Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hauntings: Orphanage at Gettysburg

Orphanage at Gettysburg (Pennsylvania)

After the Civil War, many orphanages were opened around the country to take care of children whose parents died in the war.  One opened in Gettysburg and was run for many years by  Phelinda Humiston.  When she retired, she left the children in the care of a woman named Rosa Carmichael.  However, Rosa was a merciless sadist who beat the children, imprisoned them in the basement for days, and even killed some of them.

One young girl escaped and told others of her experiences at the orphanage, which included being beaten by teenage boys, who Rosa armed with sticks, and being tied to a fence in the hot sun until she suffered serious burns.  When the house searched, it was found to be full of torture devices, and the basement had been converted into a dungeon where children were shackled to the walls and left to starve.

Today, the house is the Soldiers National Museum, but the dungeon was kept as it was in the 1870s -- the shackles can still be seen in the basement and many of the other artifacts from Rosa Carmichael's time there are on display.

Visitors have reported hearing children crying or moaning and feeling invisible little hands tugging on their clothes.  Photos come out with strange white streaks on them, and sound recordings with e.v.p.s (electronic voice phenomena) have been made.

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