"Serving all of Virginia and Beyond"

SWANNANOA MANSION


SWANNANOA MANSION

AFTON, VA  06/08/2013
INVESTIGATORS
LYLE & TONNA LOTTS, DICKIE & PATTY
REXRODE, TOMMY FITZGERALD, DONALD MOLNAR, MIKE BRANCH, TERESA GRAY, SHANNAH KRISTEN, KAT WISELY, SHERI SMITH

WEATHER
AIR TEMP-77 DEGREES, CLEAR SKIES,
WINDS-SE 5MPH, HUMIDITY-68%, MOON-EVENING CRESCENT WITH 1% VISIBILITY


LOCATION HISTORY 
Swannanoa Mansion was built in 1912 by millionaire and philanthropist James H. Dooley as a token of love from husband to wife, the depth of James and Sally May’s relationship was represented in the 4,000 piece Tiffany stained glass window and a domed ceiling bearing the likeness of Mrs. Dooley. Major Dooley died in 1924 at the age of 82.
 He left Swannonoa entirely to his wife, Sally Mae along with several million dollars.  Sallie May Dooley died at Swannanoa on September 5, 1925, at the age of 79.  She left the estate to Major Dooley's two sisters. The sisters
sold Swannanoa in 1926 to the Valley Corporation, a Richmond corporation, who became the second
owners of Swannanoa. They planned and opened a country club in 1929 and closed in 1932. During that time they built
the stone building on the property rumored to house the region's best moonshine distillery and was the favored
supplier for government officials during Prohibition.
 

The mansion stood empty through the Great Depression and WWII until it was leased in 1949 to Walter Russell for
his University of Science and Philosophy
. During this period, the retreat took in a series of female acolytes who,
to help support the institute, gave tours of the mansion and grounds.  Walter Russell
 died in 1962, and his
wife Lao died in 1988.

If Sally Mae still roams the mansion, she has seen the tribute to love slowly deteriorate from its grand beauty. Does
she wander the rooms grieving the disrepair and follow the visitors who witness its degradation? Or is there another story here, perhaps of a servant who once worked the estate, or of Walter or Lao Russell, still looking for followers to
listen to their philosophies?

INVESTIGATION PHOTOS

cache/wst.opf.4052541.xml

EVIDENCE PHOTOS
SHADOW IN THE GARDEN
 

GLOW IN THE UPPER LEFT WINDOW
 
POSSIBLE SHADOW BLOCKING OUT MARBLE POST
 

 Knocking response to question
 "I choke on them"
 "I can"
 "Okay"
 Loud breath
 "Never got"
 "No"
 "Right here"/Loud Breath
 "Yea"
 Footsteps running towards us
 "Yes"
 "I like it"
 "I can't feel you"
 Footsteps coming down stairs/"Hello"
 "Their on the floor"
 "I'm not in here"
Woman's laugh captured on 3rd floor hallway
 Laugh slowed down saying "You scared them"
 "No"
 Mumbled voice while sitting at the fountain

MEDIA VIDEO

 

 

INVESTIGATION VIDEOS

INVESTIGATION DVR FOOTAGE
The following footage was captured by our DVR system.  We had a total of 11 cameras running and
these were a few of the interesting finds.  

INVESTIGATION CONCLUSION

First of all I just want to say that it was an awesome privilege to be able to investigate the Palace on the mountain, Swannanoa.  This by far was one of the most followed investigations that Team Twisted has had the chance to do. Many thanks go out to Mr. Dulaney for granting our request.

Upon finding out that we could get into Swannanoa, immediately we started to receive all kinds of
information from the community about personal experiences that many have had.  Seeing the possible apparition of Sally Mae walking around the grand stairway, voices, touching and even pushing.  We put
these experiences to use as we tried to focus our investigation towards them. We put a focus of our DVR system cameras in the hot spots such as the grand stairway, the library, the 3rd floor and the 2 towers.

The Team actually got to investigate for a total of 5 hours inside the palace.  This included setup and tear down, so we got to spend about 3 1/2 hours getting to investigate.  We focused heavily on the hot spots. 
The spirits were very audible at times as you could tell by the amount of EVPs that were posted. One very interesting experience happened on the second floor entry to the left tower.  You could here the clear footsteps of someone coming down the stairway with a limp, drag type sound.  The sound was as if it was right there with you.  One of our investigators had to leave the building from that same area after feeling really uncomfortable and sick.  You just had that feeling that everywhere you went, someone was
following closely behind.  Although not threatening, just an uneasy feeling.  

Team Twisted feels that with all the experiences that we had happen, and the amount of audible, photo,
and video evidence that was captured, that Swannanoa is definitely HAUNTED!!!  We just hope to be able to return and spend more time in the mansion trying to build on the evidence file that we are collecting.  

We would also like to thank Alpha Vision Films for showing an interest in this investigation.  They are putting together a documentary of the investigation, and we will try to bring it to you as soon as it is 
available to the public.  Thanks again for following us on this awesome investigation and for being patient with us.  We had a lot of evidence to review and we did not want to rush the process.  


 

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