Although we all know the horrible history of our American battlefields, not many people know the history of strange and inexplicable activity that has plagued these sites ever since. In photographs, they might just look like any other structure or stretch of countryside, but it makes sense that these sites that saw so much death and destruction would be rumored to hold haunting keys to the past.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Gettysburg (Pennsylvania)
Gettysburg is not just one of our country's most haunted military sites, it's supposedly one of the most haunted places, period, in the United States. Dozens of different spirits have been reported here, including both Union and Confederate forces, civilians, orphans, hospital workers, along with other sounds and strange phenomenon.
2. Antietam (Sharpsburg, Maryland)
The bloodiest single day in the Civil War claimed over 23,000 lives. Bloody Lane, Burnside's Bridge, The Pry House, The Piper House and nearby St. Paul Episcopal Church are all rumored to be haunted.
3. The Alamo (San Antonio, Texas)
The Alamo has a fascinating history that includes mysterious spirits almost from the beginning. After the battle where the far-outnumbered Texans were defeated by Mexican forces, spirits defended the building from troops that returned to destroy it. For a while after Texas became part of the U.S., it was used as a jail, but it was so haunted that no one would take the night watch. Today, the reports of paranormal activity continue with a wide variety of ghosts, from unnamed figures to famous ones.
4. Chickamauga Battlefield
Chickamauga, located in northwest Georgia, saw one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The battlefield is home to many strange happenings, but the most famous is Ol' Green Eyes. The legend goes that this is either the head of a decapitated soldier searching for its body or some kind of fanged, stringy-haired monster that even predates the battle.
5. Fort William Henry (Lake George, New York)
Staff at the Fort William Henry Museum (yes, it is the fort from The Last of the Mohicans) have plenty of stories of ghostly activity. Although the current structure is a replica, it was built on the spot where hundreds died in what some historians have labeled a massacre at the hands of Native American warriors, including many civillians and sick or wounded British soldiers. Candlelit ghost tours are held certain evenings in warmer months, depending on the season. Strange sounds, voices, shadowy figures and objects moving on their own have all been reported at this historic site.
6. Valley Forge (Pennsylvania)
Every American child has learned the basic facts about Valley Forge and the harsh conditions suffered there. Ghost soldiers and even George Washington have been reportedly seen here.
7. Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery (Chalmette, Louisiana)
Chalmette was the battleground of the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, and the site later became a national cemetery, holding the remains of over 15,000 soldiers from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. The Beauregard House, pictured here, was used as a hospital during the war. Ghosts of soldiers and the sounds of battle have been reported on the grounds, along with other activity in the house.
8. Cold Harbor (Richmond, Virginia)
The smell of gunpowder, the sound of cannons and horses and unexplained lights have been spotted at this Civil War battlefield.
9. Fort Meigs (Perrysburg, Ohio)
Over the years, many visitors and volunteers have reported seeing and hearing strange things at this fort that was ordered built by William Henry Harrison during the War of 1812. Reports have included visions of American and Native American figures, and the sound of cannons, drums and musket fire. Fort Meigs' Garrison Ghost Walk is held on the last two weekends of October, which includes a nighttime stroll and fireside tales.
10. Fort Concho (San Angelo, Texas)
Although Fort Concho doesn't have the bloody history of the other places on this list, it still has a few resident spirits reportedly seen by both staff and visitors, including an officer and a young girl who died of typhoid fever.