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Ghost Encounters at Gettysburg

Astonishing, terrifying experiences at one of America's most haunted locations


GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA IS well established as one of the most haunted areas in the United States. During its three days of intense battle ending on July 3, 1863, more than 7,800 brave Union and Confederate soldiers lost their lives, and tens of thousands more were wounded and crippled. American against American. It’s no wonder that hundreds upon hundreds of ghosts have been sighted and haunting activity experienced at this National Military Park. Tourists and ghost hunters have snapped photos with enigmatic images; dozens of fascinating EVP (electronic voice phenomena) recordings have been made; and one of the most interesting and compelling ghost videos was shot there.

Following is but a small sampling of ghost encounters people have had at Gettysburg:


It’s been called one of the most haunted inns in America. Built in 1810, this brick structure is said to be the dwelling place of several Civil War era ghosts, and many people – both staff and guests alike – can attest to strange goings-on there.

My friend Jerry visits Gettysburg often and has stayed at the Farnsworth a few times, with interesting results. A few years ago, he stayed in the Sara Black room, located in an added-on section of the inn. “I was lying on the bed when all of a sudden it shook,” he says. “It was a pretty good jolt and that bed is pretty heavy.”

In March, 2009, Jerry returned to Farnsworth with his girlfriend, Deb, but this time booked the McFarlane room, which is in the original part of the house and where the ghost of a little boy named Jeremy allegedly visits on occasion. “It was Sunday morning and we were supposed to check out by 11 a.m.,” Jerry says. “We had not experienced anything paranormal in the room, so as I was getting out of the shower I asked Jeremy if he could give Deb an experience before we left – and I added a ‘please’ at the end of my sentence. When I opened the door and walked out of the bathroom, Deb asked if that was the first time I walked out of the bathroom. I said yes and asked why. She said that before I came out, she heard someone walk from the bathroom to the closet. She wasn't dreaming and she said it was inside the room. I then told her what I asked Jeremy. Is it a coincidence? I don't think so. I think Jeremy or someone was hanging around and heard me.”


Civil War battles have been the subject of many motion pictures, but one of the best and most moving was 1993’s Gettysburg. During the filming of that movie, much of which was done right on location at the actual battlefields, some of the participants had an unexplained encounter. Because the film required so many extras to serve as soldiers, the production hired re-enactors who regularly portray the Union and Confederate armies.

During a break in filming one day, several of the extras were resting at Little Round Top and admiring the setting sun. They were approached by grizzled old man, who they described as wearing a ragged and scorched Union uniform and smelling of sulfur gunpowder. He talked to them about how furious the battle was as he passed around spare rounds of ammunition, then went on his way.

At first, the extras assumed he was part of the production company, but their minds changed when they looked closely at the ammunition he gave them. They took the rounds to the man in charge of giving out such props for the movie, and he said they did not come from him. It turns out the ammunition from the strange old man were genuine musket rounds from that period.

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