The 10 Most Haunted Battlefields And Military Forts
The Battlefield Of Gettysburg
A Gettysburg Ghost Story
The Battle Of Gettysburg, 1863
In the early summer of 1863, the Civil War was two years old, and both the North and the South had tasted victories as well as defeats. Confederate General Robert E. Lee's force of nearly 75,000 men had just inflicted a stunning defeat on the North's army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and in early June it turned north, across the Potomac River, and headed toward Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Major General George Meade, who had just succeeded General Joseph Hooker as commander of the Federal Troops, also headed north with 122,000 men, and by late June the stage was set for the greatest battle of the Civil War.
It began on July 1, when advance troops on both sides met near Gettysburg, a small town about 35 miles southwest of Harrisburg. The first major development occurred that morning when the northern troops who were defending McPherson Ridge were driven back. Before Lee could take advantage of the situation, however he was forced to wait for the arrival of General James Longstreet's corps. Meanwhile, Meade was able to size up the situation and strengthen his main line of defense along Culp's Hill, Cemetery Hill, and Cemetery Ridge.
On the second day of the battle, July 2, Lee sent Longstreet's corps to attack the Federal's south flank, where desperate hand to hand fighting took place at Little Round Top and the Peach Orchard. Although the Confederates could have seized the advantage at this point, they again delayed, allowing Meade time to plug up the gaps and reorganize.
The third and decisive day of battle, July 3, was highlighted by Confederate Major General G.E. Pickett's Charge, involved 15,000 Confederate troops moving across an open field toward 10,000 defenders who waited coolly behind stone walls while their artillery blasted the enemy with devastating effect. By the time Pickett's men reached the ridge, they had lost too many men and were under attack on three sides, suffering tremendous losses.
The following day, July 4th, Lee began his retreat to Virginia. The Union Army had lost 23,000 men killed, wounded, or missing, while the Confederates counted 20,000 casualties. No single battle in American history cost so much in human lives. It was, moreever, a turning point of the war. The Confederate began a decline after that which ended in Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Virginia, on April 9, 1865.
Some historians today argue that the losses on both sides were underreported at the time of the battle and the total loss of life probably was closer to 75,000 than 50,000 which was first reported. had the Confederates won at Gettysburg we would most likely have two countries today where the United States now is located.
And anywhere that you have that much loss of human lives your going to have a large amount of paranormal activity. It is residual hauntings that are most often reported at Gettysburg. This is the spirits of soldiers who may not even know they are dead repeating the same thing over and over. But Gettysburg also has its intelligent hauntings. A young man in Confederate dress often talks to people in the area of Cemetery Ridge. He wants to know when more troops from General Lee will be coming.
The Battle Of Gettysburg
It is estimated that the Union and Confederate forces lost a total of 56.000 men in the battle at Gettysburg. Its interesting to note that there was only one documented civilian death during the entire battle. She was twenty year old Jennie Wade who was making biscuits in her home in the town of Gettysburg when a stray bullet came through the wall and hit her in the head killing her instantly.
Down through the years since the battle people all around the battlefield have made the claims of seeing marching men, running horses, and hearing rife and cannon fire. In the Comfort Inn and Suites opened in 2009 on Cemetery Ridge many people have encountered strange and unusual things going on in their rooms. Spigots in sinks turn off and on at will and bathroom and closet doors open and shut by themselves. People have also reported seeing soldiers dressed in Civil War uniforms walk through their rooms. Sometimes in through one wall and out through another wall.
People in the area claim to smell horrific smells of burning flesh. It was near this area where over 8000 horses were piled in huge piles and burned. The horses had been killed in the battle. While most of the graves are clearly marked not all of them are. Almost every year new graves are discovered. Its often when these graves are disturbed that people report paranormal activity and sometimes report seeing ghosts.
One of the spookiest things that people report is that when its foggy on the battlefield people see and hear soldiers and wagons pulled by horses over in the tree line. They often appear to be moving in the direction of the person hearing or seeing them. Many people over the years have run from the battlefield after having this happen to them.
My Personal Experiences On The Gettysburg Battlefield
In 1999 in the area of cemetery ridge I saw several figures walking along about a hundred yards out in the trees away from me and a friend. We called to the men walking and tried to catch up to them but they just simply were not there. Later that same evening we heard rifle shots and heard men screaming. We also heard horses running past us but no horses could be seen. I would have to say that there is a high level of paranormal activity on the Gettysburg Battlefield.
I myself know for a fact that there are ghosts at the battlefield. With the huge number of men who lost their life's here it would only stand to reason that some of them would be trapped here forever. And over the years many people have reported seeing and hearing horses on the battlefield. If so this proves that horses can have their spirits or ghosts appear after their death.
In the area of cemetery ridge a large white horse has been seen at dusk and dawn for many years. People from all over the world have seen this horse and tried to report it to the local authorities but of course the horse really isn't there.
Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. A lot of people think it was the last battle of the Civil War but this is not true. The Civil War continued for two more years.
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Battle of Stoney CreekClick thumbnail to view full-size
Battle of Stoney Creek Re-enactment 2013
The Battle Of Stoney Creek. Part Of The War Of 1812.
The Battle Of Stoney Creek was part of the war of 1812. The battle lasted less than fourtyfive minutes but heavy casualties were suffered on both sides and the American's lost their two generals which were captured in the battle.
The Americans were soundly defeated even though they had 3400 men compared to the British having only 700 men. It is known that only 1328 of the Americans engaged in the battle. It is now known that the British were able to obtain the American pass word and used it to enter the American lines. It now appears that the password fell into the British hands by accident. By the time the 45 minute battle was over 23 British and 16 Americans had been killed. The Americans were defeated and they withdrew after their two senior officiers were captured. It is this action and the loss by the Americans that is credited with keeping the Americans from grabbing a large portion of eastern Canada.
After the battle was over in the vicinity of the present day Stoney Creek Battle House people started telling of seeing men dressed as British soldiers walking around as if they were lost. However if you approach them they vanish almost at once.
It is also in this area that people see smoke in the air and hear volleys of gunfire. People also see a large black dog here that vanishes as quickly as it appears. Some people have told of seeing a wagon being pulled by a horse but as it gets near you it vanishes.
It would appear that almost every where that battles have occurred that we have paranormal activity going on.
A lot of the time it appears that some of the hauntings are residual hauntings while others appear to be intelligent hauntings. In case you don't know a residual haunting is like an event being played over and over while an intelligent haunting is where the ghost can communicate with you. In a residual haunting the ghosts can not communicate with you.
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Custers Last Stand Or The Battle Of The Little Bighorn.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Running Wild - Little Big Horn
Custers Last Stand Or The Battle Of The Little Bighorn.
Over the many years since the Battle Of The Little Bighorn has come to be known as Custer's Last Stand. The battle occurred on June 25th and 26th 1876 and was fought near the Little Bighorn River in Montanna territory. It is the most prominent battle of the Great Sioux War of 1876. In the battle were Native Americans from the Lakota Sioux, the Northern Cheyene, and the Arapaho. The Native Americans were facing off against the US Army's 7th Calvary under the command of General Armstrong Custer. Many famous Native American Chiefs took part in this battle including Gaul, Crazyhorse, and Sitting Bull. Crazyhorse and Sitting Bull were later assassinated for their parts in the battle.
When the battle was over the invincible General George Armstrong Custer and his command were decimated and most were dead. Along with Custer two of his brothers, a nephew and his brother in law were all killed. Historians have long questioned why Custer tried to take on a vastly larger number and was the result of the battle Custer's fault. It is believed that Custer was after glory and should have waited for back up before making his attack.
Reporters from the east were the first to report strange things going on in the vicinity of where Custer made his last stand. They told that they could smell gunsmoke and hear the shots of rifles four years after the battle. At about the same time white settlers visiting the area would flee because they claimed to not only hear the battle but to see it as well.
In the present day times many people including myself have saw strange things going on in the area of the battlefield. I smelled gun smoke in the air and heard gunfire when there was no one in the area to fire guns. I and friends with me also heard horses running around us but we could not see any horses even though it was 10 in the morning. I really believe that there are many residual hauntings going on in this area. Some people have claimed to see a blood stained Custer standing near where he fell with an arrow in his shoulder. Maybe he is still there unable to believe what happened to him at the hands of the Native Americans he was trying so hard to wipe out.
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Castillo De San Marcos from the west, looking east.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Castillo de San Marcos
Castillo De San Marcos
When the United States took over the old Spanish Fort its name was for a time changed to Fort Marion. But its name has since been changed back to the Castillo De San Marcos and it is now open to the public and it is operated by the U.S. National Parks System. it was in 1942 that through an act of the U.S. Congress that its name was changed from Fort Marion back to its original Spanish name.
In 1837 during the second Seminole Indian War Chief Osceola was taken captive while he was attending a peace conference under a flag of truce. He was held as a captive in the fort as were some of his followers including King Philip, Uchee Billy and the son of Uchee Billy named Coacoochee. Uchee Billy was captured on September 10th 1837 and he died at the fort in November of 1837. Dr. Frederick Weedon cut the head off of Uchee and kept it. When Chief Osceola died he cut his head off and boiled the flesh off in a pot inside the fort. He kept the skull for years. A floating head has been reported inside the fort. No one knows for sure who it is. Many Native Americans were held prisoner at the fort and many of them died there. Some it is said are buried just outside the forts walls on the north side.
Beginning in 1875 numerous Native Americans were held prisoner at the fort in the aftermath of the Indian wars out west. The more famous were Chief White Horse of the Kiowa and Chief Gray Beard of the Southern Cheyene. Many times over the years since the fort was opened to the public by the National Park Service people have asked about the men dressed like America Indians. There are of course no men at the fort dressed as Native Americans.
It was during the years of 1886 - 1887 that 491 Apaches were held prisoner at Ft Marion. Many people believe Geronimo was held here but he was not. His wife and other members of his tribe were. He was held at Ft Pickens. During that year that the Apache were held here 37 died and were buried on the near by beach. One young Apache man leaped to his death from the wall of the fort where it looks out over the bay. He tried to jump into the water at high tide but hit the rocks and was killed. Over the many years since people have told of seeing a man who looks like a American Indian run along the top of the wall and leap off. Many people think its part of the tour. But of course it is not.
The new Vilano Bridge near by was finished a few years ago and people tell of seeing Native Americans walking in the marshy area under the bridge. When the construction of the bridge was going on Native American graves were uncovered under the bridge. They were reburied near where they were uncovered. Some people have seen people who looked like they could hacve been Native Americans walking on the new bridge. It would seem that disturbing the graves stirred something up.
The fort is located just outside the old city gates of St Augustine Florida and is open every day for tours. It is one of the most interesting things to see in St Augustine. Walk along the top of the wall inside the fort and you have a great view of the city. The Bridge Of Lions is just south of the fort and is the way you get from St Augustine over to St Augustine Beach.
Other people up on the wall of the fort report seeing a man dressed as a monk in a brown robe and sandals walking along. What bothers people about this particular monk is that his feet don't touch the ground. When they notice this he usually vanishes from view. Or he will turn and walk right over the wall and vanish. No one knows for sure who he is but people have told of seeing him for over a hundred and fifty years.
Inside the old fort on the ground level is where Betsy is often seen. She is a girl of about 10 with dark brown hair and big beautiful brown eyes. She is almost always seen wearing a yellow dress and she is bare footed. People over the years have asked about her. Where did the cute little girl in the yellow dress go or why are her parents not watching her is often asked. No one knows who she is but she is seen inside the fort here and she is also seen in and around the old city gates. I would think she has some connection to the fort though I don't know how. If you walk down the street from the fort there is a graveyard on the right hand side of the street just before the old city gates and it is there that hundreds if not thousands of people were buried during yellow fever epedemics.
Back inside the fort in what used to be the provost marshals office a white man in a union officiers uniform is seen from time to time. He often smiles and nods at people. Some people have claimed after seeing a photo of Captain Pratt that it is him. Captain Pratt was in charge at the fort during the time that the Native Americans were held here.
One thing for sure. If you ever visit St Augustine and your interested in the paranormal be sure that you visit the old fort. I assure you that it will be a very interesting visit.
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Fort ConchoClick thumbnail to view full-size
Fort Concho: A National Treasure
Fort Concho is a National Historic Landmark owned and operated since 1935 by the city of San Angelo
The Fort today has 23 original and restored buildings and many people who visit here including myself feel a sense of something not quite right. Much has happened here and it would seem that the spirits or ghosts of many people are still out and about at Fort Concho.
The fort was built in 1867 and troops were stationed there to protect the people of west Texas. Among the commanders of the fort was the infamous Pecos Bill. The fort was in operation for over twenty years and many battles were fought there. The fort and the soldiers stationed there were responsible for putting down the Comanchero's which was illegal trade with Americans, Mexicans, and American Indians participating.
It is reported that at the fort there are several ghosts who are haunting the fort and they include the ghost of Ranald MacKenzie who was the most famous of the commanders of the fort. Other people have claimed to see the ghosts of James Cunningham, George Dunbar, Edith Grierson walking and moving around the old fort.
Ranald Mackenzie was the most famous of the commanders of the fort. 12 year old Edith Grierson was his daughter and she died upstairs in a bedroom from a fever. Her ghost is often seen running around the fort playing jacks. It was her favorite game when she was alive.
Comanches were the American Indians that Mackenzie and his troops pursued. In September 1872 Mackenzie and his men on a raiding operation raided a Comanche village killing 23 or more Comanches and they captured 127 women and children. The women and children were held through the winter in a stone corral where several of them died. They were allowed to return home the next summer to the Fort Sill Indian Reservation. Several Indian children are still seen to this day in the area of where the stone corral was.
On the morning of September 27th, 1874 Mackenzie and his men fought another battle with the Comanches. They came upon a large village with hundreds of teepees up in the Texas panhandle and Commander Mackenzie ordered his men to attack. A major part of the Comanches were killed and the others ran away into the scrub land around where the destroyed village had stood. Mackenzie and his men slaughtered over a thousand horses to keep the comanche from returning to recover them. In later years Mackenzie was bothered by what he had done to the Comanche people and it is said that for this reason that he continues to haunt Fort Concho.
Several Comanchero's were hung just outside the fort. They were buried near by and their ghosts are reported walking around the area especially near dusk and dawn. A large brown dog is seen in this same area and people have reported seeing it walk right through a wall.
Huge numbers of people have died in and around the fort and any where that you have this number of deaths your going to have ghosts and paranormal activity.
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Cold Harbor BattlefieldClick thumbnail to view full-size
Civil War, The Battle Of Cold Harbor
Cold Harbor Battlefield In Virginia
The battle of Cold Harbor was fought from May 31 to June 12th 1864 during the American Civil War. It is said to have been one of the bloodiest battles ever fought and for weeks after the battle the bones and decaying bodies of the killed were scattered on the ground across the battlefield. In the end almost 32.000 men from both sides would be killed in the battle that went on for over two weeks. It was a costly battle to the Union forces and it almost had them believing that they couldn't win the war against the Confederates.
Union General Grant led his troops in a battle with the troops of Confederate General Lee and it is said that the battle of Cold Harbor was one of Grant's greatest regrets.
The Cold Harbor Battlefield is said to be one of the most haunted battlefields in the world. It is often reported in the local newspapers that people hear the sound of the battle still going on all these years later. People report hearing guns fire, cannons fire, the screams of men and horses galloping by where there are no horses. The Ghost of Grant is often reported wandering about the battlefield still haunted by what happed there.
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The Dade MassacreClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Dade Massacre
The Dade Massacre
On December 23, 1835 two companies of men under the command of Major Francis Langhorne Dade from Ft Brooke which is now present day Tampa. They were on their way to present day Ocala which was then called Ft King. Dade knew that the Seminole were following his party and he feared an attack but after time went by he thought maybe they were safe from attack.
What Dade did not know was that the Seminoles were waiting for Osceola to join them before they attacked but when he did not they attacked anyway. Dade's forces were dressed in sky blue uniforms and the Seminole could easily see them through the trees and bushes.
Before Dade and his men knew it they were surrounded by the Seminole and it has long been reported that Dade and over half of his men were killed in the first volley of fire from the Seminole guns.
It is said that only three of Dade's party survived the attack. And one of these was killed by the Seminole the next day. Two of the men made it back to Ft Brooke at present day Tampa.
After this battle the Seminole had a free hand and many sugar plantations around St Augustine were destroyed and burned by the Seminole. By the end of 1836 all the houses in present day Dade and Broward counties had been burned by the Seminole.
Later on all the dead soldiers from Dade's command including him and over thirteen hundred other men who had died in the second Seminole War were collected and buried under three stone pyramids in a graveyard in St Augustine Florida where there is a present day monument to them.
It is in St Augustine where Major Dade is often seen standing near his grave. Many people say he is in a dress blue uniform and people often say he is crying. He is seen just standing there looking back towards his grave. And quite often over the years people have told of seeing soldiers walking around near the mass grave. Most of the men buried here had families and loved ones who never saw them again after they went off to fight the Seminole. But the Seminole suffered to. When Osceola died his head was boiled by a doctor and the skull was kept as a trophy. Osceola is often seen in St Augustine. Many of the Seminole were inprisoned for years in the old Spanish fort in St Augustine. Many of them died there.
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Battle of Antietam
The Battle of Antietam
Battle of Antietam
The Battle of Antietam was fought on September 17th , 1862 at a place called Antietam Creek in Virginia. As hard as it may be to believe the battle only lasted for four hours but during that time more than 23.000 men from both sides were killed. It was truly the worst day of battle for either side during the American Civil War.
Most paranormal investigators who have been here say that this area especially that area around Burnside's Bridge is a hot bed of paranormal activity. Some people tell of seeing smoke in the air and the sound of gunfire and cannons being fired. A black horse with a man hanging from it by one foot is seen often near the bridge.
Some people have walked upon soldiers in Union and Confederate uniforms laying around on the ground. Most people think it is reenactors but when they approach the soldiers they vanish. The near by Episcopal Church which was used as a Confederate Hospital is also said to be haunted. Some people have walked into the church to a grissly hospital scene. it is said that the floorboards of the church were so stained with blood that not even sandpaper could remove it.
Most of the men killed in the battle are buried in the area in shallow graves. In the area of the bridge people often report hearing horses and wagons moving about. Many recordings of the sounds here have been recorded.
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Battle of Blackburn's Ford
Battle of Blackburn's Ford
Battle of Blackburn's Ford
The battle of Blackburn's Ford was fought on July 18th 1861 and the one man blamed for the way the battle went is Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell. Many people on the Union side say that McDowell was incompetent and he led his men into a Confederate trap.
It is said that because McDowell ordered his troops forward into battle with out checking out the area for Confederate forces that he cost the Union the battle and the lives of many Union soldiers.
Less than a hundred men from each side died in the battle and the troops under McDowell fled into Washington DC with rumors of huge numbers of Confederate forces chasing along behind them. This caused a huge panic in the city and many people packed up and fled north.
The ghost of General McDowell is seen the most often setting on a white horse just north of where the main battle took place. People report seeing smoke and hearing bugle calls and then they report seeing the general on his horse looking down on the battle.
Those who know say that the bugles are playing retreat. It was later reported by McDowells junior officers that the general panicked and this is why the battle went the way it did.
Mcdowell was found guilty of losing the battle later on and he was always looked upon as a almost coward. He went on to be a parks commissioner in San Francisco. He is buried at the Presidio in San Francisco.
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Presidio of San FranciscoClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Presidio Of San Francisco
Presidio of San Francisco
The Presidio was originally a Spanish Fort built in 1776. The Presidio was seized by the Americans in 1846 at the start of the Mexican American war. Several famous US Generals including Sherman, George Henry Thomas and John Pershing made their homes here.
Two of the most active ghosts reported here are Generals William Sherman And John Pershing. Some people have even made the claim that they have seen the two generals walking and talking with one another.
It's a well known fact that Sherman was hated in the American south for burning major cities in the American south like Atlanta. Sherman always made the excuse that he did what he did in a time of war but he regretted what he had done in burning Atlanta and he wrote about it in his diary which was not read until long after his death. Sherman is often seen standing along in the area of Battery Chamberlin.
The original Spanish Fort was built to protect Mission San Francisco De Asís. Many ghosts from that period of time are reported at and around the Presidio. The screaming monk is often seen and heard around the Presidio. It is believed that he is the ghost of a Spanish Monk that was burned alive because it was discovered that he had fathered two children and gone against his vows. He is said to be seen running along in the early morning hours screaming.
A very beautiful Spanish lady in dark dress like she is in mourning is often seen in the area. It is reported that she walks along and ignores anyone that speaks to her. Many people say that she looks so real and it is only when she vanishes that you realize that something is not quite right.
Some people report seeing a man dressed as a Spanish soldier leading several Native Americans tied to a rope by their necks. This has been seen and reported by many people over the years.
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