- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Leesburg, so named in 1758 to honor the Lee family of Virginia, was created from a small settlement named George Town, after King George II, in 1757, when Loudoun County was formed. That gives it centuries of memories, and the town is so haunted it boasts two separate tours dealing with its ghostly heritage. Here are details:

Hauntings 2005: The Loudoun Museum tour

m The 14th Annual Hauntings Evening Walking Tours will take place tomorrow and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29. The tours last one hour and include visits to six houses or buildings associated with the ghosts of Leesburg. Volunteers familiar with the stories of the ghosts who inhabit the buildings tell those stories at each stop. The tour is designed to be historically informative and perhaps even a bit eerie, but not scary. It is not recommended for children under 12.

Groups of roughly 20 persons begin the tour every 15 minutes from 6 to 9 p.m., starting from the Leesburg Town Hall. Reservations are required and tickets are sold for specific starting times. Cost is $15 per person, $13 for members of the Loudoun Museum.

For tickets, call the museum at 703/777-7427 or inquire at [email protected]

The Leesburg Ghost Tours

• The Ghost Tours are conducted each Friday and Saturday May through November, generally starting at 9 p.m. Participants meet with Joseph Holbert on King Street between Loudoun and Market streets.

The tour consists of a walk around the corner to Loudoun Street, where Mr. Holbert discusses the paranormal phenomena that we consider to be ghosts, what causes it and how it can be scientifically measured and studied.

The tour then continues past several other buildings and houses where paranormal activity has been observed, discussing what is known and what is unknown, eventually making a circle around to Market Street and over to the Courthouse grounds, where members of the tour can feel an electric “force.” What causes this force is unknown, but it can be felt and measured.

The remainder of the tours for this season have already been booked, but anyone wishing to make plans for next May can contact Mr. Holbert by e-mail at [email protected] mail.com. Find additional information at www.vsra.net. Cost of the tour is $10 per person.

Mr. Holbert also conducts an annual tour of the Moundsville, W.Va., prison, an abandoned prison he describes as “the Disney World of the paranormal.” The tour of the prison begins at midnight and ends at 6 a.m., with a virtual guarantee that the attendees will experience numerous and varied types of paranormal experiences. Cost for the tour is $100, and does not include transportation or meals. Moundsville is a five-hour drive from Washington, with participants meeting at a central point the evening of Nov. 19 to enter the prison at midnight.

— Douglas W. Nelms

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