Respect for the Battlefields of Gettysburg
I have lived in the area for nearly 40 years. The first time I visited Gettysburg it was a sobering experience. I walked the battlefield, read the inscriptions on the memorial statues, climbed the steps up the tower to view the battlefield, and even enjoyed a meal in a local restaurant. I took pictures with my 35mm camera. The place was peaceful, beautiful, and very, very sad. For me, the town had a creepy feel, a feeling of heaviness, of something hanging over it that weighed me down and made me feel dark. I didn't like returning so I didn't return very often until 2007. I joined a wonderful ghost hunting group out of Gettysburg. Then I met and started dating someone from Gettysburg, who I am still,very happily with, so I spend a great deal of time there now.
The town has changed, since then, beyond recognition. The tourist trade is phenomenal. Shops, stores, museums, galleries, restaurants, have sprung up everywhere. Crowds walk the streets every day from early April through October. The battlefields are lined with cars and people are everywhere with their cameras. All of this has been great for the economy of the town.
But there is one thing that has happened that I do not believe to be good for the town at all. That is this idea, this belief, that has been repeated and ingrained into the public in recent years, that Gettysburg is the most haunted battlefield, the most haunted town in America; that ghosts of civil war soldiers, both confederate and union, walk the town's streets, reside in the town's buildings, and haunt the battlefields in huge numbers. And...they can and should be HUNTED; caught on camera, questioned, recorded, gathered for evidence, made into TV reality shows, toured by groups of ghost enthusiasts for fun; as if the town were an amusement part ride and the ghosts were the attractions; as if the entire town and all of its ghostly dead were free game for entertainment, amusement, and PROFIT.
Even the legitimate Paranormal Investigative teams seem to have succumbed to the temptation for scarfing up the huge profits to be won at being tour guides, and giving pseudo ghost walk/paranormal investigation mini tours for a price. Selling t-shirts, selling equipment for ghost hunting, selling the hope of catching a civil war soldier in all of his sad and bloody glory, on camera, on recording, capturing an EVP saying "get out!!!".
It has gotten absurd, extreme, ridiculous, and, in my opinion, horrendously disrespectful of the dead.
A recent post on social media expressed this sentiment that they were grateful for the people who were working to preserve the battlefield, and expressed thanks for the many hours that their team spent investigating the battlefield.