Friday, October 23, 2009

More Haunted Civil War Places

I have to admit, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Just ask my kids! And even though the ghost stories are spooky and make my skin crawl, I'm still fascinated by them, so I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about a few other haunted places that were influenced by the War Between the States.

The Peidmont Hotel in Gainesville, Georgia belonged to General James Longstreet, or "Old Pete." After the war, he created controversy by becoming a Republican and holding posts under his former adversary, U. S. Grant. In his later years, he became a colorful eccentric, building terraces outside the hotel that looked like trenches. The locals called it "Little Gettysburg." He died in 1904, and since then, the hotel has gone through a number of changes, and is in the process of being renovated. It is said to host the general's spirit, as well as other unearthly beings. Items turn up missing, only to reappear later in another part of the building, and doors are rumored to open and close on their own.

Cashtown Inn eight miles west of Gettysburg was the site where Confederate officers met, and where the decision was made by General Lee to attack the Federals at Gettysburg. A mortally wounded soldier died on the second floor, and is believed to still wander the halls, dressed in a Confederate uniform. A local doctor claims he treated his comrade's wound, only to return the next day to find their campsite gone without a trace. Footsteps have been heard in the attic, things go missing, and the sounds of horses outside are but phantom imprints. Mysterious knocks on the doors when no one is there, and cold spots in the heat of summer also occur. Room #4 is reportedly the most haunted, and the favorite hangout of the Confederate soldier ghost.

Also at Gettysburg is the Thompson Farm. During the battle, wounded soldiers were taken to this farm on Seminary Ridge, which served as a field hospital. The dead were piled up in the barn's cellar, stacked on top of each other. Unbeknown to the stretcher bearers, a soldier at the bottom was still alive! Four days later, the corpses were slowly removed by the burial crew. They discovered the man on the bottom, who screamed in terror after his horrible ordeal. He died a few days later. In the late 1800's, the barn burned down, and a house was built in its place. The homeowners heard screams coming from the basement, and loud banging behind the cellar door. It wasn't until the house was blessed by a priest that the haunting finally stopped.

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