YES, VIRGINIA, THERE BE VAMPIRES HERE
-By Debbi Decker
Born in October of 1925, amidst the rubble and wreckage in a collapsed railway tunnel, he rose up and stumbled out of the smoke, a wraith-like silhouette against the fire lit sky. Those who hid in terror reported a visage of jagged and blood dripping teeth, skin shredded and hanging from the bones. A few hardier souls tracked the creature as he stumbled, moaning and keening, along the river and on to the cemetery where he disappeared into the entrance of a large Gothic tomb. Attempts to open the door of the tomb came to naught and the hysterical requests to the cemetery officials to open the tomb were denied. The gossip in the bars and homes in the days to come claimed the creature was a vampire. “How else?” they whispered. “How else can you explain the bloody teeth, never mind the entry into a sealed tomb?” The owners of the tomb did not stand idly by. “I heard they moved the family bones” a neighbor told another neighbor. “Had to have done it by day” the neighbor answered. Both nodded. Everyone knows that vampires sleep by day. No one questioned why the family did not destroy the vampire while it slept. With a stake to the heart. Isn’t that the usual way one dispatches a vampire?
Years passed and the legend passed along with them. Reports of strange noises from inside the tomb. Orbs and strange mists emanating from the doorway. Tales of Satanic activity and markings around the tomb. It is now 2015, and people still come from far and wide to view the Tomb of the Richmond Vampire.
As with all legends, there is some truth to this particular tale. A railway tunnel did collapse on the night of October 2, 1925 on Church Hill in Richmond, Virginia. A young man, Benjamin F. Mosby, managed to escape the wreckage bearing injuries much like the oft-described vampire in the tale. He was admitted to Grace Hospital, where he later died of his injuries. Not much is told of where Mr. Mosby was found or why he supposedly chose that particular tomb. William Wortham Poole was an upstanding citizen, a secretary/clerk who died at the venerable age of 80, and subsequently buried in the family tomb in 1922. Perhaps Mr. Mosby was trying to reach the river which travels along the cemetery borders. Perhaps he was only able to get as far as W.W. Poole’s tomb where he collapsed inside the dark entryway, thereby spawning the rumors that he disappeared into the tomb. To this day, there are still reports of strange noises and paranormal activity. Since we know Benjamin Mosby died at Grace Hospital, who (or what) prowls the shadows of the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia? I am personally of the opinion that we do not have a vampire here, but the rather pissed-off ghost of William Poole, wandering and cursing the tale that led to his, and his family members, removal from the august family tomb to parts unknown.
Photographs “Tomb Of The Richmond Vampire” and “Tomb Of The Richmond Vampire-original” provided by Crazed Poppet Creations and are copyrighted images. To contact Debbi Decker for purchase of these prints visit her website.
Debbi Decker is proprietor of Crazed Poppet Creations Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.