Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle is arguably the most historic town in West Virginia. It was a very important place during the Civil War. It was there that abolitionist John Brown staged an uprising in an attempt to overthrow the institution of slavery.
Because if its strategic location on the railroad troops from both sides of the Civil War moved through the town frequently. The town reportedly changed hands eight times between 1861 and 1865.
All that history is what makes Harpers Ferry so interesting and, as it turns out, so haunted. There are a lot of accounts of ghosts at Harpers Ferry, here are eight of them:
1. Dangerfield Newby
One of the ghosts reportedly seen at Harpers Ferry is of Dangerfield Newby, known for being part of the raid on Harpers Ferry. Defending the town when there was little ammo, one Harpers Ferry resident fired 6-inch-spikes from his rifle on the raiders. One of the spikes struck Newby in the throat and killed him. The residents repeatedly stabbed his body and cut off his limbs. They left him in an alley for hogs to eat. People say Newby still walks the streets. He is known by the scar across his throat, baggy trousers and a slouched hat.
2. The Phantom Army
Another of the ghostly encounters reported in Harpers Ferry is a Phantom Army, according to ghost eyes.com. In 1798, America was nearing war with France so troops were sent to Harpers Ferry to prepare for a war that never started. The soldiers would parade down Main Street every night. Many of the soldiers got sick with cholera during an outbreak. People say they still march through town with their rifles and drums.
3. The tragic story of a drummer boy.
In one part of the town, you can reportedly hear a little drummer boy, killed when a Union soldier threw him out of a window, cry for his mother, according to hauntedhouses.com.
4. Screaming Jenny
A poor woman who died after she caught fire and ran into the path of a train while seeking help is another of the ghosts that apparently haunt Harpers Ferry, according to Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. “Jenny,” as she is known, had no family or money and she lived alone in a shack near the tracks. One day, while warming herself and eating by a fire, her clothes caught on fire. She ran for help as her clothes continued to burn, but while doing this she didn’t notice that she was running right into the path of a train. It killed her instantly. People say that on the anniversary of her death, you can see the phantom of Jenny, a ball of fire on the tracks that disappears when the train strikes her.
5. John Brown apparently walks the streets of Harpers Ferry at night.
According to hauntedhouses.com, a spirit resembling him has been seen walking the streets, occasionally smiling at visitors. One group of tourists reported taking a picture with him, only to get the pictures back and find a blank space where he had stood.
6. The ghost in the guest house
One of the most haunted houses in the town is reportedly a guest house that belongs to the National Park Service, according to hauntedhouses.com. Once, a federal employee saw the spirit of a man wearing a vest and top hat and carrying a cane. He was putting off bad vibes and she felt a hand on her back push her and cause her to fall. She turned and he had vanished.
7. The soldier in the church
St. Peters Catholic Church in Harpers Ferry, which served as a hospital during the Civil War, is reportedly haunted by at least one soldier, according to the blog Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. The young man, a Catholic, was brought to be treated at the hospital, but since his wounds weren’t as serious as some of the others, he was made to wait outside for help. He was comforted by being brought to a Catholic church. But his wounds were more severe than people had thought, and he died as he was being carried into the church. His last words were “Thank God, I’m saved.” These days, some visitors to the church say they see a glowing aura at the church’s entrance. Some even report hearing his final words.
8. The priest
Some say you can still see Father Michael Costello, of St. Peters Catholic Church, pray for his town on a hill near the church. Costello witnessed the events at the raid on Harpers Ferry.
Have you ever been to Harpers Ferry and experienced a ghost? Let us know in the comments!