Spookiest Spots around DC: Presidents Heads

IMG_1477Ok confession. This isn’t super close to DC but definitely cool and can be visited in a day trip. The infamous presidents heads lie on a farm east of Richmond in Croaker, VA. They were part of an odd theme park after its eccentric founders traveled to Mount Rushmore and wanted to make something similar on the east coast. Alas, the park didn’t kick off and the park was closed. A farmer bought the heads and put them on his farm while waiting to figure out what to do with them. Years passed and the heads have now become more famous since moving onto private land.

You can pretty easily find the plot of land for yourself. I went with my mom, brother, and his girlfriend during a Richmond visit. We got up early on a holiday and drove to Croaker. I’ve seen a number of Instagramers post about it but realized when we got there it’s not only on private property, but its owners make it very clear they don’t want trespassers. The week previous I’d tried contacting the owner of the farm, Howard Hankins, but every phone number and email other travelers passed along turned up as dead ends – I got bounce back emails and no calls back from my voicemails.

“Why don’t we just knock on their door and ask?” my Mom asked. I at first balked at the idea, not wanting to enter the land without permission. The property is surrounded by farmland and at the entrance to the farm is a long driveway flanked by DO NOT ENTER signs. And SECURITY FOOTAGE. And TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED.

We tried to circle from behind but found no path, so in the end we drove past the ominous signs and went up to the main house. Mom knocked on the front door and we waited about 10 minutes to see if anyone would come out. No one did. So with a lot of anxious looks over our shoulders we slipped around the house and found them behind a mound of dirt on the houses’s right side.

The presidents heads were massive, and decrepit, and eerie in the morning sun. We didn’t step too far into them but had fun standing under Teddy Roosevelt’s specktacled face and eying the ironic hole at the back of Abraham Lincoln’s head.

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