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Are There Ghosts In Gettysburg?

Updated on March 5, 2012

Are there ghosts in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania?

Are the rooms in the Farnsworth House Bed And Breakfast, located at the edge of Gettysburg, really haunted?

My friend, Jackie, and I, decided to find out. In April, 2004 and April, 2005 we visited the Farnsworth House. Both times we stayed overnight in one of their five haunted rooms.

Built in 1810 and converted into a Bed and Breakfast in 1972, The Farnsworth House has been called one of the most haunted inns in America by the Travel Channel. Staff have hosted television programs such as Unsolved Mysteries and The History Channel.

The Farnsworth is reputed to house at least fourteen ghosts. Many who stay at the Farnsworth leave in the middle of the night, frightened by strange encounters. For example, a terrified man checked out after stating that all night long he felt as if a feather were tickling his face, and the bathroom door would not stay shut. Guests also report being awakened in the night with the feeling of a hand pressing their shoulder or stroking their hair. Others report unexplained smells in their room such as pipe tobacco.

Ghost tours abound in Gettysburg. Tour guides tell visitors to check their photos after they are developed. They claim that orbs may appear in a picture. Orbs are white or clear circles that supposedly signify spiritual or ghostly energy in the place where a photo was taken.

The guides also inform vacationers that when a ghost is near, the area around them will get extremely cold. Numerous tourists report seeing faces in their photos, especially on the battlefields where over 50,000 soldiers died during the Battle Of Gettysburg in 1863.

Back in April, 2004, Jackie and I stayed in the McFarland Room at the Farnsworth, the same room where a guest had reported having her hair stroked. Nothing unusual happened that year except for a clear orb appearing in one of my photos of the room. However, at least fourteen of my developed photos of the battlefield contained men's faces.

A year later was a different story.

In April, 2005, Jackie and I returned to the Farnsworth. We stayed two nights in The Sara Black room, which is supposed to be the most haunted room in the building.

The room was beautiful, quaint, with a canopy queen size bed covered with a maroon shiny silk bedspread and a large bathroom with a shiny ceramic black and white tile floor. Both rooms were spotless with a clean, pleasant refreshing smell. We took a few pictures, then left the room for less than five minutes to bring in our suitcases.

Upon our return, Jackie called me into the bathroom. Both of us smelled a horrific foul odor. It smelled as if someone had just used the toilet and walked out without spraying the room. I went outdoors to see if there was another bathroom below ours, thinking an odor may have seeped up through our floor. However, our bathroom was over the dining room. Above us was a haunted attic where no one was allowed.

I said to Jackie, "That smell is terrible! No bathroom spray at ALL! Just the smell of someone who used the toilet and walked away!"

We then walked back into the bathroom and smelled a strong floral scent on top of the bad odor.

I have absolutely no explanation for that incident.

We then left our room and went on a tour. When we returned, I took a bath, and Jackie laid on the bed to take a nap. After my bath, Jackie was still awake.

"Our door will not stop jiggling," she said.

I looked over, and the door was shaking back and forth like crazy. I opened it, and there was no breeze or window in the hallway to justify why the door would jiggle like that.

The following night I took a shower in the clawfoot bathtub, surrounded by a plastic lace appearing bathroom curtain. I always use extremely hot water, as hot as I can stand it. As I was washing my hair I noticed the air around me in the shower was extremely cold, and there was no steam. I called to Jackie. She stuck her hand in the curtain. She said the temperature inside the shower was a lot colder than the bathroom. There was no steam on the windows and no explanation why the air was so cold around me with all that hot water.

The next night, instead of taking a shower, I took a bath in the claw foot tub. There was an old fashioned brass soap holder dish attached very firmly to the edge of the tub. I laid my heavy shampoo bottle in the holder. All of a sudden the brass holder flew up into the air, did a back flip and landed on the floor. I put the soap holder back on the edge of the tub, tried to push it off the edge, and it would not budge.

Our very last night, out of curiosity, we booked a tour with a psychic. She got very upset when we approached a red, barn-like building in the town. She claimed there was the presence of a dying soldier. Jackie took a picture of the red building on her digital camera, and it showed numerous circular orbs around the building (see my photo).

Conclusion: I am unable to explain what I just shared. I plan to return to Gettysburg, soon, to continue what I refer to as my curious research. Jackie and I have been on several of the tours, as well as, talked to many of the local residents on the street. We have had some very interesting conversations, heard alot of ghost stories, and met some great people.

One thing I cannot deny is what I call a "karmic" feeling when I am in Gettysburg. Because of its civil war history, where so many soldiers fought and died, I feel as if I am walking on hallowed, sacred ground, no matter where I am.

At this time, while I'm still getting acquainted with all that is involved with Hub Pages, I do not know how to post pictures on my hub articles. Once I learn, I will include some fascinating pictures with this story.

Blessings to all, Sincerely, Sparklea :)


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    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      truthfornow, thank you for stopping by and reading my story about ghosts! No, I have not returned, mostly because of time constraints and my friend's incredible busy schedule...she has 14 grandchildren and she is on the go every minute.

      I do believe in God, but I do know for a fact that what I described actually did happen. And I do love reading about ghosts. blessings, Sparklea :)

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 3 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Have you been back again? I would probably freak myself out if I had to stay in a haunted place by myself and started to experience strange things, even though those spirits if they are there probably would not do harm. Glad you had some company.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Romeos Quill: Thank you so much for taking time to share the views you found from a site regarding a Christian perspective on orbs! I especially appreciate your introductory words, wishing me and my family well and your hope that blessings from my Maker are peppering my life to make it richer and more enjoyable.

      The person who wrote this view is correct, that there are no mention of orbs in the Bible...also that the Bible is our guide, and a Christian is to love God fearlessly, keep his/her eyes on Jesus and be filled with the Spirit. I totally believe that what's in the Bible is true, and I personally could not live without my faith in God.

      As far as the orbs in photos are concerned, I still have no explanation, and I have no right to conclude what causes it dust particles or whatever.

      I would think that if that were the case, orbs would show up in every photo that was taken.

      While the subject of ghosts and orbs remains a mystery, and I do have photos with faces in them, I totally believe Christ lives in me, and I get up each morning giving the blank page of the day to God, and I place all circumstances/burdens at the foot of the cross. Christ died for our sins, and I don't know what I would do without Him.

      Thank you from my heart ...I can feel your kindness and sincere passion with all that you write: both hubs AND comments. I also wish wonderful blessings on you! Your faith is a great testimony! Sparklea :)

      PS: Another word that is not mentioned in the Bible is the word, "Rapture" which Christians talk about all the time. I struggle with that.

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Hi Sparklea,

      I hope you and your family are well, and that blessings from your Maker are peppering your life to make it richer and more enjoyable.

      A fascinating Hub you have written, and notable, seeing as many celebrate their festivals this time of year.

      I saw this answer on a site called:-

      .....and thought that it may sweep aside some vexation in regards to the photograph you chose. Here is an example - it goes like this:-

      Question: "How should a Christian understand orbs?"

      Answer: Many people have been puzzled by the appearance of “orbs”—spherical spots of light—in their photographs. These orbs can be various sizes, but usually they are small, white, and round. Most significantly, orbs are not apparent to the naked eye; they only show up in pictures and sometimes on video. Some people view orbs as evidence of paranormal or supernatural activity in a “haunted” location. Many others, including Christians, have a different perspective on the existence of orbs.

      Some ghost chasers and paranormal investigators claim that orbs are manifestations of departed human spirits. They say that, as some ghosts seek to communicate with the living, the ghosts will exert psychic energy to make their presence visible, at least on film. From a Christian point of view, this theory has a major problem: there are no such things as ghosts, in the sense of “departed spirits of once-living humans.” The Bible teaches that, when a person dies, he or she is immediately in one of two places, heaven or hell (Luke 16:22–23). There is no time for “wandering” or “haunting.” There are spirits in this world, however—unclean spirits (demons) and holy spirits (angels).

      Some Christians believe that orbs are real. If they see an orb in a picture taken inside their home, they conclude that there are spirits in the house. If they believe the spirits to be demonic, they might call a pastor or priest over to “cleanse” the house or pray through the rooms. If they believe the orbs are good, they might take comfort in the fact that God has sent His angels to watch over them. Again, from a biblical perspective, these theories have a problem. The Bible never mentions orbs. It never hints that spirits, good or bad, will manifest themselves to us as spherical globs of light. We have no reason to believe that our modern technology can coax a spirit to make itself visible. The belief that an orb is an angel or demon “caught on film” is based on ideas that do not come from the Bible.

      There is a logical explanation for orbs. Orbs are almost always photographed 1) indoors, 2) using a flash, 3) on a digital camera, 4) with a low-resolution lens. These facts have led many to conclude that orbs are, in reality, dust particles floating between the camera and the subject of the photograph. The theory is that these airborne particles reflect the light of the camera’s flash. They appear blurry or transparent because they are out of focus; they are not visible to the naked eye because they must illuminated by the flash. Other small particles in the air, such as pollen, rain, or snow, can produce the same “orbs.”

      Our belief in the supernatural does not come from photographic “proof” but from the Word of God. The Bible is our guide. Whether or not orbs have a supernatural origin does not change the fact that a Christian is to love God fearlessly, keep his eyes on Jesus, and be filled with the Spirit. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

      The answers to many so-called spiritual phenomena are out there, just waiting to be found by those seeking the truth in such matters.

      Enjoy a lovely evening.

      Yours Sincerely,


    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you so much for taking time to read this. I hope you find time to write about your encounters. I HOPE to get back to the Farnsworth and stay overnight again.

      If you google Farnsworth Inn, Gettysburg PA, you can see a picture of it and read testimonies of others who have had ghost experiences.

      Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 4 years ago

      Sparklea, wonderful hub on Gettysburg. I would love to visit Gettysburg, but I can be very sensitive to elements. I would most likely feel the great sadness that must definitely shroud that area.

      I have been to other battlefields.

      I see all the orbs in the picture of the red building. What a great experience to take these adventures. Oh, I very much believe that

      ghosts walk among us. I just cannot understand why they are still here.

      You have inspired me. I am reminded of a few ghostly encounters. I

      may try to find the time to write them.

      Wonderful read! And, the next ghost you meet, please ask them WHY

      they are still hanging around here.



    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 5 years ago from home


      I'd love to find it but I have a better chance of going and retaking it!!

      I been here years and still dont know $h1st


    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Tom, I would LOVE to see that picture. Still do not know how to post pictures...kittythedreamer has given me some tips...i have photos with pictures on them also...Quite incredible! Thank you for reading this hub and for your comments. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 5 years ago from home

      i was on little round top took a picture because i felt like getting a panoramic view from up on the hill but one picture in particular came out fuzzy of the bottom of little round toparea to the north it was way too far to really get a good picture but what i didnt notice was there was an image of a soldier with his back to me hiding next to a rock on the slope ... but- there wasnt anyone on the slope but the camera focused on the closer object...weird... dont know where the picture is proolly in the basement at mom n dads...



    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Raevyn14: thank you for your comment about this hub. It is a very mysterious, spiritual much we don't understand. I have no explanation for why these things happened at the Farnsworth. Blessings always, Sparklea :)

    • Raevyn14 profile image

      Raevyn14 5 years ago from Tecumseh, Oklahoma

      You've had very rare sights of the paranormal that most of us don't get to experence. Spirits are only there to let you know of their presence, and some of the gettsburg spirits don't know their dead.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      THANK YOU CJ Sledgehammer, for your feedback. I Totally trust GOD alone in every aspect of my life. I have not made ghost hunting a priority! My friend asked me to go with her which is what got me there in the first place. I so appreciate your reminding me about the Biblical point of view. Never would I take stock in psychics and mediums. God alone is my Master and Guide every single second of my life.

      RE: Diary: It is never too late to keep a diary. Even if you start today, you will be tying a ribbon around memories. Just a thought.

      Blessings always, Sincerely, Sparklea :)

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 5 years ago


      A very interesting and well-written account!

      Please be careful what you hope for, because you could run into something that will sink its talons into your flesh and not let go. Psychics and spirits are a couple mediums that you probably should stay away from, at least from a Biblical point of view. As they say, "Curiosity killed the cat", and no one should know that better than a proud owner of four felines. :0)

      P.S. I tried to keep a diary when I was younger, but I just never got around to it. What a wonderful resource to have - one that gives the ability to look back on one's life; to see answered prayers fulfilled and to see personal growth, not to mention reliving the ups and downs of one's life.

      Very entertaining Hub - Voted up!

      Best wishes to you and yours - C.J. Sledgehammer

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you Billybuc! I am hoping to return there within the next few months, I want to stay at the Farnsworth again. I take alot of notes. If you ever return, you would love the Jennie Wade tour. I appreciate your taking the time to comment on this hub. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a great story and experience! My son and I visited there about ten years ago and I was fascinated. I could have stayed there a week just wondering around; didn't go on any ghost tours though. Thank you for a wonderful hub!

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      glmclendon: Never seen one! Just strange occurrences and faces in my photos (you have to study the photo to see them). I hope to get back to the Farnsworth to stay another night in that room but it is hard to book. So many people want to do that. THANK YOU for your comment! Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • glmclendon profile image

      glmclendon 6 years ago

      Have you ever seen one of these things? If I were to run into one of them I don't think I could stay in that house another night.

      Stay Well

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      kittythedreamer THANK YOU I will try that! Still new and NOT a high tech person. I am slowly learning as I go along! I WILL let you know if I need help.

      Blessings Sparklea :)

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from the Ether

      When you're writing your hub, there is a box in the upper right corner of the screen that gives you different boxes to add to your hubs. Click on photo and it should put a photo box in your hub that you can use. Try it out and let me know if you need help.

    • profile image

      Sparklea 6 years ago

      Thank You Glmclendon! I have never seen a ghost either! I enjoy reading your wonderful inspirational hubs also! I appreciate your taking the time to comment. Blessings always, Sparklea :)

    • glmclendon profile image

      glmclendon 6 years ago

      I don't know anything about ghost. I have never seen one so I will take yoyr word for it.

      Your writing was good and thoughtful, I always enjoy reADING YOU.

      Stay Well

    • profile image

      Sparklea 6 years ago

      THANK YOU Lynn! I'm still learning alot with computer technology, and once I figure out how to add photos, I hope to do so with this hub and others! You should visit Gettysburg, it is quite an experience. You would love the history that accompanies the town. I appreciate your taking time to comment on this hub. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 6 years ago

      I love watching haunted history and have toured the Whaley House and Star of India with no strange happenings.. Could be I'm just not 'open' to them. You should add your photos. I'd love to see them.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      THANK YOU cat on a soapbox for your input! So much appreciated. I am a cat lover, and love your picture! Just read your "Slow Down And Think" hub and my heart aches. Blessings always, Sparklea. PS: You have another follower.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      I have no doubt that these areas are haunted and that you most likely experienced some paranormal activity. How thrilling! Thanks for sharing your story.

      ( When I post pictures, I drag the ones I want to my desktop and choose that option when I browse, then I click on the image, and upload.)