If you are looking for a paranormal experience, you may want to think about booking a hotel room in the historic town of Gettysburg Pennsylvania. In July of 1863 it's living population was outnumbered twenty to one by thedead, with so much blood spilled on the floors of some churches that drain holes had to be drilled in them.

Not surprisingly Gettysburg has long been the setting for strange tales of supernatural acitivity. Everything from phantom apparitions of battlefield ghosts to strange disembodied screams. Many people claim that the constant influx of visitors from the south tends to trigger off a flurry of paranormal activity in the summer months, sometimes resulting in mysterious backward glimpses in time to the summer of 1863.

There is the case of the mysterious ghost known as the Sentry who still guards the cupola at the top of Pennsylavania Hall at Gettysburg College.. The apparation of this rebel soldier has been on duty for the past 145 years. In some ways he behaves like a normal residual haunting, pacing back and fourth on the Cupola as though the college is still in southern hands, yet every now and then he aims his rifle at students on the ground. This behavior fascinates parapsychologists because it is part of a trend of Intelligent (communicative) hauntings in Gettysburg, which goes back hundreds of years. Everywhere else in the paranormal world intelligent hauntings are extremely rare, even when compared to the ghostlore of other battle grounds like Shiloh or Antietem, and no one knows why Gettysburg has so many of them..

One of the earliest hauntings in Gettysburg Pa happened as the battle was still unfolding. The soldiers of the 20th Maine, (famous for the heroic bayonette charge under general Joshua Chamberlain) claimed to have encountered a ghost while they were marching toward Gettysburg..As the story goes, they came to a fork in the road and stopped, not sure which way to go.. when a man on horseback appeared and led them on toward Gettysburg.. At first they thought the man was a Union General. He looked like one, but soon they began to notice a strange glow emenating from both him and his horse. They also noticed the man had an eerie resemblence to portraits of the late George Washington. He even wore a tri cornered hat that had not been in style for over a hundred years.

The ghostly man led to the top of little round top where they would later repel a Confederate attack on the Union flank, and then he disappeared without ever being identified. Could it have been the ghost of George Washington, trying to aid the Union army in one of it's most important battles? Enough people beleived so that the Secretary of war, Edwin Stanton did a formal investigation into the matter. When asked Colonel Chamberlain, responded, "We know not what mystic power may be possessed by those who are now bivouacking with the dead. I only know the effect, but I dare not explain or deny the cause. Who shall say that Washington was not among the number of those who aided the country that he founded?"

It was just the first in a long series of ghost sightings that have made Gettysburg known as the most haunted city in north america.

Ghosts of the Soldiers Orphanage and Museum

Posted October 22nd, 2009 by lori

ghost children The sad story of the Gettysburg Orphanage began when the body of a soldier was found on the Gettysburg battlefield tightly clutching a photo of his three young children. No clue to the mans identity could be found so the photo was printed in the Philedelphia Inquirer with an article and a headline that read, Whose father is he?

The article explained, A Union soldier was found in a secluded spot on the battle- field, where, wounded, he had laid himself down to die. In his hands, tighly clasped, was an ambrotype containing the portraits of his three small children… and as he silently gazed upon them his soul died. How touching! How solemn!… It is earnestly desired that all papers in the country will draw attention to the discovery of this picture and its attendant circumstance so that, if possible, the family of the dead hero may come into possession of it. Of what inestimable value will it be to these poor children, proving, as it does, that the last thought of their dying father was for them, and them only.

Soon the mans wife, Phelinda Humiston, saw the photo and came forward. The story generated such an outpouring of sympathy for her family that the proceeds allowed her to open an orphanage for the children of soldiers here in Gettysburg.

As a teacher and a caretaker, Phelinda helped to raise over sixty children from eleven different states, but eventually, though she loved her work, circumstances forced her to move away from the orphanage and leave the children in the care of a younger woman named Rosa Carmichaels. This was a big mistake, although there was no way Phelinda could have known it at the time. But Rosa was a merciless sadist who beat the children and tortured them, tying them up in the basement for days and even killing some of them.

The crimes were discovered after a runaway was caught and told of her experiences at the orphanage, which included being beaten by teenage boys who Rosa armed with sticks, and being tied to a fence in the hot sun until she suffered serious burns. Everything the little girl said was later found to be true as the house was investigated and found to be full of torture devices. The basement had even been converted into a dundgeon where children were shackled to the walls and left to die.

Soon the orphanage was closed and the building was left vacant until 1950 when it became a Civil War museum as well as a popular destination for after hours ghost tours. Today the shackles can still be seen in the basement and many of the other artifacts are on display from that time period. Not surprisingly visitors often claim to hear children crying or feel invisible hands tugging on their clothes. Many e.v.ps (elctronic voice phenomena) have been collected there as well.

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