Haunted Lodgings: Farnsworth House Inn: Gettysburg, PA

Farnsworth House Inn

For anyone interested in history or the paranormal, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is a must visit.  For me, being enthralled with both of these topics, it was a much anticipated trip. The town is amazing! The movements of the Union and Confederate armies are recorded throughout the town and its surrounding hill, fields and woods.  Monuments, plaques and historical markers note each stage of the three day long battle. The markers, plaques and monuments are located not in a museum, or along some tame trail, but right on the very spots where the soldiers’ feet had tread almost one hundred and fifty years ago. The whole town is dedicated to keeping its history alive.

To that end, the current owners of the Farnsworth House Inn renovated the original portion of the building in the early 1970’s to best replicate how the house looked at the time of the Civil War.  They took care not to disturb the hundred plus bullet holes that pock the south facade of the building.  Each room in the inn has been named in honor of a local or national historic figure from that era.  Even the name of the inn is a nod to Union General Elon J. Farnsworth, who was killed in action on the last day of the battle.

The inn offers rooms in the original portion of the house, as well as newer rooms that open up onto the courtyard/garden area. Back when I booked a room at the inn, for my first visit to Gettysburg almost a decade ago, their website actually listed which rooms were considered haunted; that included most, if not all of the rooms in the main portion of the house.

I stayed in the Jennie Wade room, which is one of the newer rooms and not one that was noted as being haunted. However, a picture of me, taken by my travel companion, shows what many would consider to be an orb in the air above my head. I have since read that the spirit of Mary, a midwife who haunts the inn mourning the infant that she delivered stillborn, likes to visit the Jennie Wade room in addition to those rooms in the original house.

Other revenants who roam the halls of this lovely inn include a trio of Confederate sharpshooters in the garret, a distraught man carrying the body of a small child (who is believed to have been fatally struck by a horse drawn carriage), and a Confederate soldier who is seen carrying his mortally wounded comrade into the cellar, out of harm’s way.  The sightings in sections of the garret and basement were so disturbing and graphic that a guest room formerly in the garret was closed, and a section of the basement is kept locked.

The inn hosts ghost hunting visits, mourning theaters in the basement, mystery dinners, ghost tours and a seance room, to name just a few of their attractions. They also boast a bookstore that sells an extensive collection of Civil War books.  In the bookstore, you can also see the various paranormal photographs sent to the inn by guests and visitors.  The Farnsworth House Inn also has its own tavern, which can offer you liquid courage should the other spirits in the house prove too frightening for you! Their dining room is open for various meals to both guests and the public alike.

The Farnsworth House Inn’s website is a wonderful source of information, if you are interested: www.farnsworthhouseinn.com.