It was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. There were over 50,000 casualties during the 3-day Battle of Gettysburg, of which over 7,000 lost their lives. Many say that the fallen still haunt the town, roaming the streets and buildings lost in perpetual purgatory.
It is no wonder, then, that Gettysburg is known as one of the most haunted towns in America. As a result, several fascinating ghost tours have been created where visitors to these hallowed grounds can hear the tortured stories and maybe even encounter the deceased.
As you walk the streets of Gettysburg with your guides, you will get a sense of the tumultuous battle, feel the grief of the residents who were caught in the crossfire, and get the feeling that you are not alone.
Here are seven of the best haunted ghost tours in Gettysburg that will leave you with goosebumps, have the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and make you a believer.
1. Gettysburg Ghost Tours And Gettysburg Paranormal Association
A true family-friendly spooky tour awaits you when you book an outing with the Gettysburg Ghost Tours And Gettysburg Paranormal Association (GPA).
GPA offers 14 candlelit walks down the streets, back allies, and cemeteries of the town. It is all brought to life by the GPA’s master storytellers, merging the strange sightings of townspeople and tourists with incredible historical facts.
If you have ever wanted to take part in an actual ghost hunt, the GPA offers three tours where you can experience paranormal activity ranging from less terrifying, family-friendly hunts to the extreme ghost hunt that takes you to former field hospitals, abandoned farmhouses, and many more locations sure to make you a believer. You can view clips and stories from GPA’s hunts online.
Pro Tip: Ghost tours and hunts occur every day, rain or shine, but get your tickets early! GPA is nationally famous due to its appearances on the Travel Channel and SyFy so tickets are scooped up early. Purchase them online.
2. Ghostly Images Of Gettysburg
Ghostly Images of Gettysburg on Baltimore Street offers many different tour options for those brave enough to venture out.
Ghostly Images has three traditional walking tours including visits to the Jennie Wade House, the site of the only civilian death of the battle, as well as tours of the children’s orphanage dungeon where a cruel head mistress tortured misbehaving children. It also explores the oldest house in the city, the Dobbins House, once used as a field hospital. In fact, the red door on the front of the building was used as an operating table. Spooky, huh?
You can visit even more spooky haunts and hear other ghostly tales when you ride along the Ghostly Images bus tour. The bus tours are 2 hours long and are offered throughout the summer and fall.
Make your reservations early by purchasing tickets online.
3. Sleepy Hollow Ghost Tour
A unique destination for ghost lovers is the historic Farnsworth House recognized as one of the most haunted inns in America.
Built in 1810, Farnsworth is a beautiful bed and breakfast with an outdoor beer garden and dining area. It includes fine dining in the main dining rooms and bedrooms eloquently decorated with period furnishings such as lace-topped canopy beds and bathrooms with high-tank Victorian toilets, pull chains, and claw-foot tubs and showers.
Several of the rooms have had paranormal activity reported, most notably the Sara Black Room, which is reportedly the most haunted in the house.
The Farnsworth offers several walking tours including the Yankee Spirits Walking Tour, a nightly 90-minute stroll down Gettysburg’s Baltimore Street to various haunted locations with storytellers telling tales of the departed. And don’t forget the truly frightening Tormented and Lost Souls Tour. It is not for children as the guide retells bone-chilling tales of death, murder, and ghostly encounters.
A favorite “haunt” (forgive the pun) for visitors to Gettysburg is Farnworth’s Haunted Cellar Presentation. Here, period-dressed storytellers bring the history of Farnsworth alive, as well as the house’s past residents who still live there, if you can call it living.
Tickets for the Haunted Cellar Presentation should be purchased online. The owners remind you that since the Farnsworth is a working bed and breakfast, some areas of the house may not be accessible on certain dates. You can also make your reservations to spend a night at the Farnsworth online.
4. Civil War Ghosts
Up to 12 historic — and haunted — sites are visited in one of two ghost walks presented by Civil War Ghosts.
These tours are short in length but guaranteed to leave you believing. The first tour is an hour long and travels approximately 1 mile. The extended tour is 90 minutes long and covers 1.5 miles.
Be sure to rent one of the tour’s EMF (Electromagnetic Field) detectors to bring along with you and know when there is paranormal activity near you.
Group sizes are limited, so plan on ordering tickets plenty of time before your trip.
5. After Dark Investigations
Have you ever watched the TV series Ghost Hunters or Kindred Spirits and wondered about the amazing gadgets they use to investigate paranormal behavior? Now you can try those gadgets out with an After Dark Investigations tour.
After Dark purposely keeps groups small so there is no waiting in line. You’ll get more personal guidance from your tour guide on using investigative gear such as K2 meters, EVP voice recorders to catch audio from the spirits, laser grids, and more while you explore some of the most haunted destinations in Gettysburg.
6. Battlefield Paranormal Excursions
Another Gettysburg ghost tour that allows you to become a paranormal investigator is Battlefield Paranormal Excursions (BPE).
Once again, BPE keeps their group size small, no more than 10 per tour. They allow you to use their investigative gear — EVP recorders, K2 meters, etc. — to capture your own evidence of paranormal activity.
Each tour is 2 hours long and, depending on the location they choose to investigate the night of your visit, they may cover up to two different haunted sites.
To make reservations, call BPE. They do take walk-ins but it’s cash or PayPal only.
7. Mark Nesbitt’s Ghosts Of Gettysburg Candlelight Walking Tours
This is the tour that starts many on their Gettysburg ghost hunting trip — the Ghosts of Gettysburg Candlelight Walking Tour.
The Ghosts of Gettysburg Candlelight Walking Tour is based on Mark Nesbitt’s hit series of books of the same name, also made into a series on the History Channel.
Period-costumed storytellers lead you down the dark back alleys of Gettysburg to hear frightening tales and maybe see some unexplained activity. One story that haunts me from the books — and it’s included on some of the tours — occurred at the Pennsylvania College Prep School, the story of Blue Boy.
A young boy was fleeing from the abuse inflicted upon him at a local orphanage. It was a bitterly cold, snowy night. Some of the girls at the college felt sorry for the boy and hid him in their room.
Every night, the head mistress would head room to room checking on the girls. When she would approach their room, the girls hid the boy on a snowy ledge outside their window.
One night after inspecting their room, the girls went to bring the boy back in but all they found on the ledge was a pair of snowy footprints. The boy had disappeared. Today, people claim to see the eerie, ghostly blue face of the boy outside the college’s windows. Sometimes the words “help me!” can be seen scrawled in the frosty windows.
Take a Ghost of Gettysburg tour — either the Baltimore or Carlisle Street tours — and maybe you will see the legendary Blue Boy. Or, visit a Civil War hospital where caretakers traveled down an elevator to the basement to see the ghostly apparitions of the hospital while still in operation!
Ghosts of Gettysburg also offers a self-guided tour where you can visit these locations on your own and at your own speed.
Pro Tips: Gettysburg Ghost Tours
All haunted walking tours in Gettysburg are held rain or shine unless it’s severe weather, so dress accordingly. Please visit the site’s websites for any changes in scheduling.
Many of the tours take you down cobblestoned back alleys and the footing is uneven. Use caution and be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.
If you have younger children, you may want to check with your guides before taking a tour with them. Some of these tales could bring on nightmares.
Pennsylvania has so much to offer, including: