GETTYSBURG, Pa. — While some look for thrills in haunted house attractions during the spooky season, others seek the scare of a real paranormal experience.
For those interested in the paranormal, South Central Pennsylvania is full of historical places with creepy stories and possible ghosts.
With a history that dates back to the 1600s, Pennsylvania brims with historic sites known to have some ghost stories attached to them.
Gettysburg is one of those places with the Battle of Gettysburg, fought from July 1 through 3, 1863.
The conflict took place in and around the town between the Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The Battlefield Farmhouse on Baltimore Pike sits on part of the main battlefield.
“A lot of people died here [because] this was used as a Union field hospital," Patrick, the lead investigator for the Gettysburg Paranormal Association said. "On the second day of battle, it was extra gory here. "[It was] bloody and awful for the people here and a lot of energy might have been left from all the suffering and people passing away. Bodies were actually buried on the property."
The farmhouse is now part of the Gettysburg Ghost Tours, organized by the Gettysburg Paranormal Association.
“We mainly focus on the mass grave, which is way behind the house," Patrick went on. "Indoors we do a lot investigating right around the surgery area where they’d be performing the amputations."
The farmhouse is now used for ghost hunting. The first floor of the farmhouse, where the surgery room was located, is said to be the most active location.
“The doors open and close by themselves," Patrick said. "We can hear footsteps, sometimes, above us on different floors, when we’re under them. We’ve heard disembodied voices, people asking for help, saying they’re lost, stuck. People asking for water."
It is said the farmhouse is mainly haunted by the spirits of soldiers who died in the battle.
“Primarily we’ll contact soldiers, as so many passed away in town, but from time to time we will get civilian spirits," Patrick said.
They’re able to communicate with spirits through gadgets used in ghost tracking.
“We use electromagnetic detectors [and] motion sensor flashlights," Patrick explained. "We can lay them down, when we get to a place where we don’t need to move around a lot, to see if something can move."
Whether you’re a skeptic or believer in the supernatural, paranormal investigators say the experience makes it worth visiting Gettysburg this time of year.
“People just feel creepier during Halloween," Patrick said. "They want to get a little bit more in touch with spiritual stuff. Halloween’s a great time to go to Gettysburg to do that."