Richmond, Kentucky is the third largest city after Louisville and Lexington in the Bluegrass region. It is also the center for work and shopping in south-central Kentucky. There are a lot of places to visit in Richmond like the Lake Reba Park, Hummel Planetarium, White Hall State Historic Site, and many more.
An aerial shot of Richmond, Kentucky. (Link: https://www.pinterest.es/pin/69102175506644532/?nic_v1=1a2QQDKE8jMihGJLyrKX7LqKRdTVVLJQSuTAcoTnvJtPhCYlVFc9ZC2ocMaJCrBUlb)
Speaking of the White Hall State Historic Site, it is not only visited because of the history it holds but also because it is reportedly haunted. Read more below to know why it is said to be haunted.
The History Of White Hall State Historic Site
The White Hall State Historic Site is located in a 14-acre park and was the home of Kentucky legislator Cassius Marcellus Clay and Mary Jane Warfield Clay. The White Hall State Historic Site was initially a seven-room building that was built in 1798 to 1799 by General Green Clay.
Green Clay in an undated photo. (Link: http://agraveinterest.blogspot.com/2011/10/white-hall-and-cassius-marcellus-clay.html)
More on Green Clay, he is the father of Cassius. Green arrived in Kentucky and later learned more about land surveying. Due to this, he became the wealthiest man and largest land and slave owner in the area. When Green died, his son Cassius inherited the building and in the 1860s, it was expanded and remodeled to a 44-room building. The White Hall was very popular that time because Cassius and his wife have installed many amenities that were rare during that time. The expansion was inspired by Russian homes, where Cassius served as an ambassador. Their home had a central heating system, a flush toilet, indoor bathroom facilities, and a bathtub with running water.
Cassius also became more popular in the area because unlike his father, he was anti-slavery. His father once owned more than 100 slaves and when he inherited the slaves, he freed those he could free. He had to hold other slaves in trust for his children due to the terms in his father’s will. Cassius even started his own newspaper called The True American, where he became outspoken as to his views against slavery. He also travelled across the country to talk about his cause. In relation to the successful newspaper, on April 12, 2011, White Hall was designated as a national historic site in journalism by the Society of Professional Journalists. This is a nod towards Cassius’s career as a publisher.
Cassius Clay in an undated photo. (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassius_Marcellus_Clay_(politician)
However, Cassius, although well-loved by many due to his beliefs, earned a lot of enemies. Many relatives of Cassius died because of his political stance and even an attempt on his son’s life. His marriage with Mary Jane also fell apart and they divorced in 1878. When he was 84 years old, he married a 15-year-old girl, which became a national scandal. The girl was identified as Dora Richardson Clay. The marriage likewise ended in divorce a few years later. More on the latter years of his life, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and was declared by his family as unfit to manage his estate.
Mary Jane Warfield Clay in an undated photo. (Link: http://civilwaref.blogspot.com/2013/10/cassius-marcellus-clay-born-october-19.html)
Dora Richardson Clay in an undated photo. (Link: https://www.geni.com/people/Dora-Clay/6000000003379839718)
When Cassius died in 1903, many African-Americans and even whites lined the roads when his body was being transported to the Richmond Cemetery because of his work in the anti-slavery movements.
The White Hall was later closed to the public but in 1971, it was restored and once again accessible under the supervision of Kentucky’s First Lady Beula C. Nunn and Kentucky Mansions Preservation Foundation. Today, the White Hall hosts an annual “Ghost Walk” every October because it is allegedly haunted. The “Ghost Walk” has dramatic performances while people are given a tour led by a “Spirit Guide.” Most of the performances include actors portraying the spirits of the Clay family and even the battles within the family.
White Hall today. (Link: https://www.trover.com/d/155XT-white-hall-state-historic-site-madison-county-kentucky)
The Ghosts Of White Hall State Historic Site
With so much events and emotions in the White Hall, it is understandable that it could really be haunted.
Many claim that they have felt, saw, and heard paranormal activities at the White Hall. Candle lights are said to be moving around the perimeter of the house, strange sounds could be heard, strange smells envelope the house, footsteps in rooms that are empty have been heard, and even violin and piano music echoing in the ballroom of the White Hall have been recorded. Others also claimed that the former dinner parties held at the White Hall could be heard sometimes. Tinkle of glasses, lively conversation, and the smell of delicious food are the usual paranormal activities observed by staff and visitors.
The piano inside White Hall. (Link: https://parks.ky.gov/richmond/trails/trails/white-hall-historic-site)
One curator at the White Hall shared, “Just about everybody who has ever worked here has had something mysterious happen to them.” For the employee, she claimed of smelling the waxy scent of burning candles even if there were no candles lit and a scent of rose perfume. There were also times she heard furniture being moved even if no one else was there but her. She further revealed that a former curator told her about a pile of papers levitating across the floor in one of the bedrooms at the White Hall.
One of the bedrooms inside White Hall. (Link: https://parks.ky.gov/richmond/trails/trails/white-hall-historic-site)
The most notable presence in the White Hall is said to belong to Cassius. He has been spotted many times. Also, there’s a smell of cigar and it is believed to be associated with Cassius’ presence. He is said to be still guarding his home despite being dead already. There have been no reports as to what Cassius does whenever he is seen.
Other ghosts spotted at the White Hall belong to a young boy wearing period clothing. He reportedly likes to play hide and seek. A woman in hoop skirt could also be seen and a baby who either gurgles happily or cries could be heard.
Although many believe that the paranormal activities and ghosts appear during the dark hours, the spirit-like activities have reportedly occurred most often than not during daylight.