8 Sep 2009
They really do serve ‘spirits’ at Herr Ridge Inn
|Results of a recent paranormal investigation at The Inn at Herr Ridge are discussed at the local restaurant and inn recently. Owner Steve Wolf, right, and his daughter Stefany, along with general manager Beth Senseney, listen as details are reviewed by Mason Dixon Paranormal Society founders and lead investigators Stewart Cornelius, left, and Darryl Keller. The group is pictured listening to electronic voice phenomena (EVP) recordings made by the investigators at various places throughout the facility in August.
BY RICK FULTON
Times Staff Writer
A local paranormal investigation group, the Mason-Dixon Paranormal Society, conducted an investigation of the Inn at Herr Ridge last month, and revealed their findings Saturday with its staff.
Beth Senseney, general manager at the inn, told the Times that the group established that there is at least “residual paranormal activity” in the old inn and its associated structures.
The Inn at Herr Ridge (also known as Herr Tavern & Public House), 900 Chambersburg Road, was established in 1815, and served as a field hospital for the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the July 1, 1863, engagement between the Southern troops and the Union forces at the Battle of Gettysburg.
The wounded from the battle were, more frequently than not, deposited in impromptu field hospitals, typically local farm houses, barns, and, in the case of Herr Ridge, the tavern.
It was not uncommon for observers to note that amputated arms and legs could be found in piles next to these buildings up to the winder sills, or in the corners of the rooms where surgeries were being performed, and often “blood flowed in streams along the aisles and the open doors...”
There are those today who believe the suffering endured by the dying was so great that “something remains”...either portals in time, or in the form of lost souls, afraid of the light (the path to heaven) out of fear of being judged of being a part of one of the most horrendous carnage in American history, or still around for reasons yet unknown.
Inn owner Steven Wolf, who has operated the business since 1976, noted that a considerable amount of paranormal activity has been experienced by the inn’s employees and guests over the years.
He said one that especially stood out in his mind was when someone ordered a beer, but there was no one there.
He said the furniture seems to be rearranged on occasion.
He attributes much of the activity to the “house ghost,” Fred Herr (Frederick Herr),” who purchased the tavern in 1828.
Other employees tell of not uncommon unexplained incidences which suggest that when the inn staff say they serve spirits, there is more to the claim than the intended purpose.
Some of the activity reported includes whispers, even calling the names of the employees, cold spots, glasses and silverware flying off tables, even knives and forks falling blade or prongs first and stuck to the floor, computers just starting to type gibberish on their own, extinguished lamps relighting, lights going off or on, unexplained crashes in the kitchen area, knocking and the sounds of boots walking about.
One employee was looking for a glass of water she had left sitting somewhere else. Giving up, she returned to her desk to find it sitting there, frosted over.
Darryl Keller, founder and lead investigator for the Mason-Dixon Paranormal Society (masondixonghosthunters.com), told the Times that the only real evidence of activity from beyond the realm of the living obtained thus far at the inn was 16 electronic voice phenomena (EVP) which included, reportedly, a spirit identifying herself as Hazel.
When the organization conducted its “scientific” investigation on August 21, the group amassed some 57.8 hours of videos, thermal imaging and photographs, the bulk of which revealed nothing.
The group did conclude, however, that “there is paranormal activity,” he said. “To what extent we’re not certain.”
“We plan on returning to Herr’s,” he said. “We’re just not sure when.”
While various groups continue to try and prove or disprove that which lies outside the realm of science using science, for some who work and dine at Inn at Herr Ridge, there is little doubt that “bodies disappear; but spirits linger,” as expressed after the Civil War by Union General Joshua L. Chamberlain, no matter what scientific equipment may say.
Rick Fulton may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.