I visited Gettysburg yesterday and stayed until nightfall. Actually about midnight to be exact.
The town is amazing for those who never visited. Bullet holes still in buildings.. stories of the dead .. the museum. All of the historical implications of what would have happened if Pickett’s charge went another way, if General Lee didn’t lose, and if the South would have continued on its rebellious journey north, thus conquering Harrisburg and Pennsylvania.
After the darkness crept into the town, a new life abounds.. Physic readers. Outdoor restaurants. Ice cream shops in buildings once housing Northern troops firing rounds from the attics. And ghost tours. Lots of them. So many so that Gettysburg enacted an ordinance that the tour groups must stay 100 feet apart–something that the groups know but don’t overtly acknowledge.
Last night, during a ‘ghost tour,’ things got a bit weird. In my opinion, not for the typical reasons..
Without naming names, the ghost tour went a bit overboard, with the guide saying he was able to hear spirits instantly. So much so that each time he’d ask a spirit a question, his rods or gizmos, gadgets, or old fashioned mechanisms to speak to the dead would sound instantly and he’d be in communication, right off the bat, with the Union or Confederate soldiers walking about in the afterlife. It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but it was also shamefully dishonest. There is no ghost hunter, at least none who worth the salt of the earth, that would state he or she could conquest the spirit world that fast.
Case in point: As the tour was ending, around midnight (we went a little longer than expected) the guide got out the spirit box and began speaking German, stating that he thinks a German-born Union troop was following our group. He announced to the group that the spirit box conveyed a message in German to him, that it was time to turn back, and that the tour needed to end. Not a surprise, since it was beyond the paid time.
The part that perhaps struck me more than anything else is how people, without any doubt or skepticism, believed each word, each ‘voice,’ each story, and each spike in the EMF reader. Perhaps after dark is the best time to suspend skepticism.. But for me? I became more so, especially in the face of the reality before me. The ghost hunter in chief clearly was utilizing each trick in the book to keep the crowd enthused about frolicking in the Gettysburg battlefield talking to orbs–orbs that undoubtedly showed up on cameras due to flash photography. At one point, he mentioned that a past tour had an incident where a man was scratched. Minutes later, a man in my group claimed he was scratched. His wife, examining him in a little bit of fear, confirmed them. Although I did hear her at one point whisper, “that one was already there, but not the other one.”
I have no direct evidence that the man on the tour was making it up. The irony perhaps is that, only minutes before he claimed the paranormal hurt his physical body, I was announcing to the air that I wanted to be scratched. Touched. Yelled out. Pushed.. anything-ed. I was asking for divine intervention, spirit world entities to talk to me, and some form of an afterlife to prove to me that it’s real.. that this whole ‘life’ thing is only a step in an eventual development of the soul.
I got nothing.
Even with my taunting, the haunting never showed.
But the nice man feet away from me writhed in pain.
While I didn’t have my paranormal experience I desired, I had a vision of how quickly the paranormal hucksters that exist in this world get by, get famous, and get people to believe them. And believe anything–anything including ‘instant gratification’ responses to questions.
At the end of the tour, the guide asked the group: “Is Gettysburg haunted?” I did not answer, as no direct proof abounded.
That not to say it’s not–very believable, rational, and astute people I know have told me of strange frequencies that run through the town. Perhaps my ambition to meet and greet a spirit led them away from me.. Maybe they were turned off by my demands. Or maybe they gave me a warning, scratching the man next to me to show me how much worse I’d get one of they went through with it..
All fair game.
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The Gettysburg excursion was excellent–as it always is when you go. The ghost tour left me a little more doubtful of the paranormal than I was before I went in.
But the rescue came on the drive home when my friend and I turned on the DARK MATTER RADIO NETWORK just in time to hear THE CHASE blast from the Desert in Nevada, with Art Bell’s voice resounding through the night. The show had no topic, but instead ran with open lines–and one of the best Bell shows developed since he came back to the air in July. He had a special line for people who made deals with the devil. And he was inundated with calls. People who sounded unbelievable, believable, and even creepy.
Gettysburg’s paranormal tour left me feeling a bit down about the netherworld. Art Bell rescued the night with deals with the devil, tales from the crypt thanks to live radio in the middle of the night.
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And that reminded me, it’s the end of August..
The beginning of September is arriving.
October around the corner.
This is the best time of year, with the next three months of time being, in my opinion, the most amazing, strange, and paranormal-feeling of the year.
Maybe another trip to Gettysburg is in order–with some investigation on my own without guides to misguide. But I’ll make sure it’s on another Friday–that way I can get the paranormal fix on the way home courtesy of MIDNIGHT IN THE DESERT.