Pennsylvania Paranormal: Haunted
Gettysburg - A Beginner's Guide
by Natalie Lynn
Is Gettysburg haunted? It's sure hard
to ignore the large number ghostly encounters that visitors
and residents of this historic Pennsylvania town claim
to have experienced over the years. Of course, skeptics
will always find other explanations for the phenomena
but the sheer number of reported experiences certainly
lends support to those convinced that something unusual
is happening here.
The idea of a haunted Gettysburg doesn't
really seem so ridiculous when you consider the magnitude
of the events that took place on this soil for 3 days
in July, 1863.
In the sweltering, summer heat, two deadly
armies--over 165,000 soldiers--met in Gettysburg and
fought what history would record as the bloodiest battle
of the Civil War. When the horrific haze of battle had
cleared, there were 51,000 casualties and many believe
that those involved in this epic battle still linger,
eternally bound by ties forged in the agony and trauma
Where is all this haunted activity taking
place? Basically, any place the battle was fought is
a likely place to encounter something paranormal. Many
visitors to Gettysburg look for the "official"
battlefield--the 6000 acres of federally maintained
battlefield just outside of town--not realizing that
much of the town also saw action from sharpshooters,
skirmishes, field hospitals and tactical occupations.
This abundance of battle-worn real estate makes it easy
for even the beginner to stumble upon places that are
linked to some type of haunted activity.
What should you do if you wish to see
a bit of haunted history? Naturally, no one can guarantee
that you will have a paranormal experience when you
visit Gettysburg but there are guides, locations, and
times to visit that can greatly improve your chances.
Below, I have gathered together enough information to
get you well on your way to your first "haunted
The Best Times to Visit
For those wishing to experience the haunted
side of Gettysburg, there are a few things to consider
when timing your visit:
Some have noticed more reported paranormal
activity at Gettysburg during the anniversary of the
battle--July 1, 2, 3. However, since this is a peak
tourist time, it's hard to say for sure if there's more
paranormal activity or just ore people around to experience
Night time, starting with dusk, seems
to be the best time--but not the only time--to have
paranormal encounters. There are many ghost tours in
town that offer candlelight tours for this reason but
more on the tours in a minute.
Some paranormal investigators see a connection
between the energy produced by thunderstorms and the
manifestation of ghosts so, being in the right place
just before or after a thunderstorm, could improve your
Taking a Ghost Tour
There are several companies doing ghost
tours in Gettysburg, so take some time to check them
out before you go. People reviewing the Gettysburg ghost
tours on Yahoo Travel gave them mixed reviews. It seems
that skill level of the guide is of vital importance
so I would suggest asking a lot of questions about your
guide's experience and popularity before you sign up.
Another sticking point for a lot of people was the fact
that, with some tour companies, the guides aren't paid
and they ask for tips at the end of the walk. If that
doesn't bother you, great, otherwise check before you
Here's a list of tour companies:
The Ghosts of Gettysburg Tours
These are the only ghost tours based on the excellent,
best-selling books, Ghosts of Gettysburg, by Mark Nesbitt
and include four different tours--one is a bus tour
and the rest are walking tours. Contact Info: 271 Baltimore
Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325 Phone: (717) 337-0445,
Toll Free: 888-337-0445, Fax: 717-337-9673
Historic Farnsworth House Candlelight
This group is connected to the very historic and haunted
Farnsworth House. According to them, they have the "most
unique walks," and are "not confined to scripted
and printed stories of recent years." They have
received press coverage on TV, and in books and magazines.
Contact Info: 401 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Phone: 717-334-8838, Fax: 717-334-5862 |
Sleepy Hollow of Gettysburg Candlelight
Owned and operated by a 6th generation Gettysburg resident,
Sleepy Hollow says it "features storytellers with
over 50 Years combined storytelling experience."
Their tours combine first hand experiences with tales
and legends, human interest and historical facts. Contact
Info: Phone: 717-337-9322 Fax: 717-337-9327
Ghostly Images Tours
This company offers four tours, one of which is a bus
tour. The tours from this company often include a visit
inside a haunted building but it would be a good idea
to check just to be sure. Contact Info: 778 Baltimore
Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325, Phone: (717) 334-6296
Some Haunted Places to Visit-
1) Haunted Places in Town -
This is by no means a complete list of places reputed
to be haunted in town--consider it just something to
get you started:
The Farnsworth House Inn, Pennsylvania
Hall and Brua Hall in Gettysburg College, The Wills
House - Lincoln Room Museum, Herr Tavern and Public
House, General Lee's Headquarters Museum, The Jenny
Wade House, and the Cashtown Inn.
2) Ghosts on the Battlefield -
As you might imagine, the battlefield is extremely active
when it comes to experiencing all types of hauntings.
While paranormal experiences could occur anywhere, some
of the known hot spots include: Devil's Den, Spangler's
Spring, Iverson's Pitts, the Triangular field, the fields
where Pickett's Charge took place, Little Round Top,
the Peach Orchard, the Wheatfield, the George Weikert
House, the Rose Farm, and the Eternal Light Peace Memorial.
Information about visiting these places can be found
at the National Park Service (http://www.nps.gov/gett/home.htm).
About the Author
Copyright Natalie Lynn, 2006. Natalie Lynn is a founding
member of The Traverse City Paranormal Society (http://www.traversecityparanormal.com).