Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War by number of battlefield deaths. More than 10,000 men lost their lives here in a staggering three days. Gettysburg’s battle-ground is deemed one of the most haunted places in the United States.
There are numerous reports of apparitions of phantom soldiers who march around the battlefield in formations and still appear as if they are still at war. The highest concentration of these sightings are said to be in the area, referred to as the Devils Den. For some strange reason, cameras and recording equipment have a lot of trouble operating in this area. Disembodied voices are also reported in the area.
One strange event took place during the ‘70s, when a lady visited the Devil’s Den one morning to take some photographs. When she raised the camera to take a photo, she sensed someone standing beside her. She looked to her right and saw that a man who appeared to be a hippie was approaching her. The man had long dirty hair, ragged clothing, and a big floppy hat, and he was barefoot. He said “What you are looking for is over there,” while pointing behind her. She turned to look at what he was pointing at, only to turn back around to notice the man had vanished.
A month after this strange occurrence, one park ranger was approached by a photographer who wanted to question a certain figure in his developed film. The developed image of his had shown a man very similar to the “hippie” seen by the lady.
More stories of the hippie man emerged over time. Some people had mistaken him for a Civil War re-enactor and even had taken photographs with him, only to find when they would get home that the guy did not appear in any of their developed film.
Multiple properties that are scattered across the battlefield have reported paranormal activity. The properties are now owned by the National Park Service and usually serve as residences to park rangers and personnel in order to keep them in good condition.
The George Weikert House has a door on the second floor that cannot be closed. Even after a ranger had nailed the door shut, the door still would not stay closed. Sounds of footsteps pacing back and forth are heard in the attic only for rangers to find that there is no one there.
The Hummelbaugh House is said to be haunted by Confederate Brigadier General William Barksdale, who is usually heard crying on random nights. According to one officer, Barksdale was seen lying in front of the house being served water by a young boy with a spoon. The general kept calling for water as if the little boy was not there.
People who visit Baltimore Street inside the town of Gettysburg describe phantom smells while roaming around. It is known that women who lived in the town couldn’t bear to walk around Gettysburg after the war, due to the horrible smell of death. To the horrible smell, they would walk around with handkerchiefs scented with vanilla and also peppermint pressed on their noses. Peppermint and vanilla smells are often reported by people who visit, even today.
Pennsylvania Hall inside of Gettysburg College is also said to be haunted by several spirits. Once used as a dormitory, the hall was used as a field hospital to treat wounded soldiers. The hall was also used as a lookout post, but it seems that there may be some soldiers still on the lookout today. Students and staff of the college have reported seeing figures of soldiers pacing back and forth in certain parts of the building at night.
One scary story involved two college administrators who were working on the fourth floor one night. They both went inside the elevator and pressed the button to go to the first floor. The elevator began to go down but instead of stopping on the first floor, it stopped in the basement. When the door opened, the two had a saw a blood-splattered operating room full of wounded soldiers lying prone on the floor and a couple of doctors and orderlies attending to them. The two were shocked to see this and repeatedly pushed the elevator door button to go back up. Right before the doors closed, one of the orderlies had looked at them as if asking the administrators for help.