It looks innocent enough. A small house located just off the main road through Dumfries Virginia. If you ask local historians and ghost hunters they will tell you the Weems-Bott Museum is not for the faint of heart. The museum is listed as the the 4th most active haunted place in the entire state of Virginia.
The town of Dumfries is the oldest charter city in Virginia. At one point it was a bustling seaport but silt from the Potomac River eventually closed the port. The museum is named after two of the owners. The first was Mason Weems, George Washington’s biographer. He is credited with the stories about George Washington chopping down the cherry tree and throwing a silver dollar across the Rappahanock River.
The second owner was an attorney, Benjamin Botts. He was famous for being part of the defense team during the Aaron Burr treason and conspiracy trial. He used the building as his law offices. There is a gap in the history of the Weems-Bott house between 1811 and 1869. Homes in the area were often used during the civil war for troops and hospitals but there isn’t any recorded history of what went on with the home until the Merchant family took residence in 1869. The home remained in their family until 1974.
It was then as the home was being converted to a museum by the Historic Dumfries society that they began to notice the strange occurences in the home. Books that fly off shelves, a woman in a long dress seen outside the museum and another woman who followed visitors from the upper floor bedroom down the stairs. TV cameras from the “My Ghost Story” on the Biography Channel spent a night in the house in 2012 and and supposedly recorded a child’s voice telling them to “get out of my house. ” That’s certainly is enough to send shivers up your spine.
Whether the Weems-Bott museum is truly haunted or not will be up to those who are brave enough to tour on special evening tours. The regular museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10-4 PM.