Many people consider Gettysburg the most haunted place in America. But then it shouldn’t be any surprise since thousands of Americans died at Gettysburg more than 100 years ago. From July 1 to July 3, 1863, Union soldiers battled the Confederate soldiers of General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This brutal battle destroyed any possibility of the Confederate States of America becoming a reality.
If you do a Google search you will find hundreds of videos and documentation about Gettysburg and the supernatural.
Visitors claim they have heard sounds of gunfire and cries of agony from dying men. Video footage has even captured ghostly visions of long dead soldiers. It’s almost as if these soldiers don’t realize they died many years ago. They still walk around the battlefield in their uniforms armed with pistols and muskets.
By the end of the three-day battle, more than 50,000 Americans had died at Gettysburg. As thousands of corpses rotted in the sun, flies and other scavengers immediately arrived to feast on the dead. Odors of death and gallons of spilled blood have tainted Gettysburg forever. It must have been a ghastly scene since it wasn’t an easy task to remove and bury 50,000 corpses.
Unfortunately, for one unnamed Confederate soldier, he would suffer from a misfortune that would drive him insane before he died. His final moments of life were so disturbing that even death didn’t remove his torment.
On Seminary Ridge, Confederate soldiers used a barn as a makeshift morgue for storing soldiers who had died at Gettysburg. Unknown to a group of Confederate soldiers, they had buried a fellow soldier who was still alive underneath a mountain of dead soldiers.
His injuries, however, kept him from escaping the weight of the dead bodies. All he could do was scream for someone to find him. Fortunately, nearby Union troops heard the man’s screams for help. They dug him out from underneath dead bodies and transported him to a hospital. The Confederate soldier soon died of his wounds. Before dying, the heat and trauma of being buried alive drove him insane.
Sometime after the battle, the barn was torn down and the corpses were buried. A farmhouse would then be built on top of the former barn. This didn’t turn out to be such a great idea. Residents began complaining of seeing a ghostly Confederate soldier aimlessly walking around the farmhouse. He appeared in agony. Accompanying the ghostly soldier were the sounds of explosions and ghostly cries. Supposedly, the Confederate soldier who was once buried alive underneath the farmhouse had returned as a ghost.
For good reason, no one stayed in the farmhouse for long. Families moved in and out of the home regularly. Finally, one family decided to bring in someone to exorcise the house. After the exorcism, no one ever heard from the ghost again. It’s unknown if the farmhouse still exists today. Today, a Civil War museum sits on Seminary Ridge. Perhaps you can ask someone at the museum about the once haunted farm.
Today, Gettysburg no longer shows the physical signs of a bloody battle. The dead were buried and the battlefield’s beauty has remained intact. The story I just shared is one of hundreds of legends about Gettysburg. My late grandparents used to live near Gettysburg. After a visit to my grandparent’s home, my mother told me she had taken a detour one late night through Gettysburg.
She witnessed seeing the ghostly presence of several Union soldiers. They were dressed in full uniform and prepared for battle. Today, the battlefield draws curiosity seekers and ghost hunters from every part of the world hoping to catch a glimpse of long dead soldiers who are still battling to abolish slavery and keep the United States as one nation.
Marc is a grandparent and longtime resident of Clermont County. Visit his author page at http://www.lifewithgrandpa.com. He also wrote Just Bite Me: A Guide to Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Walking Nightmares, which is available on Amazon.com.