Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:July 5th, 2013 08:42 EST
Haunted Gettysburg: How Can We Deny the Authenticity of Other Worldly Spirits Here?

Haunted Gettysburg: How Can We Deny the Authenticity of Other Worldly Spirits Here?

By John G. Kays

After studying the Battle of Gettysburg intensely for more than two weeks, I`m convinced this scene experiencing three days of intense fighting between the Blue and Grey, is HAUNTED beyond description or belief! The basis for an abundance of paranormal activity has to be that more than 50,000 men were killed or wounded here, between July 1st and July 3rd, 1863. 

The spirits of these mostly young soldiers, many who were abandoned to die from their wounds on the bloody battlefield, seek retribution for the way they were treated, when meeting their maker in such a violent fashion.

This is the reason behind so many hauntings, reported by tourists and paranormal professionals, who flock to this most significant of Civil War battle locales. As I researched Gettysburg, paying particular attention to what happened at the Wheat Field, the Peach Orchard, and at Little Round Top, I took notice of the vast multitude of Gettysburg ghost stories posted on the internet, as well as a large assortment of paranormal videos one may choose from on YouTube. 

I haven`t been to the battle site, but I see that there are a variety of ghost tours one may pick from, should they decide to go in that direction. While I`m utterly convinced that the entire Gettysburg National Military Park is haunted, I`ve noticed certain locales pop up with recurring frequency, when applying the usual Goggle search tourniquet,  `Haunted Gettysburg.` Well, I`ll mention a few of the common ones for you, as well as a few I thought of on my own.

Little Round Top comes up frequently; a piece written by Stephen Wagner, Ghost Encounters at Gettysburg, that appears on, mentions it two times. In 1993, when filming Gettysburg, some extras encountered an out of place Union soldier, who looked most ragged and smelled of sulfurous gunpowder, who was passing around actual live rounds of ammunition, while uttering words about the fury of the battle. Suddenly, he goes away; this ammo wasn`t blanks distributed by the film crew, it was real musket shot from the day!

Another other worldly encounter, described by Stephen Wagner, comes from the time of the battle, and is authenticated by none other than Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, who gave sworn testimony before the Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, looking into allegations of this visitation. Also, the encounter was reported by many of the veterans from the now famous 20th Maine Division. To cut to the chase, the Spirit of George Washington had led them to the sacred high ground, where they held off 4 or 5 vicious rebel attacks!  

The Sachs Bridge, which is where the Confederate Army crossed to withdraw from the battle, is a favorite spot mentioned where many ghost sightings abound. You may want to check it out for yourself, but many photographs and videos have been taken showing misty blurs of ethereal spirits, resembling Civil War soldiers (me thinks).

Apparently, three confederates were hung on the bridge, accused of spying, so this may be one source for these unsettled spirits. But what`s this about the spirit of Old Robert E. Lee smoking his pipe up on Sachs Bridge? Did Lee really smoke his pipe up there?

I remember seeing the story about Pennsylvania Hall at Gettysburg College (used as a makeshift hospital during the battle) on the History Channel one time. Two college administrators took an elevator ride to the Twilight Zone! When accidentally riding to the basement, they somehow went back in time to a gory scene of wounded soldiers attended by orderlies, who acknowledged their presence!

I have to run, but I`ll throw in (for extra credit) Trostle`s Farm barn, the Valley of Death, Farnsworth House Inn, Jennie Wade House, Devil`s Den, the Wheat Field, and definitely the Peach Orchard as spooky sites worthy of investigation. Come to think of it, every location at the Gettysburg battlefield is haunted!

*(Look for some obvious errors in this video.)