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The Singing Ghost

Kristin-Marie Dorton, Virginia, USA
December 1998

Ireceived this e-mail regarding this story:

"The reason I am writing to you is because I noticed the story entitled "The Singing Ghost" from December '98 submissions. This story is also about a building in my town. However, the writer, who stated that it was probably one of the only true stories you had received, was terribly off-base with the facts. I hope this was out of error on her part and not malice.

First, the town was named Wolf Hill by Daniel Boone in the late 1700s. It was changed to Abingdon in 1832. She states it was called Wolf Hill until 100 years ago. Second, there are hardly 100 haunted places in Abigndon. We have over 100 17th and 18th century buildings. There are several ghosts, but there are certainly no where near 100. Third, Martha Washington College was opened in 1860. The Civil War occurred in 1861. One year is hardly "many years" as she states.

Her greatest oversights involve the story of the singing ghost. I, nor anyone I asked, has heard of this singing ghost. The story she is attempting to tell involves a girl named Beth who was a student at the school during the Civil War. Beth did care for and fall in love with an injured soldier. He did die. She did not sing however, she was a violinist. She played music for him. She also did not commit suicide. She died of Small Pox shortly after he did.

The story of Beth is widely documented in this country. It has been covered in books about paranormal activity, on television, and in magazines. The owners of the hotel are proud of Beth and of the several other ghosts at the hotel. It is a big, big draw and money maker for them. They capitalize on it. The room in which she is said to have died has a waiting list of well over a year for reservations. Beth is the most common apparition (misty girl in a nightgown) and violin music is often heard throughout the building.

The reasons I know these to be true are that my family has lived in this twon for over 150 years and I was the marketing and pr director for the Martha Washington for 3 years. I hate to see any misinformation, especially in regards to my hometown."


This is a true story. Maybe one of the only ones you have ever gotten. I have not had an experience but many people I know have including my 5th grade teacher.

Abingdon Va is one of the oldest towns in the USA. Wolf Hill (as it used to be called about 100yrs ago) has over one hundred haunted sites but the one I am going to tell you about is special. It has many ghosts but Henryetta is my favorite. Most people just call her "The Singing Ghost".

About 150 years ago General Johnson built a large mansion for himself and his family. They lived there a good many years. When he died his wife and children, which were now grown, decided to sell it. The person who bought it turned it into a woman's collage. They named it "The Martha Washington Collage for Women". Everything went well. Years later the civil war brought fighting and wounded soldiers to Abingdon. They evacuated the collage except for a few girls that wanted to help care for the wounded. One of the girls names was Henryetta Collins. She kept her emotions out of her work until the day they brought in a certain soldier.

Henryetta liked him from the beginning. He was badly hurt and needed more attention then many of the others. She volunteered for the job. One of the many things she did for the soldier was sing to him. After many weeks of taking care of the soldier Henryetta soon fell in love with him. His health went downhill and one sad night he died in Henryetta's arms. She sang to him until the very end. A few days later another nurse found her body in the soldiers old room. She had taken her life.

You can still hear her singing to her beloved soldier at night. If you listen very carefully you may hear her crying over the love she lost.......

Kristin-Marie Dorton, Virginia, USA
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