; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Order of Battle: A Paranormal Experience (Archive)


I wrote the following narrative not long after my experience in June 1998. It occurred during research while in my childhood hometown. It answered a few questions, at least to me, of the actual history leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg:

Most people who are sensitive to spirit energy will agree that the Gettysburg battlefield and surrounding area is probably the most active locale for paranormal phenomena in the United States, if not the world. It seems that people have seen or heard something out of the ordinary at every engagement spot on the battlefield. I have also investigated phenomena in other battle areas including Lee’s retreat back through Maryland and into Virginia after the Gettysburg engagement.

I was born and raised in Hanover, Pennsylvania, (13 miles east of Gettysburg) so my knowledge of the Battle of Gettysburg came early in my childhood. I became interested in the history leading up to this decisive clash between north and south. Of course, at that time I was mostly limited to reading and making inquiries...but my spiritual abilities had been gradually developing since an early age, to the point where I was recognizing different vibrations and energies.

In June 1998, I decided to take a few weeks to get up close and personal with the history of the Battle of Hanover...an important prelude to the Battle of Gettysburg. Most of my investigation concentrated on the exact order of the battle that day of June 30, 1865. Though most of the buildings and locations are no longer there, it was surprising how the official report written after the battle corresponded with some of the landmarks that remain.

One evening, I found myself north of Hanover near the area of the old Hanover airport and beyond. I was walking around trying to get a feel for landmarks. Broadway (formerly the Abbottstown Pike) leads from the Hanover square, north into the Pigeon Hills. Near this point I started to get a residual sense of horses and chaos. Nothing was very clear but I could tell that the tack was that of Union cavalry. It felt like an engagement was near. I was able to pick up just bits and pieces of weak spiritual activity.

I decided to drive back into town, stopping several times in hope of sensing energy. I wasn’t recognizing anything other than the strange looks I was getting from people sitting on their porches. In fact, one man recognized me and started a conversation. I told him what I was doing and got a glance that I was now familiar with...that I must be nuts. Anyway, I told him it was nice to see him again and continued my trek south on Broadway.

At this point, I was getting close to my Grandmother’s residence. Her house was built in 1903 (by my Great Grandfather) but some of the wood structure from the original building was incorporated into the newer structure. She was at a friend's house visiting, so I decided to sit out by the old pine trees on the north side of the house. My grandmother has always been an inspiration to my love of local history. For as long as I could remember, she swore that Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer had dismounted his horse and sat on a bench in front of the original building (at the time, it was a store) and held a brief consultation with his officers after he and his Michigan cavalry counterattacked Major General J.E.B. Stuart’s invading forces and had forced them out of town. I had always considered this story as a tale that embellished itself over the years. I did know that this was near the point where Custer’s fighters crashed into Stuart’s forces during the counterattack but most of the heavy fighting occurred closer to the town square...so, that’s what I thought.

By this time, it was starting to get dark and there was minimal traffic on the street. It was the weekend and Hanover was still the stereotypical “small town” that rolls up the sidewalks at night, especially in the residential areas. The weather was calm and warm. I sat there for about an hour or so thinking about my activities for the following day. In fact, I'm sure I dozed off for a bit...when I noticed the muffled sound of horses. Soon, I was hearing “pops” and I swore I could smell sulfur from burnt gunpowder. I attempted to get a spiritual ‘picture’ (or astral state) and was sensing someone who was frantically trying to find something.

I continued to sit and concentrate when “bam!”...an immense flash to my right. I instantly felt the concussion and burning. It literally blasted me off the lawn chair. I hit my head against the pine tree trunk (because that nasty sticking pine sap was all over the side of my face). I got up and wiped the debris off. Just as fast as it had started, the action had ended. This was very strange...that I felt physical contact while in an astral state. As well, this event had associated echoes which, in my experience, are rare in combination with other paranormal activity. Instead of residual spirit energy, this was more of an astral perception of the actual event. Anyway, I decided that was enough for one night.

A few weeks later, I talked to my grandmother about the incident. She was surprised to a degree but said that she has heard muffled sounds of horses and artillery on many previous occasions. She asked me if I sensed George A. Custer at all. I replied that I had not but I was sure that the soldiers were Union cavalry. She chuckled some and said “give it time, maybe one day you’ll believe my story.” Honestly, I believed her the day of my experience. I just needed a close encounter with history. Lon

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