Haunted Histories 4 Part 1: Gettysburg: Farnsworth House Inn

Let me start out by saying I had every intention to only do one post for my number 4 Haunted Location: Gettysburg, but I feel that it would be better suited broken into 2.

It’s been almost 10 years since by husband (at the time we were just dating) and I went to Gettysburg. I had been there before with my family, but it was his first time visiting. On a whim, while googling places to stay I came across the website for the Farnsworth House Inn. Touted as one of the most haunted inns in Gettysburg, I was immediately interested and easily talked him into staying there. See, I’m the kind of person who believes in most things until they are proven otherwise but my husband is the complete opposite. For him, he is a skeptic first and foremost until he sees it for himself. This is probably how I get him to go along with all of my crazy ideas.

For this trip I booked us in the Custer Room, which is located outside of the main house with its own private entrance. At the time, I also booked two different ghost tours through their website. I’ll be detailing the first ghost tour in the 2nd post.

 

Inside the Custer Room

On night two, we were supposed to go on a walking tour of the battlefields but due to extensive rain the conditions kept us from continuing onto the walking part of the tour. Instead, they took us into the Farnsworth House basement where they told us stories of the property. The guide was very knowledgeable about the location, and the stories were extremely interesting. I hung on every word that was spoken until all of a sudden I felt pressure on my legs. I leaned over to tell my husband what I was feeling but I  just tried to play it off as dampness in the air. That was until the guide made mention of the spirit of a child that liked to sit on people’s laps in the basement. I couldn’t believe that more than one person had experienced the same odd sensation that I was feeling.

As the story of the child continued, the guide stated that he liked to move objects in the rooms as well; that if you left a quarter in one place you would find it on the bed. I was intrigued, and instantly wished we had left some change or something out on the nightstand to see if it would be moved when we returned.

Around 10:00 we made our way back outside and up to our room. I decided to wash my face, and when I looked at my hand I was missing my ring that I knew I had on when we left the room earlier. The ring had fit snuggly around my finger so I knew it didn’t just fall off, but I started to panic. I asked my husband if he saw it when we went to the basement and he said that not only did he see it, but had felt it on my hand. The entrance to the basement was on the outside of the house and since it had rained almost nonstop, there had been a giant puddle at the bottom of the steps. In order to make it over without falling into the water (which I am more than capable of doing) I grabbed onto his hand to make sure I made it over, and it was here that he noticed that I was wearing it.

Not wanting to wait till the morning to try to find the ring, we started out the door to retrace our steps. I turned to make sure that we had the room key, and across the floor something shiny caught my eye. I went over to it, and there behind the leg of a luggage holder was my ring on the floor. Now the first reaction would be It fell off of my hand, but the floor was tile and we would’ve heard it hit then roll to where it lay. I was relieved that we had found it, and I was anxious to get a good night’s sleep before having drive back home the next day.

But, as fate would have it a peaceful night’s sleep was not to be had. At about 2 am, I woke to the feeling of an icy hand grasping my shin. To this day, I can still remember what it felt like that night with the imprint of a hand lingering on my skin.

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featured image from Farnsworthhouseinn.com

Haunted Histories Part 3: Alcatraz

To continue my 4 part series on haunted locations to visit, I would have to give Number 3 to Alcatraz. One of the reasons that I chose this place for my list is the extensive history of this island. As Fort Alcatraz it was home to Civil War soldiers, prisoners, and was also used as a lighthouse.
Between 1934 and 1963, Alcatraz is most widely known because of its time as a Federal Prison. During this period it saw its share of famous inmates such as Al Capone, “Machine Gun” Kelly, and the “Birdman of Alcatraz” Robert Stroud.
In 1969 Alcatraz was occupied by Native Americans for about two years after the government turned down their request to turn Alcatraz into a Native American cultural center and school. There are still reminders of this occupation around the island today.

 

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Alcatraz just off of the Ferry
 As I poured through the websites for things to do in San Francisco this tour ranked as one of the most popular, and it was something that both my husband and myself always wanted to see. One suggestion that I have is if you are planning a trip ahead of time to get tickets as soon as possible; these tours sell out quickly. I think we booked our tour a few months in advance and all they had left were tickets for the day tour.
I’m really glad that we did get to do this tour on our trip because we were able to see more of the outer buildings than during the night tour. The tickets are booked by time selection so that they can ferry you over to the island. As long as you leave on the last boat, you can spend as much time there as you want.

Once you step onto Alcatraz island, a tour guide takes you up to the main building. During our walk, we stopped at different locations along the way; the Warden’s house and the Morgue for example. While we were there, restorations were taking place on some of the buildings because of damage from weather and salt water.

 

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As you’re exploring the facility, the audio tour does a good job of guiding you to the different locations while you listen to personal accounts from previous inmates. It’s kind of like being thrown back in time to when the prison was up and running.

 

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With the riots, failed escape attempts, and multiple deaths there is no doubt why this island is considered haunted.
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Alcatraz Island at Night
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Not long after visiting San Francisco for the first time, I found myself traveling back for a work function. Since we had the evenings off I was fortunate enough to book the night tour of Alcatraz. This time we weren’t able to tour the buildings around the main structure, but the hospital ward (which wasn’t included in the day tour) was open to us. Being there as the sun was setting cast an eerie feeling over everything. You could hear the sounds of cars and people projecting from across the bay, and the dimming light allowed us to experience what it would’ve been like for the inmates at night.
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“Broadway” at night
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One of the most unique aspects of the night tour, was the option of being locked in a solitary confinement cell with a small group of visitors. As we filed in, I made my way to the back so that I could stand as close to the wall as possible. The whole time we were locked in I couldn’t help feeling like there was someone behind me in the pure darkness of the cell.
Due to the time of our tour we didn’t have long to stay in the hospital ward, but I felt that this was by far the creepiest place in the entire structure.

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After reviewing the pictures that I took of the hospital, I came across one that I believe has an orb in it, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide. Here are two pictures I took, one right after the other.
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Alcatraz is a unique place to visit, and if you are ever in San Francisco I highly recommend that you book a tour to this island. If possible, book both the day and night tours to get the full perspective of what life was like on “The Rock”.
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View of San Francisco from Alcatraz

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