For the first time since moving to South Central PA I took my family out to Gettysburgh to tour the battlefield as my parent's did with me. I also wanted to do a bit of ghost hunting. Which my parent's did not do with me.
When it began to get dark, we snuck in the last few photos of the Confederate "Sharpshooter" in the Devil's Den. Unfortunately my photos all came out very dark, too dark to see. I even illuminated the area with my 1 million candlepower flashlight to no avail, the pictures are almost black. There is a legend that the young man who was dragged to this site and photographed has a special "feeling" for photographers. Cameras notoriously don't work. This was an omen of things to come. On we decided to go to Spangler's Spring.
When we arrived we were all alone. Back far from the parking area is the port-o-pots. I needed to go and asked for volunteers to join me. My son Alex, who was 8 at the time, bravely volunteered. As we walked towards the woods, it was pitch black. I turned on the night vision feature of my video camera and we walked on (We also carried those chemical lights you break and mix together for light). We got to the bathroom, nothing happened, except another car pulled up so we headed back. As we were walking back these other people were merely taking pictures of the spring area and then immediately looking at their camera's screen, there was nothing but flashes going off and loud laughing. My son and I figured this area was now ghost free with all of this action going on (This type of behaviour is so inconsiderate). Later we watched the film and saw hundreds of light anomalies on the screen - orbs - if you will. In my opinion, the "orbs" were the bugs we were kicking up while we were walking through the brush. I don't buy into the theory that orbs are ghosts, I think they are dust reflection or bugs. As I was walking around to my wife Dennise's side of the truck, before I opened the door, I smelled a very strong scent of coffee boiling. It smelled wonderful. I took notice of where the other people were and the wind was blowing away from us and determined the smell was not coming from them. It was too strong. There are no fast food joints nearby either. Later while reading about the battle, I learned this area was used by the Union as a camp. Perhaps I was smelling an aroma that was 160 years old? Later I spoke with my wife about it and she smelled the exact same thing and she thought she was crazy. On we went to our final stop, the Culp's Hill tower.
We arrived at the tower, I parked closest to the exit for my daughter's sake, I backed into the spot and the tower was well lit with a streetlight to the left. The Explorer faced the tower. It was completely in view, it was very windy probably a good 20 knot westerly breeze. For October it was very warm. It was a gorgeous night. I started to go towards the tower but my son was a little apprehensive. I took a vote. Since his sister Caitlin did not want to go up, he decided to go along with me and keep me company. We climbed the stairs and reached the top and the wind was blowing very hard. I started recording. I was paying attention to the horizon, my son was paying attention to our ghost friend. He asked me if I heard something. I had not. He then described for me what it sounded like (This is what I have on the tape.) What it sounded like and what is on the tape is a banging on the railing of the tower. You can hear it clearly on the recording. Since I did not hear it then, I switched off the camera (BIG MISTAKE) and then proceeded to knock 3 times- it responded in kind 3 times. I knocked three times again. Again it responded 3 times. We then heard footsteps walking across the floor of the tower, boots on metal, I turned but nothing was where we were standing. I then knocked 3 times but used my ring to make it louder. I repeated this but no reply. In fact that was all the ghostly fun we would have. We waited a few moments and nothing it stopped. After looking down the stairway to see if it was clear, we headed down to the ground. I noticed the accent lighting go off in the Explorer, as if somebody just opened and shut the door. It was at this time that I felt we were being had. So we walked down and headed towards the truck.
I opened the truck and my wife was talking nonstop and my daughter was white as a sheet. I looked at them both and said ok, you got us, it was really funny, now tell us the truth, did you do it? They said no. I asked them again, because now I was nervous because the whole time I thought it was them! They answered no once again and my daughter begged me to leave. Then without having discussed it, my wife said they heard footsteps and they heard banging. My daughter and son later said they heard moaning. There was nobody else on that tower but us. I parked intentionally so we could see the entire tower and we easily could. You cannot climb on and stay on top of the tower either. Especially that night, the wind was blowing way too hard. My wife and daughter swear they didn't make a sound, and the light I saw go off in the truck was when Caitlin got out to yell to us "VERY FUNNY!" because they thought we were messing with them. Based on timing, I figured the ghost stopped when he saw/heard my daughter.
As I mentioned I have part of this on tape. You can distinctly hear a banging on metal. None of us made the sound it is completely other worldly. I was a sceptic before but now I am an absolute believer, there are such things as ghosts. And I plan on getting one visibly on tape one day. To have this happen is simply mindblowing. It may not be worthy of a movie, but I can tell you when you hear things that you can't explain it is so awesome. I believed my whole life that ghosts don't exist and to tell you the truth, I am still skeptical of mediums and the lie. Talking with them at will, I don't believe it. But there are spirits out there and thankfully we had a playful one!
Story submitted by Rick Brown
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