Lost Souls from the Past
I know what you are thinking, this guy lost his mind. What's this got to do with metal detecting? Well have you been out somewhere in no-mans land relic hunting an old cellar hole, church, or farm from the mid 1700's or mid 1800's and you feel that someone is watching you, but no one is around. You go about your business. I know I have been at such places, most places I experience these ghostly apparitions are at churches, battlefields, forts, and old cellar holes.
Well we all know about Gettysburg's Phantom Regiment that haunts the battlefield. You can actually hear the whole battle in progress. Or hear the screams coming from picket charge took place. I heard just recently you know them little bus tours that take you around Gettysburg Park and points of interest; some strange tings have happen on them trips once in a while. Well believe it or not it's true. If you ever go to Gettysburg take the tour trip and see for yourself if you dare. And maybe you will be one of the lucky ones to hear the battle reliving the past.
So many people have witnessed this phenomenon. They do say Gettysburg is the most haunted place on earth. If you figure that over 50,000 soldiers were killed at Gettysburg during the battle there, so it is possible that there could be some lost souls or lost armies or regiments just floating around. They lost their lives in the bloodiest and cruelest ways. Some of you know what I mean. Just think about the next 69 cal or 58 cal you dug and imagine what it might have been like getting hit by one of them. Think about the canister shells or cannon balls. Man, they did not have chance.
Well now let's get back to the experience I had about ten years ago at an Old Church. The old Church goes back to 1780ís, but before that there was an old fort there. No one recalls if there was one, all they know is that before the structure that is there now, there were 3 other structures. The first 2 structures were log cabins and they burned down because of Indian raids, and all the records they did have were burned in the fire.
Now this is when it gets interesting. Most of the finds I have found in the back of the church are relics and coins from 1734 - 1770's. Harry, George, Mary, Steve, Pete, Rodger, and I have found alot of 1750's buttons and I found a button that said Fort Brand. I researched Fort Brand and there was no fort with that name here in Western Pennsylvania. We have found numerous square nails and musketballs in the old cornfield. So with the relics found there I think this site can support that there was a fort built there. The fort site is probably an unrecorded fort site like so many others out there.
Well one day Pete and I where in the back of the cemetery where the old road came upon and along the cemetery. It ran along the cornfield. I was detecting along the old road when I heard a very soft click but repeatable signal. Then I pinpointed and it was very deep because of the very soft low pitch sound. I was thinking that I was digging another Vermont or a Connecticut copper because I dug some here about a year before and they were very deep too. When I was digging I felt that someone was behind me, but I knew it was not because I saw Pete 20 yards or so in front of me. I was afraid to look. So I kept digging. When I was getting the last handful of dirt out of the hole, I felt they were leaning down to see what I found. When I saw what I dug it was a revolutionary war button. I decided to take a look behind me and there stood a revolutionary war soldier looking at the button and me. I about died right there. He was in his 20's and he was just as curious as what I was doing as I was of him. He stood straight up and starting walking towards the cornfield and then he disappeared. It was the spookiest thing I ever had happen to me while metal detecting. How about you?
So next time when you are out there detecting an old fort or civil war battlefield. just beware of the ghostly apparitions from the past. Just think of what stories they can tell.
Bill (pittsburgh, pa)
p.s. if you have any ghostly stories just e-mail me and let me know. I love to hear them.