Submitted by: BlackLeatherRose
Last updated by: Anonymous
Last updated on : 12/10/2007
631 Octagon House Road
Marion, VA 24354
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Abijah Thomas built the Octagon house in 1850. Thomas built the house with 8 sides to protect it from wind damage. He kept slaves to help him work the fields. It is said that in an upstairs room you can still see fresh blood dripping and seeping down one of the walls. You can also hear many strange noises through out the entire premises.
--addition to information 12/8/07 by BlooBoo--
Abijah Thomas was born May 1, 1814 and died on December 1, 1876 of pneumonia at his octagon house. The octagon house, as it is known present day used to be known as "Mountain View" The house was built from 1856-57. Abijah is said to have designed the custom corner bricks of this house himself. He and his wife had 12 children. It is worthy to mention at this point that a book about this house and the man who built it mentions several funerals which took place at this house including Abijah`s own as well as one for one of his daughters. Others were held here as well.
The reason this place is thought to be haunted would be the experiences of many locals who have entered this creepy place. Some say that they have entered the house with friends just for fun only to be confronted by a ghost or evil/tormented spirit and chased away. Historic records show that Abijah Thomas owned at least 12 slaves during the time prior to abolishment of slavery. Some say that these evil spirits are the ghosts of slaves that he tortured. A book was written about Abijah Thomas, his family and the house in the mid 1980s by Mack Sturgill called "Abijah Thomas and his Octagonal House" this book is available at the Smyth-Bland Regional Library (www.sbrl.org) in Marion VA. I think they have 2 copies last time I checked. This book has little to say about any slave torture but rather says that it is thought that some of Abijah`s slaves liked him so well and liked working at his farm that they remained there after slavery was abolished. The book also states that after the property was looked at more closely, there is no physical location for the "haunted cellar" that is a popular subject for ghost stories. There are also no remains of a cellar.
Supposedly the "haunted cellar" is the most haunted place in the house next to the "dark room" on 2nd floor. The cellar was speculated to be the prime location for beatings and killings of slaves out of the sight of the children whenever they performed poorly in their work. It is acknowledged present day that there isn`t really a cellar around back of the house but people still claim if you stand on the ground where the cellar supposedly used to be, you can hear screams and will most certainly be confronted face to face with an extremely angry ghost who will threaten your very life if you do not leave it in peace. some people feel it necessary to take a rosary, crucifix or some such other spiritual assurance to this location if they dare set foot on it. None of the people I know dared go to the rear of the house.
The "dark room" is located in the center of the 2nd floor and has no windows. It is also rumored that this was the location of many beatings and punishments because of the apparent dark stains on the wood floor. The book by Mack Sturgill features a letter from one of Abijah`s children which states that the room was not used for punishment but rather storage. Sturgill also speculates that it may have been used to store some canned goods that were allowed to spoil and create these dark places on the floor that people want to think is left over blood.
Present day, I doubt that one could even access the upstairs portion of the house due to the poor condition of the stairs and the possibility of falling through the floor. I know for a fact that the floor on the 1st level has holes in it from where people`s feet went through it in recent years. They were not hurt because there`s not that much of a drop on 1st floor. It`s probably about 2-3 feet because the house is built almost on the ground with some sort of a stone foundation underneath according to additional photos in the book. I doubt the 2nd floor is in any better condition. Photographs (featured in this article) from the book show the stairs in 1941 and again in 1985. Given the inaccessibility of the "dark room" people claim that when they are ghost hunting on the 1st floor and around the property, they are able to hear violent screams, cracking of whips, rattling of chains and feel a cold tingly sensation at the foot of the stairs at the time during which they are hearing these sounds coming from the upstairs.
One of the 2nd floor windows on the rear side (3rd one to the right in my photos from 12/8/07) is busted out and has an especially jagged piece of glass suspended at the top. People have also said that a ghost tossed someone out this window for insisting upon entry to the "dark room" years ago. I doubt anything like this happened. What really could have happened was that someone decided to go into the house after it was condemned (in the early 70s) with some friends and possibly got drunk and fell from the window. I don`t remember hearing anything like this (I lived in the area for 22 years) but I won`t say that it never happened. This is just one "logical" explanation of what could have happened with the window. I also find it odd that if this window was busted out, why was it the only unbroken window in the house at the time? All of the windows appear to be busted out with only small pieces of glass around the edges. I am not sure how this happened. I would guess over time--it just seems odd that one window would remain. I will note that this particular window seemed to have the most remaining glass still attached to the window compared to the others.
Another story that was told to me by a friend of mine in 2002 states that a group of people visited the house one night in the summer just when it was beginning to get dark. This was also before someone moved into the rental house directly behind the octagon. They entered the house through a window from the side which at that time, was the easiest access point. (see photo of house before it was cleaned off) Supposedly they walked through the house from the front side all the way to the rear side where the kitchen is located. One of the females in the group had a cross necklace which was noted to have been rising off her chest and was torn from her neck by an unseen force. This frightened them all, they ran and left. A few weeks later another set of people went into the house and supposedly found the necklace covered in blood laying neatly on the stairway.
Yet another popular story that I have heard re-told quite a bit over the years is that if you go to the property on the night of December 1st you can see a creepy blue-white light traversing through the fog from the graveyard to the house and back. This is supposed to be the ghost of Abijah Thomas visiting the house on the anniversary of his death.
12/8/07- I drove to the octagon house and noticed that there was a small place in which I could park on the front side of the house without causing too great of a disturbance to anyone or anything.
There is a house located directly behind the Octagon (visible in some of the photos) where someone lives now. I did not attempt entry in the octagon house because I was afraid that someone would call the police on me for trespassing. Also, all of the 1st floor windows and doors have been boarded up to prevent entry because the building is dangerous. Rather than approach the house, I parked the car off the road, stepped out, took a few pictures and left it as I found it. It was an overcast day today, cold and misty but I still felt a surge of strange energy building within me while taking these photos. Although I find the place to be just a little on the creepy/spooky side, I have never really experienced anything especially strange during the 2 visits to the property I have made. I did not enter the property because I did not have permission but I plan on requesting permission now that I have the contact information for the owner of the house.
I have copied some photos from Mack Sturgill`s book and posted those as well as the 3 I took today when I visited the Octagon House. I hope that everyone will find these interesting and if you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I am very interested in this place and would be happy to try and answer them.
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