For 500 years, the Freemasons have lived among us, sitting next to us in bars, praying in church, and just out walking the dog.
But this ancient society is full of mystery and history. No wonder they have such a deep-rooted presence in historic Richmond, Virginia.
On a Mason’s Hall ghost tour with US Ghost Adventures, you get the rare chance to take a peek into this secret society. We share the historical and haunted on a tour of the darker side of Richmond, VA.
Tolerance and Protection
Constructed in 1785, Mason’s Hall is the oldest Masonic Temple in continuous operation throughout America.
For centuries, Mason’s Hall was known to the public as a safe space for those in need. The Masonic rituals that went on in the darkest corners of the building remained separate from the public-facing services.
In the War of 1812, the Hall acted as a makeshift hospital. Nurses and doctors tended to wounded men, but far too many soldiers spent their final moments staring at the whitewashed ceiling of Mason’s Hall.
Years later, in a more peaceful time, the hall was a place of worship for ostracized religious groups. The Masons transcended religion and were eager to permit free worship.
These kind and selfless acts seem to have blessed the building and kept it standing through many dark times…
The Ties That Bind
Freemasonry is a bond that extends beyond race, creed, politics, or even family. No more evident was that bond than during the bloody Civil War.
In April 1865, at the close of the war, Union soldiers marched into Richmond, setting fires and destroying everything in their path. The whole town was evacuated, but chaos erupted in the remains of the town.
Holding the white flag of surrender, the mayor of Richmond ran out to the Union general, begging and pleading to spare Mason’s Hall from the destruction. As chance would have it, the Union general was a Mason himself.
He knew his duty. Several Union soldiers were posted at Mason’s Hall, and it weathered the war without a scratch as the city burned around it.