The Lightfoot House

Posted on August 15, 2017

LIGHTFOOT HOUSE – WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA

Introduction

The Lightfoot House is a beautiful representation of the colonial era in Williamsburg, Virginia and is one of the 88 original buildings still standing. Tourists and locals rave about the captivating architecture and the authenticity the establishment emanates. Records show that the Lightfoot family lived here in the years between 1740 – 1838 and leased the lots out to various people. One of the men they leased to was William S. Peachy, whose family owned the Peyton Randolph House for a while. This beautiful structure is now offered as housing to some of the most influential people who visit Williamsburg, Virginia, including foreign heads of state and celebrities.

Renovations

Throughout the centuries, this house had a number of owners until 1940, when it was turned into a tenement and renovated. The goal was that the Lightfoot House havemore of an authentic, eighteenth century feel. Rave reviews from tourists have exemplified the success of this restoration. Today, the building is a popular place to stay in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Lightfoot House

In contrast to the other houses and structures in Williamsburg, the Lightfoot House was described as being unique in its architecture. For example, during the renovation, evidence was found that the doors at one point wereoff-center, the fireplaces were unique in their design and so was the framing of the floor timbers. There was also a significant difference in the front of the house that faced Francis Street. In this respect, features such as the balcony, the windowless side walls, the contrast in the front and rear elevations, and the height that the ceilings had were all unique.  The restoration in 1940 left very few of the original elements behind. The only original features left today are the frames, partial trim of two doors on the first floor, and the interior partition walls.

Along with other structures in Williamsburg, this house has been around for centuries. It’s not surprising that strange phenomena and ghost sightings have occurred here.

Hauntings

This beautiful, authentic, eighteenth-century house has provided accommodation to some of the most influential people who have visited Williamsburg. However, people who are in the house on a regular basis have reported seeing strange phenomena. Constantly, maids that work at the house straighten out the beds, only to turn around to find them completely stripped of their sheets. A constant annoyance for these employees.

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On one occasion, a cleaning woman turned around to see a strange man dressed in colonial-era clothing. It’s common to see men and women dressed this way in Williamsburg. Employees will dress in this costume, lending to the authentic eighteenth-century atmosphere for tourists. However, this maid was insistent that this man wasn’t human. She didn’t recognize him, and as a result, quit on the spot.

What does this Mean?

Not much information is given about the paranormal phenomenon at the Lightfoot House. Where do the ghosts come from? Who are they? What do they want? Many people throughout Williamsburg have seen many strange things that they can’t explain. Sightings have occurred at the Payton Randolph House,  the Matthew Whaley Elementary School, and throughout the streets, various buildings and taverns in Williamsburg.

How do we figure out who these ghosts are? As you would imagine, recurring strange phenomenon that’s occurred throughout the years has sparked curiosity in people. In the 1950’s, the study of ghosts, spirits, and variousparanormal phenomena became a recognized field known as Parapsychology, and the Parapsychology Association was founded. The association describes themselves as, “…the international professional organization of scientists and scholars engaged in the study of ‘psi’ (or ‘psychic’) experiences, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, remote viewing, psychokinesis, psychic healing, and precognition.” They seek to better understand the paranormal experiences and phenomena that people have encountered.

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Research indicates that when a paranormal force starts to move an object(s), it’s not considered a ghost, but rather a poltergeist or demonic/evil force. Various stages of these forces range from a simple annoyance to downright dangerous. It’s stated that ghosts rarely tend to move things and don’t harm any living creature. However, poltergeists and demonic/evil forces will harm humans and are considered to be highly dangerous.

Parapsychologists have a theory (introduced by William G. Roll in 1984) that poltergeists fester in a setting where there is a person who possesses telekinetic or psychokinetic abilities. These people experience periods of extreme mental stress, emotional distress, and trauma, and they release the energy that allows the poltergeist to come into existence. These people are unaware of their ability to create the poltergeist and are also unaware that they have allowed the poltergeist to come into existence. With this being said, Williamsburg has been the site of, not just one, but two violent wars in America’s history; the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War. Among other traumatic events, many of the ghosts that have been seen and the stories that have been told in this town come from these times in history.

What’s interesting to point out, and mentioned previously, is that a member of the Peachy family resided in the Lightfoot House. It’s known that the Peachy family owned the Peyton Randolph House, one of the most haunted houses in Williamsburg. Whether or not this is all coincidence is for you, the reader, to decide.

Conclusion

The Lightfoot House is one of the most beautiful and historic structures in Williamsburg, Virginia. It has housed a number of influential people since its restoration in 1940. However, it’s rumored that this beautiful, historic structure is haunted.

Hauntings and other various strange occurrences happen all over Williamsburg, and while what’s been discussed here might be hard for some people to believe, it does offer an explanation. Who these ghosts are, or what they want is unclear. What is clear is that these “ghosts” may not even be ghosts at all, but poltergeists who want to cause harm to a person. People may claim that the witnesses who have seen these activities are crazy or have imagined it. If you’re still a skeptic, why not take a trip to Williamsburg yourself?