Paranormal Researcher David Bennett felt the urge to take some shots of the gazebo on the grounds of the Weems-Botts Museum. He took three photos in succession from the same spot, zooming in on the gazebo and later noticing this same figure in all three photos. David and his companions are certain that there was no one physically present in the gazebo when the photos were taken.
The Weems-Botts Museum in Dumfries, VA, continues to be a paranormal hot spot. Investigators have recorded hundreds of EVPs (spirit voices) from this location, including Colonial era residents, Civil War soldiers, and members of the Merchant family, who actually lived in the house from 1869 to 1968. Many paranormal investigators believe some members of the Merchant family may still be present in the house to this day. Now, independent paranormal researcher David Bennett reports that he has captured a photo of one of the Weems-Botts ghosts in the gazebo located on the grounds. The figure appears to be a woman in period clothing, perhaps with a long skirt and a light colored shawl draped over her shoulders.
David and several other people, including Weems-Botts Museum Director Joann Barron, were walking between the annex and the museum on 8/25/2012 when David stopped and snapped several photos of the gazebo. The woman shows up in all three of the photos that David took in quick succession as he zoomed in on the gazebo; however, none of the four people who were walking towards the gazebo in Merchant Park and ultimately passed right by it – only a few feet away – observed a woman sitting there. It would have been almost impossible to miss someone when they passed by so closely, especially as David continued to focus the camera on that exact area. The woman herself seems to be completely unaware of the group’s presence and activities.
“When I saw this photo, I immediately re-visited the area and tried to discover a logical explanation for the very clear figure of this woman,” David explained. “But
there were four of us present and no one saw anyone there with our physical eyes. If she had been an actual physical presence, someone would have noticed her.”
David added that he did not have any particular reason for taking any photos of the gazebo. “I had some type of feeling that it might be a good idea to use my camera,” David explained. The gazebo in Merchant Park on the grounds of the Weems-Botts Museum has a long history of odd occurrences. Psychics and others have felt the presence of numerous spirits from different eras in that same general location, although who this particular spirit might be remains a mystery.
Additional EVPs from Weems-Botts Museum
“The R.I.P. Files,” a popular paranormal television show, conducted a filmed investigation at the museum in December, 2011, and the completed episode features a number of EVPs from various areas in the house and on the grounds. Billie Peel, R.I.P.’s Director of Audio Analysis, states that – in her opinion and based on the audio evidence from the investigators’ digital voice recorders – Weems-Botts is an area of very high paranormal activity. According to Billie, many of the EVPs are Class B or C – which means that they may not be clear without the use of headphones – but they are definitely present and include male and female spirits, adults and children, from various eras. “There are a lot of direct responses,” Billie said. “This indicates that the spirits are intelligent and aware of their surroundings and able to interact with the paranormal investigators that visit this site.”
These EVPs were not included in the episode because they are somewhat difficult to understand so headphones are recommended for listening. All were recorded in Violet’s Room, one of the most active areas in the museum.
“Sit. Get down” – No one is speaking, but a male voice says “Sit. Get down.”
“Push them around/Push them right now/Sit down” – A male says “Push them around” – presumably, referring to the investigators; then, either the same or a different male says “Push them right now,” followed by this same entity telling someone to “Sit down.”
“Let me out/door sound/Let me out” – A male voice says “Let me out,” followed by the sound of a door moving, and he says again “Let me out.”
“I think she’s a b###h” – This female spirit expresses her opinion about one of the investigators.
“John, I’m John” – David asks for one of the spirits to reveal his name. Other investigators present react to hearing some type of noise.
“They’re messing around with the camera” – A female spirit comments on the activities of the investigators as they’re adjusting the DVR camera.
“Once you get here, there’s no escape” – A female voice answers Mark’s question about what he can do to help.
“Tom” – David mentions the male voice with the Scottish accent who directed him towards the cemetery and a male voice says “Tom.”
The Weems-Botts Museum focuses on preserving the colorful past of Dumfries, VA, the town founded by John Graham in 1749. Graham named the newly formed town after his birthplace of Dumfries, Scotland.
Tours and special events year round help educate visitors about daily life in northern Virginia through the years. Check the website “Calendar” for details. Weems-Botts Museum is located at 3944 Cameron Street, Dumfries, VA, 22026.