Farnsworth House

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Home to spectral Confederate soldiers killed in a firestorm.

Can be cheeky, be entertainers, and do bed visits for giggles!

They are still on duty; still ready to fight the good fight.


The Farnsworth House Inn — This is a solidly built structure whose beginnings go back to 1810, when a family home was built of a solid, durable wood, with the highest craftsmanship — No short cuts were taken. 23 years later, a John McFarland owned the home, and added a 3 and 1/2 story, equally high quality brick addition to enlarge and modernize his home, which also made it a considerable fortress of sorts.

These two structures, the original wooden home and its rather large brick addition, have their original walls, flooring and rafters, which are enjoyed today by the Inn’s guests. There are 5 guest rooms in these original, oldest structures, which also have spirit people attached to them.

Before, during and after the Civil War, the Sweeny family owned this sturdy, safe home. The retreating Confederate soldiers also noticed what a fortress this home was, and especially liked the garret window in the attic, a perfect place for snipers to pick off Union soldiers on Cemetery Hill, just a 100 yards away, during the 3 day, bloody battle. The Sweeny’s fled to safety, and a group of Confederate soldiers took positions within the home, especially in the attic.

Unfortunately, one of the snipers’ stray bullet went through a home not far away, where Jennie and Georgia were making bread for the Union side. The bullet penetrated the Wade’s door, killing Jenny Wade in her kitchen.

After the battle of Gettysburg, Union forces also were attracted to this fortress-like home, and set up headquarters there. Sooner or later, the Sweeny’s were able to move back into their home. They probably noticed the over 100 bullet marks in the southern wall of the brick addition, as visitors do today!

Around the turn-of-the-century, both structures became a bed and breakfast Inn, perhaps to take advantage of the people traveling to visit the Gettysburg battlefield, a place where over 50,000 men died in battle, and to visit the cemetery, where perhaps friends and loved ones were buried. The Inn was named for a brave, Union Civil War officer, General John Farnsworth who died, along with 65 of his men, charging the right flank of General Longstreet’s Confederate position.

In recent years, a newer group of 5 rooms were built around and by the courtyard, and garden, expanding opportunities for guests. Other buildings on the property became the restaurant and tavern.

In 2009, the property is now a very successful bed and breakfast inn and restaurant, which makes good use of this historical setting by having wonderful displays of Civil War Memorabilia. Because it is one of the most haunted houses in Gettysburg, the owners have put their spiritual residents to work, so to speak. So, the owners operate a theater for ghost stories in the basement and have Ghost tours as well. They have haunted, and unhaunted rooms for guests to stay in, covering all bases. Visitors who want a paranormal experience like to stay in the 1864 era — older rooms, though they are warned by the staff.


Sometime during the third day, the Union forces attacked with force this deadly group of sharpshooters in the Sweeny Home. In a long firestorm of bullets, the sharpshooters were killed, stopping the carnage caused by their rifles.

Places where fierce battles have taken place, resulting in deaths of soldiers, often have entities of young men who weren’t ready to die just yet, wanting to complete their duty, or continue on in their life; not go to the other side.

People who have an important job that they enjoy during life, sometimes don’t want to retire and go to the other side when their time on earth is over, and choose to stay and continue in their work here.



Entities of Confederate Soldiers

When the inn is quiet and no one is in the attic, the living are treated to a Jew’s harp concert, played by an entity soldier still on duty in the attic.

Footfalls are heard on the staircases, and pacing throughout the main floor. Employees have heard foot steps following them around as they tend to their duties. When they look behind them, no one is there.

Invisible presences have been known to pay the living a visit, by sitting on their beds. Out of the corner of the eye, the living have seen apparitions, shadows moving.

At night the living have seen in front of them shadows moving through the dining room.

In the restaurant, entities have been known to be rather rude and cheeky to the waitresses. On two occasions, both women were turned completely around by an invisible presence who had yanked hard on their apron strings.


One Halloween, a local radio station made a broadcast from The Farnsworth Inn, via remote.

Because all the phone lines were down at the Inn, the crew dressed in blue had to run cables from the house to other locations.

They called their boss at the radio station “Captain”.

This all caused the Confederate soldier entities great panic and concern, and they tried to make their worries known to the psychic brought along as she walked throughout the house, seeing what she could discover. The entities thought their position was about to be discovered.

The psychic told one individual entity that he could move on now and didn’t have to be a soldier any more. It didn’t work.

The entity of the elderly female Matron

Down the hallway which runs between the tavern and the kitchen, a lifelike apparition of an older woman dressed in 1800s attire has been seen looking over the items stored on the shelves there.

She disappeared without a trace.

She has been spotted for many years but no one is sure who she is; perhaps a former mistress or head housekeeper, checking up on the supplies.


Definitely yes.



401 Baltimore Street
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325
(717) 334-8838

The Farnsworth House Inn can be found on Baltimore Street, between Lincoln Lane and Wainwright Avenue. Baltimore Street, also known as HWY 15 runs north/south through the central part of historic Gettysburg, intersecting with HWY 30, which runs east/west through historic Gettysburg.





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Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Pennsylvania