My grandparents raised twelve children, including my mom, at Bacon’s Castle during the 1920’s and 1930’s. One of the twelve was born there, one was married there. One accidentally shot off the tip of his finger at Bacon’s Castle. Another lost the vision in one of his eyes after falling on a cotton stalk.
They endured countless illnesses, they worked hard and they played hard. And they loved each other through it all.
My family represents just a few of the people who made their home in that beautiful house in its nearly 350 year history.
I know these things are true:
1.) Tourism in our area, as in many others, has been dealt a hard blow by the economy.
2.) A 300+ year old house requires a lot of maintenance, which, in turn, requires a lot of money.
3.) Preservation Virginia, the owners of Bacon’s Castle, are exhausting every means to keep the house open to the public and in good repair.
This saddens me.
This is a current article in our local weekly paper. The article is continued on another page and states that the “spirit hunters” used dousing rods in their search. They also used a flashlight method, where the head of the flashlight is unscrewed, and the switch is placed in the “on” position, so there’s just a slight connection. The flashlight glows, which “allows the spirit to manipulate the light more easily and use it to answer questions”.
In my Christian heart, I believe that, upon one’s death, the spirit doesn’t remain here on earth. That being said, I also believe that unexplainable things happen. And although I’ve never witnessed anything like that, I was with Marshall one day at Bacon’s Castle when he did. I wrote about it here.
But allowing people (albeit people who paid an admission fee, which benefits Preservation Virginia) inside Bacon’s Castle to search for spirits seems disrespectful and insulting to all those dear folks who have called that place home through the years. And, to me, it degrades the dignity of the structure itself.
Every time I step foot on Bacon’s Castle soil, I sense the presence of my grandparents, my aunts, uncles and my Mom.
With not a dousing rod nor flashlight in sight.