Haunted Farnsworth House Inn

Haunted Farnsworth House Inn

The Farnsworth House was originally built in 1810, and the brick construction was added in 1833 by John McFarland. The Farnsworth House is a Gettysburg inn, and considered by many (including the Travel Channel) to be full of spirits. At one time, the house sheltered Confederate sharpshooters, and actually has more than 100 holes in the brick walls from Union soldiers.

During the famous battle, the Sweney family lived in the Farnsworth House. The Inn was named after Brigadier General Elon John Farnsworth.

The most popular ghost at the Farnsworth House is Mary. She seems to care for the sick or injured, and some speculate that she might have been a nurse, or a midwife.

Walter is the name of a spirit who is not known to be so helpful. The legend has it that he was a Confederate soldier staying at the Inn. Shortly after receiving a letter from his lady love breaking up with him, he was shot and died in the Farnsworth House. Walter seems to be particularly hateful to women. A female guest was once almost strangled at the Inn, and a chair was thrown at a lady visitor.

A rocking chair sometimes rocks when no one is sitting in it. A ghost-cat scampers around and then disappears under a bed. Visitors to the Inn report being touched. Coins move by themselves. Ghostly children giggle, and the sounds of men whispering are often heard.

Guests report footsteps walking back and forth across the empty attic, windows banging, and shadows flitting up and down the hallway. Bathroom faucets and bedroom lights sometimes turn on and off by themselves.

The tour guides at the Inn have some amazing stories to tell:

At the base of Cemetery Hill where a battle had occurred, a Confederate soldier sometimes appears in amongst a copse of trees. He walked through a tour group late one night, and then disappeared. Everyone in the group felt cold, although it was balmy out.

In this same wooded area, a guest on a tour took a picture of an apparition of a little girl. When she looked at the picture on her digital camera, the girl appeared to be “a dark shape hanging by a noose.”


Ventura, Varla. Beyond Bizarre: Frightening Facts and Blood-Curdling True Tales. San Francisco: Weiser Books, 2010.




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