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|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.|
adventure happened in 1996 at Devils Den, site of heavy fighting on
the second day of the battle, July 2, 1863. Even without ghosts, its
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 its downright spooky.
For a very long time, some visitors to Devils Den suddenly have a
variety of camera problemssuddenly they jam, lock up, batteries seem
to dieand when they leave the area, their camera works fine!
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 BMCs 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 camerabut it had never fallen off before.
He picked it up and it quickly fell againbut 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!
most of the fighting at Devils 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
Since then, they havent had any problems with their cameras. Every
time they are there, my BFC tells the ghost, Were back...its
just us. (I always knew my BMC and BFC were weird, but talking to
ghosts...so glad they leave me home!)
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 Devils 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.
Gardners first photo of the Confederate soldier.
The same soldier moved by Gardners assistants.
My BMC in the same spot on his first visit.
|Ever since then, photographers have had trouble in Devils Den. Supposedly, the ghost of this soldier resents photographers. (Hey, I dont blame him!)|
second ghost experience happened in 1997. My BMC was shooting night exposures
near the Pennsylvania Monument on Cemetery Ridgethe 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
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 its 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!)
|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.|
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 sharpshooters 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. 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 wont 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 wayguess shes 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 cellarstorytellers relate dramatic ghost stories...and, sometimes
Mary has been known to show up! They also offer Candlelight
Guess theres lots to do in the evenings in Gettysburgmaybe 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 tourists 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!
Last updated: April, 2011
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