Lexington ghost hunter Patti Starr’s investigations into White Hall State Historic Site in Richmond have yielded some spooky results.
Starr, who said she has investigated White Hall eight or nine times, has written about her experiences with ghosts on her website, www.ghosthunter.com, in her 2002 book “Ghost Hunting in Kentucky and Beyond: Experience the Unexplained” and in her most recent book, “Ghosthunting Kentucky,” which was released on Sept. 1 and has an entire chapter devoted to White Hall.
“White Hall was very interesting,” Starr said. “It seems like each time I went, I got a new character or new message or EVP (electronic voice phenomena).”
At White Hall, she said she has experienced encounters with children and a woman dressed in black who wanders the hallways.
During a Halloween taping with a Lexington news team, she said she and a cameraman encountered a robber who comforted homeowner Cassius Clay by saying ‘I’m ready, Clay.’
“That really freaked the camera man out,” Starr said.
Another time, a couple was getting married in White Hall, and in the background of the wedding picture, an apparition can clearly be seen, Starr said.
One of Starr’s experiences in White Hall, from Feb. 28, 2002, is chronicled in a case study that appears on her website.
During their investigation, the group collected more than 100 photos of orbs and shield shape anomalies, according to the website.
The group captured videos of several moving orbs on the third-floor of the house, according to the website.
In his novel, “Cassius M. Clay: Freedom’s Champion,” author Keven McQueen details some of the strange occurrences in the house. McQueen teaches at Eastern Kentucky University.
He writes of mysterious lights being turned on in unoccupied rooms.
“The ghosts of White Hall appear to have a certain fondness for playing tricks with the lights,” McQueen wrote. “When restoration began on White Hall in the later 1960s, a trailer was placed near the house for the guards to stay at night. Reportedly, almost every night, the guards would watch a single ball of light moving from window to window in the second-floor master bedroom.”
The guards investigated the lights but could never find their source, according to the book.
McQueen also wrote of strange odors and mysterious sounds coming from White Hall.
“Often the strong smell of pipe smoke or perfume will come seemingly out of nowhere, fill only a particular room or two, then abruptly disappear without fading away,” McQueen wrote.
Other reported smells are burning candles and brandy, according to the book, while footsteps, music and voices are often heard in the house.
White Hall hosts an annual Ghost Walk.
During the walk, Eastern Kentucky University theater students dress as characters from the time period and serve as spirit guides, leading guests from room to room to introduce them to the spirits of the past.
This year’s walk is scheduled from Oct. 28 to Oct. 31.
In July, White Hall conducted Ghosts and Scandals tours of the estate. The event, which was started in 2009, is similar to the Ghost Walk.
Tim Mandell can be reached at tmandell@ richmondregister.com or 623-1669 ext. 6696.