“Ghost Adventures” is known for getting results and they didn’t disappoint in the season opener. This episode had amazing EVP’s, plenty of personal experiences and an exciting thermal camera image of a Civil War soldier in the wee hours of the 147th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
GAC split their time among three locations, the Soldiers National Museum, the site of an infamous Civil War orphanage, the Jenny Wade House and the Engine House, where the Union line broke on the first day of battle.
The Battle of Gettysburg took place July 1-3, 1863. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War with 51,000 reported missing, wounded or dead. It was also the turning point for the Union. However that wasn’t apparent at sundown on July 1, 1863.
Mark Nesbitt, author of the book, “The Ghosts of Gettysburg” joined Zak, Nick and Aaron in full Union dress around an evening campfire the night before lockdown and shared some of the more gruesome facts of the Battle of Gettysburg. Massive casualties lead to the military hiring civilians to help bury the dead. Shallow trenches only six or seven inches deep became the graves of thousands. Blisteringly hot July heat quickly bloated the bodies and following winter rains loosened the soil. Consequently, Gettysburg housewives would see limbs poking up through the thin skin of dirt over the corpses.
“Ghost Adventures” immersed themselves in the experiences of Union soldiers by recreating a typical skirmish with a group of Civil War reenactors.
During their reenactment Zak, Nick and Aaron were seated around a campfire in a white tented Union camp having a bite to eat. Their meal was disrupted by a scruffy looking bunch of Confederate reenactors who ambushed GAC, attacking them in a brawl around the fire.
As this was going on I saw a group of Confederate soldier’s ghosts watching the reenactment with the dispassion of a sporting event. One ghost commented to his fellows, “They got ‘em.”.
During the walk-through, Zak, Nick and Aaron were shown “the pit”, a cramped corner of the stone foundation of the Orphanage where Headmistress Rosa Carmichael was reputed to have chained disobedient orphans under her care. An unnamed psychic’s interaction with the ghost of a six-year-old girl once chained in the dungeon-like basement identified her punishment for stealing bread as four days in the pitch black pit.
I saw ghosts of children chained to the walls, but for some reason I saw a boy ghost most clearly. He was about seven years old. He told me the children chained to the walls were provided a “slop bucket” to poop and pee in, but it filled to the point of overflowing and not all the children could reach it depending on where they were chained. After the slop bucket was full the children soiled themselves adding to their misery.
The modern-day Soldiers Museum was packed with artifacts, including part of a human hip bone with a bullet from the battle still embedded in it.
GAC proceeded to the Jennie Wade house. Jennie was the only reported civilian casualty of Gettysburg. Some ghosts I have talked to at Gettysburg would dispute that point but that is what the history books say.
Jennie Wade was 20 years old in July of 1863. Her elder sister had given birth four days before Jennie’s death. The family had gathered to lend a hand. When the Union line broke under the Confederate onslaught both armies tumbled back through the town of Gettysburg killing each other as they went. The Confederates secured the ridge behind the house Jennie had taken refuge in.
Attempting to flee the battle, Jennie had taken her brothers to the nearby McClellan house for safety. Instead she found herself in the middle of a pitched battle with no rules. By 8 am on July 3, 1863 the action had died down a bit and Jennie made her way into the kitchen. As a precaution she left the parlor door open, putting the front and parlor doors between her and the action outside. It wasn’t enough. A Confederate bullet that missed its Union soldier target went through both doors and hit Jennie in her shoulder, killing her instantly.
At the time of her death Jennie was engaged to Corp. Johnston “Jack” H. Skelly of the 87th Pennsylvania. Unknown to Jennie he had been taken prisoner at Winchester on May 13. He was transported to a Virginia Confederate hospital and died of his wounds on July 12, surviving his sweetheart by a mere nine days.
The cries of her family summoned fleeing Union troops, who carried Jennie’s body up to the second floor attic. The building was actually two households in one structure, divided down the middle by a brick wall. A cannon ball had blown a hole in the wall. The Union soldiers who were trying to escape pursuing Confederates spent a desperate twenty minutes enlarging the hole so that they and Jennie’s brothers could escape into the neighbor’s home and down the stairs on the other side of the wall.
Jennie’s body was laid on a bench in the basement of the adjoining house until the action calmed down enough to allow for burial. Jennie’s ghost is still in that house, but strangely she seems to have company in the form of her father’s shade. Although he was incarcerated at Eastern State for theft prior to the battle, his ghost seems to have taken up residence in the basement where Jennie’s body was laid out. Mr. Wade’s ghost has been credited with pushing and scratching visitors in the basement.
I felt Mr. Wade’s presence during the GAC walk-through. He was protective, snarling at Zak to “Stay away from her!”
The third location was the first battlefield of the Gettysburg bloodbath. Currently it is home to a railroad Engine House. At the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate forces lined up on the ridge above the battlefield, taking the high ground to repel the Union horde.
Railroad Agent Frank May told GAC that when the cut was dug out of the hillside to create a path for the railroad tracks, many human skulls came out with the dirt. Psychic Rob Conover related a past experience of encountering the ghosts of 16 Confederate soldiers in the Engine House. Another railroad employee mentioned that the ghosts of past rail passengers also haunted the area.
GAC first locked down in the Orphanage, starting in the dreaded “pit” where children were chained to the walls as punishment. The guys set up EM pumps to give any ghosts present an energy boost to assist in communication. Zak put candy on the floor to engage the ghost children. Immediately an EVP was captured saying, “…you’re wonderful…” “…thank you…” Right before the EVP I heard the ghost of a little boy hopefully ask Zak if the candy on offer was “Molasses candy?” Another ghost child was wary about accepting the candy and worried that, “…they will get me.” I think “they” referred to the older boys Headmistress Rosa enlisted as enforcers to beat the younger children with sticks.
Nick then heard footsteps above them coming from the Soldiers Museum upstairs. Prior to lockdown Nick had been in the museum, heard footsteps and felt pursued by the presence of a ghost soldier. I saw this presence as a Union soldier. Although Zak was wearing a Union soldier’s hat, apparently this soldier didn’t perceive Nick as an ally because just as Nick heard and felt the presence surrounding him a large rock was thrown at him out of nowhere. GAC found the rock on the floor nearby and picked up an EVP at this time that warned “Watch your back with them.”
I asked whose ghost warned “Ghost Adventures”. In response the spirit of a slender young man in a suit responded, “I did.” He told me he was a divinity student that had made a habit of visiting the Orphanage to check on conditions there. (The town of Gettysburg did in fact have an operating Seminary at the time of the battle.) He ruefully admitted that Rosa pulled the wool over his eyes easily, telling me, “I was blind” to what was going on in the Orphanage. The divinity student told me that when he visited the Orphanage Rosa would receive him in her private parlor, feeding him tea and cake. He especially enjoyed the cake. When he asked to see some of the children under her care Rosa brought in a carefully tended boy and girl. They were clean and decently dressed in worn, but not ragged clothing. At first this tactic worked. The divinity student admitted to me that Rosa “deceived me”. Over time this young man started to become suspicious because Rosa produced the same pair of children for inspection at each visit. When the minister-in-training asked to see the other children Rosa told him they were either being fed or outside playing and suggested he wouldn’t want to disturb them in either activity.
When GAC trooped upstairs to investigate the footsteps Nick heard from the pit they captured a clear EVP. Aaron was panning his camera over a display of several kinds of currency. One display had Confederate dollars in it which I heard a male ghost comment were “useless”. It was true that Confederate currency didn’t hold its value well during the war and it was worth nothing after the Union victory.
Next to the Confederate bills was a display of silver dollars from the 1880’s commonly called Morgan’s. A post Civil War ghost asked GAC to “Pass all the Morgan’s” to him in an EVP. It was a good example that many haunted locations have layers from different eras of hauntings.
Back down in the pit Zak taunted Rosa, inviting her to chain him to stone walls as she did the little kids under her care. Rosa’s ghost was there. I heard her order Zak to, “Stay back!” I have experienced Rosa’s energy in the past and Zak was the first person I have ever seen intimidate Rosa Carmichael’s ghost.
Nick picked up an EVP of an adult male voice saying, “Betcha you won’t untie me.” I got the impression he was a post Civil War ghost, but not by much. He told me he was a carpetbagger, jailed for his brutal profiting off the efforts of Reconstruction. Eventually he pushed the locals too far and they tied him up for a week in the basement of the old orphanage. He didn’t sound particularly concerned about his fate and told me he had been eventually released.
In typical full provoking mode Zak baited Rosa asking, “What do you want to do to me now that you have me back in your little jail cell?” I got a mental impression she wanted to whip Zak bloody. Interestingly a direct EVP response was recorded saying, “…kill the girl…”. Zak’s voice over noted that Rosa was alleged to have allowed her older bully boys to regularly beat the younger children with sticks. The next EVP was, “I never killed again.” Zak wondered if GAC had heard a murder confession from Rosa. I think they basically did. The personality energy behind these two EVP’s was that of Rosa.
Aaron managed to utterly freak Zak out when he claimed to have heard a slithering noise like a snake in the pit. Zak despises snakes and did not want to hear it, telling Aaron not to say the word snake as Zak was trapped in a stone dungeon with nowhere to go. I am thinking Aaron got a little pay pack for his chronic role as ghost bait in past episodes.
While still in the pit, Aaron picked up an EVP that said, “I want to have the bowl of money.” Zak noted a bowl of money was part of the museum displays on the other side of one of the walls surrounding GAC.
Part two of lockdown was the Jennie Wade house. Zak donned video goggles equipped with a word database ghosts could use to pick and choose among words to communicate. “Ghost Adventures” started in the kitchen where Jennie died and got results right away with the database pronouncing the word “teen”. Zak commented that two of the boys Jennie had with her at the time of her death were in fact teens. One was her brother, the other a family friend.
As GAC walked through the house the ghost goggles came up with two more words, “pass” followed shortly by “property”. Zak and Aaron figured Jennie’s ghost was commenting on their passage along the route her body had taken through the brick wall dividing the homes.
The next word was “helpful” It was documented that Jennie was known for helping out Union troops. As Zak looked at a rack holding dishes the database piped up with, “Drink.” Zak asked Jennie what she had to offer him to drink and the goggle database responded, “Water.”
Things seemed to heat up when the parlor door bumped into Zak. This was debunked, GAC determining that the door easily moved in response to air currents in the house.
Focused on Jennie, Zak talked to her ghost about her boyfriend Jack, saying he understood she had planned to marry Jack and have a family with him. Zak asked Jennie if there was anything she had wanted to tell Jack before she died. The startling EVP response was, “I’m pregnant” said in a soft, breathy female voice. GAC ran this EVP by a speech pathologist who confirmed it was a tentative female voice that was sharing a secret. It was impossible to factually tell if it was the voice of Jennie Wade from beyond the grave, but I think it was since I felt her ghost with the guys at the time.
Zak seems incapable of getting through an episode without trying to offend at least one ghost, so he picked the hostile spirit of Jennie Wade’s father. GAC went into the storm cellar/basement where Jennie’s body had been placed by Union soldiers. Zak started by asking if Mr. Wade’s ghost was the crazy mean spirit that was in the habit of scratching and punching visitors. This inquiry was followed by unexplained but recorded tapping sounds.
Pushing the envelope, Zak climbed into bed with the dummy representing Jennie’s corpse. He taunted Mr. Wade’s ghost, asking if he was upset by Zak laying there. A clear EVP retorted, “That ain’t going to happen.” Zak persisted, asking, “Do you not like that I am here?” Evidently not, because next thing we saw, Zak leaped off the bed. Something had grabbed him by the backside, hard. As Zak rubbed his left buttock he said he had never been touched so hard by a ghost or entity before. Considering the tendencies of outraged fathers, living or dead, I suspect Zak was fortunate the grab wasn’t a few inches forward.
Part three of the Gettysburg lockdown took place inside and around the Engine House. Once inside GAC heard unexplained repetitive sounds. Zak speculated the sounds might have been gunfire from the first battle of Gettysburg. It was a good educated guess, but my guides disagreed, and said the sounds were the mechanical thrum of a ghostly train engine.
GAC caught what seemed to be a conversation among Confederate soldiers regarding what they should do to Zak. The first EVP said, “We’ll beat him up.” The second EVP was a different voice, “The big one?” The third EVP said, “No, don’t sweat it.” I think Zak was right that the speakers were Confederate ghosts, but I am not convinced they were talking about the GAC. I saw the ghosts in question spot a Union soldier nearby and believe the solider was the subject of their comments. The final comment, “No, don’t sweat it” came with the impression that the Confederates would be better off conserving their energy for the upcoming battle where they would do more damage overall.
For the sake of discussion, let’s say the Confederate ghosts were discussing the Ghost Adventures guys. None of them are small of stature but Aaron is definitely the tallest of the bunch. He could have been the one the ghostly Confederates were discussing.
Zak asked the ghosts around them in the Engine House which side they fought for, Union or Confederate. An EVP confirmed what I heard, “Confederate”.
To provoke the ghosts on the morning of the 147th anniversary of Gettysburg, Zak fired a black powder pistol containing blanks. I could feel the ghosts around GAC snapping to attention at the noise. Aaron was startled when he heard footsteps and said, “Something just came up on me dude.”
Zak directed the thermal camera to the tree line were it caught an amazing figure in the distance. The thermal showed the outline of a slightly transparent Civil War soldier with his rifle up on his shoulder. Zak said the figure then moved into a classic fire position. I believe him because psychically I saw the soldier crouch and bring his gun down to aim. A moment later the thermal camera panned back over the same spot where the figure first appeared, but it was gone. Despite the distance the outline of the soldier was clear. It was one of the better thermal captures I have seen to date.
I double checked with my guides to make sure none of the Civil War reenactors seen earlier in the episode had been moonlighting. The answer was no moonlighting. GAC recorded the ghost of a real Civil War soldier.
Lynne Olson can be contacted for private readings via email at: email@example.com
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