Thursday, July 06, 2006

Nobody here but us ghosts

With the proliferation of "ghost tours" and "ghost walks" in many of our older and more historic cities and sites, it comes as no suprise to me that one of the most frequently asked questions that I encounter is: "So, what kind of ghost activity do you have here?" The assumption always seems to be that paranormal activity is the norm rather than the exception.

Now, I have no qualms with any of the variety of ways that visitors are able to connect with the battlefield. More power to them. I salute whatever and however the battlefield becomes relevant to, or connects with, the visitor. It's just that I've not had any ghost experiences on the battlefield.

Historic Charleston, Gettysburg, and Savannah have provided a entreprenural goldmine for those who claim to be able to connect the so-inclined visitors to spirits, haints, and goblins. Me, I've seen nothing of the kind.

My standard response to visitors who are on a "haint hunt" is to say:

"Ma'am, the only ghosts around here are the ghosts of old park rangers".

As evidenced by this pic taken two days ago of the kitchen of the Samuel Poffenberger house on the Antietam Battlefield. For a fleeting moment, I thought I saw something...or someone!

Incidentally, that's also my response to the second-most asked question here, which is: "Do you still dig up lots of relics on the battlefield?"

"Sir, the only relics we dig up here are old park rangers."

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