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Halloween Haunted House 2007  

Carlyle House- Alexandria, Virginia


The historic Carlyle House was completed in 1753 by Scottish merchant John Carlyle for his bride, Sarah Fairfax of Belvoir, member of one of the most prestigious families in colonial Virginia. Their home quickly became a center of social and political life in Alexandria and gained a foothold in history when British General Braddock made the mansion his headquarters in 1755. Braddock summoned five colonial governors to meet there to plan the early campaigns of the French and Indian War.
On the National Register of Historic Places, Carlyle House is architecturally unique in Alexandria as the only stone, 18th-century Palladian-style house.

The house is presented to visitors in different phases throughout the year.
One of the more poignant is October. Large swags of black mourning cloth are draped over the front entrance and family coat of arms. It was during the fall when Carlyle died, and in his large bedroom one’s imagination needs little help in recalling that sad time as a sheet-draped corpse reposes in the bed.
The central entry hall – normally used for joyous dancing and entertaining is lined with Windsor chairs, bereavement bands and food and drink for visiting mourners.
A replica of Carlyle’s coffin lies in the home’s grandest room, with a Masonic apron atop it, and a life sized mannequin of one of home’s nine slaves, sitting in attendance, his obvious grief at his master’s passing felt by the downward slope of his shoulders. True to 18th century custom, a time before embalmment was customary – a bowl of fragrant rosemary sprigs are nearby.

Floor Plan of the Carlyle House


-- Original House Design by Nysie Oct. 2007; edits by IceFalcon 2007