Whether you believe in them or not, ghost stories inundate the history of nearby Colonial Williamsburg. One particular location may come to affect more students because it is a place that sometimes draws students after dark.
As one required step in William and Mary’s unofficial tradition known as the Triathlon, the hedge maze behind the Governor’s Palace is a part of Colonial Williamsburg that students may see at night more often than during the day. It is also said that this maze is haunted.
In any case, one night last year, several William and Mary students were drawn to the hedge maze where they claim to have experienced a ghostly encounter.One of those students shared his story, but he will remain anonymous for the sake of his privacy.
The occurrence happened last year during Alcohol Awareness week. The student had a couple of prospective students with him and was not sure how to entertain them because there were no parties to take them to. He figured that taking them to the Governor’s Palace maze would be fun, so he, some girls from his dorm, and three prospective students made their way into Colonial Williamsburg after dark.
They jumped the wall the back way and were headed toward the maze, and according to the student, “got about halfway in when we saw what looked like two feet, from about the calves down, in the shadows.”
Immediately, the student assumed that the feet belonged to a security guard of some sort, and they were all going to get in trouble. The alleged security guard, however, did nothing to call attention to the students, did not shine lights or anything of that sort, so the next assumption was that this was another student going to the hedge maze.
In an attempt to scare the mysterious intruder, the student shined his flashlight in the direction of the feet, only to see nothing- the feet disappeared. Confused, the student turned his flashlight off, only to reveal that the feet were there again. He claims, “they were milky, white, transparent, the way ghosts supposedly look.”
This time, the feet, originally about fifty feet away from the group of students, began to move toward them. Again, the student shined his flashlight in that direction, and again the feet disappeared. When he turned the light off, the feet were even closer.
After about three repeated attempts to see this figure in the light, and the mysterious feet only getting uncomfortably close, the rest of the group took some action. The student said, “it was getting closer and closer so everyone else just cut and ran.” He remained for a few more moments before following his friends out of the palace walls.
This student says that he has been to this same location inside the palace walls fourteen times, but only that one time did he see anything suspicious.
There are several stories that could account for this ghostly appearance. One story, in short, says that once a man escaped from an insane asylum and waited outside the palace walls in order to murder the governor. His plans failed, but to this day it is said that he waits outside the palace walls to attack anyone that crosses his path.
Several other stories claim that there are ghosts of Revolutionary War soldiers who wander around the maze at night.
Though many people do not believe in ghosts, it is certainly something to keep in mind if you find yourself in Colonial Williamsburg late at night. You never know what you will come across after dark.