The Specter of Gettysburg

By Kevin Lavery ’16

This photo serves as an homage to the flimsy inspirations for many Gettysburg ghost tours. Photo credit Kevin Lavery.
This photo serves as an homage to the flimsy inspirations for many Gettysburg ghost tours.
Photo credit to the author.

The story I am about to tell is entirely true. Several weeks ago, as I departed Musselman Library after a long night of intensive research, a sudden presence roused me from my intellectual exhaustion. I was chilled to the bone as they appeared before me:  shadowy figures silhouetted against the dimly lit façade of our beloved administration building. Now, I had, of course, heard of the campus’ hauntings. Tales of the ghostly field hospital in Penn Hall’s basement, the spectral sentry watching from its cupola, and the Blue Boy of Stevens Hall are well known stories throughout our campus community and beyond. But I had never expected that night to encounter one of the most frightening entities known to frequent our campus:  ghost tour groups. As I passed between two separate tours – one sitting audaciously on the steps of Penn Hall – I tensed.

Since the establishment of Gettysburg’s first ghost walk in 1994, the peculiar tours have become a familiar sight on the town’s streets after dark. Proponents of the specialized tour format argue that it provides evening engagement for tourists, provides an outlet for typically suppressed spiritual beliefs, and offers a lighthearted conclusion to an emotionally and intellectually draining day on the battlefield.

These justifications offered by tour companies are merely a front for the snake oil they sell. They have no interest in providing a reverential interpretation of history for all their protesting otherwise. They are companies that are willing and eager to exploit the memory of this town’s tragic past for their own gain. They care for neither historical accuracy nor scientific plausibility. They care for what lies within the wallets of their patrons.

Ghost stories are inherently dramatized and inaccurate, if not entirely fabricated. Such stories cannot possibly help to expand the public’s historical consciousness in any meaningful way. At the most, these stories can provoke an interest in the past – but it is a twisted and poorly-informed interest that creates historical misunderstandings. Tour guides are storytellers, not trained historical interpreters. And their guests would do better to spend their evenings reflecting on what they learned that day, rather than to spend more money on a service with no moral value.

Let’s humor these companies for one moment by assuming that ghosts are real. Let’s assume there are actually spirits that were so tormented at their moment of death that they have remained trapped in a metaphysical plane between our world and the next. Let’s assume that these charlatans are right about ghosts. If the claims they make about ghosts are true, then how dare they make light of such apparitions? How dare they profiteer from the pained souls of the past?

But let’s return to our real and rational world. There are no ghosts to offend, but there are the memories of the soldiers who fought here. We claim to believe that the dead deserve respect; why, then, do so many visitors fall victim to the morbid curiosity that leads them along on ghost tours? Whether ghosts are real or whether they are not, ghost tours are a grossly irresponsible and disrespectful way to remember the approximately 50,000 casualties of the Battle of Gettysburg.

If guided by common sense and common decency, then tourists and townsfolk alike would exorcise this phantom menace from the streets of Gettysburg. But, if not, they should at least remember that they are contributing to or tolerating a form of business that takes the history of our nation and distorts it into a commercial and harmful misrepresentation of the past.


Sources:

Ghost Tour Directory. “Ghost Tours and Ghost Walks in Gettysburg (PA).” Accessed October 28, 2014.

Ghosts of Gettysburg. “Ghosts of Gettysburg.” Accessed October 28, 2014.

Goldman, Greg, Christopher L. Stone,  Richard Band, Mark Nesbitt, Chris Hart, Miriah O’Malley, and Carrie Baildon. Ghosts of Gettysburg, DVD. Directed by Greg Goldman. Valley Village, CA:  Greystone Communications, 2009.

Goldman, Greg, Mark Nesbitt, Christopher L. Stone, Steve Pomerantz, and I-Li Chen. Ghosts of Gettysburg II, DVD. Directed by Greg Goldman. Valley Village, CA:  Greystone Films, 2009.

Thompson, Robert C. “Am I Going to See a Ghost Tonight?”:  Gettysburg Ghost Tours and the Performance of Belief.” Journal of American Culture 33 (June 2010):  79-91.

26 thoughts on “The Specter of Gettysburg”

  1. I think the ghost tours are harmless. It’s our continuing responsibility to allow the area to heal, not tiptoe around on the battlefield, afraid to offend the dead. Banishing lighthearted entertainment, as long as it isn’t inherently malicious, racist, etc., seems dehumanizing to me. The obvious purpose of business is to make money, and people (including Civil War era citizens especially) have enjoyed ghost stories since the beginning of time. Most people who go on the ghost tours at night also went to the battlefield during the day, so I hardly believe that they don’t understand the difference between respecting the fallen soldiers and having a little fun.
    A sterile and somber battlefield is as emotionally and intellectually barren as a bloody one. While I’m not saying we should be throwing parties on Little Round Top, we should honor the dead by remembering that their sacrifices eventually led to a happier and safer America. Leading a witch-hunt on ghost tour companies, I think, runs contrary to the “new birth of freedom” Lincoln was talking about.

  2. Why does every single thing one does on a vacation need to expand their historical consciousness? After a day of learning about the battle’s horrific events, a ghost tour can provide a much needed escape. If the truth about the battle is harrowing enough, which it is, it will stay in visitors’ minds much longer than that night alone. Would you prefer that people sit in their hotel room over a box of tissues and discuss the number of deaths per day? For many, Gettysburg is a weekend getaway. The ghost tours are one of a number of activities that create a busy weekend and leave the visitor feeling fulfilled that they experienced Gettysburg night and day. They enable visitors to walk around the historic town—a token of history in its own right—and take in its atmosphere. The tours attract the same crowd that already understands the importance of respecting those who fell on the battlefield and understands the simple purpose of a ghost story–to provide a fun spook. If it’s the right target audience for the town, why turn away dollars that will help the town continue to grow and attract visitors? Who knows, maybe a ghost tour will peak the interest of a 15-year old student, where a stone monument in the woods failed. Even if that student starts out with just an interest in Gettysburg as a haunted town, that doesn’t mean his/her interest will end there. Gettysburg affects visitors in so many diverse ways. I truly doubt the stories put forth in ghost tours infect the town’s historic veracity.

  3. God forbid we treat a battlefield like a place of history instead of an amusement park. God forbid we allow morality to hamper the rapacious capitalism so rampant on the streets of Gettysburg. God forbid we come to terms with an uncomfortable reality instead of escaping into a fantasy world so that we don’t have to deal with the truth. These despicable ghost tours are just one symptom of the transformation of Gettysburg into some destination theme park. Should we not wonder why fields that saw the death and wounding of over fifty thousand men, the bloodiest battle in the Americas and in American history, have become the object of family vacations and fun? A trip to Gettysburg is not a vacation in the traditional sense; rather, a trip to Gettysburg is an opportunity to mature in one’s sense of civic responsibility, to appreciate the heritage which we are tasked with maintaining as citizens of the United States. Ghost tours, with their fictions and half-truths, cheapen this experience. What value can there be to an interest in history that was sparked with falsehoods? Such a thing is stunted, deformed, and only with great pain and effort on the part of the interested party could that interest be brought back into the light.

  4. It is important to recognize the complex dimensions of historical memory, and that few if any interactions with history are truly neutral. Any encounter with our past – whether through film, television, history books, or battlefield tours – leaves an impact on our historical consciousness whether or not we are conscious of it, for better or for worse. Daytime tours given by licensed guides are developed to help expand our understanding of the past, but ghost tours are designed to provide cheap entertainment by harnessing morbid realities and twisting them into myths designed to prey on thrill-seekers who are unable to master their curiosity of the unfathomable. To quote a friend, when we engage history in such an empty way, we “pick at the scab of human suffering for our own amusement.”

    A solemn battlefield is vastly different from one stripped of all emotional and intellectual value, and the hard truth is that the past is more honestly reflected in the gruesome image of a bloody battlefield than one with modern day families picnicking lazily across it, anticipating their evening entertainment when their emotions will be artificially aroused by the delusions propagated by the ghost tour industry.

    Lincoln’s wish for a “new birth of freedom” does not imply that we should have the right to engage our past in whatever manner is convenient for us. Liberty comes with responsibilities, including the responsibility to always be prepared to confront the uncomfortable parts of our history, not just when it is convenient for us.

    In short, embracing a lie is no better than forgetting the past.

  5. Bryan C., I’m not quite sure what world you are living in. Would you prefer a battlefield with no visitors whatsoever? The melodramatic tone and overstated criticisms of everything “tourist” put forth by both you and the OP is not only insulting to what is assumed to be an uneducated and gimmick-hungry mass of public know-nothings, but it creates a divide between “them” and you truth-driven crusaders who, so it seems, relish in the opportunity to blog about how you would like to police fellow visitors’ thoughts. Give me a break. I live in the real world. I live in a world where, had I not spent the majority of my life in Gettysburg as both a local resident and then a student (of history), I would absolutely love to come spend a weekend learning about the tragic events that took place there. Yes, I would have a good time doing it. You know, I might even get a burger at the Blue and Grey and get a chuckle out of the rebel flag stuck down the middle of it. Shame on me. Why would I enjoy these things when, by all accounts given in this blog post, I should be weeping buckets of tears whilst solemnly praying that other lesser people come to a similar understanding and cast away trinket and ghost story in rebellion? Because I, like most people, can do two things at once. As someone who places great value in education, I can take a weekend trip, learn about a tragic event, and enjoy the fulfillment experienced from learning something new. I don’t feel like only enjoying learning about the positive history. I’m also going to enjoy learning about the tragic history, because I enjoy learning. By your standards, God forbid we enjoy watching The Patriot. God forbid we enjoy watching Gladiator. Those films, apart from putting forth countless historical falsities, seek to prey upon our wallets at the expense of telling a tale where people died. I love both of those films. The ability for human beings to both appreciate a tragic event for what it is, and simultaneously enjoy themselves is, in my humble opinion, what both Kevin and Bryan utterly fail to understand. You create a dichotomy between those in the “light”—presumably highly educated 20-year olds currently pursuing a Civil War Era Studies minor—and the uneducated masses who salivate when they see a Pennsylvania Monument pencil sharpener or hear about the Blue Boy for the first time. This pretentious dichotomy is falser than any ghost story. And it is insulting.

    Bryan: you question what value there can be in an interest in history sparked by falsehoods? My interest in history was sparked by the aforementioned films. I wore out my VHS copies of both of those movies. The inaccuracies put forth in those films are arguably far more pervasive than any ghost story. Did I turn out a misguided buffoon who can’t tell the difference between the Magic Kingdom’s Hall of Presidents and the White House? Only time will tell. I suppose I better keep reading these blog posts to make sure I find the light.

  6. Josh, I’m not quite sure what blog post you were reading. The only false dichotomy created here has been one of your own making. The author of this post has confined his comments solely to the plague of ghost tours that haunts the town of Gettysburg; I questioned the idea of Gettysburg as a family fun-park. Yet you have projected our comments onto the width and breadth of the entire Gettysburg experience, making us out to be something akin to Puritan ministers, raining fire and brimstone down upon an unworthy populace.

    OF COURSE visitors can and should enjoy themselves at Gettysburg. I’ve lived in the town for going on four years, and I continue to find ways to enjoy the unbelievably wealthy resources the battlefield and town have to offer. The narrative of Gettysburg is not simply that of those who died there. It is shared by all those who fought, and all whose lives were and have been impacted by its outcome. My earlier comments, as mentioned above, were not directed towards belittling or snuffing out this phenomenon. I addressed the ghost tours, which have made mockery specifically of those who died and those who suffered unimaginable trauma. You bring up contemporary films about war. These films themselves admit that they do not portray historical events as they occurred; they do not masquerade as the actual story of anything, and all but the most deluded viewers accept that the dramatic process has yielded them not history, but story. Ghost tours, on the other hand, wish to portray themselves as the actual narrative of an actual person. Enjoyment is not being derived from a story in which people die, enjoyment is being derived directly from their deaths and suffering. What is worse, these stories have largely been at the least heavily falsified and usually entirely fabricated. This is not just gaining enjoyment from death, this is creating enjoyment from death because someone’s original death wasn’t ‘exciting’ or ‘spooky’ enough. It is disrespectful, morally reprehensible and utterly indefensible.

    As to the inspiration of historical interest, you have rather snarkily rejected my points without offering any logical refutation. I myself was inspired by works of historical fiction: the novels of Michael and Jeff Shaara in particular set me on a path towards a career in higher education teaching history. These movies and novels are filled with small inaccuracies and falsehoods, it’s true. Some of them are quite pervasive. Visitors still ask where the monument to Buster Kilrain, a completely fictional character, lies on the battlefield. Every time one of these misconceptions is corrected, there is some small amount of reaction, however minuscule. Whether we publicly denounce the new information or privately stick to our beliefs, we as human beings cling to that which is comfortable. How much worse could the experience of learning be when one’s interest has been predicated on a falsehood in its entirety? Not simply a movie which has historical characters in an historical setting that tells an ahistorical narrative, but a story which is completely and entirely based in fiction, with no redeeming qualities? Such an interest can be nurtured, yes, and can bloom into something beautiful, yet the journey will be long and treacherous.

    Josh, maybe you’re right. Maybe I don’t live in the real world. Maybe I don’t accept immoral falsehoods as a harmless attraction. Maybe I strive towards a day when we can enjoy the positives of history while confronting the negatives head on, with no sugar-coating or convenient escapes from reality. Enjoyment with respect. Fun with responsibility. That is what I am advocating, and if that isn’t the real world you’re so fond of, I’m sincerely glad I cannot be found in it.

  7. Let’s ask ourselves how we would feel about ghost tours springing up in the locations hit by 9-11. How about in Washington, D.C. near the memorials honoring our war veterans? It wouldn’t even be a consideration. What makes those lives lost in Gettysburg different?

  8. The reason I felt compelled to respond to this post in the first place was because of the bizarre language used to further the argument. Plagues and phantom menaces that must be exorcised… yes, you do sound like Puritan ministers.

  9. This blog post (and the comments) are not confined to ghost tours. The post asks a larger question concerning the Gettysburg experience: what do people do when they come to visit? Kevin suggests ridding the town of ghost tours, so visitors can spend time doing something, in his mind, less morally reprehensible and more historically truthful. To then question Gettysburg as an amusement park again raises the question of how people spend their time in Gettysburg. This is not just about ghost tours. My previous comments attempt to reflect this larger question, in which ghost tours play a part, and illustrate my belief that suggesting tourists cannot realize ghost tours for the cheap tricks they are creates a false dichotomy with those that seemingly do understand it. People can realize this, do realize this, and should not be shamed from enjoying ghost tours as fun cheap tricks. Though this post raises an interesting question, it was done in a smug way that criticizes those who choose to spend their tourist dollars without a constant ‘historical truth’ radar. To me, that is unfair, rude in its basis, and deserves calling out, primarily because of its self-righteous tone.

    The claim was made that ghost tours have no redeeming qualities. Even from a historical standpoint, I disagree. There is a tradition at Gettysburg of telling ghost stories that dates back to the 19th century. The ghost tours themselves have a cultural history. People did, throughout history, claim to have seen ghosts in the town. Whether or not they “actually” saw ghosts is not the question. The fact that people claimed to have seen them is history in and of itself, and the stories and embellishments grew from there. What about from a cultural standpoint? People love a good story. Even if the story is entirely fabricated and/or embellished, it is still entertaining. What about from an urban standpoint? Would visitors otherwise get as close a look at many of downtown Gettysburg’s historic buildings? Perhaps. From an economic standpoint, the tours help the local economy. When I worked at the Fudge Kitchen on Baltimore Street for five years as a high school and then college student, for every person asking about the battle, I would get five people asking if I ever saw a ghost. Regardless of what that suggests about society, it is, from my perspective, obvious that Gettysburg’s “haunted” status is a major driving force in the local tourism industry. These tours play a part in bringing visitors to the battlefield, even if indirectly. What about from a psychological standpoint? I, for one, love feeling scared. Why do we see scary movies, often cheap tricks in their own right? People enjoy feeling scared and there is no shame in that whatsoever. The only delusions experienced on a ghost tour are from those expecting accurate history. These tours are not comparable to NPS battlefield tours, nor do they claim to be.

    I think the comparison to historic films is an important one, and while I value Bryan’s point that many of these films acknowledge their existence as story, I’m not sure I necessarily agree on its impact. As a young student, I may have put more stock in a historic film that seems very real on the surface than in a ghost story told by a lady dressed up in Civil War-era attire speaking in a contrived accent. To me, the “story” seems to be that of the ghost, not the historic film. If we should reject “embracing a lie,” then all I simply point out that the ghost tours in Gettysburg are not the only lies around, and to reject all such lies could turn into a slippery slope.

    If it is unclear whether or not I offered a logical refutation to Bryan’s question on inspiration of historical interest in my previous post, let me be more explicit: I think there is great value in a historical interest inspired by falsehoods. I was inspired by films with many falsehoods, as was Bryan with historical fiction novels. Not only do I think there is value in how both of us came to history, I think it is a necessary evil. It is the proper beginning—a starting point—to a career in history in which we constantly seek to elaborate, modify, and complicate our assumptions and understandings. How many history students start out with a completely balanced view on any subject, if one even exists? Moreover, for Bryan and myself, with falsehoods came inspiration. If these films and books did not exist because someone deemed their falsehoods too egregious, too pervasive or insulting to historical truth and memory, would I have such an interest in history now? I don’t know. The long and treacherous journeys are often the best ones.

    There is nothing wrong with being idealistic on this issue. Perhaps I am too cynical. Even if I agreed that ghost tours were somehow immoral, which I think is ungrounded, I fear that this idealistic world Bryan wants to be a part of would feature even less interest in history. The central question for me is how we better connect people with history, with a goal towards education. One method would be to eradicate historical falsities any way we can, including ghost tours. While this may help remedy misunderstandings and half-truths, I fear it would also decrease attention brought to history, and more specifically, to Gettysburg. People often come to history through misunderstandings. I am more inclined to support creating more ways in which people will be enticed by the field. I operate on the notion that I too was attracted to history by something that wasn’t entirely truthful. I think that my understanding has turned out okay. I would like to give other people the benefit of the doubt, as well.

  10. Ghost tours will not naturally develop at the 9/11 memorial or any other place of tragedy unless some people claim to witness a paranormal experience there. Gettysburg had the reputation of being a haunted place long before the first ghost tour company sprang up. There are people who actually believe that they have seen ghosts in Gettysburg. Whether or not the ghosts actually exist is entirely irrelevant– Gettysburg’s “haunted” persona is an indelible part of the town’s cultural legacy.

    Marybeth, yes I do understand why a 9/11 ghost tour would be offensive to living, grieving people in today’s society. But would the tours be considered offensive to Civil War era citizens, who lived in a much more religious and superstitious culture and often turned to paranormal explanations to help them understand life and death? Sometimes it doesn’t matter what “we” would feel in this time or place. How about this: how would you feel if there were 9/11 reenactors? Yet, that practice seems to be an accepted part of Gettysburg’s identity.

  11. Josh, your points on historical inspiration are well said! I would still question the idea of enjoying a ghost tour, as whether one believes it is real or not, he or she is still deriving enjoyment from peoples’ suffering (see original blog post). I would also like to clear something up. My own opinions on the Gettysburg ghost tours have been informed by the fact that all of them are, in fact, completely fabricated. Gettysburg’s reputation as a center of paranormal activity is only fifty years old. There was no recorded history of ANY ghost stories or spectral encounters in the town and surrounding area until the centennial commemorations in the 1960s, whereupon the ghost tour industry was launched to capitalize on the waves of visitors passing through the area. Thus the analogy to ghost tours at Ground Zero or other war memorials is not so far off; it seems that we need only about a century before it is acceptable to invent falsehoods and laugh at the tortured souls of tragedies gone by.

  12. Thank you for your response Elizabeth. It’s good to talk through these issues. I’m not a regular blogger ( different generation) but I am beginning to understand how important blogging conversations can be to help us all work through our opinions and thoughts.

    The thought that 9/11 ghost tours could actually be accepted and manifested into a reality just because someone claims to witness a paranormal activity near the location is almost too much for me to even think about. Therefore, I’m going to jump to your question about the reenactors. I think 9/11 is reenacted each time we watch those planes fly into the building on television. Each time we feel the gut-wrenching experience over and over again. Never forget, never forget. We can’t let ourselves with any of these human tragedies so that we can learn to LIVE together in a better way….. with basic human respect. I truly didn’t mean to sound overly-dramatic with the 9/11 example. I just wanted to make it feel real when we ask ourselves these questions. I have no idea how people would have felt about ghost stories/tours in the Civil War era since, as you stated, these were ways of helping them understand life and death, but I can imagine how a mother who lost a son in a tragedy would feel about it during any era. In the end, everyone has to examine their own conscience and intention for why they do what they do. We may seem to sound like Puritan Ministers, but no one is damning anyone to hell. For me it is not a moral issue. For all I know, this may be the only way a ghost tour operator is able to feed his/her family. I will give them the benefit of the doubt. That said, we have to be honest with ourselves about how respectful these tours are to the memory of the once living.

  13. Hi again everyone. It’s great that this post has sparked such a great conversation on such a critical topic in Gettysburg memory. I do, however, think we’ve gotten a little far from the crux of the original argument. Looking at the bigger picture is important as well, but this post only ever dealt with a single facet of historical engagement: ghost tours. While there are certainly wider implications that the topic suggests at, ghost tours are unique in that they DIRECTLY exploit the dead, unlike the rest of the town which at least has the decency to exploit the battle’s legacy with relatively more subtlety. They are, then, inherently different from other manners of historical memory and are correspondingly problematic in their own right. There are many long discussions that could be held on history’s portrayal in popular culture, but few movies prey on tragedy in the same despicable way as ghost tours, which construct outright myths around death and suffering.

    That being said, a rejection of ghost tours does not equate to a rejection of fun. To suggest that rejecting ghost tours would be a slippery slope to rejecting all imperfect memory or enjoyment derived from history is itself a slippery slope fallacy.

    Why is it that children who climb on cannons and monuments are often condemned by visitors as disrespectful (even though they don’t know better), but ghost tours exploiting the memory of the valiant dead for cash are regarded as an acceptable component of the Gettysburg experience (even though the adult tour guides and patrons really should know better)?

    Sadly, hypocrisy and double-standards pervade historical memory. Next week, the town will celebrate Dedication Day in order to remember the soldiers who fought, suffered, conquered, and died. We will reaffirm our promise to never forget their sacrifice, but a memory intentionally manipulated for the sake of profit is nearly as bad – or perhaps worse – than forgetting altogether.

    Simply because ghost tours are and have been a part of the town’s cultural legacy does not mean they should be, must be, or will be forever. As our collective historical consciousness continue to evolve, ghost tours could be – and hopefully will be – reduced to no more than a footnote in the annals of Gettysburg. Just because it isn’t that way today doesn’t mean that thought is an idealistic pipedream. Memory changes. Let’s hope it changes for the better.

    If you or anyone else desires to participate in a ghost tour, that is very much your right. But we also have a right to encourage a new paradigm of historical reverence that does not comprise itself for the sake of cheap entertainment and at the expense of reverent discourse.

    As for the ethical dimensions of reenacting, I encourage you to check out Bryan and Heather’s point-counterpoint blog posts on the subject. They discuss how even Civil War reenacting is inherently contradictory despite widespread tolerance of the practice. That’s just another example of double-standards in the memory of history, and perhaps another ethical dilemma that deserves a discourse as extensive as this one.

  14. Paranormal hoaxes such as the Fox sisters and William Mumler’s spirit photography attracted nationwide devotion back in the day, especially when the subject concerned Civil War victims. There was also a local named Emanuel Bushman who regularly wrote about legends and ghosts for the Gettysburg Compiler in the late nineteenth century. Some examples:

    Guy who saw a headless horseman apparition “on the Emmitsburg road, about a mile from town,” story published in 1886:

    http://www.chapman-grant.com/friends/documents/N_1886_01_12_GC_BushmanEmanuel.pdf

    At Little Round Top, there were “wonderful stories of ghosts and hobgoblins seen there in the still hours of the night:”

    http://www.chapman-grant.com/friends/documents/N_1880_01_29_GC_BushmanEmanuel_Antique_old_bc.pdf

    While not about human ghosts, per se, scary animal legends at Devil’s Den have also been around forever:

    http://www.chapman-grant.com/friends/documents/N_1884_08_19_GC_BushmanE_old_bc.pdf

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=qcQlAAAAIBAJ&sjid=m_UFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4283,1140597&dq=round-top+quarry+gettysburg&hl=en

    My point is that the ghost culture that modern tourist companies boosted in the 1960s and 70s didn’t rise out of thin air, and there were ghost stories told before then. Even the seemingly unrelated animal legends speak for a community that has never quite viewed its locale as “normal.” The convergence of animal, Indian, and battle stories in one place made people more open to accepting that paranormal experiences were a way of life in Gettysburg, way before the tourist market seized upon the idea.

  15. As a frequent guest of Gettysburg, I can assure you that the ghostly drama desired will present itself. Skip the campfire-style ghost stories and take the time to learn about Gettysburg. It wants to tell its own story.

  16. As a tourguide, who are you to judge my reverence for these men who died, or why I do what I do? Who are you to judge the knowledge that guests on my tours derive from my presentation? You can assume many things, but you cannot begin to understand why we believe what we believe, nor can you attempt to paint all tourguides with the same color. There are those of us that do what we do with a love of history and a quest for understanding as our motivation. I have seen countless people gain a deeper respect for what transpired based upon their experiences on my tour. And that’s what matters to me; the fact that those men did not die in vain because we have come to realise that if some of them may still linger, what they died for was important enough for them to remain. Our duty is to learn from their sacrifice and despite the gravy train you seem to think we are riding around town on, many tourguides have sacrificed much of themselves for the love of what they do, myself included. Perhaps it would behoove you to realise that people such as yourself do not have a monopoly on respect for the dead.

  17. If you’ve never been on a ghost tour, which, evidently, you have not, then you clearly must admit that you have no idea of what you are speaking about. That seems to be the “status quo” in this country anymore – “I know NOTHING about you, but I’m going to judge you anyway, bring you down any way I can, because (insert public figure or religion of your choice or nationality bias) says you are bad”. Educate yourself before trying to bring a thing down, learn all you can, make sure your hatred is based on something that is actually TRUE. Besides, it was the immortal bard himself who stated “There are more things in heaven and earth, my dear Horatio, then are dream’t of in your philosophy”.

Leave a Reply