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How to Tell a Ghost Story 


The telling of the ghoulish tale is as important as the story itself. 
  
Preparation Steps: 


1.   Choose a suitably scary ghost story. If you don't know any, search through some good ghost story books until you find one you like. (Check out Related Books or those stories BELOW for some ideas.) 
 
2.   Choose a partner to help you with effects. 
 
3.   Practice telling the story so that the telling is automatic. 
 
4.   Direct your partner at the suitable moments. 
 
5.   Play scary atonal music in the room in which you will tell the story, so that the listeners hear it as they enter. 
 
6.   Light a fire if possible and set out many flickering candles. Turn off the lights. 
 
 
Tell the Tale Steps: 


1.   Gather all the listeners in the room. 
 
2.   Spotlight yourself with a flashlight. 
 
3.   Speak in a soft voice so people have to pay attention if they want to hear. Get loud gradually as the story nears its end. 
 
4.   Have your partner turn a fan on the room briefly so the candles flicker. Have your partner slam a door at a suspenseful point in the story. 
 
5.   Speak very slowly when delivering the last paragraph of the story. 
 
6.   Hold a flashlight under your face and scream loudly at the end.  
  
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"Here are a sampling of various Ghost Stories from Gettysburg, PA.  Enjoy!"
 
JP
 
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A Scary Night at Sach's Bridge

Here is the scaredest I have ever been ghost hunting. A group of us went to Gettysburg (the most haunted place in America, acre by acre). We went to Sach's bridge (a place where we have numerous pictures, and one very good one with a horse and soldier). For those of you who are not familiar with this bridge, it was behind Confederate lines at the time of the battle. After the battle of Gettysburg, Confederate deserters were hung in the rafters. Most people know about this, but the part that is unknown to most people, is that across from this bridge and down a little is a field which was a mass grave for Confederate dead. The Confederates were retreating and could not take all their dead back with them, so in a field across from this bridge, they buried a lot of soldiers.

A picture of Sach's Bridge during the day

Well, we were at the bridge and went down a path and into the field. As we got down there, I snapped off a picture. As I did this, you could see a flash of light cross right in front of us, and simultaneously, the camera's batteries went dead. We thought nothing about the camera at the time and went back to the car to get fresh batteries. Just to try something I took a picture at the parking lot and the camera worked, so I went back to the field without changing batteries and the camera went dead again. This time I went back to the car and put in brand new batteries. Again, I took a picture in the parking lot and the camera worked. So I went back to the field and the camera went dead again. Again, back to the car I went and the camera worked. About this same time, a thick wall of fog began rolling across the field towards us and a smell started to pick up. Well, needless to say, we went back to the field tried again to take a picture. The fog was very close now and of course, the camera didn't work. The camera not working and the close proximity of the fog really freaked me out, so we ran back to the parking lot. In the parking lot, I took a picture towards the bridge (180 degrees from the field), the camera worked. I turned and faced the field, the camera would not work. I did this 3 or 4 times. Well, the fog reached right behind the parking lot, but would not come any closer, it stopped right at our cars, and the smell was very bad. I can not really describe the smell, but it was not pleasant. We were all scared by now and got into our cars and started to drive away. As we did this, the wall of fog began to subside.

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A Very Prosperous Night

On Dec. 2, 2000, my wife and I went ghost hunting in Gettysburg, and we had the best experience (depending upon how you look at it) we had so far. We got about 35 great pictures, about 30 of them being ectoplasm (which is very rare, so to get 30 pictures of them is incredible). We first went to the peach orchard and got out of the car. When we go, we always ask the spirits around if they would like to be photographed and that we are not here to make fun or take advantage of them in any way. We do this out of respect for them.

Well, we got into the middle of the peach orchard and asked permission to be there and take pictures. I then said I would count to three and if anyone would like to be in the picture, we would like to have them. Well, when I took the picture, there was a huge cloud of ectoplasm right in front of us. We then walked around and went back to the car. It was very cold out and we couldn't stay out that long. Well, just before we got back in the car, I took another picutre and there right beside the car, was a another huge cloud of ectoplasm.

We thanked him for coming out and letting us take his picture, then left. We then went to the Wheatfield in Gettysburg. We think we have a spirit friend here. It took a long time to get him, but now he is always there when we get there. Well that night was no different, only this time, he did not hide so well. The instant we got out of the car, he was with us. We could actually see a white cloud following us (without the camera) as we walked out into the field. He was always right beside us. We stayed in the field for a little while, and all the time, he was right there, not leaving. As we started to leave (as I said, it was REALLY cold), he walked us back to our car. We could get tons of pictures of him (which we got about 5) and could see him the whole time without the camera (with our own eyes). And when we were at the car, it appeared to us that he was trying really hard to become a full body appartition, that you could see him getting fuller and fuller and kind of pulling the energy around to him to appear to us.

After this, we left that area for the night and went to the VA monument area. This is the place where Longstreets Second Assault was launched (Pickett's Charge). We parked the car and got out and I immediately took a picture (forgetting to ask). Well, there were tons of orbs in this picture. I then remembered to ask permission, so then I asked and took another picture. They were all gone. There is a story where a psychic went there and noticed that the spirits were really shy in this area, so that would explain why they left for the rest of the pictures there. Since this area now became dead (sorry about the pun, I couldn't resist) we left for Spangler Springs.

We now met up with a group of people at the Spring. This place was really happening. The one lady we were with got an EVP reading from the area. I also got some really good ecto shots as well. We have two really cool ones where the ecto is surrounding a house.

From here, we went to our favorite place (at least for pictures), Sach's Bridge. As usual, we got some really good pictures from here. We have one that looks like a horse (I just think it is looking too much into the picture, because it would have been a HUGE horse). This is the first time though that our camera didn't go dead here. The spirit allowed us to caputure him many times on film. We could actually see him when the flash on the camera went off. You could see the ecto all around you. It was a very weird experience to see the ecto inches from you and just whisping all around. We would actually reach out to it and put our hands through it (didn't seem to mind).

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Cannon Balls at Pickett's Charge


My first time ghost hunting with the Adams County Ghost Hunters was on a cold January night in 1999.

One of places we went that night was the Virginia Monument at the start of Pickett's charge. Myself and another member of the group walked off near the edge of the woods, eyes open, ready to experience something.

Though I believed in things paranormal, I was a bit skeptical about what these ghost hunters really saw. I was ready to explain away any strange occurrence.

As we approached the edge of the woods, I thought I saw something back in the woods about 40-50 feet away. When shined our flashlights, but saw nothing. As our eyes adjusted to the dark again, we were able to see what appeared to be someone peering around a tree. Convinced it must be a rock or bush, I moved closer to the woods.

Just as I got to the tree line, something thudded at my feet. There was a crashing sound through the trees, and then a thud as whatever it was hit the ground directly in front of me. I even felt the ground shudder as it hit. I screamed and jumped back, then laughed at myself for being so foolish. I was sure it had been a tree limb. But after carefully inspecting the ground, there was nothing there, no rocks, no tree limbs, nothing.

We were still seeing something back in the woods, and I was determined to get a little closer look at whatever it was. Someone in the group said, "Careful, that's where you were when something came through the trees." I assured them it couldn't possibly happen again.

Just as before there was a crashing through the tree branches and a thud as something unseen fell at my feet, and again there was absolutely nothing there.

Was it a cannonball from long ago? Hard to say, but at that moment I became a complete believer, so complete that I don't care if no one else believes me, I know what happened that night, and there was no explanation.

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Devil's Den Lights

This was my first encounter at Gettysburg. We went with a group from school and at night, the more brave of us went hunting (my first time actually going to look for them as well). We went to the top of Little Round Top and when we looked down the Valley at Devil's Den, we noticed there were three balls of light. (This area is one of the hardest and deadliest fighting of the Civil War. It is known as the Slaughter Pen becauase of all the deaths here).

For those of you who have never been to Devil's Den, let me describe the place. It is the end of Houck's ridge with huge (10 - 20' high) boulders. To walk from the front to the back of takes a good 45 seconds (using the only path through here) since the rocks are so huge and terrain so rough.

Well, these lights were bright, about as bright as normal car head lights (but were not radiating out like a car light would). They were moving all around, from the front to the back in seconds flat. They were moving everywhere, as if searching for something. Well after about a minute or two of watching these lights, I turned on our flashlight and the instant (and I do mean instant) it turned on, the lights stopped and did something that looked like they turned towards us. Then they turned an organgish color and got really bright (like cars with their high beams on) and then they went insane. They were going up in the trees, to the front then back in 5 seconds and they were floating off the ground (as they would have to to get up into the trees). We watched this for a minute or two, then got in the car to see what was down there. It takes only a minute to get down there, and when we got there, the lights were gone. We also searched for any clues or signs of people, but could find none, at least living.

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Ed


During our travels around the battlefield, one ghost seems to follow us. Through our digital recorders we learned his name is Ed. For some reason, Ed has a special affinity to me. He has followed me home on several occasions.

One time we had quite a bit of contact with Ed. When I returned to my home and fell asleep, I had no idea he decided to tag along. Around 3:oo a.m. I woke up from a deep sleep with the feeling that something was sitting on my legs. I was a little bit scared, but then whatever it was got up. I then heard things being moved on my dresser, computer desk, and bookcase. When I heard that I was convinced that the cat had somehow gotten into my room. I knew she would scratch to get out, so I fell back asleep. At about 6:00 a.m. I heard the cat scratching at the door and got up to let her out. But the cat wasn't in the room, she was trying to get in.

Who or what was in my room? The next morning I got some voices on my recorder saying it was Ed.

At a psychic seminar, I was told that it is possible for spirits to become attached and follow people home.

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Fahrnsworth House Apparition

The Fahrsworth house is located in Gettyburg PA and is one of the most haunted houses in America, having seventeen different ghosts haunting the place. In the basement of the house, a lady dresses all in black and tells ghost stories to candlelight. A group of us went to one of these one night. About half way through the stories, we heard someone coming down the stairs from the kitchen into the basement. Well, we found this little intrusion rude since it disturbs the stories, until we saw the story tellers face. She stopped for a bit in the middle of the story and had a look of astonishment to her. Of course, this made us turn to see what she was looking at, and there before our eyes stood the appartion of a lady from the waist up. She was there for a bit, then just vanished.

 
A picture of the Fahrnsworth House

Our one friend is good friends with the owner of the house and knows that they don't use any type of props or anything to stage an encounter. Well, he took us to the owner after the show and we described the ghost. She was an old lady with her hair pulled back into a pony tail. The owner of the house said this was the ghost of Mary. In 20 years of the stories, Mary has appeared during them 4 or 5 times. We were lucky that night.

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Lincoln's Premonitions

    Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America.  In 1865, Lincoln was assassinated in the Ford Theatre.  Since that time, Lincoln's ghost has been seen in many different areas in the United States.  But the story about Lincoln starts earlier than his death, it starts with his own psychic ability and his interest in spirituality.

    After the death of his son Willie in 1862, Lincoln began showing an interest in spirituality.  He began to attend séances in hopes that he would be able to contact his son.  Lincoln met with several different mediums, some of which claim to have influenced him to issue the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. 

    During the Civil War, Lincoln had a major part in commanding the Union Army.  It is said that he spent a great deal of time meditating, and it is speculated that he has some psychic insight into the battles.  One day, after visiting the War Department, he came racing back in ordering a line to his commanders.  He was certain that Confederate forces were about to cut through the Union line.  When asked how he knew his reply was, "My God Man, I saw it!"

    The night before he was killed, Lincoln told a member of his cabinet that he dreamed he would be assassinated.  He told his bodyguard the day of the assassination that he had visions of his death for 3 straight days.  Though he was asked to stay away from the theatre, he declined saying he had promised his wife they would go.  That night, Lincoln was shot and killed.

       Also interesting is that General Grant and his wife Julia were to accompany the Lincoln's to the theatre that night.  Julia, however, woke that morning with the feeling that something was going to happen.  She convinced Grant to stay home.  It was later revealed that Booth planned to kill Grant that evening as well.

    Since then, Lincoln's ghost has been seen throughout the country.  His funeral train travels from Washington, DC to New York and then on to Illinois every April.  His ghost is reputed to haunt the White House.  Ghostly footsteps are heard on the o the second floor corridor.  Grace Coolidge was said to have observed his silhouette standing at a window in the Oval Office.  On one occasion the Queen of The Netherlands visited Franklin Roosevelt.  She claimed to have heard footsteps while sleeping in the Lincoln room.  She said that there was a knock at the door an when she opened it there stood Lincoln.  The queen apparently fainted. 

    The Ford theatre is also supposedly haunted.  People hear voices and laughter and the sounds of weeping.  Lights turn off and on, and there are icy sensations at center stage.

    Gettysburg also has Lincoln hauntings.  There are those who have seen his figure walking the halls of one of the hotels where he stayed before giving his famous Gettysburg Address.

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PA Monument Ghost Light

This one happened at Gettysburg as well and occurred at the PA monument. For those of you who don't know, the PA monument is the largest monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield and has two sets of stairs (this will be very important later), but were not facing us at the time.

 

I was with three other people at the time. We were walking towards the monument, coming at it from the Angle and High Water Mark. We kept noticing this light in the top right corner of the monument (and the monument does have a light in it), but as we were walking towards it, the light kept going on off again. We just thought at the time it was the moon reflecting off the surface or the light inside the monument kept disappearing as we changed our angle of approach towards the monument. We kept walking towards the monument and commenting on the light. It was happening so regularly that our one friend started to make, "clap on, clap off" gestures. We got to right about where Hancock was shot and he did this again. Well, this time the light went off for good. About three seconds later, a bright ball appeared in the archway of the monument (suspended in the middle of the arch). This ball was bright white light and did not radiate out like a flashlight. It was a very localized light. All of a sudden, this ball of light started to walk down a flight of stairs, but as stated earlier, the stairs were not facing us, they were on the opposite sides. As soon as this ball touched the ground, a large circle of light appeared on the ground, again, not radiating upwards or outward like a flashligh, just the ground itself. We could very clearly see the green of the grass in the complete darkness. Just as the ball of light touched the circle of light on the ground, it looked like the cirlce of light swallowed the ball and then it all disappeared and complete darkness came back.

To this day, I cannot say for certain what I saw that night, but I can definately say, it was not something that can be explained rationally.


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Shopping

Because I'm so close to the Gettysburg area, I often spend time looking through the stores in town. My favorite store to visit is the Irish Brigade Gift Shop. While shopping with my mom and daughter, we began talking with the woman who was working at the time. We were the only people in the store at the time. As we talked, my mom started to step into the back part of the store when all of a sudden a loud crash came from the back room. We all went running back to see what was going on. At first we couldn't find anything wrong, then we found a photo frame had fallen to the floor and the glass had shattered. I look at the frame, it was lying glass side up, and the nail on the wall was not bent or loose. As we stood around wondering why it had fallen, my mom joked that it might have been a ghost. The employee looked at my mom and told her that it could have been a ghost because they have one there in the store. She didn't mention the ghost because she didn't want to scare my daughter (the kid who dressed as an orb for Halloween one year). After the glass was cleaned up, the lady proceeded to tell us about their ghost.

Apparently, the store has a basement with a dirt floor and no electricity. The meter box is located in the basement. One day, the meter reader went in the basement with his flashlight to read the meter. While he was down there, he felt someone bump into his arm and heard someone say his name. He went upstairs and asked the woman working if she had gone downstairs to get him. She told him she hadn't. The meter reader left, and refused to return. Since then, a new meter reader has been assigned to that store.

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Spangler's Spring


One of the most active areas of Gettysburg is Spangler's Spring. Legend has it that one night there was an unofficial truce as Union and Confederate troops filled water bottles, traded tobacco and whiskey, and visited each other. It was in this area that some of the most instances of brother against fighting occurred.

It was at the Spring that I first met Ed. And there have been several other experiences. The famous Lady in White shows up there, and a pair of gray pants walks among the trees.

One night, as we were leaving, my brother and another member of the group were relieving themselves. I waited for them alone in the parking lot, and when they didn't follow right behind I walked over to them. My brother, my fiancée, and another man were standing staring down the road. When I looked up I saw four dark silhouettes standing across the road barring the way. We stood watching the figures for several minutes before deciding to leave. As soon as we reaching the car and got inside, it started to pour down rain and thunder and lightening. We think maybe they were trying to tell us to get going before the storm.

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...More From the Spring


Spangler's Spring is by far one of the most active areas of the Gettysburg Battlefield. Maybe it's because there was so much brother against brother combat in that area, or perhaps it is because of the legendary truce that supposedly occurred there the night before the battle. For what ever reason, that place is haunted.

I must start by saying the accounts of what happened on three separate occasions at the spring are my own. I know that it may be very difficult for some people to believe, and that's okay, it was tough for me to believe at first too.....

About 2 months ago, my sister joined us at the Spring. It was a relatively quiet night. My sister (Carrie) walked down near some rocks with my mom and Gordon. She blanked out, and did not react as my mother called her name repeatedly. My mom shook Carrie, and when she did, Carrie started crying uncontrollably. We decided for her sake to leave the Spring. Carrie was ice cold to the touch, and continued to cry until we were out of the Spring.

What happened to my sister was strange, but when it happens once out of the blue it sometimes gets forgotten or disbelieved.....

On August 26, 2000 it happened again, only this time it happened to my brother Aaron and a former member Jason. The Spring was more active that night. My cousin Kelly had her digital camera and we were getting orbs. We also saw a strange light in the woods. Gordon, Jay, Kelly, and I went to see the light closer. We smelled a pungent odor as we headed back to the group.

Jay walked off by himself, and Gordon, Kelly, and I went down towards the others. My brother came running over saying he had gotten some strange screeching on his recorder after asking the spirits to play his guitar. Gordon suggested using all the recorders around the guitar to see if we were able to get the same type of EVP's.

After letting the recorders sit for a while, everyone went to see what we had gotten. We were standing in a circle around the tree stump where the guitar was, and we started playing the recorders. Aaron was standing behind me, and I saw and heard him crying quietly. Honestly, I thought he was being a dork trying to get attention, so I didn't say anything. Then, all of a sudden, Aaron starts shaking and sobbing. It scared the crap out of me. He kept saying "it doesn't want us here" and we decided to leave.

But we couldn't leave until we found Jason, who, if you remember, went off on his own the same time Gordon, Kelly, and I went to the others. I called 4 times for Jay before he answered, and he was only about 25-30 feet away from me. We all wanted to know where he had been, and he said he was just with us. However, 45 minutes had elapsed since we had split up. Jason was completely dazed and I ended up driving the car. I was scared and nervous, especially after hearing Carrie say that just before Aaron started shaking, she looked at him and saw a face behind his shoulders of someone with brownish hair.

Of course I was still somewhat skeptical, and I said to Kelly, "I won't believe it completely unless it happens to me" A reminder: watch out for what you wish for.

September 9, 2000 at the Spring was an active night. We had along our beagle George who kept pointing at unseen things near the woods. My mom, Gordon, and I walked down near the point of the woods. My mom saw light colored pants walking the road. Nothing was there, even when we shined our lights there. Several times we saw movement, and the owls started hooting. A word of caution, if you're ever out on the battlefield and the owls start carrying on, hold on to your pants and get ready to have experiences. For some reason, that's a signal that things will get interesting. We walked back to the group, and we spent some time recording. Chris, Gordon, and I were recording away from the group. We has gotten several good EVP's and then decided to go back. As we started back towards the others, Gordon said "It's following behind us." Chris and I told him to shut up. He said again, "It's behind us I can feel it on my shoulders." We yelled for him to shut up again and went to join the others.

A bit later, we walked back to where Gordon had felt something. There, looking into the woods we saw an unusually bright light. My mom, brother, Gordon, Chris, Jay, and I were standing there. Jay walked quickly back to the other group, the rest of us watched. Chris said when she looked at it she felt sad. My mom said, "Aaron says don't look at it, it doesn't want us here." I turned to look at my brother as my mom repeated again not to look at the woods. I looked at Gordon and I saw a face above his shoulder which was a bit higher and behind him. The hair was a light brown, sort of sandy blonde color and I could not see facial features. I looked away, and looked back again and it was there. I put my hand on Gordon's shoulder and said, "we need to go right now" and then all of a sudden I started sobbing. The crazy thing was, I had a clear mind and I had no idea why I was crying or what was making me cry. We all started leaving and I refused to leave without Gordon and Chris. When I stopped and got near Gordon I started sobbing again.

Near the cars I calmed down a bit, and as crazy as I am, I was saying I was glad it happened. But when I tried to tell Chris what had happened, the same thing happened again. We all left the Spring, and I was crying up until we were past it.

Believe or don't, it's up to you, but there's something in the Spring. I never felt any anger, I felt very sad, and I felt as if whatever it was just needed to be helped. My sister described similar feelings. In contrast, both Jay and Aaron said they felt anger directed towards them, like someone wanting to know why they were there. And Aaron said as he was crying he felt like he was going to die, but still thinking clearly in his head that he was fine. Jay later told me that the pungent odor we had been smelling was burned gunpowder (he knows, he's a re-enactor) and that he actually saw what must have been an image from the battle, i.e., bodies. He also says there was someone in a uniform with 6-8 buttons on his coat who wanted to know why he was standing there.

What Happened? Couldn't say, but it was a cool experience.....

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Triangular Field Ghosts


Behind an area known as Devil's Den there is a small field known as the Triangular Field (due to its shape). I have always loved this area, and I hike through it often. It is the place in which troops from Texas and Georgia fought and during the battle the field was covered in men.

On one visit to the field during a ghost hunting trip, I felt weird the whole evening. It is unusual that I feel uncomfortable there as I love the place so much, but all night I was jumpy. As we were leaving, I ended up in the back of the line walking up the trail. I quickly ran to be in front.

"I don't want to be in the back, something might grab me," I said and continued up the path. All of a sudden, something held my arms. I had a large jacket on with a front pocket (a Starter Jacket) and my 35mm camera was in the pocket. It felt as though I had walked into someone, the pocket was pressed tight to my stomach, and someone was holding my arms as if to steady me, only there was no one there. I screamed and ran to the back of the line.

There have been several other incidents in the Triangular field. My camera has stopped working, I've had my hair pulled, and I've smelled tobacco smoke, which is a common occurrence. Once, my daughter Bridget, feeling a little scared, decided to talk to the ghosts. She told them she was their friend and wasn't going to hurt them. She continued to babble on, and the whole time there was a very strong and distinct odor of cherry pipe tobacco, and we were freezing cold.

I've never though the ghosts were going to hurt me, but its a bit alarming when something unseen grabs your arm. Again, I don't expect anyone to believe me, I know it happened.