By Lynneah Smith – In the depths of the shadowy streets of downtown, amid the treacherous grasslands of the bloodiest Civil War battle, a whisper in the dark or a remnant of an illuminating figure seizes the hearts of daring souls brave enough to search through the past of the haunted town of Gettysburg.
As the imminent dark nights hastily consume the sun-shining days of summer, fall eerily lurks around the corner and with it, Halloween. Ideal for this time of the year, Gettysburg offers ominous candlelight tours and paranormal investigations, in which visitors can experience the frightening mysteries and happenings of generations past … and present.
The tragedies that took place over 152 years ago have left the quaint town of Gettysburg exploding with “night life” of an unnerving nature. Visitors from around the world and locals with a spirit for spookiness can embark on an adventure prowling through the dead of night in search of something super natural.
While visitors are continuing to find new ways to connect with Gettysburg’s haunted side, I’ve put together a little guide on how to experience the night life year-round.
Candlelight Walking Tours
Guided only by the light of the tour guide’s candle, visitors can take part in a walking tour of Gettysburg, delving into fragments of the past step-by-step.
Several companies offer ghost tours in Gettysburg, and each highlight a variety of stories in different sections of the historic town. Tours are the most popular way to introduce yourself to Gettysburg’s haunted side, and a great way for families to spend an evening together after dinner. While the tales can be frightening, they aren’t so scary that novices and young children should avoid them.
Additionally, tours – especially in the fall – are offered at different times throughout the night to accommodate early and late-night visitors. Guides are typically dressed in Civil War-era attire and share stories of the 1860s and beyond.
Historic Inns and Restaurants
While many visitors to Gettysburg enjoy stories told by the light of candle, many travelers look to engage with the paranormal by staying overnight in a haunted bed and breakfast or hotel, or dining in a historic inn that’s believed to be visited by ghosts.
Stories have circulated around Gettysburg for decades about guests that have checked out in the middle of the night because of
encounters with the paranormal as they slept, and tales from restaurant staff of odd circumstances that can only be explained as hauntings.
Places such as the Cashtown Inn and Farnsworth House place journals in every room where guests leave memories of their stays – sometimes detailing the bumps in the night or eerie shadows that dance around
For a more “encountering” experience, ghost hunters can expose Gettysburg’s spirits of the night on a paranormal investigation, searching the back alleys and dark corners of the town armed with extreme ghost-hunting equipment.
For many believers – and even a few skeptics – these investigations are a great way to compile evidence of your beliefs one way or another. These investigations led by guides with years of experience take visitors to some unique areas of the Gettysburg region in hopes of catching with their cameras, microphones or other equipment designed to reveal a paranormal presence.
As the midnight moon approaches and spirits and creatures reveal themselves in the night, ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts are sure to find themselves in the midst of the most uncanny sights, sounds and happenings of Gettysburg. But remember, Gettysburg isn’t just haunted in October … these shadows and echoes have the potential to emerge any night of the year.
For more information about how to begin your own haunted adventure, click here.