Pennsylvania boasts a wealth of history and culture, as well as a fair share of paranormal activity. Among the most infamous haunted sites in the Keystone State is the Farnsworth House Inn, located in Gettysburg. Serving as a Confederate stronghold during the Civil War, this hotel witnessed some of the most gruesome battles of the conflict. Presently, it attracts the attention of history enthusiasts and ghost hunters alike, all with the hope of encountering the wandering spirits that continue to haunt the premises.
The History of the Farnsworth House Inn
In 1810, John McFarland, a prosperous merchant and politician, constructed the Farnsworth House Inn. The name of the property was inspired by his son-in-law, Brigadier General Elon John Farnsworth, who passed away in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. For several decades, the McFarland family resided in the house until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.
Confederate sharpshooters utilized the house as a base during the war to launch attacks on Union soldiers from its windows. Positioned behind Confederate lines and overlooking Cemetery Hill, which housed the Union army headquarters, the house was of immense strategic value. Moreover, the house was situated in close proximity to the site of Pickett’s Charge, the ultimately unsuccessful final assault by the Confederate army on July 3, 1863.
During the war, the house endured extensive damage with bullets riddling its walls, some of which can still be seen today. The artillery fire caused further destruction, and a cannonball even penetrated the roof before landing in the attic. As a result, the house bore witness to the atrocities of war and the loss of numerous soldiers from both sides.
The Hauntings of the Farnsworth House Inn
Following the war, the house exchanged hands several times and was eventually transformed into a hotel in 1972. Ever since its conversion, the hotel has been a hub of ghostly encounters, varying from mild to spine-chilling. The most frequently reported supernatural experiences within the hotel premises include:
- Hearing footsteps, voices, gunshots, and cannon fire, especially at night.
- Seeing apparitions of soldiers, women, children, and animals, both inside and outside the house.
- Feeling cold spots, breezes, touches, and tugs, as if someone or something is trying to get your attention.
- Smelling tobacco, perfume, food, and blood, as if the house is still alive with its past occupants.
- Having objects move, disappear, or appear out of nowhere, such as coins, jewelry, books, and toys.
- Witnessing electrical malfunctions, such as lights flickering, TVs turning on and off, and phones ringing with no one on the other end.
Here are the hotel’s most haunted rooms:
- The McFarland Room, where guests have seen a woman in a white dress sitting on the bed, and heard a baby crying in the closet.
- The Sarah Black Room, where guests have felt a presence watching them from the corner, and heard a woman humming a lullaby.
- The Eisenhower Room, where guests have encountered a soldier in a gray uniform, who sometimes speaks to them or salutes them.
- The Jeremy Room, where guests have been awakened by a loud bang, and seen a young boy running across the room.
- The Garret Room, where guests have been scared by a dark figure that lurks in the shadows, and felt a heavy pressure on their chest.
If you’re someone who is up for a thrilling adventure and wants to connect with history on a deeper level, then look no further than the Farnsworth House Inn. This hotel is not for the faint of heart and offers a range of exciting activities, including ghost tours, paranormal investigations, and even themed events like murder mysteries and Civil War reenactments. In addition to the heart-pumping activities, guests can also enjoy the hotel’s restaurant, tavern, gift shop, and museum, all of which provide valuable insights into the history and hauntings of the house. The Farnsworth House Inn is a truly unique and unforgettable experience that is sure to leave you with spine-tingling chills and memories that will last a lifetime.