative team of Steve DiSchiavi and Amy Allan “investigate activity that’s tormenting volunteers and visitors at a historic museum. During the investigation, Amy encounters a female spirit wishing to harm the living,” according to the show’s website.

DiSchiavi is described as a retired New York City Police Department homicide detective and Allen is described as a medium on the website.

Over the last decade or so, the museum has gained increasing notoriety for its spirits. Many paranormal investigations have been held during which they have gathered photos and recordings of what they believe to be ghosts.

Historic Dumfries, Inc., which runs the museum, decided to capitalize on the public’s curiosity about ghosts and since 2004 has hosted Ghostly Lock-ins during October so that visitors can sleep in the museum overnight hoping to spot a spirit. During that same month it also hosts ghost walks that take place in Merchant Park, behind the museum where Civil War spirits are reported to have been scene.

The Merchant family – Richard and Annie and their daughters Mary and Violet – moved into the house, now the museum, in the 1869. Many believe Mary and Violet and possibly others spirits remain in the house.

Mary, who is believed to have had epilepsy, was kept in confinement in an upstairs room until she died in 1906 at the age of 23. Her father died the same year. Violet, who had moved away, came back home to take care of her mother who died in 1952. She stayed in the house until her death in 1968.

Annie Merchant could be the widow referred to in the Dead File’s episode.

Among the most reported evidence of a ghostly presence are an antique doll that has moved around the parlor room, books that have been moved, curtains that flutter, windows that open and close on their own and a photograph hung on the wall that has been found on the floor or prompted up on a chair.

The Weems-Botts Museum often makes lists of most haunted places in Virginia.

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