The Many Ghosts of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Introducing the Most Haunted US City - Gettysburg
Have you ever had the privileged ability of visiting Gettysburg, Pennsylvania? I have and I can honestly say that it is an experience that will be ingrained in my mind for many years to come. Gettysburg is a richly historic area, boasting some of the most famously haunted battlefields involved in the American Civil War. But with a history so bloody and sorrowful, there have been numerous, spine-tingling stories of the many ghosts of Gettysburg. Tourists visit the haunted Gettysburg battlefield every year, hoping to capture a set of Gettysburg ghost pictures. Some of them capture the Gettysburg ghosts on film, while others experience other paranormal phenomena. Is it true that Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is the most haunted city in the United States? Let's do some digging into haunted Gettysburg's gruesome history and legendary ghost stories.
Why is Gettysburg Haunted?
In July of 1863, the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War ravaged the somewhat quiet city of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The single reason that the Gettysburg battle is called the "bloodiest" battle is due to the incredibly large amount of casualties. Somewhere between 46,000 and 51,000 Union and Confederate soldiers lost their lives on the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in a period of just three days! If you surf the internet for pictures of the bloody Gettysburg battle, you will ultimately find some very disturbing and unnerving pictures of dead soldiers...their bloody, broken bodies peppered all over the fields and hills of Gettysburg. With a sorrowful imprint upon the land such as this one, it is probable that hauntings of all different kinds should be experienced on haunted Gettysburg's blood-soaked lands. To this day, over a million wide-eyed and unexpecting (or some perhaps expecting) tourists visit the haunted Gettysburg battlefield every year, in search for Gettysburg ghost pictures or their own Gettysburg ghost stories.
Real Ghosts in Video of Gettysburg?
Gettysburg Ghost Pictures
Gettysburg Ghost Stories
Gettysburg ghost stories are some of the most hair-raising and unsettling ghost stories I have ever heard. There are three particular hot spots for ghosts of the Gettysburg phenomenon - Devil's Den, Round Top, and the infamous bloody Plum Run.
Devil's Den is a patch of rocks where some Confederates took shelter and used it as a means to skillfully attack the Union soldiers. Devil's Den is now well-known for many hauntings, including the ghost behind the rock, shown in uniform to the right. Another spooky ghost of Devil's Den appeared to two different tourists, at two different times; he was a man who was dressed and appeared very disheveled, with a wide brim hat and bare feet. Each time he would point in a direction towards Plum Run (another portion of Gettysburg's blood-stained land), in an effort to get the people to visit Plum Run. It turns out that both tourists' description of this man was exactly the same and historically matches that of what would have been a Confederate soldier from the state of Tennessee. One would think that these particular Gettysburg ghost stories are enough, but Devil's Den is only one of many haunted Gettysburg locations.
Plum Run is another haunted Gettysburg area with a creek, located directly across from the Devil's Den and is also said to be a residence of more ghosts of Gettysburg. Not just one particular ghost haunts this area of Gettysburg, there are probably hundreds; moreover, there have been dozens upon dozens of EVPs caught on tape from the entire area of Plum Run. In some of the EVPs, we can hear the sounds of emanating gunshots and also what sound like the disturbed ghosts of men, yelling and screaming. Numerous paranormal investigators have taken readings at the haunted Plum Run and seem to find similar EVPs and other technological readings that confirm that this spot is in fact haunted, synonymous to the rest of the rampantly haunted Gettysburg battlefield. Plum Run is perhaps more well-known as "Bloody Run", due to a scarlet-red color that seems to be seeping through the creek running through its center. I am sure it is called Bloody Run for more obvious reasons, as well. When one visits this haunted place, one can almost picture the bloody bodies of soldiers spread out over the land...one can feel that hair-raising sensation down the spine, as if someone is standing right behind you...
Round Top is a small rocky hill, a tiny bit south of Gettysburg, and is another extremely haunted battle location. Some of the ghost stories told about Round Top include various equipment malfunctions, strange gunshot and screaming sounds at night, disappearing and then reappearing memorial statues, and ghost sightings. One of the most famous of the Gettysburg ghost stories occurred on the 130th anniversary of the infamous battle of Gettysburg. There were two actors, or in this case re-enactors, who were standing on top of Little Round Top when they noticed another re-eneactor approaching them. This re-enactor had a perfect costume, complete with the smell of sulfur (gunpowder back then carried the scent). The Civil War-reminiscent man looked at the re-enactors (who by the way were very impressed with his Civil War costuming) and said, "Weren't some fight we had today, huh boys?". And with that, the sulfur-scented man handed them a couple of catridges, telling them that they would "need them tomorrow." It should be noted that one of the re-enactors that day was a professor of Gettysburg college and when the cartridges were handed to him, he specifically noticed the way they were neatly wrapped in bees wax, exactly like they would have been during the Civil War! The professor peered up to respond to the ghostly man and lo-and-behold, he had vanished into thin air! The cartridges were brought back to the college and DNA testing was performed, dating them to 1863! It should also be noted that Federal law states that no live rounds are to be brought onto the Gettysburg battlefields at any time.
In addition to the soldier ghosts of Gettysburg, there are many other ghosts seemingly destined to wander the entire town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Many historical buildings are haunted with ghosts from the Civil War era, including ghostly women and children. One particular tourist submitted a story online which told of a very eerie experience that she had during her trip to haunted Gettysburg. She tells a ghost story of many children seeming to follow her throughout the town, during which time she snapped many pictures of them. They were all dressed in Civil War period outfits, which the lady found odd but thought nothing of it at the time. When she returned home and had the film developed, none of the children were in the pictures she had taken of them! Nothing but green mist filled the entire roll of pictures she had taken throughout haunted Gettysburg that day! Speculation and process of elimination told her that these children were indeed more of the many ghosts of Gettysburg.
Why is Gettysburg so haunted? Why are there so many Gettysburg ghost stories and even more Gettysburg ghost pictures? The concept is more than clear to me...Gettysburg is a place with a huge imprint of the past upon it. More specifically, it is a place that hosted one of the bloodiest battles in US history, so it only makes sense that there would be paranormal phenomenon occurring here on a daily basis. Whether these phenomena are ghosts or if they are merely glimpses into a sorrowful past, I do not know. But one thing is for sure...the ghosts of Gettysburg will be talked about and searched out for decades to come. There will always be someone else with new Gettysburg ghost stories to tell or new Gettysburg ghost pictures to show off.
Take for instance the video I have posted above and to the right; if you have the time to view this video, you will have the pleasure of viewing one of the most authentic ghost videos ever captured in haunted Gettysburg! The day this was taken, a man and his daughter were visiting the haunted Gettysburg battlefields, and the man was video-taping different portions of their trip. He and his daughter noticed something strange moving from the woods directly across from where they were standing and began to film the movement. What looks like ghosts of Gettysburg soldiers moving in a circular motion up a hill, proceeded to play out in front of their very eyes...and, they caught this paranormal phenomenon on video! The video has been professionally examined for signs of fraud, but the only theory is that the a piece of plexi-glass could have been stood up on the hill and then an image reflected from a TV or projector behind it; however, none of the other visitors that day noticed anything strange...and honestly, I don't feel as if this man was intelligent enough to pull off a hoax like this.
If you ever have the privilege of visiting these haunted Gettysburg sites, be sure to bring a camera and maybe a voice recorder to capture your own evidence of the Gettysburg hauntings...that is, if the ghosts allow you to do so! Just do yourself a favor and go with a friend or family member, this way if you run into a soldier from the other side, you will be more prepared to handle the spine-tingling experience...
Haunted Spots in Gettysburg
© 2011 Nicole Canfield