Friday, April 25, 2008

Haven Beach


Mathews is well known for its unspoiled beaches, and one beach in particular is well known for its ghosts.

Haven Beach, also recently dubbed Festival Beach (although nobody ever calls it that, even though many "festivities" which might be considered festivals occurred there, such as Senior Skip Day in high school, when John A. drank so much grain alcohol that he passed out, belly up, on the beach until the high tide nearly took him out into the bay), lies at the end of a very long, winding road that snakes through what is called Old House Woods.

I have a picture of Old House Woods and the long windy road. But I have no idea how to upload more than one picture, and besides it takes a week to upload one picture, so I've opted for a view of the beach and the Chesapeake Bay.

There are many legends about Old House Woods and Haven Beach, and all of them involve ghosts. Some say that pirates buried treasure there a long time ago, and some people claim to see a ghost ship sailing through the air, presumably searching for the treasure.

I will never forget a Come Here by the name of Hayden. Hayden was, shall we say, different. He was from another country and had an interesting accent. He was also WIDE OPEN as they say around here, meaning that he enjoyed one or fourteen beers on a regular basis. Hayden told me that one night he and another girl were down Haven Beach, sitting in the car. I'm sure they were probably sewing a quilt or discussing the next day's Sunday School lesson, or something nice like that. Anyway, all of a sudden he saw people dressed in what he described as "old timey" clothing. (He not only had a neat accent, he was very deep.) He said they wore ruffled shirts, long jackets, and boots, and they were heading towards the beach, which happened to be where his car was. Here comes the good part: Hayden told me that one of the men approached his car; he rolled down his window and TOUCHED one of these mysterious figures. He said the hand was as cold as ice. No words were exchanged, and the figures kept on walking.

There are several morals to this story:
1. Mathews has some beautiful, unspoiled beaches.
2. Mathews has some old legends that are amazingly consistent through the decades.
3. Mathews is home to some of the craziest lunatics that ever walked on the face of this planet.

25 comments:

Country Girl said...

Hello there. I've seen you around a little bit on some sites I visit as well. Welcome to the world I've blogging; I've seen you on board since March. I came to your site today and am liking reading what I'm seeing! Where in the heck is Mathews County, though? I live in Cecil Co., MD.

Do you still need help in putting pictures in? I can help. e-mail me directly at katydid56@gmail.com. It's a cinch, I promise you.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Welcome, Country Girl.

Mathews is in VA. (We try to keep it a secret, though.)

I know how to handle ONE picture but can't handle more than one. And in this particular post I had a picture of the Old House as well as the Woods.

Anyway, no matter - thanks for commenting!

tj said...

...Hello Miss CBW! I wanna know if you have seen any of these ghosts on the beach while you were there reading tomorrow's school lesson or stitching on a quilt? I love ol' legends like that...

...We had a party place when I was a teen and there was a lone grave nearby that was rumored to have belonged to a witch named, "Molly" and that she haunted the area... It's kinda funny, the only people that have ever claimed to have seen the elusive "Molly" were known pill poppers or pot heads! lol... :o)

...Great story and I love the photo! You're really gettin' it on with this photo loadin' business - gosh doggies, you go girl! ;o)

...Blessings to you... :o)

...ps - my word verification below looks like "anus"...lol It's not, but at first glance it sure looks like it! lol...

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

TJ - No, I've never seen any of the ghosts, but I always look for treasure when I am there...

OH, and I definitely was not the co-pilot on this particular story involving Hayden. In fact, the first edition of the story I wrote explained that I have not yet verified the story with the Sane Girl involved. And I see her periodically here in town.

THANKS FOR VISITING.

foolery said...

Great photo and great tale, Miss Cheeky!

I would've made old Hayden miserable with my pesky questions. Such as, "What kind of man reaches out to touch another man's hand, wordlessly?"

"What did your girlfriend think about you stopping your, um, quilting bee to touch a strange man's hand?"

"Did you wet yourself BEFORE or AFTER a strange man silently approached your car and stuck his hand in?"

This is why I was never popular in high school. Ever.

In general (but not sure about "blogger" blogs) you put the cursor at the place you want the photo to go, then you upload the picture and it goes where the blinking cursor was when you started.

Does that make sense?

No?

Well, I'd better get back to my outdoor quilting.

MWAHH!

cats said...

hey cbw,
I am Mathews born and bred. Yes, I have heard of "old House Woods" as we call it.
My older brother, who is 51 years old this year, said that he and a group of his friends used to visit the house on weekends,for lack of better things to do. They have seen rocking chairs rocking with nothing in them, and the pirate ship out on the bay.
He never wants to go there again. I believe there is some truth to these stories.
Good luck with the photos.
have a good day, cats

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Foolery, those are all excellent questions, ones I had not ponderered. (And I'll try next time I do pictures to upload more than one using the cursor, but something tells me I'm gonna mess it up...)

cats - Thank goodness we have someone from Mathews to validate my stories. I hope you will continue to comment and share your experiences. It is amazing to me how many people have stories from those woods....

Thank you all for visiting and commenting.

cats said...

cbw,
I would like to add that if you check out a book called Virginia Ghosts that Haven Beach is listed in that book. Very ,very, Interesting!

Lynne said...

Hello. It sounds like you love Haven Beach as much as I do!!! Got married there @ sunrise! Only one question you may or may not be able to answer... Why did Mathews County decide to make it so much "nicer"? I used to be able to go there and be the only one of maybe 5 people all day. Now it's crowded with people who are obviously NOT from the area. What's the deal???

Anonymous said...

I am interested in visiting this place but i don't know how to map it. I have no address or anything can anyone provide one? thanks

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Anonymous - You could call the Mathews Visitor/Info Center at (804) 725-4BAY or visit them at www.visitmathews.com. I know how to get there but I don't know the road names, I just know where to turn. Essentially, if you're coming into the Court House on Route 198, you keep going straight at the Hardees intersection (rather than turning right to go into town). And after that I'd need to be in the car to tell you because there are twists and turns in the road. But if you contact the visitor's center they can help you with all that. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I was glad to find this! I just googled Mathews, and found your blog. I'm from Lancaster Co., not far north. I'll have to keep checking back!

furmanorange said...

Hello, does anyone know who owns the property where Old House Woods is located. i have been reading the stories about the haunted woods and wish to camp there to see the ghost for myself. but i want to get permission first. is there anyone here that can help me? if so please contact me at furmanorange@aol.com. Thank You

Anonymous said...

Spooky...not sure how I would feel doing a solo kayaking trip at haven beach....I would have to bring my proton pack with me...

Anonymous said...

Is it true folks have disappeared there?

Susan said...

A friend and myself came down to Matthews to check out Old House Woods and we saw a headless horse and neither one of use are crazy. we are planing a camping trip there this summer to see what goes on in them woods at night. we can't wait

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Nobody's disappeared from there in my life time, but I will say that too many sources-- some reliable, some not so much-- have relayed stories about this neck of the woods that some shred of it has to be true. Some of the stories date back over a century. It's really fascinating.

Montague said...

Hello - I would like to write a brief story about Old House Woods for Hampton Roads Magazine.

I wondered if anyone would be willing to correspond by email about any ghostly experiences they personally experienced there.

Thanks!
MontagueGammoniii@fastmail.fm

Anonymous said...

Mathews is also known for its UNUSUALLY large mosquitos. and i was just at that beach looking for ghost that place is not haunted

~Ashley~ said...

I live in hudgins right now and will be moving out near haven beach next month. my oldest daughter went to old house woods for a field trip and believes every word of it. my hubby and i are a bit skeptical though. we know people who have lived here their whole lives and never heard of the place. so we weren't so sure whether the ghost were real or just stories. we went to haven beach this evening to see how far it was from the house we are getting ready to move into. nothing seemed to out of the ordinary lol. we went down old house woods road but just saw regular houses. my daughter says she was told everything happens at midnight.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Ashley - I live in Hudgins too! The midnight thing is a new one on me, but most all the stories seem to take place at night.

The actual old house of old house woods isn't there any more, but the stories still linger, and for them to be hanging around for so many years is fascinating to me.

Good luck with your move, and definitely let us know if you do see or hear anything. - cbw

~Ashley~ said...

thanks! my daughter was kinda iffy on moving near haven beach lol. she is so into that story ever since her field trip. This town is so small I have probably saw you somewhere lol. I moved here in sept. from gloucester so I'm still getting familiar with things. I have 4 kids, all of school age, so we are at a lot of functions.

Anonymous said...

Being a Mathews resident, I've been to Old House Woods Road many many times. Yes, the stories about that area have been told a couple of hundred years - its a very old county. As has been said, the "old house" no longer exists, but the place IS creepy. There are youtube videos of it online.

Anonymous said...

My mom is Sharon Minter & she said she was there on Senior skip day & she got a good kick out of the John A. Part :)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Yes, Sharon was indeed there! It was a fun day, but that memory of John A. sure does stand out. Tell your mother I said hey. -cbw