Monday, August 18, 2014
Book Spotlight: Ghosts of Gettysburg VII
What lurks on the battlefields of Gettysburg after dark? Does the spirits of those killed in July 1863 rise from their graves and re enact their bloody deaths over and over and over again? There might be something to the ghostly tales author and paranormal researcher Mark Nesbitt suggests in his latest installment in his widely popular Ghosts of Gettysburg series. Nesbitt, a former National Park Service Ranger/Historian began publishing the stories of the ghosts and haunting's of Gettysburg in 1991 and each volume offers its fair number of spine tingling tales. Fans of the series will not be disappointed as the author offers follow up of some of the series classic tales such as the elevator in Gettysburg College's "Old Dorm" which occasionally takes unsuspecting riders into a hellish visit to the past when the doors open, not to the modern world, but to a Civil War hospital. While there are several updates, there are also plenty of new stories that are as intriguing as they are curious. My person favorite was the woman who bought an electronic voice recorder after hearing bangs and knocks in the General Lee suite at the Quality Inn at General Lee's Headquarters to only recieve an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) of a southern voice saying "General Lee will be with you."
What stands out in Nesbitt's books that can be found lacking in other books of the topic, is Nesbitt's firm footing as an historian. All the stories and paranormal activity are connected back to the historic record, this helps explain the activity people are witnessing. For example, people for decades have smelled the strong sent of perfume on the main streets of Gettysburg. The activity makes more sense when it is revealed that following the battle the stench of the dead was so overpowering that the ladies of Gettysburg soaked their handkerchief's in perfume to mask the smell. Not only does the reader get a good ghost story, but also a good dose of history in the process! The only place that I disagree with Nesbitt is his claim that the Confederate sharpshooter that accidentally killed Jennie Wade was behind the rubble barricade on Baltimore Street. In my research, I am of the opinion that the shot likely came from the Rupp Tannery, but this is a small disagreement caught by a very picky reader!
A must read for all fans of the paranormal and of the Civil War. I have been a fan of Mark Nesbitt since I first saw him on the History Channel in the 1990s and this volume does not disappoint and I can't wait to see the next installment in the Ghosts of Gettysburg series as the dead have more to tell us!