Monday, October 27, 2008

The Vampire of Richmond

I thought I would give you a little Halloween treat, a Richmond ghost story of sorts that is mostly fact!

I am a big fan of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond...I even bought my own spot in their mausoleum. It is a beautiful place, full of history both local and national. One of the great Hollywood stories involves the crypt of W. W. Pool. I have seen the name spelled as W. W. Poole but his crypt says Pool.

In 1925 a train tunnel collapsed in Church Hill and buried a large work crew along with their locomotive. I think they were patching brickwork in the ceiling when it all came tumbling down. There was no saving the unlucky souls, even the ones who survived the initial collapse. The train is so well buried that several attempts, even one as late as 2006, could not get the train out. Engineers have pretty much ruled it impossible.

Shortly after the actual collapse a creature of ungodly description clawed its way out of the tunnel. It was charred, bloody and had jagged teeth. It was so frightening that it was chased by armed men through the streets until the creature reached Hollywood Cemetery. Just inside the cemetery gates is located a crypt, dug in the side of the hill, the resting place of W. W. Pool. The creature dashed into the unlocked crypt and disappeared.

Now, let's tell the other half of the story. There really was a disfigured being that crawled out of the rubble. It even had jagged teeth and was covered in blood. That being was Ben Mosby, a worker on the train who was scaled by the steam. He made it out of the tunnel and died a short while later in a local hospital. Ben was buried in Hollywood. Who knows where the vampire legend came from but it is at least partially true. I do not know how W. W. Pool got involved but I am sure there was a reason.

With all of the publicity, W. W. Pool has become a major attraction at Hollywood but in a bad way. People go to his grave to perform satanic rituals and leave all kinds of crazy stuff at his grave. I have heard that his body was stolen so many times that they finally buried him somewhere else.

I found the crypt the other day but did not get out of the car. The next time I am at the cemetery with someone else, I will go check it out in detail. I had something else happen at Hollywood that day which made me a little uneasy with getting out of the car. I will tell you about that in my next post.

If you would like to see the grave of Ben Mosby, you can click here for his memorial at Find-A-Grave.

No comments: