I may have seen a ghost in Gettysburg. You know Gettysburg? It’s the town in Pennsylvania that hosted the famous battle during the American Civil War. In July 1863, two epic armies from the North and South came together in this small, Pennsylvania town to slug it out like two nuclear apocalypse survivors fighting over a box of Twinkies. I love history. I’m a big Civil War buff, and had wanted to visit Gettysburg for many years. Therefore, almost on a whim, I bought a red-eye flight to Washington DC, rented a car, and drove to Pennsylvania.
When I finally reached the town, it was already late afternoon. So my tour of the battlefield and visit to the Gettysburg National Military Park would have to wait until the next day. I figured that evening would be perfect for a ghost tour! Oh…and food. And beer. One cannot forget the important things in life!
In Gettysburg there are several groups offering ghost tours, paranormal treks, and various history walks. Since so many people died in the battle, there are a plethora of stories about restless spirits, phantom entities, and zombie Elvis sightings. There’s apparently so many ghosts in Gettysburg, Sam and Dean Winchester would need three dump trucks full of salt to put them to rest. I wasn’t concerned about any of that, I just thought a historical ghost tour would be fun.
One of the cool things about the town of Gettysburg is many of the buildings and houses from the 1860s are still in use today. The ghost tour I signed up for had all the guests meet our guide behind one of these older historic buildings, which also happened to be a bar. Included with my ticket for the tour was a free beer from said bar. I also need to point out that behind this bar was a cannon. You read that right. A frickin’ cannon from 1861 was just sitting there! How awesome is that?
There I was standing next to a Civil War era cannon, holding a beer while in Gettysburg, and about to embark on a historical ghost tour! I could barely contain my excitement, and thus, I nearly needed to change my pants. I also may have audibly cackled in glee like a Shakespearean witch, hunched over a cauldron, about to engage in magical shenanigans.
The tour itself was both educational and entertaining. The guide took us to various spots around the town, at night of course, and regaled us with historically accurate stories from the battle as well as tales of ghost sightings, supposedly haunted buildings, and strange creepers. When I say strange creepers, interpret that however you like. It could be a creepy crawly, a poltergeist, or a guy in a trench coat flashing people who are exiting a Taco Bell drive-thru. Let your imaginations run wild.
During the ghost tour one particular building stood out to me. The guide explained that not only was it an original building, but that it had been part of the battle. She then pointed out the bullet holes in the brick wall, which were leftover from the battle. If that wasn’t cool enough the tour guide told us the building was also haunted. Apparently, Confederate soldiers used the top room of the building to fire on Union troops, who of course shot back. Eventually Union troops stormed the building and the Confederates inside were killed. She told us that people report seeing eerie figures in the top window, and the ghosts of Confederate and Union soldiers inside.
And I was standing at the base of this building with its bullet-ridden scars from the Battle of Gettysburg. I love history!
After the tour I returned to that building. I wanted to get a better look at it, and maybe see if I could find any more evidence of the battle. And maybe spy an apparition? The side of the building with the bullet holes is well-lit. So I went around the opposite side, which was actually rather dark. This took me on a side street of Gettysburg, and for some reason, I had the feeling that I needed to get my phone out.
I took my phone out, opened the video camera app, and started recording. Let the video speak for itself. What can I say? I captured something in that eight second clip.
I’m not sure what kind of ghost that was, but it looked strangely familiar. If you’re still reading this, then please enjoy a few of the photos I took of the Gettysburg battlefield the following day. 🙂
All kidding aside, the town of Gettysburg was great. I would return there in a heartbeat and tour the battlefield again. The real ghosts of Gettysburg are the thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers that died there, fighting in a war that ripped the nation in two. May their spirits rest in peace forever.