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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ghostly Gettysburg


            Last week my husband and I spent a few days tromping around the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  My great, great, great grandfather had fought there and I wanted to know more about this three-day battle.  I learned that his division, the Wilcox division (mustered in as the Alabama 14th from Auburn) was the far right flank of Pickett’s Charge.  Now if you don’t know about Gettysburg, Pickett’s charge was a bloody engagement on the third day of the battle that involved 12,000 Confederate troops marching about a mile across an open field, enduring cannon fire and gunfire.  The line of men stretched over a mile from end to end.  Wilcox’s brigade was one of the only brigades to make it to the Union line but was repulsed when they found they were alone facing a heavy bombardment at point-blank range.  In essence, it was a full-scale slaughter. 


           The one thing that struck me about the battlefield was the serenity that existed there.  It was a beautiful place, quiet and restful.  But, underlying that feeling in the cool evening air as a fog crept across the Valley of Death, you could sense the souls of those soldiers marching over and over to their deaths.  It was definitely eerie and disturbing.

            One evening, my husband and I were standing on the rocks at the Devil’s Den where Confederate Sharpshooters from Texas and Georgia were positioned to take shots at Little Round Top when his camera started going off, clicking away.  He wasn’t touching it and it wasn’t even on.  We both looked at each other in surprise.  I told the ghost that I was a Southerner, that my three-greats back grandfather had fought just over the rise with the Alabama 14th and that we meant no disrespect.  The camera immediately stopped.



 It is well documented that people trying to take pictures at the Devil’s Den will have their cameras malfunction or the batteries will be immediately drained.  Everyone believes that the ghost there is an infantryman (not a sharpshooter) who a photographer moved about forty yards to stage the photo.  It seems the ghost doesn’t approve of cameras because of the way his dead body was treated by the photographer. 



           Later in the week we decided to join a ghost hunt with a local paranormal society.  We went to a mansion south of the battlefield, the Hoffman Mansion.  This home served as a field hospital and holding area for Confederate prisoners.  We met the members of our team in downtown Gettysburg and then drove to the mansion down the Emmitsburg road.  It was nine in the evening and already dark.  We took our EMF readers, ghost meters, cameras and digital recorders inside to start the hunt.  Immediately upon entering, I did not like the place.  I seem to have a second sense about buildings and this one was very unsettling.  I told one of our team members and he asked me to tell him any feelings I was having.  He already knew a lot about the house and it’s resident ghosts but I told him not to tell me.  I wanted to know if my feelings were imagination or were actually psychic resonances I had the ability to pick up.

            I was holding an EMF reader while a young Marine held a ghost meter to my left.  The red light on the ghost meter came on which meant something was around us.  The team leader asked the ghost to signal one beep for yes and two beeps for no then he asked if the ghost would talk to the Marine.  Two beeps – no.  The leader handed the meter to all five members of the group and asked the same question getting the same response.  He finally handed it to me and when the leader asked if the ghost would talk to me – one beep.  I got to communicate with the ghost.  We found out that he didn’t like all these people in his house; that he was the original owner; and he wanted everyone to leave except me.  Let me tell you, I didn’t feel honored.  The owner kept popping in, lighting up the meter at odd times as we toured the house.  We had a ghost box that manufactures words and he kept telling everyone to leave. 

On the side of the house was a sunroom that I did not want to go in.  Everyone else went in but I refused, telling the leader that it felt bad and I didn’t want to be in there.  He told me that two Confederate prisoners were buried there right after the battle (later moved).  At that moment my ghost meter went off – one of the soldiers.  He wanted me to come in to the room.  I walked in and he immediately started answering questions.  He was from Georgia; he hated the place he was stuck; he hated the Yankees standing in the room; and he liked my accent and me.  Great, now I had two ghosts hanging around me.  The leader was amazed since the soldiers would never talk to anyone.  At this point I tried to hand off the ghost meter and one guy took it, only to have the thing go off, making beeping noises and not stopping.  It only stopped when I held it.  So the ghosts only wanted to communicate with me.

We went to the second floor and I began having a burning sensation in my throat.  I told the leader that my throat and neck were hurting and I didn’t want to be near the attic door.  He grinned and asked if I now wanted to know what happened up in the attic.  Since my throat was on fire, I said yes, please explain.  It seemed that a woman, Sarah, hung herself in the attic when she found out that her husband was cheating on her.  Sarah still haunted the attic.  Again everyone went to the attic to conduct a ghost box interview with Sarah.  She didn’t want to talk to anyone but one person – the sound from the ghost box said “Che…”  Since I had not introduced myself, no one in the room knew my name.  I was standing at the bottom of the stairs when I heard that and I called up “Cheryl?”  The ghost box said “yes.”  Great, I had to go up to the attic.  We were all sitting in the dark with everyone quiet, expecting me to question her.  I asked if she wanted to leave – yes.  I asked her if she wanted us to pray for her – yes.  I asked her if, when she hung herself, her throat burned – yes.  I asked her about music of the forties – she responded Pearls (I guessed String of Pearls which I began humming).  Sarah like that and kept saying yes, yes, yes to the humming.  We all said the Lord’s Prayer for her and she no longer responded.  I felt sorry for her and I hope we did some good, sending her on her way.

As we were leaving, the only other female in the group suddenly complained of a headache while standing under the chandelier.  One of the team aimed an EMF detector on her which hit 4 – meaning there was activity around her.  I whispered to my husband that her face had changed, scowling and looking angry.  He agreed.  When I suggested that the girl step outside for a bit, a black shadow, that we all saw. shot out of her, up into the chandelier and then through the ceiling.  The EMF reading on her went to zero.  That scared me so I led the way, almost running over people, to get the Heck out of that house.

It was an eye-opening experience and definitely impacted me.  Places which endured such turmoil and pain seem to resonate with it, even years later.  My husband and I went back to the house the next day to shoot a picture of it in the daylight.  It still seems foreboding even in the sunlight.  I didn’t walk up to the place; I had had enough.


Do you believe in ghosts?  What do you think about places, such as Gettysburg, which resound even today with the ghosts of people who suffered and died?  Have you ever visited a haunted house?  Don’t you think the girls here on the blog should do a ghost hunt?  I do – think of the blogs we could write.  

20 comments:

  1. Wow, Cheryl! It sounds like you had quite the time! And a very interesting blog you've got here. But I'm glad it was you and not me.

    To answer your questions, yes I believe in ghosts and yes I've been in haunted places. But going on a ghost hunt is one field trip I think I'll sit out of. I have to have happy places to visit so I can sleep at night. :D

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    1. Oh come on Lesia! It would be fun! There is safety in numbers, along with carrying a few crystals.

      Yes, it was a fun trip. I was amazed at the battlefield. To be honest I think our ancestors were made of sterner stuff. If you told me to walk about a mile in an open field with 90 cannons firing at me and thousands of men with guns firing at me, I believe I would have dug a hole and pulled it in on me. It just amazes me. The ghost are nothing compared to that.

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  2. Awesome experience!!! I've always wanted to go to Gettysburg! Though I do not know if any of my kin were there, I can relate to the soldiers as I've done research of the battlefield and The Killer Angels is one of my favorite books.

    This stuff amazes me! I would love to do this. I do believe in the supernatural and get vibes when I go places. Had a very surreal experience at the Arizona monument. I could almost hear the moans of the men trapped inside and imagine the battle that day on December 7th. Shiloh affected me greatly too, especially The Sunken Road.

    Another battlefield is Fort Monmouth from the Revolutionary War. Very cool! Molly Pitcher worked her magic there. Also, Arlington Cemetary and Little Bighorn. I could sense the annimosity of the Sioux and Cheyenne.

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    1. Okay Kathy - it's me and you. I have the equipment. We just have to find a house or building. Hey Jean, don't you know some people with haunted houses? Maybe put in a good word for us? And the peering possums will exert mind control on you to have you join.

      You should go to Gettysburg. It takes a while to orient yourself because the battlefield is so big. Over the three days the armies moved quite a bit. It's astonishing how they coordinated their movements.

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  3. I certainly believe in ghosts. Ghost hunt? Not really open to it, but I have been known to succumb to peer pressure. It's the "Don't want to miss anything" syndrome."

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    1. LOL! I read "peer pressure" as "peering possums," leading me to wonder exactly how one succumbs to them :-). I amuse myself to easily . . .

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    2. Peering possums are not your run of the mill possums. Oh no. Apart from the peering they have other abilities, most notably the capability to bend wishy-washy humans to their will.

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    3. Funny Maven Linda. The peering possums do have extra-sensory abilities as Jean has said. Kathy and I shall bend them to our will and make Jean and Lesia join in on the hunt. You are invited too; provided we find a house.

      Jean, it would be no fun without you and your wit. I believe the ghosts would enjoy it too!

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  4. I MIGHT be able to get you a house. No promises but I can ask. For sure you can mess around in my back yard and down the ally, where a Civil War soldier has been spotted more than once.

    I will not be going. I will, however, provide a cocktail buffet and adult beverages for you to enjoy when you are done. My pleasure.

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    1. Ah, a Jean cocktail buffet is better than a Five-Star restaurant! And please, oh please, ask for us. We will be respectful. And I wold love to mess around in the back yard to see if we can talk to the soldier. It's be great!

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    2. I got so excited I meant to say "...I would love to mess around in the back yard to see if we can talk to the soldier. It'd be great!"

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  5. Jean, I'm volunteering to help with the cocktail buffet! I don't want to mess around with anyone's Civil War soldier, but I'd love to be there when the explorers come back for a stiff drink! :D

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  6. I was out of pocket yesterday so I am tardy to the party. :(

    I do believe in ghosts but I think Jean probably needs my help with the buffet so I guess I am out on the ghost hunt.

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  7. hi, I just went to the Hoffman house about a hour ago. I was on a ghost tour. At the end they were asking things about the house and the girl that died in it and something came over me and I answered every question about Sarah correct. I even knew her story even though I have never been there... I feel Sarah took over me.

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    1. Hey! Thanks for dropping by. Sarah is definitely a strong spirit at the house, especially upstairs. Hope you take a crystal with you the next time you visit a haunted house; it will protect you from such invasions if you have purified it by water and directed it to guard you. Most ghost hunters carry them.

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  8. I'm going here in about a week, but I don't want to be possessed by a spirit.:/

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    1. Get a Quartz crystal, run water over it for at least five minutes and then tell the crystal what you want, i.e. protection. Most of the guys I hunt ghosts with are carrying crystals.

      If you do go to Gettysburg, take the Gettysburg paranormal ghost hunt - it is worth it. And be sure to go up in the castle on Little Round Top. We actually recorded band music up there. It was about 9 in the evening but everyone who was with us heard it and we caught it on tape. Good luck Springfairy556 and be sure to visit the Wilcox Brigade memorial.

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  9. Cheryl - I'm planning on going on a Gettysburg/Washington bus tour in May, and I'll be sure to let you know if anything of a paranormal nature happens to me. I'll be kind of disappointed otherwise! I think I'm open to that kind of thing, as I believe I've picked up on "residual energy" on another occasion (in Texas in 2011). We'll see what happens!

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  10. I know this is an old blog post but I found you on a Google search for this mansion. I am heading up to gettysburg in a couple of weeks and was thinking about taking this tour. I've been on most of the town tours and this one sounds interesting. Thanks for the review

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  11. My husband and I just took this same ghost hunt this past week. The mansion definitely has a good amount of activity. The amount of people tromping through the house took away from the experience and for an empath I found the equipment distracting. Our guide was helpful and checked on everyone regularly. There was a total of 13 people in the house, each group of 2 conducting there own investigation. Every corner you turned you were bumping into another group, except in the attic. Sarah was there but didn't want bothered-too much comotion and too many people. It was exciting to get to go into the mansion, but a smaller group working together would have been better. Not sure I would spend the money on it again.

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