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We are not alone!Besides being a famous historical site, Gettysburg is supposedly one of the most haunted places in America because so many soldiers lost their lives in such a short period of time and in tragic ways. So far, my BMC (Big Male Cat) and BFC (Big Female Cat) have experienced three ghostly, or at least unexplainable, events.
Devil's Den
Their first adventure happened in 1996 at Devil’s Den, site of heavy fighting on the second day of the battle, July 2, 1863. Even without ghosts, it’s a pretty eerie place because of the huge boulders which seem to have been piled up by a giant. At night, my BMC and BFC say it’s downright spooky. For a very long time, some visitors to Devil’s Den suddenly have a variety of camera problems—suddenly they jam, lock up, batteries seem to die—and when they leave the area, their camera works fine!

"It's feeling cold..."One afternoon, my BMC was standing on one of these giant boulders with his homemade wooden camera set on a tripod. My BFC was shooting videos nearby. Suddenly, my BMC’s camera fell off the tripod. His first thought was that there was no wind to blow it off and no cars had driven by to cause vibrations. Being a homemade camera, it was not attached to the tripod like a regular camera—but it had never fallen off before. He picked it up and it quickly fell again—but this time as if someone had slapped it off the tripod. The camera tumbled down and landed in a little boulder cave. My BFC had to crawl down to get it. Needless to say, the camera didn't fall off the tripod at other battlefield locations for the rest of that trip!

Devil's Den postcard.Now most of the fighting at Devil’s Den was done by Texans and Georgians against the Union. My BMC and BFC had heard a story that it was a Texan ghost who supposedly caused these camera problems. As my BMC was born in Texas, my BFC started talking to the ghost, telling him that my BMC was from Texas and that he was honoring what the Texans had done here with his My BFC at Devil's Den.photography. Since then, they haven’t had any problems with their cameras. Every time they are there, my BFC tells the ghost, “We’re back...it’s just us.” (I always knew my BMC and BFC were weird, but talking to ghosts...so glad they leave me home!)

The current theory behind these camera problems is that a famous photographer, Alexander Gardner, had been in the area right after the battle. He was taking photos of dead Confederate soldiers in Devil’s Den. Several yards away, he saw a spot that would make a good setting for a photograph. He had his assistants drag a dead soldier he had just photographed to that spot where he set up and took a famous picture.

First photo of soldier.
Gardner’s first photo of the Confederate soldier.
Soldier moved here to make a famous photo.
The same soldier moved by Gardner’s assistants.
BMC at famous spot.
My BMC in the same spot on his first visit.

Ever since then, photographers have had trouble in Devil’s Den. Supposedly, the ghost of this soldier resents photographers. (Hey, I don’t blame him!)
Pennsylvania Monument
Pennsylvania Monument on a windy day!Their second ghost experience happened in 1997. My BMC was shooting night exposures near the Pennsylvania Monument on Cemetery Ridge—the only light in the area was from the open car trunk where my BFC was standing. Suddenly from behind some trees, about a quarter mile away, they heard what at first The 105th Pennsylvania "Wildcat Regiment" monument.sounded like the rumbling of a train. But they realized the train tracks were a few miles away, across town in the opposite direction. Then this rumbling began to sound more like a snare drum! My BMC also thought he heard a fife. He grabbed his camera, still on it’s tripod, threw it in the trunk, they both jumped in the car, locked the doors, and quickly made it back to their motel. (Oooeee! Time to hide under the bed!)

BFC with lighter.On another trip, they found out from Mark Nesbitt (historical author and ghost hunter), that this wooded area is famous for having phantom Civil War music. Mr. Nesbitt has written several books including a series called, Ghosts of Gettysburg, and he offers Candlelight Walking Tours in the town and on the battlefield.
Farnsworth House

Their third ghost experience happened at the Farnsworth House Restaurant and Inn, known for its lodging, food, and spirits. The attic of the House was used a a sharpshooter’s nest during the battle and has about 100 bullet marks on one wall. One night after having had dinner there, they were given a tour. The hostess told them she had a few ghostly experiences there. Mary????It seems there had been a housekeeper, Mary, who had worked there and died a long time ago. She hangs around and occasionally makes herself visible. When my BMC and BFC were on their tour, the door to a bedroom they were in suddenly squeaked shut, but there were no drafts. On the way out of the room, my BMC moved the door back and forth, but there were no squeaks. (Guess I won’t be hiding under any of those beds! My BMC wants to stay in one of the several haunted Bed and Breakfasts on one of their trips. But, my BFC says no way—guess she’s a scaredy cat.)

The above photo of Farnsworth House by Michael R. McGough, © 1978, is included here with his kind permission. He is a gentleman and a scholar!

Farnsworth House offers Mourning Theater in its cellar—storytellers relate dramatic ghost stories...and, sometimes Mary has been known to show up! They also offer Candlelight Ghost Walks.

There is a beautiful old covered bridge in Gettysburg named, Sachs Bridge, that is haunted...click on the picture for a better view.

Guess there’s lots to do in the evenings in Gettysburg—maybe I can get a job there someday...after all, I am mostly a black cat and do have showbiz experience! I can imagine myself walking, on cue, through the Farnsworth cellar or across a tourist’s path on a ghost tour...betcha I could make you scream!

Be sure to sign my Ghostbook, below, and let me know of your spirited experiences!




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Last updated: April, 2011


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