Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Spirits Haunting the Gettysburg Battlefield

From David Myers of the Palm Beach Post.

Just in time for Halloween … Civil War Spirits

Question: Is it true that the ghosts of several Civil War soldiers haunt the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania?
Answer: More than 50,000 men were killed when the Union Army clashed with Confederate soldiers at Gettysburg in July 1863. So it’s no surprise that several buildings in Pennsylvania’s 3,000-acre national park and the battlefield itself are believed to be roamed by several ghosts.
Halloween is almost here, so I’m devoting this entire column to answering questions about haunted places — or, at least, homes and other spots that some believe to be haunted.
The ghastly vision of a headless Army officer atop his translucent horse is often spotted in an area of the park named Little Round Top. The spirits of scruffy Texan soldiers have been seen in the maze of boulders known as Devil’s Den; they’re guarding this strategic military locale in death, just as they did when they were alive. Some of those misty figures have even been captured in photographs.
One of the most credible reports of ghostly encounters was made by two administrators who worked at Gettysburg College, which briefly served as a makeshift battlefield hospital. They got in the elevator late one night and pressed the button to go down to the first floor, but the car instead went all the way to the basement.
The doors opened to reveal a frenzied Civil War operating room, replete with blood-spattered surgeons, soldiers screaming in pain, and a grotesque pile of arms and legs that had just been hacked off by the medical team.
The two women said a lifelike, blood-soaked doctor saw them and came rushing toward the elevator cab as if to ask for help. The doors closed just before he reached them: The next morning, investigators found little more than janitorial and office supplies in the room.

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