The last time History Channel and Co. dealt with the battle of Gettysburg, it did not involve ghosts, yet it was still pretty scary. This Friday, on the new series revamp of Haunted History on H2, they will be dealing with a town that I believe to be one of the most haunted in the world. While I have been there about ten times, and will be visiting again in mid-August for my annual trip, I personally have never experienced anything on countless battlefield walks, some even by myself in complete solitude. Not one of the thousands of pictures I have taken, both with real film and digitally, on cameras or cell-phones, has any kind of anomaly whatsoever—not even an orb. Now, this could be that I have just not looked hard enough, because my visits to the battlefield have strictly been to take in the history and scenery. On my next visit, though, I will keep a more ghostly eye out, since I have now seen every square inch of the area, and I can devote some time to scanning with my Ghost Radar, or trying to capture some EVP’s. The only time I was ever on the field at night was an ill-fated (and quite ridiculous) visit to supposedly haunted Sachs Bridge, which of course, resulted in absolutely nothing.
All this nothingness has befell me after watching countless specials, mind you, on ghosts of Gettysburg, such as an episode of the original Haunted History series, and an eerie segment on Unsolved Mysteries. Perhaps the power of suggestion really isn’t that strong, if you have a clear enough mind. My goal is to do some investigating when I go in August, and try to get onto the battlefield at night. Yes, I may even try Sachs Bridge again, and I am almost tempted to go on one of those ghost tours I said I would never go on, just so I can write about it when I get back to the hotel.
Anyway, let’s get back to the show that is airing on this coming Friday, at 10pm. I am both nervous and excited, mainly because the commercial advertising the episode already contained an inaccuracy. In trying to play up the carnage experienced on the three fateful days of July, 1863, the caption notes that there were “51,000 dead”. This is obviously and astronomically false. In reality, the number of dead soldiers combined for both sides was closer to 8,000. The 51,000 number is of the total casualties experienced, which include killed, wounded, and missing in action. Simple mistake or intentional exaggeration? One would think that 8,000 dead as the result of brother-Americans slaughtering each other would have been dramatic enough. According to H2, the episode synopsis is as follows:
Hundreds of witnesses have encountered the paranormal in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania making it one of the most haunted towns in America; but who are these spirits, and what do they want us to know about the bloodiest battle ever fought on North American soil? Ghosts of soldiers roaming the battlefield and town open our eyes to a series of unexplained phenomena that neither begin nor end with the Civil War. Ominous sightings reveal the true stories behind four locations all connected by one battle; a troubled orphanage, a Confederate field hospital, the battlefield and the house where the lone civilian was shot down during the Battle of Gettysburg. Spirits from a bygone era at last tell the true history of the Battle of Gettysburg.
This does sound quite interesting, though there will be nothing groundbreaking here. Probably the same stories of the “phantom” regiment which marches on the battlefield, many mistaking it for a group of reenactors. Then there is the spirit of a dead Texas cavalry soldier who supposedly speaks to people at Devil’s Den. I hope I run into him, because I’m sure my good friend Patrick Gorman could use the information to add to his General Hood persona. There are also the other famous tales, one of mysterious blue lights atop seminary ridge, and people who have heard the sound of cannons and gunfire. These stories really get the blood pumping, so I hope they will keep the hysteria to a manageable level.