Tag Archives: st. albans

“Fairytale Nightmares” gives Radford a scare

This October the abandoned sanatorium on the hill is turning your favorite fairy tales against you.

My family and I went just to see if it was worth the visit. An extensive haunted house full of crazy characters was ready to scare the pants off of us for just ten dollars. Continue reading “Fairytale Nightmares” gives Radford a scare

From Our Perspective: St. Albans & Obamacare

Does St. Albans exploit mental illness? Photo by Stephen Furtado.

After going through a huge list of names, we finally settled on a name for our staff chat podcast. Throw down your balloons and confetti, and welcome the return of From Our Perspective with a new twist.

In this episode, we discuss the idea that St. Albans exploits mental illness for a Halloween scare, and we debate multiple angles of rhetoric concerning the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading From Our Perspective: St. Albans & Obamacare


Radford University students have been busy getting in the Halloween spirit. Carving pumpkins, finding costumes, decorating houses and apartments, coming up with Halloween pranks and watching scary movies have been on the agenda. However, there is one more thing that seems to be catching RU students’ attention. The St. Albans Sanatorium in Radford has all of its visitors on edge. Continue reading Scream-A-Torium

Explore the city’s history

Many students want to find things to do off campus, but don’t know where to look. Below are some historic landmarks in the City of Radford that students can visit.


Built as a home by Civil War General Gabriel Colvin Wharton, Glencoe is now part museum, part gallery. It contains several history exhibits that document over 400 years of Radford’s history and gives visitors a glimpse into Victorian life after the Civil War. Glencoe showcases the contributions of Native Americans, early settlers, industries, educational institutions, businesses, local artisans, handicrafts and topics of local interest. The 19th-century Victorian home contains a woodworking shop, photographs of the city, and elegant furnishings. Some of the most notable contents are the authentic school house and the art gallery that features local artists’ work. Glencoe is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

The Glencoe Museum. Photo by Autsin Tuley.

St. Albans

St. Albans is Radford’s hot spot for paranormal activity and ghost hunting. The building is abandoned and vandalized, but it has served many purposes in its 119-year history. According to The Roanoke Times, it was originally built as the St. Albans boys school in 1892, where students took classes and lived in dorms. After the school closed in 1911, Dr. J.C. King purchased the property and turned it into a sanatorium. It later became part of the Carilion Health System as the St. Albans Hospital. The hospital then moved in 2003. It was given to Radford University in 2004 as part of RU West. The school put the building up for auction in early 2008, but former patient Tim Gregory and Shah Development worked out an agreement to claim it. Its fate is uncertain, as it might be destroyed to make way for condominiums. Currently, it isn’t open to the public.

St. Albans. Photo by Austin Tuley.
St. Albans. Photo by Austin Tuley.

Ingles Farm

William Ingles and Mary Draper Ingles originally owned the property that is now Ingles Farm. Around the 1750s they started a farm as a tavern and a ferry service that took people across the New River. Despite all of these things, Mary Draper Ingles is most known for being captured by Shawnee warriors and taken over 600 miles to Ohio. She eventually escaped and walked all the way home, using the New River as her guide.

Direct descendants of William and Mary Draper Ingles still own and operate the farm. They reconstructed the cabin where Mary Draper Ingles lived and worked based on remains they found. They continue to research Mary Draper Ingles and other facets of 18th-century living, and they are planning to reconstruct more of the buildings that were originally part of the farm. The family opens the farm up to the public once a month from spring to fall, and there is never a charge to visit the property.

Ingles Farm. Photo by Austin Tuley.

Ingles Castle

Located in Radford’s West End sits Ingles Castle. The 6,000-square-foot mansion was originally constructed in 1892 by Mary Draper Ingles’ great grandson, William Ingles, who shares a name with his great grandfather. The day he and his wife Minnie Snow Ingles were supposed to move in, the mansion burned down. He reconstructed an exact replica a year later, which is what stands there today. William Ingles, also known as Captain Billy, was an engineer and had an eye for design. The American-Victorian-style house was constructed with many curves and features a unique curved radiator. He also incorporated his Scots-Irish heritage into the design of the castle by adding the tower. The highlight of the landmark is the “Lady in the Mirror,” which is located in the library. Supposedly permanent houseguest “Aunt Nannie” Bass was comforting her cat during a storm when lightning struck near the house. The bolt activated the silver nitrate in the library’s mirror, a chemical which at the time was used to make photos. The reaction emblazoned their images in the mirror and can still be seen today. Teresa O’Bannon’s commercial recreation class is hosting tours every Saturday at noon, 12:30 and 1 p.m. until Oct. 29. It costs $5 with a valid student ID.

Ingles Castle. Photo by Austin Tuley.