Gettysburg Hotel

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Once a Civil War Hospital, some of the soldiers who died here
decided to stay and sometimes entertain themselves as well. 

One spirit is still on her mission, and feels free to look among this
world’s possessions for what she needs to help her cause.

An unplanned amenity is having a spectral nurse on the staff.


The historic multi-floored boutique Gettysburg Hotel is a charming Gettysburg landmark, where the traditions of the past are richly blended with the comforts of modern amenities. Within its nine-thousand square-feet, there is something very appealing to a variety of folks. The owners have worked hard to attract romantic-minded couples, families, business people, and anyone else interested in a historic hotel with tempting comforts to make the stay convenient, and enjoyable.

For the convenience of all, there is an on-site restaurant, ONE LINCOLN FOOD & SPIRITS. If guests feel like they pigged out at the restaurant, they can work out at the hotel’s fitness center.

While historic elements can be seen in the common areas, and the ballroom, the rooms are modern creations, probably because of the damage done during the 1983 fire. There is a room or suite sure to make anyone happy!

There are of course the traditional, spacious rooms with double queen or a king beds, that suit many guests. The next step up are the Premier Rooms, with the added feature of a gas fireplace. Some Premier Rooms also come with a Jacuzzi jetted tub.

Families can have more space with a Two Room, One Bath Suite with a refrigerator, which is very handy when traveling with children, who often have items that have to be refrigerated.

The grandest rooms are the large Executive and Bridal Suites that come with a Jacuzzi bath, a working gas fireplace, and a wet bar.

Besides staying here, guests hold their business meetings, social events and other events in the hotel’s versatile spaces and huge historic ballroom that can be catered affairs, thanks to the hotel’s in-house catering service. Everyone will enjoy the high-speed wireless internet.



Located in the heart of Gettysburg business district, Gettysburg Hotel has been around a very long time indeed, being located in the heart of Gettysburg business district. It has had many names over the years, and has been changed often to meet both the business needs of the owners and the wants of the general public.

The original building was constructed in the town square in 1797, by the enterprising James Scott and was known as Scott’s Tavern.

It did very well financially for twelve years. In 1809, it was sold to William McClellan, a former York County sheriff probably because Mr. Scott died. McClellan renamed the tavern, The Indian Queen. After 1846, additions of floors with guest rooms were probably constructed onto the original tavern, as it changed names once again. It became The McClellan House, named for its owners, the McClellan brothers, who probably were related to William, his sons perhaps?

The hotel and tavern weathered the 1863 Civil War. The battle of Gettysburg was just a few blocks walking distance from their address, and came to nearby streets of downtown Gettysburg as well. During the battle, the hotel became a hospital for the wounded, and a drop-off spot for both sides of the fight. Surgeons and nurses moved inside to receive patients. Volunteers from the community helped care for the men as they either recovered or died.

The McClellan family were the owners until the property was sold in 1890, to an enthusiastic new owner who not only gave it a facelift but changed its name to The Gettysburg Hotel. And what a facelift it was! The tavern was expanded into an upscale restaurant, while new amenities that were added included electric lights, hot and cold baths, and steam heat for guests.

As the eras rolled by, there weren’t always enough funds coming in to maintain and improve the hotel to keep it competitive. This eventually hindered its ability to keep the doors open for business.

In 1955, President Eisenhower suffered a heart attack while staying on his Gettysburg farm. The Gettysburg Hotel had the honor of becoming a temporary White House to him as he recovered from his condition.

In 1964, this grand dame needed a boatload of investment or a major facelift to make her competitive; more money than the owner could invest. So the owner threw in the towel and closed the doors of this historic fixer-upper opportunity, just letting the property sit there. I wonder why it wasn’t put back on the real estate market?

For twenty years, the abandoned property sat very forlorn and slowly deteriorated even more. The final mishap was the disastrous fire that ravaged the building in 1983. This once proud, upscale hotel was now a glaring eyesore. It remained that way until an entrepreneur came along in 1990, who bought this sad sack of a property, seeing its possibilities of becoming an upscale historic hotel.

After rebuilding, renovating and restoring this structure, it was opened once again as The Gettysburg Hotel, with a nice blend of historic touches and a new upscale look that please the modern tourist. It not only rose to the level of what their competitors offered but had even more to tempt potential guests.

It came roaring back in popularity, proving that if a historic hotel is maintained, restored, and improved with modern conveniences along with splendid service, the guests will come and stay. This lesson was not forgotten by newer owners who have taken over the reins. They are willing to invest to please tourists and travelers looking for both a historic and updated place to check-in for their stay in Gettysburg.


When a creaky, wobegone structure that was abandoned is restored and renovated to bring new life through its doors once again, spirits who are attached to it are drawn back to this world and sometimes interact with the living.

Geiser Grand Hotel, OR (When this disaster area of this building was bought, and work started in the restoration process, spirits who loved this place appeared in front of workmen to show their enthusiastic support! Spirits included: an upset accident victim, a murder victim and his honey, a snack-loving former owner, and party animals!).

Hartford Twain House Museum, CT (When this house, which was in awful condition, was restored to its former glory, the spirits of Mark Twain and his whole entourage gladly moved back inside, and were more than willing to share their home with many visitors).

Monmouth Plantation, LA (When a couple bought this dilapidated mansion after seeing its possibilities, they endured the stomping of the original spectral owner who became very active when restoration process was started. They eventually won him over).

Gettysburg Hotel, PA (When it was bought in 1991, this once grand structure was a burned-out, long abandoned and very forlorn property. After it was rebuilt, restored and renovated, spirits attached to this structure checked in as guests and one even returned as a spectral worker still on duty. When more renovation was done in 2009, the paranormal activity came up another level, complete with the residual boom of a cannon).

People who embrace their calling while alive, often continue on in their afterlife, especially if they died while doing the job.

Saint Louis Cathedral, New Orleans (The spirit of Pere Dagobert has been seen by the living, still praying for the people of New Orleans, and probably for peace for the six entities who are linked to him. The spirit of Pere Antoine chooses to continue to serve this congregation that he had dedicated himself to serve in Christ).

Lake Hotel, WY (The spirit of a past head porter still helps guests).

Bullock Hotel, SD (The spirit of the original owner, Seth Bullock, still supervises of the living and cares for the guests, having lost faith in the living owners who had the gall to put gambling machines in HIS hotel).

Gettysburg Hotel, PA (The spirit of a dedicated nurse known as Rachel still tirelessly does the job she loved while alive).

Sometimes the living’s backpacks and suitcases are checked by spectral beings out of either spectral duty, urgent need, and/or curiosity.

USS Croaker: Buffalo Naval Park, NY (A spectral officer inspects the content of paranormal investigators’ bags to be sure no booze or firearms or anything else not allowed was brought on board).

El Rancho Hotel, NM (In the Bridal Suite, women’s clothing has been known to stand up by itself, as if a spectral clothes horse is holding it up to see what it would look like on her).

Gettysburg Hotel, PA (The spirit of Ruth rifles through guests’ luggage on an urgent mission to find needed supplies, leaving a huge disheveled mess).

Homes and Hotels that were used as hospitals at some point in their existence often have spectral patients who succumbed to their wounds or ailments still attached to them.

Duff Green Mansion Bed and Breakfast, MS (The spirits of soldiers who died of their wounds have stuck around to enjoy the beauty of the mansion, a consolation prize for dying in the line of duty).

Bullock Hotel, SD (People with Yellow Fever were quarantined in the basement. A young victim of the disease has decided to stay and play in the afterlife).

Biltmore Hotel, FL (WW2 soldiers who suffered or died from their wounds, still reside here, enjoying this beautiful hotel.

Gettysburg Hotel, PA (Spirits of soldiers who died in this Civil War Hospital still reside here, enjoying the restored and renovated hotel).

Structures that were places of fun, relaxation and good times draw back the spirits who have created wonderful memories to dwell on when they were alive, as well as enjoy the activities of the living.

Wabasha Street Caves, MN (The four spirits of gangsters who were playing cards and were gunned down by an assassin, still enjoy themselves here, crashing wedding receptions and being helpful in entertaining children).

Biltmore Hotel, FL (The party is still riding high on the 13th floor spectral speakeasy, while a couple in love dance in the ballroom, remembering their special moments).

Natatorium, TX (“Let the good times roll” is the focus of the spirits who still stay!).

Gettysburg Hotel, PA (Spirits are still enjoying the ballroom, reliving their memories).



The Spirit of Nurse Rachel

She continues to do her mission of caring with dedication.

She has been seen going through the halls on her regular schedule, of taking care of wounded spectral soldiers.

She also checks on the living guests in their rooms.

She also is seen searching the town square for wounded soldiers.

Perhaps she died while doing her job.

Treasure Hunt

She has been known to madly search the luggage of living guests.

Guests will come back to their room to find that their suitcases have been rifled tp , and items strewn all over the room.

Was the luggage suspicious, or was there an urgent need to go through it?

She may be looking for clothing that could be used for bandages. The living should be willing to give it up for the cause.

In her mind, the war is still raging and they have run out of bandages. No time to put the clothing back.

Nice Afterlife Destination

Soldiers who died nearby on the battlefield or in the Gettysburg Hotel field hospital itself have decided to reside here to try to enjoy the surroundings and find some peace.

Spirits of Civil War soldiers have been seen wandering the halls and making bed checks while guests are sleeping.

They sometimes get their chuckles at the expense of the living just to say hello.

They probably like to play with the lights and electrical powered items like televisions found in the rooms and suites.

Memory Lane

The spirit of a woman apparently doesn’t need a dancing partner because she has her memories to dance with all over the ballroom.

Two spirits like to relive the peace and happiness they experienced before the war by doing something they loved to do together: dancing in the ballroom.

The spirits of a woman and a soldier float around the room, hand in hand, dancing to a favorite tune, perhaps a waltz.

Since they are described by witnesses, they must be see-through with clothing that identifies them.

Perhaps they lived locally in Gettysburg, and treated themselves to dancing in the hotel’s ballroom long ago.


Staff, guests of all ages and the owners have all had personal experiences with the hotel’s spectral residents. They know who these shadow people and apparitions are and that they are just like living guests except they are in spirit form.

Paranormal investigators have caught hard evidence of these spirits, proving their existence. One group made contact with the spirit of a Union soldier, James Culbertson of Company K, Pennsylvania Reserves, and even had an intelligent conversation with him. The spirit of James still roams around the hotel.

On an episode of Paranormal State (2009, Season three, Episode seventeen), this team of investigators along with medium Chip Coffee went to the hotel to investigate activity (shadows, loud footsteps and an unexplained boom) that was scaring the guests and driving the owners nuts. It was caused by new renovations done to the structure. They were able to calm the spectral residents down, and life continued there. The upset spirits were sent to the other side).



A Big Yes Indeed!

The spirit of a nurse who may have died before the siege was over, still has a long list of duties to finish, and takes care of the spectral soldiers who died of their wounds here. She also keeps an eye on living guests.  Spectral residents or visitors still enjoy their memories of  all the fun they had dancing in this ballroom when they were alive. Spirits of soldiers are now residents of this fine hotel searching for the peace that their souls crave.


1 Lincoln Square
Gettysburg, PA 17325


Paranormal State, S3 E17 Ghosts of Gettysburg

Posted by amber in Civil War Ghosts

Haunts in Pennsylvania