Richmond’s Haunted Attractions: Byrd Theatre and Wrexham Hall

This Halloween, 8News reporter Nadeen Yanes took a tour through some of the most haunted places in Richmond.

First stop is the historic Byrd Theatre.

“Some place as old and as historic as the Byrd would have to be haunted,” says General Manager Todd Schall-Vess.

Built in 1928, the Byrd Theatre has characteristics today as it did nearly 85 years ago.

Even with the same manager making his rounds, though he died in 1971.

“It's sort of fitting that the most commonly seen ghost here is Robert Coulter,” says Schall-Vess, who also notes that it was impossible to get Robert Coulter out of the theater even after his death in 1971.

“Just a week before he died he was down here checking on the condition of the boilers so it stands the reason since they couldn't get him out alive that he still was going to hang around after he died

Schall-Vess says Coulter makes his appearance in the balcony, where he often sat to watch movies.

Others also claim Coulter helps close for the night.

“When barring the doors at night he would appear as if he were helping but he'd only been seen from the waist up.”

Because of these terrifying tales, the group Central Virginia Paranormal Investigators checked it out for themselves.

Not only is the ghost of Robert Coulter spooking around the Byrd, but there's also stories of a little girl that haunts the women's restroom downstairs. On the investigation we were able to catch the audio. When the voice was captured no one heard it audible but it all came back through the recorder on playback as a little girl.

Nobody knows the story of this little girl, where she came from or who she is, but Schall-Vess knows she's real.

“These are both things coulter and the little girl are things that have been repeated by multiple people who wouldn't necessarily had a conversation together and fabricate the story together.” he says.


Over at Wrexham Hall in Chesterfield County, Nadeen takes on a paranormal investigation of her own to see if she can communicate with a ghost that haunts the popular wedding venue.

At Wrexham Hall, there are countless stories that a lady in red haunts the hallways.

Donna Brennan bought the house in 2002 knowing that a ghost named Susanna Walthall often makes her appearances.

“Things happen,” she says. “Things disappear. Things reappear and you can't explain it. She lived here with her father and sister Polly and when he died he left them the house. Susanna sold it with the stipulation nobody was to disturb the burial plots.”

But of course, the house was moved and the plots were disturbed. And now Susannah haunts Donna's home.

“One night after the wedding I heard a voice like 'what's going on here' or something like that and I wasn't going to find out what that was so that night I stayed downstairs.”

So on a cold October night, chills run up Nadeen's spine as she walks up to Wrexham Hall ready for my first ghost hunting experience with Central Virginia Paranormal Investigators.

The group sets up in the bridal suite where Jackie Tomlin and her team have made contact with a female ghost before.

About 15 minutes in, Tomlin's camera mysteriously turns off.

Other than that, they don't see much right away, so they ventured to the dining room. They ask questions, hoping to get communicate through the EMF meters.

And they do.

Tomlin and Nadeen met up just two weeks later to go over the video footage.

At the same moment Tomlin's camera mysteriously shut off, an orb crosses the room.

Whether it was Susannah or some scientific phenomenon, you can be the judge.


Here are a few supposedly haunted places in Central Virginia:

Cold Harbor Battlefield, Hanover
The Landmark Theater (formerly the Mosque), Richmond
Centre Hill Mansion, Petersburg
Henricus Historical Park, Chester
Edgar Allan Poe Museum, Richmond
Tuckahoe Plantation, Manakin
Whicello Plantation, Henrico County
Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond
St. John's Church, Richmond
Upland Hunting Club, Amelia
Byrd Park Pump House, Richmond

Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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