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February 10, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Ghosts: The Ghost of Col. John Cabell

Lee_Virginia Ghosts

In 1966, Marguerite DuPont Lee told a third Cabell ghost story in her book, Virginia Ghosts:

The hall doors at Green Hill were not only locked but barred with heavy wooden timbers held in place by iron hooks. One evening while the family and a visitor were in the sitting-room laughing and talking, from no visible cause, the heavy bar across the front door was flung aside and the door burst open!  An immediate search revealed no normal explanation. Someone remarked: “Something must have displeased Colonel John!” constant rappings were heard in different parts of the house.  Everyone felt the Colonel continued to hold sway over his family and earthly possessions long after he had gone to the Spirit world.

After the Civil War, Green Hill was sold out of the Cabell family. Lee wrote, “The purchaser evidently had reason to know that the ghost of Colonel Cabell continued his interest in his old home, for it is said he became so terrified he refused to sleep alone in a room, declaring Colonel Cabell came and pulled the clothes off the bed!”

Despite his hauntings, Col. John Cabell is one of the Buckingham men of note included in the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. Published by the Library of Virginia, the Dictionary is a scholarly, comprehensive biographical reference work on Virginia. Many of the entries offer the first reliable biography ever printed about their subjects. For more information about the project visit:

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