Pennsylvania boasts a wealth of history, culture, and ghostly encounters. In particular, the Farnsworth House Inn in Gettysburg stands out as a notorious haunted location. Once a Confederate stronghold during the Civil War, this hotel was witness to some of the most violent battles of the conflict. Today, it remains a popular attraction for those interested in both history and the paranormal, as visitors hope to catch a glimpse of the restless spirits still believed to wander the halls.
The History of the Farnsworth House Inn
In 1810, John McFarland, a prominent merchant and politician, constructed the Farnsworth House Inn. The inn was named in memory of Brigadier General Elon John Farnsworth, his son-in-law, who lost his life in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. The McFarland family resided in the house until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.
Confederate sharpshooters utilized the house as a strategic base to take aim at Union soldiers from the windows during the war. Positioned behind Confederate lines, the house offered an advantageous view of Cemetery Hill which served as the headquarters for the Union army. Additionally, the house was situated in close proximity to the location of Pickett’s Charge, the final and fatal assault of the Confederate army on July 3, 1863.
During the war, the house bore witness to the horrors of battle, as evidenced by the numerous bullet holes still visible in its walls today. The artillery fire also took its toll, and the roof was struck by a cannonball that crashed through to the attic. Tragically, many soldiers lost their lives on both sides, and the house stands as a haunting reminder of the toll of war.
The Hauntings of the Farnsworth House Inn
Following the war, the house exchanged hands several times before being transformed into a hotel in 1972. Since its conversion, the hotel has been a hub for countless reports of inexplicable phenomena, varying from minor disturbances to spine-chilling encounters. Among the most frequently reported experiences are:
- Hearing footsteps, voices, gunshots, and cannon fire, especially at night.
- Seeing apparitions of soldiers, women, children, and animals, both inside and outside the house.
- Feeling cold spots, breezes, touches, and tugs, as if someone or something is trying to get your attention.
- Smelling tobacco, perfume, food, and blood, as if the house is still alive with its past occupants.
- Having objects move, disappear, or appear out of nowhere, such as coins, jewelry, books, and toys.
- Witnessing electrical malfunctions, such as lights flickering, TVs turning on and off, and phones ringing with no one on the other end.
The hotel boasts several rooms that are said to be haunted. Here are a few examples:
- The McFarland Room, where guests have seen a woman in a white dress sitting on the bed, and heard a baby crying in the closet.
- The Sarah Black Room, where guests have felt a presence watching them from the corner, and heard a woman humming a lullaby.
- The Eisenhower Room, where guests have encountered a soldier in a gray uniform, who sometimes speaks to them or salutes them.
- The Jeremy Room, where guests have been awakened by a loud bang, and seen a young boy running across the room.
- The Garret Room, where guests have been scared by a dark figure that lurks in the shadows, and felt a heavy pressure on their chest.
If you’re looking for a spine-chilling adventure coupled with a historical connection, the Farnsworth House Inn is the perfect destination. This hotel is not for the faint of heart as it offers ghost tours, paranormal investigations, and exciting themed events like murder mysteries and Civil War reenactments. Not only that, but the hotel also boasts a restaurant, tavern, gift shop, and a museum where guests can dive deeper into the rich history and ghostly tales surrounding the house. The Farnsworth House Inn promises a unique and unforgettable experience that will give you goosebumps and unforgettable memories to cherish for a lifetime.
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