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Ghosts of Gettysburg

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Gettysburg is a borough 38 miles southwest of Harrisburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania. It was the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1 to July 3, 1863. It is now the site of two historic landmarks: Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg National Cemetery. The Battle of Gettysburg, fought in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as part of the Gettysburg Campaign, was the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War and is frequently cited as the war's turning point. Union Major General George G. Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee's invasion of the North. Besides being a famous historical Civil War site, Gettysburg is supposedly one of the most haunted places in America because so many soldiers lost their lives in such a short period of time and in so many tragic ways.

Gettsyburg

Simple map of Gettysburg

Haunted GettysburgEdit

Gettysburg is easily one of the most legendary haunted American sites both in curiosity and horror. It is steeped in ghostly tales and appartions walking it's fields at night. Many claim the very atmosphere there is different than any other pace visiting, like visiting another time and place. Which is not too surprising, considering how much effort has went into preserving the spirit of the location. Many of the local establishments have been turned into bread and breakfasts or shops catering to visitors, and of these, almost all have some sort of tale to tell. Cold spots, orb filled rooms, and even the occasional outlandish bloody room circulates. Stories of nightmares, and panic in many of the B&B's and hotels, along with footsteps on the stairs and strange dragging sounds throughout the buildings. Screams, moans and even the cries of infants can be heard throughout according to some... but that is if you believe in them. The very real sense of pain washes over rmany however, as if the very air still contains the suffering of so many. Although the war has been over for more than a century, the carnage is sometimes not so far away at all.

Some of the Known HauntingsEdit

  • An open field near Devil's Den - Many report being in the middle of a battle and being forced to relive it.
  • Cashtown Inn - a civil war soldier has been seen here several times.
  • Cemetery Hill - You can see at times a blue column of light. And sometimes you can feel that someone is watching you, and you can hear people crying for help in the distance.
  • Civil War Wax Museum - Famous for having many exhibits contain orbs in photos.
  • Eisenhower Elementary School - In the 1st floor girls bathroom, many of the girls have seen a mans boot prints on the high ceiling.
  • Farnsworth House Inn - Considered by many to be one of the MOST haunted houses in America! The first house in Gettysburg to be investigated by renowned psychic Carol Kirkpatrick, as well as Ghost Hunters International, a crew from Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Southern California. The crews from "Sightings" (Sci-fi Channel), "Unsolved Mysteries", and The History Channel have all done filming here. Mary, a spirit from the Civil War era walks the corridors of the Inn at night. There is also a civilian man carrying a child wrapped in a quilt. You can hear him sobbing in an upstairs room. A midwife is seen watching over a young woman in labor. Three Confederate sharpshooters remain at their posts in the garret of the house. A soldier carries a wounded comrade into the cellar of the house. His voice is heard singing to comfort his dying friend, who dies in the catacombs of the cellar. Cold spots have been detected. "Balls of white energy" were photographed as white "auras" of energy throughout the house. Guests report many strange happenings on their stays here.
  • Gettysburg College - Brua Hall - The theater on campus, Brua Hall, is said to be haunted by a civil war era man. He frequently visits the theater at night and has been seen backstage and on the catwalk of the theater. He likes to play practical jokes and move props and costumes around. The man has a favorite seat in the house and sometimes he has been seen watching the students practice for an upcoming show. This seat is left empty for every performance by the cast, for this spirits benefit alone.
  • Gettysburg College - Glatfelter Hall - The bell tower on Glatfelter Hall is haunted by the spirit of a girl that committed suicide by jumping from the tower. Male faculty members and students have seen her at the top of the tower late at night. The story is that her lover was supposed to jump with her, but after she jumped he changed his mind. So, late at night she tries to lure the men walking by up to the top, hoping they will jump to their death and join her.
  • Gettysburg College - Pennsylvania Hall - The Administrative offices on the campus are housed in a large, white building that was a hospital during the civil war. Several faculty members and students have seen a very graphic and horrible civil war hospital scene when the elevator in the building mysteriously goes out of control and takes the passengers to the basement. When the doors open, they are faced with the ghostly scene instead of the usual storage facility that is in the basement. The cupola on top of the building is also said to be haunted. Several students and faculty walking across campus late at night have seen a civil war soldier standing guard on top of the cupola. In several instances the soldier will spot the person and take aim with his rifle.
  • Gettysburg College - Stevens Hall - Haunted by the "The Blue Boy." About a hundred years ago, a young boy who was being abused at home sought refuge amongst the college women who lived here. One cold, snowy night, the headmistress came up to check on the girls so they hurriedly hid the boy outside on their window ledge. The headmistress took her time talking to the young women, but finally she went back to her room. The girls rushed to the window ledge only to find the boy was not there anymore! They went down & outside to see if he had fell, but there was no boy. To this day, sightings of a young boy, blue in the face as if frozen, are common among Stevens Hall residents.
  • Gettysburg College - Sigma Nu Fraternity House - This house was previously owned by the only doctor in the county through the depression era. He died in the house. There have been numerous incidents of lights going on and off, with nobody visable at the switches. Large, very heavy oak doors have slammed open and shut, followed by lights completely dimming out. The lights have dimmed out in the bedroom where the doctor died, while the lights in the hallway have stayed lit, despite being on the same circuit. Sounds of things being thrown around in the basement in the dark, but the noise stops when the lights are turned on, and nothing is out of place.
  • Gettysburg College - Theta Chi Fraternity House - The story goes that a previous owner had hung themselves in the basement. The rumor is that if you see the ghost of the person hanging, something bad will happen to you or a member of your family. - There are stories of people seeing the ghost, and the next day relatives were killed in a car accident – this has not been proven true.
  • Gettysburg National Military Park - many ghosts of civil war soldiers have been seen here including entire battles being observed by witnesses. A ghost of Gen. William Barksdale's dog has also been seen. The dog died trying to get message to another general.
  • Jennie Wade House - The only civilian killed in the battle of Gettysburg, Jennie Wade, is known to haunt this house. Visitors have felt her presence and her father's presence still mourning the loss of his daughter and on occasion the chains in the basement will be moved by some unseen hand.
  • Ridgewood - Small wooded housing development behind Oak Hill, the site of the first days battle where the peace light now stands. Residents report seeing a tall man in a tuxedo gazing at them. Unidentified blue lights in secluded wooded areas near houses. Unseen entities heard sprinting on train tracks towards night-walkers. This entity has been known to throw rocks.
  • "Red House" - This large, civil war era house is always occupied by female students living off-campus, who attend Gettysburg College. There is a small grave in the backyard of the house and it belonged to a young woman who was living there during the civil war. She is said to move around the house at night, moving objects around, breaking plates, glasses, etc. The smell of her perfume, lilac, can be smelled at night when she is walking about the house.
  • The Pub - The ladies room and the area in and around the kitchen is visited by a woman who according to employees, was murdered and left on the spot while the building was being rebuilt several years ago. Employees say that she opens and closes doors and turns on and off the lights.
  • Triangular Field - Located above the Devil's Den, Confederate sharpshooters have been sighted on the rocks down at the bottom of the field, at the end of the woods, prepared to shoot. They have also been heard resounding their famous "rebel yells" and have been known to actually cause "impressions" in the grass, coming towards visitors in the field. Union cannons can be heard as well as screaming and moaning of wounded/dying soldiers all throughout the field. Union soldiers have been sighted at the left of the gate-entrance of the field and have been known to approach visitors.
  • The Wheatfield - One of the bloodiest battle scenes during the war was the Wheatfield. This little field was host to wounded Union soldiers on the nights of July 2nd and 3rd, 1863, who had fought desperately to hold a salient that reached out from Devil's Den through the Wheatfield to the Peach Orchard and back to Cemetery Hill. As darkness fell, they found themselves cut off from their fellow troops behind enemy lines. Lying on this field racked with pain and thirst, their life's blood seeping out, they knew the possibility of help from their own troops was slim and, as night descended, they could hear the sounds of troops in the distance and the far off moans and cries of other wounded soldiers. Still a new and unimaginable horror would soon unfold that night. Presently, they heard the sounds of soldiers coming through the woods. Could it be help? Was it their own men and safety, or Confederate troops and the possibility of prison camp? At least they might now live. However, what they saw now was a new terror--huge hogs let loose by the destruction of fences of the surrounding farms-- and they all knew what that meant. They knew that hogs were known to eat the dead and, worse, the wounded after a battle. That night of July 2nd and 3rd, 1863, as the hungry hogs circled looking for their own spoils of war, these desperately weakened men were forced to hold them off the best they could with bayonets and sabers. Some people believe the distressful sounds of pain and agony can still be heard on that small field.

Essential ReadingEdit

Ghosts of Gettysburg: Spirits, Apparitions and Haunted Places of the Battlefield by Mark Nesbitt
More Ghosts of Gettysburg: Spirits, Apparitions and Haunted Places of the Battlefield by Mark Nesbitt

External LinksEdit

Gettysburg.com
Gettysburg Ghosts
Gettysburg Ghost Photography

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