The small Southern city of Staunton Virginia, my birthplace and prominent in the latest novel I’m writing, is very historic and the site of a ghost tour.

To quote The Shenandoah Vally Paranormal Society website:

“Staunton, Virginia known as “The Queen City” of the Shenandoah Valley was founded in 1747 and named after Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife of the colonial governor of Virginia, William Gooch. Staunton is located in the heart of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and is rich in history, some prosperous and some tragic. Often times with history, left behind are many ghost stories and hauntings that still exist to this day. From civil war haunts, a train wreck disaster of 1890, to unsolved murders, Staunton has had its share of traumatic events that continue to haunt us.”

For more about the ghost tour visit:

“The first stop on the tour is the train station where (Myrtle) Knox was fatally wounded after the sleeper car where her opera troupe was napping derailed. One of Knox’s legs was cut off below the knee, her left arm broken, her right shoulder dislocated and a piece of wood was buried in her thigh, severing the femoral artery and causing her to bleed to death. Knox’s spirit reputedly haunts the tracks and many eyewitnesses have reported seeing her peer in through the windows at the now-closed Pullman Restaurant, which also is an alleged paranormal hot spot.”

For more pics and info on the haunted train station:
The Staunton Train Station

I’ve dined with my husband in the Pullman Restaurant and didn’t see any ghosts, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t overlook someone. Haven’t noticed anything unusual on the train tracks either, but there is an odd feel to the place, difficult to put my finger on it. Let’s just say Staunton came naturally to mind when looking around me for the ideal Virginia town to set my next light paranormal in.

The historic train station is picturesque and home to quaint businesses and The Depot Grille. Several movies have been filmed there, among them the HallMark Hall of Fame production, The Love Letter. I appeared as an extra, wearing a poke bonnet and waving, while standing behind the hero and heroine as they kiss goodbye .

The Depot Grille’s outstanding attraction is a 40 foot Victorian bar from a turn-of-the century luxury hotel.

The present Trinity Episcopal Church, built during the mid-1850s, has an extraordinary collection of stained glass windows; many created by Tiffany Studios.

“Staunton has one architectural advantage over most of other small towns in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia: it escaped the Civil War unscathed. Many of its 18th and early 19th century homes and buildings still stand and are wonderfully preserved. Scottish-Irish immigrant John Lewis and his family built the area’s first homestead in 1732, and most of Staunton’s early settlers were Scots-Irish.”

“The area of Staunton surrounding the railroad station is known as The Wharf, a curious name for a neighborhood that is nowhere near a wharf! In fact, the name is an historical one dating to the 19th century. The warehouses in this neighborhood reminded people of buildings that you might see along a wharf. In Staunton’s case, the railroad acts in same manner as a wharf, and in fact, the neighborhood’s old warehouses really do look like those that one might see along the waterfront of a port city…since 1972 the Wharf Historic District has been on the National Register of Historic Places.”

Another little known tidbit about Staunton: "For 17 days in June of 1781, the Virginia State legislature met in Staunton, after being forced by British troops led by Major Tarleton to flee Richmond. The building that served as Virginia's capitol stood on the present site of Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Staunton. While meeting on this site, the legislature elected a new governor to replace Governor Thomas Jefferson. Members of the state legislature who were present included Patrick Henry and Daniel Boone."


*Staunton is the site of the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace.


  1. Judy // October 7, 2009 at 10:01 AM  

    Beth, How fun! I've stayed just outside Staunton on a couple of occasions traveling back and forth from north to south but had no idea a ghost may have been tucking me in...or not! Thanks for a fun post!

  2. Patrice // October 7, 2009 at 10:54 AM  

    Hi Beth,
    What a lovely quaint town you grew up in, and love the haunted train story. OOOOOHHH! Scary. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  3. Beth Trissel // October 7, 2009 at 1:37 PM  

    Glad you enjoyed the post, ladies. These old Southern towns are full of surprises.

  4. Mary Ricksen // October 7, 2009 at 2:01 PM  

    I would love to see it. It's the kind of place I'd love to live.
    Love the pics!

  5. Beth Trissel // October 7, 2009 at 4:36 PM  

    Thanks Mary. The historic section is lovely and quaint.

  6. Scarlet Pumpernickel // October 7, 2009 at 7:11 PM  

    Beth, I'm going to put Staunton on my list of must see places. You have made it come to life and now, I've just got to see it! Great post.

  7. Beth Trissel // October 7, 2009 at 8:50 PM  

    Thanks so much, Scarlet.

  8. Mary Marvella // October 7, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

    Beth, I do love a good ghost story! I might have to grab Scarlet and take a road tip there.

  9. Mona Risk // October 7, 2009 at 9:51 PM  

    Hi Beth, I almost saw your Shenandoha Valley. While in South Riding VA, I asked my daughter if she heard of it. She said it was only an hour from where she lives. She loves it. Next time I am there we'll take a ride and visit.

  10. Autumn Jordon // October 8, 2009 at 8:32 AM  

    Beautiful town, Beth, and rich in history too. I love meandering through places like this, talking to the locals and learning great stories like this one.

    Thanks for sharing.


  11. Barbara Monajem // October 8, 2009 at 8:45 PM  

    Thanks for the education (I'm always happy to learn about history) and the great pics.

  12. Beth Trissel // October 8, 2009 at 10:27 PM  

    Thanks ladies. Yes, the valley is beautiful. Mona, maybe I could meet you somewhere part way next time you are in the area. And don't forget the beautiful skyline drive.

  13. Joanne // October 9, 2009 at 1:35 PM  

    Thanks, Beth, for the history and tour of Staunton. I've never visited, but it sounds charming and quaint. Great pictures.