LOCATION: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
This post is part of my Gettysburg Trip Series.
Do I believe in Ghosts? Yes and no. I think there are way too many encounter stories for something to not exist, but I haven’t had a true encounter experience before that I can completely confirm. Gettysburg alone has several racks of books on ghost stories in the area. Going on a ghost hunt here seemed like a sure thing.
We picked the hunting tour through Gettysburg Ghost Tours. They allow access into various closed off haunted buildings and houses, this seemed much better than just going on a ghost walk story telling tour. The tour began by quickly reviewing all the hunting tools. A k-2 meter, an EMF reader, some voice recorders, a shadow and temperature sensor and two medal rods for detecting energy spots. OH, and a flashlight too, because these houses didn’t have electricity. Spooky indeed!
We made our way to the Hoffman Mansion. The place was dark, hot, damp and eerie. The mansion was famous for a woman committing suicide there, but that was all the info we were given about her upfront. Before the suicide, the house as used as a makeshift hospital during the civil war. Body parts were tossed out the window onto the yard and bodies were buried out back. Since the suicide, the house has shifted among various owners, each leaving due to paranormal activity. Needless to say, I could not wait to get inside!
Upon entering, you could feel the warmth and humidity from no AC and the room’s creepy feel from darkness with a slight illumination only from the flashlights. The house was fairly large containing a basement, attic, various large rooms upstairs and down. The carpet was worn and dirty and the wallpaper was slowly separating from the walls.
We walked the perimeter of the downstairs and didn’t notice anything with our ghost hunting tools. We then proceeded upstairs to investigate. We started in a small bedroom that led to a larger bedroom with a chandelier. From there, there was a small hallway leading to the attic and a back bathroom with a Jacuzzi.
We paused in front of the attic, but I refused to go up there. Something just made me not want to. We then proceeded to the bathroom. As soon as I walked in, I was chilled. I asked Troy if he felt anything and he didn’t. Then, I felt something touch the back of my neck, almost as if they were trying to brush my hair out of the way. Troy never felt that either. It happened about three times, and each time a chill ran all the way down my body. Something, some spirit, was here.
We used the medal energy readers and attempted to ask questions. Each medal rod is placed in your hands. When energy is felt, the rods can be crossed or uncrossed. You can use this technique and ask questions and tell the spirit to move the rods. Using this technique, we found out that it was a woman and that she did die in the house.
We proceeded to explore more and venture outside the house. There was a spot outside near a window that had a lot of energy readings. The spot was where body parts were thrown out the window.
Not really sure what to do when we got energy readings, we kept going. We saw one of the investigators and told him about my bathroom experience. He said it was very significant and he would explain why later. He said to go back to the bedroom again and ask to be taken to a room of significance.
We went back to the bedroom to start again. I held the rods and asked to point them in the direction she wanted to take me. Immediately the rods pushed towards the left and pointed out the bedroom and down the hallway. It is easy to move the rods yourself, but it is hard to explain the feeling when the rods move on its own. There is almost a feeling of pressure moving them, and as I held tighter, the pressure just pushed harder. We moved to the other bedroom with the chandelier and I asked again. The rods pointed right in the direction of the hallway with the attic and bathroom. I stood in front of the attic and asked again. Before I could even complete the sentence, the rods moved left pointing me back to the bathroom. Once in the bathroom, I asked if this is where she wanted me to be and she crossed the rods for yes. I then asked where she committed suicide and she led me directly under the chandelier in the larger bedroom.
I was led here for a reason, maybe she died here? We went downstairs and told one of the investigators what happened. While down there, another lady had her voice reader go off. The investigator took it and placed it on the window ledge and proceeded to ask questions. He asked if there was anyone in the room the spirit particularly wanted to talk to. After a brief moment, you heard a high pitch voice on the reader clearly say “no.” The investigator then asked, can you count how many people are in the room? Nothing was said. The investigator then asked if they could count or if it was too many. Another pitched voice answered clearly saying “too many.” Then, the static went clear. It was crazy to hear the speech and definitely made all of us full believers. We went back outside and tried the energy rods again outside the window. Dad held the rods as we asked if it was a soldier; Yes. We asked If he died at the house; Yes. While we thought of questions, the rods suddenly pointed to Troy on the left. We then asked if he was in the Civil War and to point to Troy for yes.
The rods moved in that direction immediately. Troy then moved to the right side of Dad. Instead of the rods moving to the right to point to Troy, they pointed all the way to the left, back against Dad’s stomach and then around to point to Troy on the right side, creating a 3/4 circle. Eerie! Unfortunately, our hunt time was up at that point.
The investigator took our equipment and proceeded to tell us about the suicide. The woman was Sarah Hoffman, a 22 year old fiancé of a military man. The fiancé told her he was going off on deployment, but rumor got back to her that he ran off with another woman (which wasn’t true). She hung herself in the attic; the one I refused to go in. I asked the investigator why the bathroom location was so significant and he said that it was because it was directly under the spot in the attic she hung herself at. I’m not sure what the chandelier in the main bedroom had to do with anything, but creepy just the same. On the drive back to the hotel, Troy found a blog of a woman that did ghost hunting there with the same company. Upon entering the bathroom her throat was on fire and she felt something. She also saw shadows of a spirit leave from the chandelier in the main bedroom. Similar experiences to at least show I wasn’t joking around. She also explained that they talked to soldiers in the downstairs area and how they didn’t want to talk to anyone but her because they were sick of so many coming through. I wonder if our solider wanted to speak to Troy since he too is military. After the fact, I wish we would have used the voice recorder more and communicated better. Now that I know how to effectively use the equipment, I can do it better. I can’t wait to explore more and find more activity. It made a believer in everyone to see the evidence in person.
Do I believe in ghosts? Absolutely, without a doubt.
To read Cheryl’s blog about her encounter that we found after ours, go to
*Thanks Troy and Dad for accompanying me on this adventure.
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN? Absolutely!!! I can’t WAIT to go again.
HOW TO DO THIS:
Ghost hunting tours are becoming more prominent now, but look for investigative tours instead of plain walking tours. Gettysburg has a lot of investigative tours around.
Gettysburg Ghost Tours: www.gettysburgghosttours.com
Gettysburg Paranormal Association: http://www.gettysburgparanormalinvestigations.com