New Park Program Tracks Ghosts of Centreville’s Past

Incorporated into an old stone wall at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park is a mysterious gravestone with a cryptic inscription which reads, “All ye that are about him, bemoan him; and all ye that know his name, say, How is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod!”

Was this ambiguous message, a quote taken from Jeremiah 48 and used in 19th century eulogies, meant as praise or a subtle condemnation? The mason who placed the stone said there was no name on it and that it had probably marked a slave’s grave. No one really knows, but one can speculate….

Find the ghosts

Ghost Trackers, a new program offered by the Fairfax County Park Authority at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park’s Cabells Mill in Chantilly, Va., explores the area’s local history and folklore.

Participants age 16 and older will hear chilling tales as they make a rubbing of the enigmatic gravestone and visit the 200-year-old miller’s house in the dark of night. They may hear the crying ghost or see one of the benevolent presences associated with the site. Or, perhaps they will meet the maintenance poltergeist responsible for the recent loss of air-conditioning.

The program begins at 10 p.m. on Friday, August 3, 2012 , and lasts one hour. The cost is $15 per person. Materials for rubbings will be provided. Registration is available via Parktakes Online.

E.C. Lawrence Park is located at  5040 Walney Road in Chantilly. For more information about this program, call 703-631-0013.