According to this legend, a blood covered creature with jagged teeth and skin hanging from its’ body stalks Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. Hollywood Cemetery is a likely place to encounter a vampire. It is a large sprawling, Victorian era cemetery often called the Valhalla of the Confederacy since it is the final resting place of twenty five Confederate generals (including George Pickett of “Pickett’s Charge” and the dashing cavalry commander J.E.B. Stuart) as well as the only Confederate States President, Jefferson Davis.
The legend of the Richmond Vampire got started in 1925 after the collapse of the Church Hill Railway Tunnel. The collapse outed a vampire. A blood covered monster with jagged teeth and rotting, hanging skin emerged from the cave-in and raced toward Hollywood Cemetery. Pursued by an angry mob, the creature fled into the hillside mausoleum of one W.W. Pool. Curiously, the mausoleum of W.W. Pool has no birth date, just a death date, 1922, three years before the cave-in. The mob found no sign of the monster, which had vanished, and which presumably still haunts the cemetery. Certainly some people believe this, reporting sightings of paranormal orbs of light near the crypt to this day.
Researcher Gregory Maitland is not a believer. Maitland discovered that the legend is based on the true story of the collapse of the Church Hill tunnel, without the vampire. One living man emerged from the disaster that gobbled up a still unknown number of transient laborers. That man was 28-year-old railroad fireman, Benjamin F. Mosby. Mosby was horribly burned, several of his teeth were broken, and layers of his skin were hanging hideously from his body as he emerged from the collapse. Mosby, in shock, headed toward the James River, in the general direction of Hollywood Cemetery. Concerned onlookers overtook him and took him to Grace Hospital, where he later died from his injuries. But the legend of the vampire lives on.
Mind bending stories from the Old Dominion. A collection of Virginia’s most notable Urban Legends, many include the true stories behind them.