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Jennie Wade House - HauntedHouses.com

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Haunted Dwelling — Jennie Wade House

ADDRESS:

528 Baltimore Street, (Originally 758 Baltimore Street)
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325
Web Link
* (717) 334-4100

LOCATION:

The Jennie Wade House Museum can be found at the southern end of Baltimore Street, just past the intersection of Steinwehr, and not far from cemetery hill, the Civil War memorial burial site; Gettysburg National Cemetery. Baltimore Street is also Hwy 15, which runs north/south and crosses the main drag of Gettysburg, Hwy 30, making it easy to find.

DESCRIPTION:

The Jennie Wade House is a two story, modest red brick structure, sturdily made, and originally was a duplex done 1800s style. It has the customary cellar and attic as well. A wall divided the brick structure from attic to first floor, creating two rental units. The house is now a museum and is open for tours. The gift shop is in the back of the house.

This historic house looks very much like it did back in 1863. "Authentically furnished from cellar to attic, The Jennie Wade House Museum is not only a shrine to a heroic martyr but has become a museum of life and living during the American Civil War."

Taking the tour will give the visitor a glimpse of life in the Civil War era, and perhaps a paranormal experience!

HISTORY:

Mary Virginia Wade was born in Gettysburg in 1843, and grew up in a house with her family that could be found also on Baltimore Street. She was called Jennie. In 1863, this local girl turned 20, and was living with her sister Georgia, her brother-in-law, Louis and her baby nephew/niece in one unit of this red brick house, while Susan McClean, the owner of this structure, lived in the other unit. Jennie also had a love of her own, Johnston "Jack" H. Skelly. When the Civil War broke out, both Louis and Jack joined the Union forces. Jack became Corporal, and then Sergeant Johnston Skelly. Both of them went to fight the war a long way from home.

Both Jennie & Georgia, and Susan McClean had kind hearts, and let the orphan children from the nearby orphanage escape their hard, abusive existence for awhile, and play at their house, enjoying a few happy times, a kind of oasis away from their sad reality of suffering at the hands of their abusive orphanage director with personal issues and temper problems. The orphanage was originally located at 785 Baltimore Street.

Then their situation took a turn for the worse, when Union and Confederate troops clashed in a bloody conflict on the fields and town of Gettysburg. Jennie, Georgia and Susan's house was smack dab in the middle of the fighting, in "NO MAN'S LAND." Not only was this a landlord's nightmare, but it goes without saying that it was incredibly dangerous for the occupants as well.

Jenny, Georgia and Susan were warned to leave because of their precarious situation. While Susan left, both the sisters baked bread and gave out water to passing Union troops, perhaps thinking about their own loved ones, far away and also probably fighting the confederate soldiers on some distant battlefield. Their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wade, also came to help, hoping to keep their daughters safe, as well as help Union soldiers.

During the first two days of the battle, a cannon ball landed in the dividing wall in the attic, but it didn't explode. While many bullets hit the outside of the house, none came inside. However, sometime during the third day of the battle, a stray bullet that was shot by a confederate soldier, holding his position in the Farnsworth House attic, came through two wooden doors of their home, striking poor Jennie in the back as she was baking bread in the kitchen. Jennie was the only civilian killed in this bloody 3 day battle, and she was remembered as a martyr to the cause, an example of courage and patriotism.

When soldiers came to take her body, her mother insisted in having Jennie put in the cellar, until it was safe to move her. Soldiers stayed with the body until she could be buried in a temporary burial spot. Finally, Jennie's remains were buried in Gettysburg National Cemetery with honor. Her grave is honored by a lovely statue and an American flag.

Causes of the MANIFESTATIONS:

The Entity of Jennie Wade

Jennie was killed while in the middle of an urgent mission; Making bread for hungry soldiers. She didn't get to finish the batch she was working on. People who die in the middle of an important task or work goal, often try to continue what they were doing before they died unexpectedly.

(The Social Parlor * Kenmore Plantation)

She is perhaps still waiting to hear the fate of her beloved, Jack, who she knew was fighting in a battle. Jack was taken prisoner and died from his wounds at Winchester. Jennie never found out. Their mutual friend, Wesley Culp, who had joined the Confederacy, was supposed to bring her the news as he had been there when Jack died and had promised Jack he would tell her. Unfortunately, Wesley didn't have the chance because he died on July 3rd in the Gettysburg Battle, on Culp's Hill.

Unfinished business concerning loved ones has caused entities to hang onto this world.

(Abraham Curry House * Infirmary For Women * Anchuca Mansion)

The Children Entities —

Perhaps these children didn't survive because of abuse they received, diseases, the hardship of war,or dumb kid accidents. They so enjoyed their time with the kind-hearted, loving souls who lived here, and all the fun they had in the house, that they have stayed here after they had passed.

In other stories on this web site, the entities of children like to stay where they were loved and cared for. (Robert E Lee Mansion * Collingwood Art Center * Kehoe House)

The Two Male Entities —

They perhaps are tied to the house due to emotional issues as neither act like they are too happy, and can't let go to the other side. Some entities mourn the loss of a loved one, perhaps blaming themselves, while others are just upset because they died before they were ready; A common occurrence during war.

(The Chapel of the Cross * Octagon Mansion * Cashtown Inn)

MANIFESTATIONS:

    1. Female Entity — Jennie Wade

      An apparition of a young woman, presumed to be Jennie, has been seen around the house, who is apparently still baking bread, as the aroma of freshly baked bread delights the living.

      Her favorite perfume which was rose-scented is noticed as well by visitors and museum caretakers.

    2. An Unknown Male Entity —

      Thought by some to be her father, this male presence, felt and sometimes seen, has been noticed by the living to be hanging out in the cellar.

    3. Another Unknown Male Entity —

      He is known to haunt the upstairs area. He smokes cigars and on occasion lets invisible ashes fall on visitors for chuckles. He needed another lesson or two in the social graces.

    4. Unknown Entities of Friendly Children have made their presences known throughout the house.

      They have been known to yell a friendly greeting, "Hey!"

      If they take a liking to a person, they have been known to grab onto this favored person's ankles in an affectionate way and travel with this person during the tour.

      Other times, they have touched the person's hand.

      On the second floor, the Entities of Children like to:

      1. Swing on the chains which are part of the roped off areas that have antique furniture, to prevent visitors sitting or touching the displays.

      2. They like to play with the bed-skirts around the bottom of the beds in the upstairs bedrooms.

    5. On the first floor, these Entities of Children like to play downstairs in the first floor bedroom, on the rug in from of the deacon's bench. As it is in this room that the downstairs stories are told, the little entities like to play with visitors' jewelry or tug on coats.

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Still Haunted?

Definitely yes. Not only are there lots of personal experiences reported, but also Paranormal groups such as Tri-County Paranormal have captured some hard evidence.

Check out their pictures! delcoghosts.com/jenniewstory.html

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Ghost Tours are offered to visitors... gettysburgbattlefieldtours.com

Haunted Places by Dennis William Hauck

Sources include: gettysburg.com * graveaddiction.com * theshadowlands.net

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