CRITZ, Va. (WFXR) — Did you know Virginia Tech owns a pre-Civil War homestead in Patrick County? Well, now you do.
Since 1970, the Reynolds Homestead has been providing a portal back in time to plantation life for one of Virginia’s most famous families.
If you don’t know who the Reynolds are, you will. It’s likely one of their most famous products is in your home at this very moment.
“Reynolds wrap! Reynolds aluminum foil,” clarified Beth Almond Ford, historic assistant at the Reynolds Homestead.
The catch with this specific homestead is that it’s haunted by multiple generations of Reynolds, according to Ford.
“This is a place of presence,” she said.
For the last 18 years, Ford has been giving tours on the Reynolds grounds, and every day she enters the house with the same greeting.
“…sometimes five or six times a day, I just always say ‘Hey guys! It’s Beth,’ and we’ve had a pretty good relationship.”
Ford says it started on one of her first tours, where a tourist said she saw a girl in the house, who said she died in a fire.
“…and the hairs on her (the tourist’s) hand were standing straight up.”
Ford starting doing some digging.
“I got on the telephone, and I called John Reynolds, who had trained me. I said ‘John, was there a little girl who died in the house?’ He said yes.”
Supposedly, it was Nancy Ruth Reynolds, who died in 1912 and is currently buried in the family cemetery.
Today, Ford knows just about every Reynolds family member, most likely their spirits too.
The Reynolds Homestead gives tours on the weekends from 1 to 4 p.m. in the months of May through October, though they do give special tours around Christmas time, as well.
“People around here really do associate Beth with the Reynolds Homestead,” said Julie Walters Steele, Director of Reynolds Homestead.
Steele has been Director of the homestead for almost a decade and for a time actually lived in the home while she and her son were trying to get their house sold. She took a page out of Ford’s playbook when entering the home.
“I walked in, and I said ‘Hi! I’m Julie,'” the homestead’s Director said, thinking back to living in the home.
Steele would eventually get her own experience with the Reynolds ghosts, several times while she was in bed.
“I would feel pressure, like someone was just sitting on the edge of the bed, but it was never a threatening pressure,” Steele said. “It got to the point where I just felt like it was someone coming in to check on e to see how my day was.”
“I guess it happened to Julie a few times, so she made peace with it,” Ford said with a laugh.
There has been consideration in the past to have groups like Ghost Busters come into the home and tell the Reynolds’ story, but Ford says she respects the ghosts’ privacy and honestly doesn’t tell their story unless people ask.
“They do ask, because, you know, being in an old house they want to know,” Ford said.
Ford says the Reynolds ghosts are happy their story gets to be told and that they just might make a surprise appearance for a tour group led by her.
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