Category Archives: Gettysburg

Revisiting Gettysburg’s Ghosts – Devil’s Den

Ghost soldiers of Gettysburg
The original photograph. Notice the white figure in the background center portion of the frame.

In podcast # 16, Jon Sumple and I talked about the five most “haunted” spots on the Gettysburg battlefield. One of those places was Devil’s Den, and I mentioned a photograph I had taken in that area. The photograph, which was taken with a NIKON film camera, clearly shows an apparitional form that appears to be walking through the woods.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share this photograph and go into more detail about it. While walking through the huge boulders in Devil’s Den on that particular day, I was compelled to walk into the wooded area to the south of where the heavy fighting took place on July 2, 1863. I felt a profound sense of peace in this area, and my intuition told me to take a photograph of what was in front of me. I did, not thinking much of it, as I continued to enjoy this particular location’s peaceful ambiance.

Ghost soldiers of Gettysburg
Close up of white figure in photo. Notice the hat, long garment and bag.

When I developed the film, I noticed something strange in one of the images and knew immediately it didn’t belong there. When I looked closer, I could see a luminescent white figure and knew I had captured something paranormal in nature. At first glance, it looked like a figure of a person walking with some type of satchel or small suitcase in one hand. This “person” also appeared to be wearing a hat and a dress, which made me surmise that it was a woman.

I immediately went about trying to find some historical context for the photograph. Why would a woman be walking in a field with a bag? If it was during the time of the battle, why would a woman be in the field at all? What I learned was both enlightening and exciting as it applied to the strange photograph.

Ghost soldiers of Gettysburg
The huge boulders that define Devil’s Den. The wooded area in the background is where I took the photograph.

During the Battle of Gettysburg, at night when the fighting had subsided, nurses and doctors would search the fields for wounded soldiers in need of assistance. They usually held a lantern in one hand and a bag full of medicines (satchel) in the other. At Gettysburg, the carnage was so great that wounded men often lay where they fell for days before receiving any help.

I now had a reference point from which to objectively quantify the photograph. Women, and nurses in particular, did indeed walk on the battlefield during lulls in the fighting, and they would most certainly have been overwhelmed with strong emotions as they performed their grisly tasks as caregivers among some of the greatest bloodletting ever manifested on American soil.

Ghost soldiers of Gettysburg
Now available for purchase. Click the image to get your copy.

On the other hand, many generations of people, including Native Americans, lived and died on this land over the course of time without having been witness to the horrors of war. From an objective standpoint, the apparitional form in the photograph could be anyone from any number of time periods. However, considering the history of this specific location and the details in the photo, it seems more likely that this could be an energy imprint from the actual battle (or its immediate aftermath).

I’ll be sharing more stories, and photographs, from our book, Ghost Soldiers of Gettysburg, in the coming weeks and months. The book is now available for purchase, so click here to get your copy today.