A woman who resides in Hanover, about 16 miles East of Gettysburg, gave me a very interesting story about a house in Gettysburg on Baltimore Street. She had grown-up in this house back in the 1930’s and 40’s and this house was her home for 25 years.
I first met Anna in the year 2000. Anna, a very bright and talkative woman in her eighties, had very vivid memories of those early years in Gettysburg. She could remember the names of her friends and their addresses. The teachers that she had throughout her school days, the stores she had shopped in and even the names of the shopkeepers.
Happy times were her favorite memories. Playing games with friends, hikes around the battlefield, birthday parties, Christmas festivities were some of her remembrances. A big smile would cross her face when she spoke of boyfriends and romance stories.
Some of the conversations were more sullen and sad as she talked about Gettysburg during World War II. The war efforts in town, the boys that went off to war, and the ones that did not return. Fortunately for Anna, her two brothers had returned after serving three years in the Navy.
All these stories occupied a lot of the time that I spent in Anna’s company. One day, however, I learned that there were other stories of a much more sinister nature. I had recently started a new job as a Ghost Storyteller in April 2001 when I again saw Anna. She wanted to know what I had been doing and when I told her of my new job, she got a look upon her face of deep thought. After a moment or two, she asked if I really believed in ghosts? When I answered yes–she opened up with a whole new story of Gettysburg.
The house that she had grown up in was definitely–HAUNTED. From her earliest recollection, she knew that someone else resided in the home with her family. On more than one occasion during dinner as the family of six (Mom, Dad, Anna, her younger sister Betty and two older brothers, Al and Jim) gathered around the table, they knew they were not alone. A cold sensation would be felt and an incoherent voice of a man holding a conversation with an unseen companion could be heard. During one evening meal the conversation turned into an argument as the voice got louder and louder. It came to an abrupt end as a thud was heard on the table. An unseen fist must have struck the table in anger, hard enough that Anna heard her silverware rattle and saw the water in her glass ripple.
After that episode, the coldness was not felt for over a month and no voice was heard. It appeared that finally there was peace in the realm of the Spirits. But alas, the peace did not last. Day after day, week after week for over a year or more the coldness returned followed by the voice. Then one day, the fight broke out again. After that, the cycle would continually repeat itself over and over again.
The staircase was another area of concern if you wished to avoid the spirits of the house. Randomly, the family members experienced the sound of either a child or a woman’s soft footsteps coming down the stairs at a rather hurried pace. If you happened to be on the stairs at the time you would sometimes smell the aroma of flowers trailing behind. Anna said that after the first few encounters she became used to this visit from the other side, but you could never adjust to what would happen late at night. Like clockwork at approximately 11:00 PM, heavy footsteps would be heard coming through the front door and slowly deliberately pound it’s way up the stairs to the second floor. The journey was sometimes accompanied by a man’s low-pitched voice–but what did it say? Every member of the family heard the voice, but only Albert thought he could make out what was being said. “I am home and you had better be here!” If that wasn’t unnerving enough, the slamming of a heavy door would be heard just after the footsteps reached the top of the staircase. No door was ever seen slamming but that sound certainly got the attention of all that heard it.
Many other unexplained activities took place and were experienced by Anna and the other family members. Lights going on or off, items disappearing and returning days later. The windows sometimes would open but never close. Anna said there were times when her covers would be pulled off the bed. The family grew as accustomed as possible to these spirited activities, but there was one area in the house that frightened everyone…
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