Ghost Walks are one of the biggest hits at the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum. It’s a great activity for the whole family – just creepy enough to be fun but not so much that kids will be terrified! I am not necessarily a “ghost person,” so when I was asked during my interview what my feelings about ghosts were, I was unsure how to respond. You see, I have had a few encounters with the paranormal, but prefer to stay away from any unhappy spirits. Throughout the summer, I have come to thoroughly enjoy telling ghost stories and even ghost hunting with visitors.
The stories we tell feature our building, the Cavalier Hotel, and a few other oceanfront attractions. I won’t spoil the ghost stories for you, but I promise they are intriguing and fun! Some of my favorites have happened here in the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum. But knowing them makes closing at night a little spooky. The museum takes on a very different look in the dark: corners become creepier and the cardboard cutouts of the surfmen look almost real. I prefer to walk around the building with one of the other interns to prevent being spooked.
Our ghosts are friendly, and the encounters other people have had here mostly seem hilarious to me – ghosts messing with the radio or looking at exhibits. So I wasn’t prepared for what happened to me. I had very own weird experience one night and am still unsure how to describe it.
I was upstairs with a family towards the end of the Ghost Walk experience when something odd happened. The son had walked over to one of our exhibits and came back looking if he had just seen a ghost! Now he was someone who enjoyed paranormal shows and activities, which made it particularly odd. He said that he asked the ghost what his name was and that someone had responded with his name. We all thought he was being funny so we went to check it out.
I was speaking with the family about other spooky things that had happened in that area a few weeks earlier, when it happened. Believe me when I say that this was the most unnerving experience I have ever had. I had just finished what I was saying when I felt something. It was a cold hand pressed to the top of my back. I could feel all five ice cold fingers, the palm of the hand, and even the boniness of it. It took me a few seconds to figure out that someone had placed their hand on me, but no one was behind me. To ensure I did not terrify our visitors, I walked to the other side of the room. I kept quiet for a few minutes and then shared my experience with them and later with the staff. If the visitors had not been there I would have grabbed my stuff and run to my car. It was terrifying.
As you can imagine, I avoid that area of the museum now. It has always felt like a space filled with tension, but now it really feels tense! To me, it feels as if you have just walked into a room where two people have been arguing profusely about something very touchy. If you like ghosts and the paranormal, I encourage you to come check out our Ghost Walks. You might even have an experience yourself!