Not long ago, I asked my readers if they had ever had ghostly encounters on battlefields. These were the responses that came to my email. Have you ever had a paranormal experience? Contact me to be featured in a future blog. Happy Halloween!
From Kathy Pence:
Cold Harbor Battlefield on Route 156, Hanover County, VA — I had a friend down from CT. I was showing him the historical sites around Richmond. I happened to bring my tape recorder with me. At Cold Harbor, we left the tape recorder running and walked away from it. My CT friend got the strangest feeling of deja vu. He knew exactly what had happened there without reading the markers. He had a strong feeling he was actually there. He pointed out the very few trees that were 140 years old or more. He knows nothing about how to tell how old a tree is. When we picked up the tape recorder and got back in the car, we rewound the tape and pressed play. There was shouting, cannon fire, gun fire and screams on the tape. It gave us both goose bumps! I took photographs over there not too long ago. Appearing on the photograph was an officer on horseback. That battlefield is very active, especially on the anniversary of the battle.
Gettysburg — We used to be with a living history group. One year we were camped at Boyd’s Bear in Gettysburg. The first night was extraordinary. In the gathering mist, we could see campfires of the past out in the field there. When we walked over toward one of them, there was distinctive cold air, even though it was July. We could also smell blood and the unmistakeable odor of gangrene. The port-a-johns were up the hill. One member left to go. Directly behind her was the shadow of a frontiersman carrying a long rifle….obviously not Civil War era, but much earlier. Everyone in the group saw or felt something that night. It was very memorable.I normally can’t see these folks because I’m right brained or left brained – can’t ever remember which – but I sure saw and smelled the happenings that night! Everyone did. If you follow the route of Pickett’s charge on the actual battlefield, bu the time you reach the stone wall, you are a mess…tears, crying and barely able to move after traveling the 1/4 mile across the field.
From Jenny Tubb:
I visited Gettysburg in 2007 with my mother. Although I spent every night out on the battlefield with my camera until it closed, talking gently to the spirits and urging them to use my energy and let me take pics, I got nothing on camera. About the second day we were there, though, my mother was driving our rental car to Spanger’s Springs in the afternoon; I had my iPod on and was looking out the window in a very relaxed state.
As we drove, I caught a quick glimpse of a man standing among the foliage close to our destination. My first thought? Hiker! But then I got suspicious as I realized that the figure had no legs!! He had been wearing what looked like a cape or coat draped over his shoulders and had a hat that looked like a kepi! There were no other cars around, parked for hikers or otherwise driving around. I turned and asked my mother if she saw that man. Of course she had seen nothing.
The fact that it looked like he had no legs but was apparently floating off the ground really makes me think I saw the spirit of what I feel was a Union soldier that day.
We did have an incident with the ghost of little Jeremy at the Farnsworth House though; he put our toilet seat up in the middle of the night and my mother nearly fell into the toilet at like 1 am (that kind of made a believer out of her!) and woke me up to ask if I’d lifted the seat, which I had not.
From Jeff Wallnofer:
The night before Halloween my friends and I were doing a living history at Point Lookout state park, MD. We were given permission to camp overnight in the actual area of the prison camp yard. We were the only three reenactors who actually slept there, everyone else either stayed in a hotel or stayed in the modern camps. During the night we heard the clanking of canteens, like a soldier walking picket, back and forth and it was above our heads. We later found out that the fence line for the camp was directly next to were we slept and they had a raised catwalk that the guards stood on. We also had a small fire to keep warm and during the night I was awaken to a very strong southern accent saying “hey boy, put another log on the fire”. I didn’t see any ghost just felt a tug on my blanket and heard the voice. My friend also heard the same thing. The last thing I saw there, and perhaps the creepiest was a white specter dart through the woods about fifty yards from our area. I saw several small floating lights around this specter and I could tell she had a very angry face. I later found out from the park ranger that during the war it is believed that a nurse was raped or raped and killed in the hospital and the hospital was very close to where I saw the ghost. Well, that’s about all that happened there. I’ve seen other things during other stays at battlefields.