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Ghosts of Gettysburg Para-Road Trip

On September 17-19th the Shadow Chasers decided to visit one of the most historic and renowned sites in the country as a 'Paranormal Roadtrip' to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. While we have been in service since 2002, we have never been ones to target prestige locations, and in-fact we have had nearly 90% of all of our cases come to us, this was to be our first ever 'Paranormal Roadtrip.'

The site is notoriously haunted and represents an amazing amount of history within driving distance. The team unanimously decided it would be worth our time and an investment to investigate one of America's most historic locations.


Fought during the first three days of July 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg was one of the most crucial battles of the Civil War having occurred at a time when the fate of the nation literally hung in the balance. Often referred to as the "High Water Mark of the Rebellion", it was the culmination of the second and most ambitious invasion of the North by General Robert E. Lee and his "Army of Northern Virginia". The Union "Army of the Potomac", long the nemesis of Lee's army in Virginia, met the Confederate invasion at the Pennsylvania crossroads town of Gettysburg.

Under the command of Major General George Gordon Meade, the Union army fought with a desperation not always seen before on other battlefields. Despite initial Confederate success, the battle turned against Lee on July 3rd, and with few options remaining to him, the general ordered his army back to Virginia. The Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg resulted not only in Lee's retreat to Virginia but an end to the hopes of the Confederacy for independence.

Over the last 100 years, Gettysburg, has been inundated with reports of paranormal activity. From phantom cries of wounded soldiers, to life-like apparitions, almost everyone who's been to Gettysburg has been touched by its haunting spirits. This historical town is home to a surprising number of phantom forms showing up in pictures.


Planning Phase:

In most investigations you contact the proprietor and work with them to set up an ideal investigation date. Our planning was a little less... organized. In August we had a conversation about visiting the historic site since none of us had ever been. After a couple of phone calls we set up a weekend stay at the Holiday Inn in Gettysburg for September 17-18th. As much as we wanted to explore the battlefield for ghosts we really wanted to experience the history for ourselves. We were essentially tourists on this case.

Time and date were established for our roadtrip, we would head out Friday around noon and arrive at the hotel for check in by 9PM. Establishing what to do while there was a bit more of a mystery. We knew we wanted to explore the battlefield, visit the museums and check into the paranormal somehow.

Road Trip:

We set out from Utica at noon and headed south. We discussed the history of the location, the TV shows that explored Gettysburg and all of the reported activity from the site. We chatted about investigations by Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters and all of the shows that discussed Gettysburg from the History Channel to the Travel Channel all claimed extensive history and activity on the site.

It was also clearly apparent that Pennsylvania road-work had not improved at all since the last time we had passed through the area. In-fact we were fairly certain it was the exact same road construction that each of us had experienced both 5 and 10 years before.

Still feeling the feeling the Ka-thunking of square wheels from the construction, we arrived in Gettysburg, PA at just after 11PM. We were right in the Gettysburg at the Holiday Inn and hopefully everything was right within a small area. We checked in and grabbed all of the touristy information that we could about the area and crashed.

On Site:

The next morning we grabbed our 'Continental Breakfast,' a rather grand name for a kiddie-sized bowl of cereal and a bagel, and skimmed over the tourist maps for our plan for the day. We discovered that Gettysburg battlefield was not a single location but rather the entire town and surrounding area. If you wanted to tour the battlefield it was a 'driving tour,' you jumped in your car and went from location to location. It was a very large site, it was a town/city. We decided our first stop should be to head to the visitor's center and museum to get an idea of the site. one of the first memorials and sites of the first


After our stop at the Gettysburg Visitor's Center we decided to start with the first site nearby, the Pennsylvania Memorial. We also discovered that Gettysburg appears to be a mecca for Boy Scouts with dozens of different troops roving the area.




The Pennsylvania Memorial is a Gettysburg Battlefield monument commemorating the 34,530 Pennsylvania soldiers who fought at Gettysburg (listed on the 100-foot-square pedestal's bronze tablets). The pavilion is the largest monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield and after climbing some rather trecherous stairs up to the top we recieved quite the view.

We watched a parcel of reenactors conducting drills around the base of the monument and decided to head for some of the most notable locations throughout the site including 'Devil's Den' and famed 'Wheat Field' where a lot of reports seem to stem from.

After exploring a number of sites throughout the battlefield and stopping at a number of memorials, we returned to town in pursuit of lunch. There were countless options available but one of the more interesting sites that caught our attention was the Dobbin House Tavern.

The most interesting thing about our choice of restaurant was that it featured menu items that would be traditional meals of the time period and maintained an authentic atmosphere with lighting only by candles and old tavern bench-tables. Over lunch we speculated that the tavern was haunted and when we took a quick photo to share we caught a light anomaly.

Amusingly, after lunch we entered the gift shop and found a number of paranormal guide books that featured the tavern as a haunted site.

We decided to explore the town for a while and parking proved to be quite an issue. We did manage to find a spot and proceeded to take a walk to explore the actual town of Gettysburg.

The first shops we found that were not tourist traps turned out to be para-tourism traps. There were a number of competing Ghost Hunting teams in town and all hosted tours, had shops and of course, their own paranormal museums. To an outside observer these would grab the attention of anyone, to us these were tired clichés although quite a few did have some great evidence. The one group that really grabbed our attention was Gettysburg Paranormal Association the team was not offering a ghost tour but offering the use of their own equipment to investigate specific buildings. Given that the Battlefield Park actually closed it's gates at 10PM we decided to sign-up with GPA to investigate one of their exclusive sites.


A little after sunset we traversed the park again to explore a few of the most renowned locations that were always discussed on TV as the most paranormally active sites. On our way to the 'Peach Orchard' we stopped at Pitzer Woods and followed a path out to the field. It was then that an older couple stopped us and asked if we were hearing something from the field. We could hear cannon fire and what sounded like men shouting. Needless to say, there weren't any reenactors out on the field.

We made another stop and climbed an observation tower where we could see the entire side of the battlefield and there was no one on the field. Carefully winding our way back down to the ground, we set off again for Devil's Den. Our plan was thwarted when we arrived at the site and discovered hundreds of people still roving the site hoping to experience some paranormal activity. It was a lost cause with so many cars and people around. We abandoned Devil's Den and headed through the Wheat Field where there were a few less people but still enough to make us give up and head for our rendezvous with Gettysburg Paranormal.

We met up with Gettysburg Paranormal Association at their shop along with aproximately 60 other tourists. The GPA team carefully checked off names and doled out equipment to everyone that was participating. Viewing this as an opportunity to try things a little differently Kate and Courtinie opted for Dowsing Rods while I grabbed the Mel-Meter. Most participants were playing with their tech when the GPA team divided everyone into separate teams of less than twenty each. Each team was then selected for one of three specific locations. We were selected to go to the 'Bricker House," a quick drive away.

The Bricker House:

We arrived at the Bricker House with two of our hosts after a quick 15min drive. Owned by 1 family for the past 170 years, the Bricker House is rich in history. So eccentric was the family that they never installed running water, and the electric that is there has was turned off 7 years ago. Being the creative types, we did manage to bring the Archos and our Full Spectrum camera (Para-Spectrum) along with us so that we could utilize these as additional tools at the investigation.

It was rather interesting being the outsiders on an investigation for a change. We listend as the team explain the tech and methods on investigating. As the people milled about the site randomly using tech (why would you wander around using a laser net as a flashlight?) we observed new tech that GPA had and carefully investigated as people began to lose interest. As the numbers of those inside the house dwindled it was then that activity seemed to increase. We glimpsed a woman in a white dress a couple of times and heard a few anomalous sounds.

In the end, we had some fun exploring a different sort of site with another team in the lead. We turned in our equipment and called it a night. We returned to Gettysburg and stopped in at a rather nice bar to grab a snack (since it was the only thing open).


The Wrap Up:

We spent the majority of the next day exploring the little side-shops and side streets of the downtown district of Gettysburg. We found some souvenirs, a nice coffee shop and a really great mexican restaurant but after the first day it was apparent that Gettysburg was quite the grand-scale tourist-trap. All of the local industy, including paranormal, were developed on the tourism. 

Once you see past all of the tourism traps, you can get a real sense of the history of the site. Much of the paranormal associated with the site is exploited, our experience with the teams in the area showed us that GPA did have a healthy respect for sites and those that signed up with them.

Gettysburg is a tremendous site with an even larger history. It is certainly worth experiencing if you can dodge the tourism-traps