Gettysburg PA is not only famous for the historical battle that took place between the Confederates and US troops in 1863 but also for its rich tapestry of ghostly tales and paranormal encounters. These tales unfold on Ghost City’s new “adults only” Gettysburg ghost walk, “Blood on the Battlefield.” I’ve been on two other Gettysburg ghost walks, and although they were both really fun, this was by far my favorite.
The Unsettled Ghosts of Gettysburg
Blood on the Battlefield ghost walk is not for the faint of heart, as it invites you to tread the streets and dark alleys of Gettysburg, which echo with whispers of its violent past. As Major Finn weaves stories of the haunted happenings, you start to feel an unsettling presence around, and the air thickens with a palpable tension.
Major Finn shared his theory about why there are so many ghosts in Gettysburg — and why so many are Confederates. The tragic backstory is that after the battle, the citizens of Gettysburg had to bury the Confederate dead in various makeshift graves. Expecting reimbursement from the Federal government for their actions, they were left astounded when the government refused to pay the expected amount for each Confederate soldier. Consequently, these soldiers never received proper burials. Till this day, some believe, their remains lay scattered, forgotten under the roads and buildings built up over them.
Even as late as 1962, construction workers building the high school discovered a mass grave holding 16 Confederate soldiers in what is now the football field. City officials contacted the Daughters of the Confederacy, who ensured they finally found a proper resting place.
The Lighter Side of the Paranormal
The ghost walk took us around Lincoln Square and then down Baltimore Street, before darting into an alley and through back streets I don’t know the name of, before finding our way back to Lincoln Square. Amidst the chilling tales during the ghost walk, there was also a smile or two. The cutest stop, without a doubt, was the Tillie Pierce House. Guests of this inn have often reported the presence of a spectral feline. Yes, a ghost cat! For those planning a stay, a little tip – bringing a cat toy might just get you an ethereal playmate for the night.
Echoes from the Past
Another significant stop was the Jennie Wade birth house. The air around here resonates with the faint voices of female EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) whispering, “I’m with Jack.” This is believed to be Jennie Wade, referring to Jack Skelly, her childhood friend and beau. The house now known as the Jennie Wade House is actually where Jennie Wade died. It was her sister’s home, where her father’s spirit is said to reign. Visitors have often recounted hearing loud footsteps, sounding like a man stomping up and down the stairs.
If you love the paranormal side of Gettysburg, then you’ll want to check out our spirited stay in Farnsworth House!
Justice Beyond the Grave
The Adams County courthouse is another place of intrigue. The walls of this historical structure have witnessed countless judgments, but one particular spirit seems to linger, perhaps deliberating over unfinished business. Reports of a judge’s gavel mysteriously moving and doors opening and closing on their own add to the courthouse’s enigmatic charm.
The “Blood on the Battlefield” ghost walk offers a unique blend of history and mystery. It’s more than just a ghost tour; it’s a journey that encapsulates the soul of Gettysburg, intertwining tales of valor, love, tragedy and the supernatural. For those seeking a deeper connection with Gettysburg’s past, this tour promises an unforgettable experience.
Know Before You Go
- Dress Appropriately: Ghost walks often involve a lot of walking, sometimes on uneven terrain. Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers to adjust to temperature changes, especially if the walk is at night.
- Bring a Flashlight: Some ghost walks might venture into areas with low lighting. A small flashlight or headlamp can be invaluable. Make sure it has fresh batteries.
- Stay with the Group: For safety and courtesy, stick with your group and guide. Wandering off can disrupt the tour and might even be dangerous in unfamiliar areas.
- Be Respectful: Remember that many haunted locations are considered sacred or have historical significance. Avoid touching artifacts, making loud noises or being disruptive.
- Keep an Open Mind: Even if you’re skeptical, approach the experience with an open mind. The stories and history alone can be fascinating.
- Limit Expectations: Paranormal events are unpredictable. Even if you don’t witness anything supernatural, enjoy the historical and cultural stories shared by your guide.
- Take Photos and Recordings: If allowed, bring a camera or a voice recorder. You never know what you might capture, and it’s fun to review them later.
- Ask Questions: Engage with your tour guide. They often have a wealth of knowledge about the area and its stories.
- Stay Calm: If you believe you’ve experienced something paranormal, try to remain calm and collected. Panicking can cause unnecessary alarm and disrupt the experience for others.
- Tip Your Guide: If you enjoyed your tour and found your guide knowledgeable and engaging, it’s customary to give them a tip for their service.
Getting there: 7 Lincoln Square, Gettysburg PA
Hours: See the website below for tours and times
Website: Ghost City Gettysburg Ghost Tours
Gettysburg has so much to see and do. Check out the articles below to find more great daytrip destinations:
- Bike the Battlefields
- Blood on the Battlefield Ghost Walk
- Boyer Cellars Winery
- Cemetery Ridge Hike in Gettysburg National Battlefield Park
- Cideries and Wineries
- Gettysburg Food Tour
- Gettysburg Ghost Tours
- Gettysburg Heritage Museum
- Halbrendt Vineyard & Winery
- Hollabaugh Bros Farm Market
- Mason Dixon Distillery
- National Apple Harvest Festival
- Eisenhower National Historic Site
- Mason Dixon Distillery
- National Apple Harvest Festival
- National Apple Museum
- Painting in the Vineyards
- Restaurants in Gettysburg
- Scenic Valley Tour
- Shriver House Museum
- Silvershire Farm Carriage Rides
- Tour the Battlefields with Insite Tour