Hauntings at Harpers Ferry

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Hauntings at Harpers Ferry

Harper Ferry Ghost

Harpers Ferry West Virginia is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers meet.  It is also the junction of Missouri, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Seated in Jackson County, Harpers Ferry is less than a square mile and maintains a population of only 286 people.  The area is popular as tourists visit the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.  Visitors enjoy rafting, fishing, biking, tubing, canoeing, hiking, zip lining, and rock climbing.

(images:dougtone/flickr)

(images:dougtone/flickr)

An added bonus is the park employees who dress up in period clothing and give lucky visitors tours of the grounds.  They tell a dark history of violence and disasters.  Their stories come easy and are always varied as the area is known as one of the most haunted places in North America.

It is not uncommon to see an apparition approaching in the street and disappearing, unscathed, into the walls of a nearby building or house.  The sounds of battle or army sounds have been heard enough that residents no longer even flinch.  Even worse, the screams of people and children sometimes pierce the air without warning.  Private tours are given and the most unlucky tourists have even taken home an odd gift from some of the more permanent guides.  After posing with one of the tour guides, upon review of the photos, they realize that the place where the guide stood is now empty, leaving only an awkward gap.  When they turn to show the guide, they find he has disappeared.

Some speculate that the odd energy stems from John Brown’s decision to utilize Harpers Ferry as the headquarters to store weapons and troops in an attempt to defeat the slave owners.  They even housed some runaway slaves.  Unfortunately, Confederate troops wiped out John Brown and all of his people.  Harpers Ferry saw that battle and many others.

(images:ox4photos/flickr)

(images:ox4photos/flickr)

Standing in the middle of Civil War battles, many people died from epidemics like cholera or the flooding that was common to the area.  It seemed that no one was safe in Harpers Ferry, whether the war, the environment, or disease.  Many men died in the middle of Civil War battles, but even more women and children fell victim in this remote West Virginia area.

Certain places in the area are more prone to incidents than others.  For example, the National Park Services Guest House often has reports of a glowering man in period clothes who is seen standing on the servant’s stairway.  He emits hostile vibes enough to make anyone near him run away.  As one especially scared employee fled from the scene, she reported feeling pushed as she turned away.  When she turned around, the figure had vanished.

A woman has also been seen on the stairs, holding the hand of a young child.  Often they ignore their onlookers and eventually disappear.  People have reported taking a nap or resting in their rooms, only to be awakened by spirits moving in and out of the walls.  On the top floors of the house, screaming can be heard from a closet.  Reaching the room, a white object can be seen floating out and then vanishing.  Suddenly, a crash is heard but no damage can be found.  Later, spectators are horrified to learn that during the Civil War, a battle caused a crash that collapsed a fireplace, killing a small child in the space that is now a closet.

Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

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