Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ghost Story - Happy Halloween

It's Halloween in Hershey, Pennsylvania tonight.  Yes.  It is Thursday the 29th, but that's how we roll in Central Pennsylvania.  To celebrate a tale from my youth –

My {lame} Ghost Story

In the early 1990's I was an undergraduate at Gettysburg CollegeGettysburg is a small liberal arts college, which shares the town with the historic Gettysburg Battlefield, and the location of President Lincoln's justly famed Gettysburg Address, both of which took place during the American Civil War.  The town was known for its ghost stories.  There was the blue boy. (He was alleged youngster who died due to exposure when trapped outside during a winter night when the college hosted a prep school.)  There were various haunts by the many dead who died during and after the famed battle.  (Many of them centered on buildings that were present during the battle usually with people turning a corner and seeing some scene of wounded soldier horror with the lines of the miserable moaning wounded.)   

I myself went on multiple ghost hunts in the middle of the night on the battlefield.  Nothing much ever happened, no ghost riders, or translucent lines of soldiers trampling the field.  A few times a soldier's statue might play a quick trick of the eye with light and shadow, but never once did a statue come alive or bellow in agony. 

The closest I ever came was one winter night walking back to my dorm with my roommate when I looked up at the cupola at the top of Penn Hall.  Penn Hall is a large White House-ish looking building in the center of campus that was present during the battle.  The cupola was used as an observation tower for the Confederate troops.  It's all stepped in history.  As I looked up at the cupola I was froze in amazement.  For there next to the flag was a man, a possibly uniformed man, next to the American flag flying in the cupola.  My roommate turned around and asked what was wrong.  I turned to him, and said do you see anything in the cupola.  He looked up at it, and did not see anything.  When I turned to look back at the cupola, I did not see anything either.  I never did again.  So for a split second I thought I saw something, but then it was lost.  Did I actually see a ghost or apparition of a soldier in my school's cupola? 

Unfortunately, this story will never make Mysterious Universe.  As a history major who was steeped in the ghost lore of the town, I think my brain played a quick game with light and shadow and my imagination did the rest.  Yep.  That's it.  Sort of a sad little tale.  Happy Halloween.  Be kind to your neighborhood black cat. 

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