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what I've captured on film...


In our many visits to Gettysburg, we've taken rolls and
rolls of film. Recently, because of an 'anomaly' I noticed
in one of our pictures from a trip in August, 2004, I began
to have a closer look at the past 13 years of photos, using
the scanner, enlarging and brightening some that I think
have presented some fairly remarkable results.

Here are my 'captures' of what may...or may not be...ghosts.

This is the Weikert farm. The front yard has a rock engraved
with the initials of David Acheson, who was buried at this
spot on the second day's fighting. But what I caught here
I believe, is a pale little ghost girl on a log.

Here she is, a bit bigger.

...and for those of you who are having a hard time making out
her pigtailed, clapping form straddling the log, here it is outlined
for you. (I believe there are civilian spirits left at the farms where
they lived, in the town they knew before Gettysburg became
synonymous with war and sacrifice, and the horror it brings.)


We recently stayed at the Lightner Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast.
I snapped shots of the breezeway connecting the main house with
the private Walnut Cottage, which is where we stayed. Later, I
noticed something in the foreground, standing in front of the
window. After enlarging this portion of the picture, I saw what
appeared to be a soldier, looking into the french doors, kepi
on his head, and a small horse or donkey beside him. I can
even see the bridle across its muzzle.

I've marked the image here.

Here is the an enlarged view of that breezeway, without the
soldier and his horse. Notice the perfectly straight line of
the door frame
, where seconds before, there was a figure breaking
its sheer edge. Nothing there now....


Visiting General Mead's headquarters at the Leister house on the
Taneytown Road, I snapped a picture of the kitchen inside, and
was amazed by this strange formation of moving globes of light
(ghosthunters would call these 'orbs' or spirit energy).

A fascinating closer look at what now appear to be 'haloed' balls
of moving light, coming from the ceiling area.


The 'Triangular Field' is famous for paranormal activity.
Here is a picture of me leaning against a tree at the upper
edge of the field, and look at the area I've marked--- what
or WHO
is that, gray and in the distance? When this photo
was shot, there was not a soul in sight. (That we could see.)

Closer view of this gray apparition...


On a beautiful fall day, I was struck by the sight of Wayne
walking in the National Park along Brooke Avenue that runs
behind the Rose Farm. There was no one around us...
yet here in the picture, up ahead, and almost in front of
the monument-- there is the faint blue of a caped man.

Here is that tiny fellow, enlarged.

See the definite blue of his flying cape. (Note: the caped greatcoat
was part of the Civil War, Union soldier's winter uniform.) In fact,
there is a bronzed figure of a soldier in full winter gear,
not farther than a quarter mile behind Wayne, and it's always been
a mystery as to why the sculptor would have chosen such
a depiction in commemoration of a battle fought in the
brutal heat of 3 days in July of 1863.


Sorry to say, I do not recall exactly where this was taken on the
field, but this is a picture of my son, Matt, standing at a
dead tree -- showing a bit of the impressive diabase boulders
that can be found almost everywhere on the Gettysburg
battlefield. (Take note of the small area of the rock that I've marked.)

When enlarged and 'righted', it looks like a fallen soldier. See the
details of bed roll, straps....even a flag pole with furled banner
wrapped tightly around it. You'll find the soldier's head and
face almost midpoint down the picture, next to his bed roll.

I've taken this picture, resolved to black and white, and overlaid
it on one of the famous 'death studies' captured by early
photographer, Alexander Gardner. It shows confederate fallen
in the fields of the Rose Farm. LOOK AT THE SIMILARITY....

IS THIS A ROCK? Absolutely. But I ask myself...if spirits
can materialize in smokey ectoplasm, why not manifest just as
readily as suggestions of the fallen in the variegated surfaces
and planes of the native diabase so plentiful in Gettysburg?

I believe they reach out to us... in many ways... in many forms.


Finally, six short miles from Gettysburg, in Emmitsburg, Maryland,
we visited St. Anthony's Cemetery. A historic site, and the
original burial place of St. Elizabeth Seton. I believe
I've capture a true spirit here in bluish ectoplasm.

......and a closer image of this one. Looks like he's
standing stiffly at attention.

I hope you've enjoyed these photos. Sometimes, you snap the
shutter, and see so much more than what is seen with the naked eye. (At least, I do.)


Here are four 'captures' of the Gettysburg 'Battlecam', which
is operative during daylight hours every day, focused on Seminary
Ridge, where the first day's fighting occurred. Wayne and I
check in periodically, just to look at the field we love, to catch
it in all types of weather, in every season. During the fall
of 2003, on an afternoon in November, Wayne emailed a picture
he'd saved from the battlecam. He took another shot nearly an
hour later for comparison. Note the glowing 'figure' that appears
at the bottom right of the picture, but not in the picture
taken nearly 60 minutes afterward.

We continued to check in, and sure enough, the 'figure' that
manifested on November 4th, looks eerily like a man with arm
upraised, leading his fellow soldiers in a charge. He appeared
in those bright rays or flames again on November 10th.

I don't know what this is. Perhaps a defect on the lens that
is only captured in magnified light at a particular time
of day, in specific weather conditions. However~ note
that the camera is in a fixed position. If it's the lens that's
flawed, why would the figure appear different distances from
the edge of the page? Yet another Gettysburg curiosity.
You may want to check out the
Battlecam yourself now and
again...if only to see the lovely, tragic rolling hills of a truly
haunting--and perhaps haunted piece of very special,
and sacred ground.


Back when Wayne and I started to visit the battlefield, it was
the very early 90's... the movie "Gettysburg" had not been made
... and the only ghost book on the shelves was Mark Nesbitt's very
first- a slim little thing we picked up out of curiosity because it seemed
so strange, tucked in there with Harry Pfanz and Coddington- and only
the Farnsworth House had anything paranormal being advertized
to the public. The whole wave of ghostly interest with its tourist
dollars was years yet from exploding- it was much more the
'sleepy little town' you hear described in historic accounts.

When we began to visit the field after dark, we did so because
of the peace to be found in those hours, not to be duplicated
during daylight. The town itself touted no 'ghost tours'- and
there was a preternatural quiet and the ability to reflect without
the bustle of tourists. (Now of course, you cannot get any sense
of what that was like at that time- the battlefield is rife with
flashlights and groups of 'ghost seekers'.)

This page is here because our one encounter happened when
we weren't seeking it out.........when it found us.

It happened not at Devil's Den, not at Little Round Top, but
what at that time was an overgrown, off-the-tourist-map, triangular
shaped field, just across the road from the top of Devil's Den and
extending down to a creek. It was a moonless night. It seemed
as though we were the only ones in the park, which was black
as tar as we drove past the Wheatfield where Wayne's great
grandfather had lost his thumb in the second day's battle. We
used to enjoy parking at the 'Maelstrom of Death' roadside
plaque and walking up through the tall grass to the cannons
on top, to stare up at Orion. It was always a beautiful view.

That night there were footsteps.

We'd separated a bit. I lingered at the cannons, and Wayne
went walking toward the stony hill, trying to retrace his great
grandfather's troop movements. He told me later in the car,
that for every step he took, answering steps moved just off in
front of him. He'd move......the footsteps would shuffle with him.
Wayne suggested we go back to the car, feeling uneasy in such
total darkness, and quite frankly afraid there might be someone
-very human- actually following us.

As we approached the car, we heard from inside the wooden
fencing on the opposite side of the road, in an area completely
impassable with heavy brush, the sounds of crashing- and a
distinctly two-footed, fast running. It seemed impossible
that any man could run through the kind of dense terrain
we'd seen there that day, yet the sounds we heard were being made
not by deer, but a biped on the run. We were happy to be back in
the car and continued on to the Loop, where the 140th Pennsylvania
Volunteers, his great-grandfather's regiment, had their two monuments,
and last of all we drove up to Devil's Den and parked
just in front of the Ellis statue.

I remember how pitch dark it was when we got out, as we began
to cross the asphalt road toward the heavy, waist-high briars
-intent on finding the thin path we'd walked that very afternoon.
When we were just at the edge of the road and about to work our way
onto the path, there was an immediate sound of something coming
right at us, snorting- and for all the world sounding just the way
I imagine a boar would charging at you, with intent to gore.

Huffing, horrible, snorting sounds breaking through the
brush right in front of us! We could see nothing at all as the
sounds continued coming at us until it seemed no more than a few
feet away, and just as quickly- just as we thought the thing was
upon us- it stopped. I don't mean it faded away, or the thing
seemed to veer in another direction, I mean that ghastly sound
stopped dead. Though it seemed like a lifetime, it was no more
than 20 seconds in length- and we were terrified.

It was like someone turning off a television set. It made no sense-
and I had never been as frightened in my life. I honestly thought
we were about to be attacked by whatever it was, and killed.
We got right back n the car and returned to our hotel.

What do I think it was?

Well, I believe that moments loop; that cataclysmic moments
of great fear or panic hang there in time, and sometimes in just
the right circumstances, they play themselves again. I think
that's what happened to us that night- (and the only night anything
like that has ever occurred.) We were at the right place, at the
right time for its manifestation. I believe we heard soldiers
running at the double-quick- more than one hundred thirty
years before, on terrain that was not - at that time -
choked in brush.

And I believe the 'thing' we heard coming at us at the top of the
Triangular Field was a lung-shot horse fleeing the devastation
behind him as the Texans surged up the hill, shooting the Union
troops and the horses they mounted. I am a believer because I
heard it all one night in the early 90's long before Gettysburg
became steeped in paranormal thrill seekers, so that on a night
like so many others before it, when we'd take quiet rides and walks
on the field at night - and before the 'ghost boom'- it chose to show
itself - its panic - that horrible din.

And I also believe there was a long dead great-grandfather moving in the
furor we heard, who wanted to share with a blood-child he'd never
met in life - just for a moment - his own view 'of the elephant'.

Update: October 2010 East Cavalry Field

Wayne and I just returned from a 5 day trip to Gettysburg, in this,
our 19th yet of visiting. We broke off from the formal seminar group
we'd signed up for, and headed, just at dusk, to a place that is not
often visited by tourists. It's about 3 miles outside of the town,
and in that place on July 3rd, 1863, as the southern soldiers pounded
the Union lines with their famous cannonade, General Custer and his
mounted 'wolverines' were fighting furiously near the Rummel Farm, in
a place that was to become know as East Cavalry Field.

The flash on the camera did not go off, the evening was clear and dry,
and of 56 images from our trip, this.....

is the only photo with any type of 'anomaly'. Although I believe that most
orbs are indeed dust or water droplets, THIS ONE is so perfectly 'full moon'
bright and well-defined, the only one in the picture, I believe it's something
more than that, and I am reminded of the words used by Joshua Chamberlain
at the dedication of the 20th Maine memorial in Gettysburg in 1889:

"In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays.
Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger, to
consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men
and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we
know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were
suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to
ponder and dream; and lo! the shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap
them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls."

I remarked to Wayne while walking back to our car, "If I were Custer,
I'd haunt this place. Not Little Big Horn, where he died, it'd be here-
where he was victorious." We saw nothing out of the ordinary while
walking through that field of rustling, dried corn, but I do believe
that something saw us....and wanted us to know.

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My old friend 'Lycos Html Gear' is closing down its operations in April 2012,
but I've secured a new guestbook and transferred all existing entries into it.
Believe me~ it's been my biggest joy to read your comments, both good and
bad. It's the 'connection' that has meant so much to me over the years, and
as always...... I'm very curious................... "What did you see?"

Since its creation in 2004, this page is now closing in on a hundred thousand
views and its guestbook, over 100 comments. I'm very appreciative. There's
been a number of requests to look at your own photos or share your stories.
You can always email me at orphanpoet@gmail.com Like Motel 6, the light's
always on
. ~Thanks again.

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