Friday, October 15, 2010

The Ghost of the Female Stranger - Gadsby's Tavern Alexandria, VA

On their travels, a man and his companion wife of which no one knew her name, stopped at a hotel in Alexandria, Virginia.  Their ship diverted course and put into harbor close to Alexandria so the two could row to shore because she was feeling very ill.  She passed away some time later in room 8 of the hotel which is now known as Gadsby's Tavern.  She was buried in St. Paul's Cemetery with an tombstone shaped like a table with the inscription: "In memory of the female stranger, died October 14, 1816 age 23 years 8 months".

Gadsby's Tavern Alexandria, Virginia

The man could not pay for the costs incurred for the female stranger's funeral expenses.  One night, he slipped away never to be seen again.  Folks in town, even though they were left unpaid, never revealed the true identity of the female stranger.

Table shaped tombstone of the "Female Stranger"
Inscription on the "Female Stranger's" tombstone

She has been known to return to the hotel.  Occasionally seen in the upstairs window of room 8 holding a lighted candle.  Some say they have heard the sound of someone walking around the upstairs, only to find there is no one there.

Window of room 8 of Gadsby's Tavern

One evening during a dance that was held there, a young man spotted the female stranger across the room flirting with him.  He looked again and she was not there.  There was only one place she could have gone that quickly and that was a nearby bedroom.  The room happened to be the room where the female stranger died.  As the man entered the room, he spotted a candle lit on the night stand.  Thinking this was a bad idea to have a candle lit in an unattended room, he went downstairs to complain to the hotel manager.  After the two returned to the room, they found the candle as if it had never been lit, the wick still white with wax.

Theodosia Burr Alston

Some believe that the female stranger may have been Theodosia Burr Alston, the daughter of U. S. Vice President Aaron Burr who was disgraced in office.  She left South Carolina and boarded a ship bound for New York and was never seen again.

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