Ever since I was young, I have loved ghost stories and American History. My parents loved it because it gave them the excuse to go to Gettysburg for family vacations. We ended up going twice, the first time I was 11 and the second time I was around 15.
The first trip, we went on ghost tours and wanted to have an experience, but it was pretty uneventful. The second trip is when these stories take place. Our paranormal encounter was not necessarily terrifying or shocking in any way, instead, it’s several small experiences that made me a true believer in the paranormal.
The second day we were there, my Dad and I decided to take a tour of Ginnie Wade’s house. She is the only civilian to have died in the battle. It’s not a particularly exciting tour, but it was the late afternoon and we didn’t have a lot planned. It was also right across the street from our hotel so convenience was definitely a factor. We got to the house at around 4:30 and asked the man in the shop if we could do the tour. He said that they were closing soon, but we could be the last tour of the day. The three of us went into the house and he began the tour. He quickly learned that we had been there before, and decided that repeating the same tour he had done all day, and we had done before was pointless. He asked if we minded if he went and closed up while we walked ourselves through the house. We didn’t mind since we were just killing time. We noticed something this time that we hadn’t noticed before. All the clocks are set to 8:30. We found out later that this was the time of her death.
We went up to the second floor to look around and as we went back down the stairs I got very dizzy. It was like I was punched in the face by the smell of roses. I looked for incense or a plug-in but found nothing. I asked my Dad if he smelled it, but he hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. We finished up the tour and went back to the shop. The guy from before asked us if we were all done and we said yes. I decided to tell him about the rose smell. I asked,
“Do you use some type of scent upstairs or by the stairs?”
His eyes widened and he asked me, “what exactly did you smell?”
I explained the roses and he smiled a little, almost like an “I knew it” type smile. He said that back in that time, women made their perfume using crushed up rose petals and that scent is sometimes smelled upstairs. He said that people have also seen an apparition of an older woman when they smelled it. His guess was that it was Ginnie’s mother. We were both surprised and left both nervous and excited from the house. The story doesn’t end there, however. Fast forward to around 9:30 that night and we were driving around the battlefield by Devil’s Den. My Mom was with us and she began to get nervous because they locked the gates at 10 PM. She said,
“we need to leave because we don’t want to be stuck.”
My Dad laughed and said, “Why are you in such a hurry, it’s only 8:30..”
I turned around in shock and noticed he was looking at his watch, not the clock in the car. The two of us quickly realized that his watch had stopped at the same time as the clocks in that old house and we fell completely silent. We didn’t talk about the Ginnie Wade house for the rest of the night.
The next morning I woke up and my parents were scrambling to pack. We had to be in New York City by a certain time and we were running late. When I asked what was wrong, my Mom said she had set the hotel alarm to 7:00 AM but somehow the clock’s time changed after we went to bed. I’ll never know what time it was set to or by who, but I have a feeling I know what time it changed to.
I know my story isn’t particularly scary but it made me realize something. If you go to Gettysburg looking for an experience, you may just find one.
Submitted to Weird Darkness and My Haunted Life Too by Andrew Horne
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