Gettysburg: From Battlefield to Ghost Tours


In July 2005 my family was on a road trip, and we happened to be in Pennsylvania. What do you do while in Pennsylvania? Especially when it is the 4th of July weekend? For us, it was an easy question to answer. First, you go to Philadelphia and see the Liberty Bell. Isn’t that on everyone’s wish list of things to see? We spent a few hours there, and I truly need to go back and see so much more. But the second thing we did would be the most important to me, and that is visit Gettysburg. With a love for history, it only makes sense that I needed to see these places. With a short amount of time, we were only able to see Gettysburg at night. What would you do with an evening in Gettysburg and no plans? You probably guessed what we did: We went on a ghost tour.


Now, not to make light of horrific battle, but our ghost tour guide was actually a historian and had wrote a few books on Gettysburg and the Civil War. To be honest, he literally walked our group up and down an alley, pointed to each house and told us the story of the family that had lived there, how they contributed to the battle, and what ghost was supposedly haunting the current building.


As a family historian, genealogist, and history lover, I enjoyed the tour and how graphic our tour guide was in his description. I could actually picture the blood soaked lawns and see the injured soldiers in my mind. As for the ghost tour, it is a goofy way to get people to visit and make money. Our family likes to watch all the ghost shows, and I love it more when they visit the older historic places. I just wish this tour could have given us some type of ghoulish outcome to make you feel that the place is haunted.


Unfortunately, we were not able to stay the night and see everything in the daylight. I do hope to get back there one day and really be able to visit the area.


Obviously, the ghost tour is a bit of an odd story for Military Week at IDG, but the point is that these places are there for us to visit, in any capacity. For a bit of fun, to scare the family, or in all seriousness to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors.


Is there a place you have been to walk in the footsteps of your family?





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