Date of Investigation:
December 30, 2006
Waxing Gibbous 83%
St Luke’s Church and Graveyard
14477 Benn’s Church Boulevard
Smithfield, Virginia 23430
Web address: http://www.historicstlukes.org
Age of site:
The church was built in 1632.
The graveyard is believed to be around the same age. However, the oldest grave marker that could be read is dated 1767.
History of site:
The church was built in 1632. It is the oldest existing church of English foundation in America and the nation’s only surviving Gothic structure. Many historical figures have visited the church, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. During the Civil War the Confederate soldiers made camp in the graveyard. The camp as known as Camp Ruffin. The soldiers camped among the trees and graveyard, while they housed their supplies and horses inside the church.
Current Status of site:
The church is still actively being used. The graveyard has been expanded and is still currently active in burials.
Known deaths or tragedies at site:
In November 1839 the Reverend at the time, Reverend Alexander Norris heard that there were bandits in the area, so he decided to go to the church and remove the silver. When he was in the church gathering the silver, he thought he heard the bandits approaching. So he flung the windows open in the front of the church, stepped on the altered and attempted to exit through the windows. However, he slipped and fell to the ground breaking his neck and dying instantly. He was found several days later, his horse wondering the graveyard, and all the silver still safely inside the church. He was buried at the spot were is fell.
There has been reports of apparition of a priest walking the graveyard, near the front of the church. It is believed to be the spirit of Reverend Alexander Norris. A phantom horse drawn wagon carrying a casket has been seen at the rear of the church.
Number of photos taken:
163 digital photos
2 hours and 7 minutes
61 degree Fahrenheit
Fluctuations were between 57 to 61 degrees. At 4:34pm there was a temperature drop when the temperature dropped from 61 degree to 47 degrees.
The base reading was .01 milligauss in the graveyard
The base reading was .8 milligauss in the church
Fluctuations were between .01 to .05 milligauss in the graveyard
Fluctuations were between .8 to 1.0 milligauss in the church
Upon arrival at the location, I began by walking the graveyard. Numerous EMF reading and temperature reading were recorded. Photographs and EVP work was done throughout the entire graveyard. Upon approaching the church, I was asked if I was there for the graveyard tour. I had no prior knowledge of this tour, but lucky me walked right into it. The tour was a short 10 minute tour highlighting some of the more unusual and notable graves. Immediately after the graveyard tour, I went into the church were I took more EMF and temperature readings. All of these were normal. Several series of photos\graphs were taken throughout the entire church. Audio was recorded the entire time I was in the church. The church was then closed and I returned to the graveyard to take more EMF and temperature readings. At 4:34pm a temperature drop from 61 degrees to 47 degrees was recorded. A series of photographs were taken in this location. An image of a robed apparition was photographed in this area. No other abnormal readings were recorded after this.
Review of data:
163 digital photos were taken.
After a temperature drop from 61 degrees to 47 degrees was recorded at 4:34pm was recorded a series of photographs were taken in area. One of photographs captured an apparition of a robe figure walking the pathway leading to the church. All of the other photos did not show anything paranormal in nature.
Audio was recorded during the entire investigation, regardless if questions were being asked. After listening to all of the audio, it was determined that no EVPs were recorded.
The temperature fluctuations were between 57 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit were considered to be within a normal range. The lower temperatures were at highly shaded areas of the graveyard. However, there was a temperature drop from 61 degrees down to 47 degrees. A series of photographs was taken in this area. In one of the photographs an apparition of a robed figure was captured walking down a pathway toward the church.
No abnormal fluctuations were reported. The .01 milligauss to .05 milligauss readings in the graveyard, and .8 milligauss to 1.0 milligauss in the church were within the normal range that one might expect to find.
The location is 375 years old and has experienced a great deal of history throughout those years. There is at least one recorded death at the location, and it is believed that one of people that haunt the location is this person. The stories of people seeing various apparition seem to be plausible. The apparitions that have been seen appear to be residual in nature. The photograph proves the existence of the spirits who continue to roam the church and the graveyard. St. Luke’s Church and graveyard will mostly likely be haunted as long