The Jennie Wade House, Gettysburg Hauntings
Standing at the threshold of the unknown on a hot and muggy July day, twenty-year-old Jennie knows that her life is about to be forever changed once she walks through the door that stands in front of her. She has been forever impacted by the previous exchange of gunfire that has been lodged deep inside of her fragile body as several bullets blasted her through the door that her lifeless body fears opening. What lies on the other side is a realm that she is ill prepared to accept.
Despite being dead, Jennie has bread dough to knead, but her body no longer allows for such a tedious chore. Jennie is confused by her sudden paralysis to perform necessary duties. Jennie is dead. Her sudden departure from life does not allow her brain to recognize this fact. Her anguished spirit now searches for the answers as to why she has been forced to leave everything that she knows and loves.
The horrors of war along with the unexplained things that have manifested on the other side of the door will forever mark her ability to see things clearly in a light that was once surrounded by innocence. Haunting images shrouded by the day's events will be a part of her soul's memory bank that takes her to a place where she once thrived as a living being.
For whatever reason, Jennie cannot awaken from this dream even though she knows that there is baking to be done among other kitchen chores. She has dreamt her entire life, but this one is different. She senses the feeling of bricks that may or may not be attached to the bottom of her shoes, weighing her down and keeping her from her intended destination.
Just yesterday she was young, beautiful, happy, and in love. Jennie was rumored to have been engaged to Corporal “Jack” Skelly. He was wounded in the Battle of Carter’s Wood and passed away just nine days after her death without ever learning of his beloved's fate. Jennie is the only know civilian killed during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Today is filled with uncertainty and kitchen chores that no one woman can complete on her own. Her gut is filled with a pending feeling of dread that cannot be shaken. Everything around her is cloudy and her thought process is similar to a person swimming through murky water in slow motion.
Jennie remembers a garden that is lush with herbs, vegetation, flowers, birds, butterflies and bee's buzzing about. She see's herself talking to the many small pests who overpopulate her space, but keep their distance just enough to allow her to also enjoy the same space that they inhabit. The beauty of the garden has since been trampled on by the hundreds of soldiers searching for substance and safety.
The modest two-story brick house that sat in a perfect position between fighting enemies, was used as a divider for the fighting Confederate and Union armies. The antiquated dwelling was riddled by more than 150-live rounds of ammunition, permeating the entire structure with harsh odors of gun powder, stripped of all signs that this was once a restful area, filled with delightful smells and bright vivid colors that would make any rainbow complete. Sadly, as much as she enjoys this personal euphoria, Jennie knows that she should be somewhere else, she just has no idea where that may be.....
That fateful day in 1863 forever changed everything that Jennie thought that she knew about life. It was an unpleasant and controversial time filled with hatred, discord and gunfire that was sure to settle any reprehensible act that an angry man could come up with. July 3rd at Gettysburg was flooded with the sights of mangled men, bloodied fields and images that could not easily be forgotten, yet Jennie purged forward with her bread making as the men who survived would be hungry and in need of substance.
Jennie was oblivious to those things that she did not understand. She only knew that she needed to make bread, no matter how tedious the chore. Her life was fairly mundane, but she was happy doing what she knew how to do best, which included making delicious, hot bread that melted in the mouth of the Union soldiers who savored the delectable treat.
The Civil War was an unforgiving one that took young lives that sometimes involved brother against brother and father against son. Jennie was an innocent twenty year old whose life was taken by surprise when gunfire penetrated her young body while she was preoccupied with kitchen duties. That deadly interruption did not steal her spirit. It has been reported that Jennie's ghost is still actively working in the place that she loved the most, kneading dough, baking bread and tending to her garden.
Under the title, "Scariest Haunted Houses in the U.S.," CBS News listed the Jennie Wade House due to the many eerie undertones that can still be felt, heard and seen today. The bullet riddled dwelling still bares the bloody floorboard of the victim who once fed hungry soldiers and purged forward despite the odds of living in such a tumultuous time of hatred and anger that only a major war could settle. Cold spots are often detected paired with the sensation that you are being watched by the eyes of the deceased.
Jennie kept herself busy with chores daily. The fatal blow to her young body stood in the way of her completing the day's list of duties. It stands within reason that Jennie is still attempting to complete her tasks, leading to what is known as a residual haunting with Jennie repeating the same chore over and over as she once did while living.
Her ghost is left in a state of unrest, forever trying to bake and feed hungry and injured soldiers. Never has a ghost emitted such an overpowering feeling to those who enter her work space that Jennie's spirit is still very much alive and laboring in several areas of the house. Her presence has been felt by hundreds of visitors who are sensitive to paranormal influences and passive experiences where ghosts are involved.
During paranormal investigations held at the house, it has been determined that there are at least two male entities that talk out loud once in awhile. They may have been dinner guests who enjoyed the hospitality so much that they have decided to remain and enjoy Jennie's homemade bread or it could possibly be Jennie's fiancé, Corporal Jack Skelly searching for his beloved.
Subtle touches to the ankles, shoulders, ears, waist, and hands from unseen sources are often noted by visitors. An apparition of a pretty young woman, thought to be Jennie, appears and disappears at lightning speed. The smell of fresh baked bread is often noted when walking through the house, but the aroma becomes even more prevalent when Jennie appears.
Upstairs, ghost children can sometimes be heard running around and laughing. The bed skirts have been seen moving when guests are viewing that part of the home during the scheduled tours. The roped off areas where the chains keep visitors out of forbidden rooms have been heard clanking as if some unseen force is protecting the relics from living entities who could possibly damage them while touching.
Visitors touring the Jennie Wade house have claimed to have had their ear pulled while sitting in the cellar. A southern disembodied male voice often says, "excuse me," and pictures taken in the cellar usually result in floating orbs of varying sizes. There is a second male ghost who leaves no doubt of his arrival in a room. All you have to do is smell the air. The distinct aroma of cigar smoke is the main indicator that he is present. A flash of light, orbs and sometimes a quick glimpse of unexplained movement offers proof that he is hanging around.
Enthusiasts of transcendental occurrences will not be let down by this haunted site. Several paranormal investigative groups have documented proof on film of the many encounters with the other side. The Jennie Wade House is a hotbed for ghosts, orbs and unexplained phenomena marked by an era that still lives on today to be experienced by those who wish to take a journey into the unknown where all rational explanation is out the door and alternative belief systems are just on the other side of the door.
Location of the Jennie Wade House: 548 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.