Monday, July 10, 2006

Most Haunted in Gettysburg

Walking Tours Present Gettysburg's GhostsPublished on July 9, 2006Walking Tours Present Gettysburg's GhostsPhoto by Sam YuDave Dossey, right, a tour guide for Farnsworth Walking Tours, talks about ghosts in the attic of the Farnsworth House in Gettysburg, Pa., during a recent Farnsworth House Candlelight Ghost Walk.Share your opinion• POST COMMENT• VIEW COMMENTS (0)Frederick Area Top Jobs CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVESUnitedHealthcare Frederick has career opportunities available for Customer Service Reps in Frederick.# Website# E-MailFREDERICK COUNTY GOVERNMENT JOB OPPORTUNITIESThe Frederick County Government is now acccepting applications for a variety of full and part-time positions.# WebsiteHVAC SERVICE MANAGERLeading, Central Maryland, HVAC Company is looking for self-motivated, high energy Service Manager. With over 45 yrs of experience & a customer- base of over 15,000 customers, we are looking to improve customer service quality & increase profitability.DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONSThe Daughters of Charity is seeking candidates to fill the position of Director of Communications.# Website# E-MailMORTGAGE LENDING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIESAurora Loan Services is growing its mortgage operations and hosting a Job Fair on July 6th & 8th.# WebsiteView all Top Jobs By Bridgette HarwoodNews-Post StaffGETTYSBURG, Pa. -- Gettysburg is known for books, stories, tours and tales of the thousands of people who died on the fields during the three-day battle, some of whom are said to still be there in spirit.The lore of the ghosts haunting Gettysburg, the site of some of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War, was one of the deciding factors that recently led a group of Girl Scouts from New Jersey to the town, said Jen Bohmer, the group's adviser.The first night the group arrived on the three-day trip, they ventured to 271 Baltimore St. to begin a ghost tour given by Ghosts of Gettysburg walking tours.Ms. Bohmer spoke of the famous ghost stories she has learned from reading books and watching the "Haunted Histories" series on television.One of the most famous stories is that of the Blue Boy, a ghost of Gettysburg College. The young boy supposedly haunts what was once a women's dormitory.After escaping from the local orphanage, two girls hid the boy on a window ledge in the winter during a room check. When they returned more than an hour later, the only sign of him were footprints and he was nowhere to be found.The boy has been seen by past occupants of the room with blue lips as if he was frozen in the winter weather. The window where he had been locked out is known to fly open during storms, even while locked.Ms. Bohmer said that while she believes in ghosts, the true benefit of the stories is allowing kids to become interested in history."Ghost stories entice kids to want to learn more about the history of where the stories come from," she said.Mark Nesbitt, owner of Ghosts of Gettysburg, is the author of the six-book series, "Ghosts of Gettysburg."Mr. Nesbitt, who has been studying the town for more than 40 years, opened the tours in 1994 after releasing the first two books of the series. The company now offers several tours based on Mr. Nesbitt's books, including a bus and train tour that takes visitors outside of Gettysburg to places such as Hospital Woods and Lady Farm.Throughout the years he has collected about 1,000 stories of paranormal experiences from others and has had some of his own. In the past 10 years, Mr. Nesbitt has been doing ghost investigations with different paranormal investigation groups.Before writing the "Ghosts of Gettysburg" series, Mr. Nesbitt spent five years as a ranger historian working for the National Park Service in Gettysburg. He has been featured on "Unsolved Mysteries," A&E and on the Travel Channel, where he was seen picking up electronic voice phenomena, sounds that are recorded without being heard at the time of the recording."You get so into the investigation you don't even think about being scared," Mr. Nesbitt said.Mr. Nesbitt recorded the events that happened to two of his friends who were working in the old Dorm Hall, currently the administraBoscovtion building at Gettysburg College.In 1980, two women got on an elevator to leave and it bypassed their stop, taking them to the basement of the building, which served as a hospital during the battle of Gettysburg. When the door opened in front of them, there was a scene from a Civil War-era hospital, complete with a bloody surgeon operating on patients.Frightened, the two women, who assumed it was a prank being played by one of the fraternities, left to retrieve a guard. When they returned to the basement with the guard, they found nothing."I am a skeptic," Mr. Nesbitt said. "I don't publish anything unless I believe the person actually experienced the event."Considered one of the more haunted houses on the Ghosts of Gettysburg tour is Twin Sycamores on Baltimore Street, where a group saw three ghosts on a tour two years ago, on July 6.Interest grows, belief perhaps notMore than a dozen ghost tours are offered in Gettysburg. Mr. Nesbitt believes he knows why the interest in the tours has increased."The phenomena has grown because people are becoming more aware and will come forward to share their experiences they know others have witnessed," he said. "Or many people are being duped."Not all of the story tellers actually believe in the stories they tell. Van Richards has been an innkeeper at Battlefield Bed and Breakfast the past two years. On Friday nights, the inn offers ghost stories as part of guests' room package.While Mr. Richards doesn't believe in the stories himself, he shares tales of experiences from past guests and historical stories passed down through time. He said he doesn't believe any of them really happened.Yet, the inn gets groups as large as 25 each Friday night waiting to be scared by the tales of ghosts haunting the inn at 2264 Emmitsburg Road. Mr. Richards said ghost stories were popular in the 1860s as a form of entertainment."People still like that form of entertainment whether they believe in it or not," he said.The art of storytellingThe Farnsworth House has been rated one of the most haunted inns in the country by A&E and the Travel Channel. It was even named one of the spookiest places to eat by the Food Network.A tour by the Farnsworth House Mourning Theatre and Ghost Walks, headquartered at 401 Baltimore St., takes guests to the attic of the house, where they hear of the ghost known as Jeremy.The young boy, who was killed when trampled by horses pulling a carriage, is known to roam the rooms of the Farnsworth House, stealing guests' belongings and returning them in exchange for toys, said Dave Dossey, a tour guide for Farnsworth Walking Tours for three years.The tour takes guests past the famous home where Jennie Wade, the only civilian killed during the battle of Gettysburg, was killed by a stray bullet while making bread. It is said that her father's ghost roams the house as an angry spirit because he was not allowed to attend his daughter's burial.To prepare for the tours Mr. Dossey studied the history of the battle at Gettysburg, especially the area on Baltimore Street where the Union and Confederate armies met. He said while some of the stories have been documented, others come from legend and folklore."The tours are about making the stories come to life," Mr. Dossey said.

The Frederick News-Post

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