Spotlight: Gettysburg

The BattlefieldWe put the spotlight on Gettysburg, Pennsylvania which is a small town with a big history, a history that has gone far beyond that of the civil war battle that happened there on July 1-3 1863.  Yes it’s place in the history books is unquestioned and as a tourist town visitors arrive every year to walk the hallowed ground that are now preserved.  Some of these visitors come for the history while others come for it’s haunted history.   Walking the town you’ll find markers telling you of the property in front of you, the people who lived there, information about the 46,000 plus casualties, or what happened during/after the battle at the building or nearby.  You may even run into the many dedicated reenactors who permeate the town during the summer months. And that is before you set foot on the national park portion of Gettysburg! So having investigated Gettysburg many times myself I decided to ask some fellow investigators & friends what their thoughts on the town are, the history, the magic if you will of what makes this little Pennsylvania town so special.

Solider Statue in front of Inn 1863“What I think makes Gettysburg special for paranormal is mostly [the] limestone and [that] fuels energy [for paranormal events]. [Gettysburg] Has different feeling than other places.  My fave place is Hoffman mansion on Steinwehr ave. Place is highly active, [I’ve] heard voices out loud, been touched and pushed, and most Evp I ever got was there. Sachs Bridge is second, was a very sad feeling and very strong presence.” ~ Mark Saloky is an investigator and who lives in Gettysburg.

“[Gettysburg] special to me due to the fact of all the men who lost there lives there. It wasn’t a war against another country or nation but a war of brother against brother. That means a lot to me because it did have an amazing end it brought all of America together in the end … (for the most part anyway).  I’m always drawn to devil’s den and little round top, I love looking around from that vantage point [Devil Den] as well I’ve also seen some awesome light anomalies at night from up there.” ~ David Caltrider who is the founder of Manchester Paranormal Society located in Hanover, PA.

Pennsylvania Monument
Pennsylvania Monument

“We [Ruth & her husband] like Gettysburg for the history. We have two favorite spots on the Battlefield, one is Triangular Field . . . the eerie quiet. I even found an EMF meter – laying on one of the rocks, batteries were strewn all over, maybe someone had to leave in a hurry. The other is The Wheatfield, have one photo that we see a soldier on horseback. We also like Sachs Bridge, the history and the beauty of it.” ~ Ruth Himes resides in Lancaster, PA and is a co-founder of The Ghost Seekers.

“There are many people interested in the paranormal that visit Sachs Bridge. You can find any level of investigator there, new or experienced. It also has yielded results from EVPs to K2 hits to flashlight responses to Spirit Box responses. One even stated the bridge name![During one of their investigations] ~ Rebecca Slaughter Boyer resides in Hagerstown, MD and is the co-founder of Antietam Paranormal Society.

“The history is what makes it special but there is an energy that just has me coming back for more.”~ Sarah Mack resides in Indiana County, PA and is the founder of Shotts in the Dark Paranormal.

The Castle at Devil's Den
The “Castle” at Devil’s Den, monument for the 44th New York & (2) companies from the 12th New York Infantry Regiments

“I have always been fascinated in Gettysburg, PA. Being the daughter of a vet I grew up watching war films many of them pertaining to the battle of Gettysburg. So when I was old enough to learn about it’s haunted past. Just made me fascinated even more. It was always a place I wanted to investigate, one day. So, when I learned of the PRS [Ryan Buell’s Paranormal Research Society] and field trip they were hosting I jumped on the chance. When entering the small town you can definitely feel the sadness of it’s gruesome past. The first place I had the chance to investigate was with Heather Taddy in the Orphanage. That is where I also had my very first encounter with being touched by an unseen force. Several things happened that night though nothing like what happened in the old make shift lunch room/classroom on the main floor. We were in a group of about 13. We sat on the benches that were in there doing a session. I sat on the end with only one person to the right of me. As we started I had felt it get colder. As the questions went on I all of a sudden felt something or someone play with my hair to my left. As I said being that I was at the end of the bench there was no one sitting on the left. It didn’t scare me. Surprise? Of course. But it felt in my mind like a child playing. Probably just to let me know they were there. I have been in this field a long time but never had that happen up until that point. I wanted to experience the things I had heard about. And I left Gettysburg with a lot of memories of so much activity that occurred there during our stay. It is very much one of the most haunted places in America. Would I go back? Of course I would like to take my team there this summer.” ~ Victoria Smith is the founder of The New Page Paranormal Research Team located in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

Wheatfield“Gettysburg has, for me, the opposite feeling than I expected . Many times when I go to places where a lot of death has occurred , such as hospitals, asylums, etc, there is a feeling of doom or death. Gettysburg, however, has a calming and peaceful feel to it. I felt as though the spirits there were at rest peacefully. It really allows you to enjoy all the history tied to it. It is very active with spirits but perhaps because of the way it has been preserved and all the monuments for those who were killed, its as if the spirits are proud of their role and are happy to feel respected. It truly is a one of a kind place and one of my favorite haunted places!” ~ Ramona Burns

“It’s funny, because when I went for Paracon [Phenomenology] 105, We stayed at the Fairfield Inn. Spent the weekend at the convention, my daughter went on the junior hunt, and we had an investigation at one of the rooms at the Eisenhower. Had a strange experience of someone grabbing my head like they were talking a basketball. Twice. It was nuts. When we were checking out of the Fairfield, we were coming down from the third floor and as I looked into the second floor dining room, I saw who I thought was the hostess arranging the plates. She walked off towards the left, out of view, so I put the bags down to say thanks. I stepped in and there was a stack of chairs where she walked to. When I got downstairs I asked the hostess if anything ever happened in the upstairs dining room and she told me, “the lady of the house is always.straightening up”. It was something else, cause she was physically there, not translucent or anything like that.” ~ Douglas Chizmadia live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“What makes Gettysburg so special to me is that it has struck a balance between the past and the present. It isn’t one of those places where something as phenomenal as war or as final as death left their mark and then moved on, leaving behind only only a small plaque describing the number of lives lost during three days of fighting. Gettysburg is a town where past generations chose to preserve their unique heritage for future generations, long before President Lincoln spoke his mighty words. By doing this, not only was this pivotal point in our history kept alive, but that moment has also become a key factor in the town’s prosperity and growth, forever rooted in our hearts and minds.  The thoughts and needs of the people who endured those terrible days have also not been forgotten, but preserved and expounded upon. Take for instance the need to be remembered, to not be left to wander through the afterlife unnoticed. Echoing across time, their needs have become stepping stones to assist the living in paranormal investigations and discoveries. If their history were forgotten, lost in the shuffle of modern living, would we understand why we briefly caught a glimpse of a soldier walking across a field, heard the haunting sounds of drums echoing in the night or the cries of women, where none could be found? In my opinion there is no other location in the United States that has such a strange dichotomy as Gettysburg, between the history and the haunts.” ~ Kendra Belgrad tour guide for Ghostly Images.

The history is alive and the energy that is felt by the millions who visit Gettysburg every year is always there just around the corner with something new to find everyday. Many historic locations in Gettysburg like the Hoffman House, Devil’s Den & battlefield, Sach’s Bridge, The Orphanage, & Fairfield Inn to name just a small few are well worth visiting if you’ve never been to Gettysburg. We recommend a trip whether you are coming for the history or haunted history, take it from us you won’t be disappointed and if your lucky you’re have you’ll own story to tell…

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