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Haunted Places book review: Policing the Paranormal by Paul Hope

Come on patrol and go Policing the Paranormal at Virginia's haunted State Capital Complex
Courtesy of Schiffer Books

Policing the Paranormal--The Haunting of Virginia's State Capital Complex


Have you ever wondered if spirits of historical political figures linger in capital buildings or houses of legislature? Author Paul Hope has gathered some tales of unexplained phenomena in his book, “Policing the Paranormal—The Haunting of Virginia’s State Capital Building.” (Schiffer Books 2013)

State Capital buildings have their own set of law enforcement officers on duty to protect the capital, the men and women who work there, and the surrounding facilities in the area. Author Paul Hope was one of the officers who served on Virginia’s Division of Capital Police. He began his interest in the paranormal while growing up on the Isle of Man and experiencing ghosts first hand. These early adventures helped him prepare for his ghostly encounters at the Virginia State Capital building later in his career.

He joined the Division of Capital Police in 2001. This is the nation’s oldest police agency being established in 1618—protecting the colonial governor of Jamestown. Patrol with Hope as he takes you behind the scenes of the Capital building where you will learn the tales of shadowy figures wandering in the second floor Rotunda. Quick to respond, he and his partner checked every nook and cranny to find nobody lurking inside the area.

Working the ‘graveyard shift’ it was not uncommon for him to hear voices behind heavy wooden doors or the disembodied footsteps crossing along the marbled tiled floors. Lights flicker, whispering is echoed in the vast hallways, and dark masses have been caught on the security cameras.

Some believe they have seen the ghost of an early governor seated in the large, leather governor’s chair situated in the governor’s conference room. Imagine being startled when an older gentleman with gray hair, wearing a dark suit looked up to stare back at you---then suddenly faded away.

Is the Governor’s Mansion haunted, too? Almost every Capital Police Officer has a tale or two about a ghost they have witnessed in the mansion. Who is the woman in an upstairs bedroom all dressed in white? And why is she often seen descending the grand staircase? Other patrol officers have heard footsteps on the wooden floors, seen unexplained beams of light, and felt a chill in the mansion dining room.

Come along and hear the stories by brave officers on their nightly beat while they patrolled the Carriage House at the Mansion, the Supreme Court Building, City Hall and other historic sites. Uncover the secrets behind the locked doors of some of Virginia’s grandest houses of legislature and you will be hot on the trail of some of Richmond’s most wanted spirits!

Schiffer Publishing:

Haunted Places Examiner: Debe Branning

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