Monday, June 7, 2010

Articles About Aspen Grove

I was just glancing through my stored stuff and found this little snippet from an article about Aspen Grove (above). I have one article I want to put up here, but for some reason the copy ended up with a black background and it's hard to read, so I'm going to transcribe it here for ya'all. Do take note what my mother says at the end of the interview...

“Ghostly Goings-On” (1980s?)
By Paul Jordan, Tribune Staff Writer

Ghosts—are they born to fantastic imaginations or can the spirits of the dead actually haunt and terrorize the living. Ask this question to people familiar with the historic 237-year-old Aspen Grove house, 2400 Roberts Road in Fairfax County and many, if not most, will say the ghosts are more than creative thought.

In fact, NBCs show on haunted houses a few years back included Aspen Grove as one of the major haunted houses in America, said Ted Heflin, a local builder and former owner of Aspen Grove.

“I am very skeptical about things like ghosts, but there were occurrences at Aspen Grove that were just too incredible to be coincidental, said Anna Sue Day, a long-time owner and resident of the house in the 1960s and 1970s.

Day first suspected the ghost’s presence in 1964 only three days after moving into Aspen Grove. “On one of my first nights at Aspen Grove, I was in bed when I heard footsteps on the staircase.” Day said. “It was frightening because my husband was away on a trip. The footsteps would disappear every time I checked. This happened night after night.”

Although Day never told her husband about her experiences, soon he heard the same footsteps and asked her about them.

After some research, Day learned that the house was supposedly haunted by the ghost of a Union soldier killed while occupying Aspen Grove.

Legend has it that the Union Soldier rushed outside with bare feet after hearing some noises in the yard and was shot to death by the enemy and still returns to Aspen Grove, racing noisily up and down the main staircase in search of his army boots.

Aspen Grove changed hands several times between the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil war. The house served both armies as a shelter and a hospital. Initials and blood stains of the soldiers can still be seen on Aspen Grove’s pine floors in the dining room and living room. The enduring Aspen Grove has sheltered a lot of emotion, anxiety and pain.

In addition to footsteps, Day said the chandelier would sometimes begin to “tinkle” when she was reading in the living room. The tinkling would move to the chandelier in the music room and then to the one in the dining room. Day said the tinkling was not the result of anything explicable like traffic vibrations or wind.

“It’s hard sometimes to separate the real from the unreal,” Day said. Two separate occurrences convinced Day of the spirit’s presence.

After Day sold the house and was preparing to leave, a large picture fell from the mantle, “but the picture fell from the mantle and moved across the floor at least 12 feet.” Day said, “When I went into the room to see what had fallen, the picture was way across the room and not broken at all.”

Also, during the move, Day said a portion of the ceiling between the kitchen and dining room fell with no rational cause. “It just fell from nowhere,” Day concluded that the ghost did not want her to leave.

“Actually, I loved the house and felt very secure in it.” She said. “I never really feared the ghosts, in fact, my husband and I always promised to each other that we would haunt the house some day.”


  1. I bet they are haunting the place. After all the stories you have told, I would love to see an investigation inside the house and on the grounds. I'm sure you will get a chance to revisit the old home and be able to ghost hunt with a group of fellow invesitgators. I bet you get some great evidence. Great story...

  2. Yeah, my dad was seen there a week after he died. The new owners were having a party outdoors and he was standing under this stand of trees where he used to stand and watch us play croquet. He was wearing the suit we buried him in. They said they went back after serving guests to say hi to him, but he was gone. They didn't know he had died. Wild, huh?

  3. just fascinating...I look forward to your being able to go back there and investigate--in fact, I can't wait to hear about the experience--do you think it will happen anytime soon?

  4. Hey Pam;
    I certainly hope so! I have a lot of irons in the fire and hopefully this project will get done. I really want to hook it up with a filming team just because I think this should be documented. The story of growing up there, the family members who died and vowed to be there, knowing that I hunt ghosts and will come back to look for them... I think if nothing happens I'd be positively shocked. I will of course keep the followers up to date.

  5. Great story - there is no way you can't go back. Do you have a time line as to when you aim to go ? I want more ............
    Mr Monkey

  6. Mr. Monkey;
    Jeez--I love that name!! I love that this forces me to (for the first time in my life) have to write "Mr. Monkey" as a salutation. You're a hoot! I don't have a time line. It's something I've said I want to do but I really don't want to do it without a crew to document it and a team. I found a team in VA I'd love to work with and so half the problem is solved. I really would love to do it with a film crew just to be able to document stuff before I even enter the mansion again. Just discuss what happened growing up there and how my father, mother, sister, brother, and family best friend all vowed to haunt it and have passed on. It's a very unusual tale. Not many ghost hunters have such a thing to face and it's very epic for me. I had only been in the house once since I moved out and it was a few years after my father's death. I stood in the kitchen talking to the owner, looked up in the spot where my dad would dance into the room after coming home from his many business trips. He would dance up to the doorway and stand there with a big grin and everyone would pile on him for hugs--he was a very huggy vivacious type. The party started when dad arrived. So, I look up at the spot and I feel something warm breeze right over me and I hear just the hint of a low deep laughter, the kind that come from the chest. That was my dad's laugh. I sort of blinked and looked at everyone like "did you hear that?" and they all turned and stared at the doorway but no one said anything, I probably should have asked if they heard it but at the time I was so overwhelmed by being inside the place again. All my senses were going into overdrive. It doesn't help being psychic either cause I was being called in a lot of different directions and I couldn't explain to the owner that I wanted to wander. He was about to have a party and I was actually taking him away from guests. The new owners are fantastic people and I would hope they'd allow me one evening to try and make contact. I know exactly where everyone would--they told me ahead of time where they would haunt and if I can't bring them forth, no one can. I am working very hard now to get something going where I can make this happen. Of course, I have a book I'm working on and an Etsy shop I'm about to open. I gotta quit my day job, seriously. I will always keep everyone updated should this happen. You can imagine, I will talk about it nonstop. Oh and Mr. Monkey, do come back, I so love addressing you by your name.

  7. Maybe you can try to work it in whenever you go around to try and hug the bloggers.

  8. Jeff;
    That would be an ideal situation. I know myself well enough to know--I will get it done.

  9. I can certainly attest to your veracity! I used to listen to your stories during PE at Green Acres Elementary in Fairfax. You told some pretty creepy tales that I remember to this day. I think one was when you woke up and you were in the hallway and you didn't know how you got there. You also said the house had anniversaries, like each year the same things would happen....Wow!

  10. Kim;
    Crazy small world! I keep hoping folks from Green Acres will find me. They just have to type in Aspen Grove on Google and will probably get themselves here. Now, I'm going to admit, you knew me as Sharon Day, but what was your last name in school? There were a lot of Kim's.

  11. the owners of the aspen grove house right now, are my aunt and uncle. i have stayed in the house many times. i was there for the party that we had outdoors, its was my uncles birthday party. and only one woman saw a man standing by a tree, and she described him as african american. but i do remember my uncle telling me about some girl that came talking about how her dead relatives said they were all going to reunite in the house.

  12. That's interesting. I haven't met your aunt and uncle yet, have only corresponded with Betsy by email. My father was seen over near the trees after his death and the owners didn't know he had died. Some of the tenants in the cottages that used to be out back saw an African American man often times wandering, sometimes looking in the windows.