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Brad and Sherry Steiger

Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan






Hungry Ghost Month


The Pioneer Lines Scenic Railway Engine House:

A Study in Paranormal Investigation

Mark Nesbitt Investigates The Gettysburg Haunted Train. Photo by Carol Nesbitt.

By Mark Nesbitt

Author - The Ghosts of Gettysburg Series

Photos by Carol Nesbitt and Jim Jacobs

Every “ghost hunter” has his or her own methods of investigating an alleged haunted site. Although I’ve been involved in some 150-plus investigations since Rick Fisher of the Pennsylvania Paranormal Society invited me on my first in 1995, they all seem to have followed the same general, structured methodology. My experiences with the Pioneer Lines Scenic Railway Engine House, located on the battlefield of Gettysburg, PA, have been typical of the way I conduct investigations into paranormal phenomena.

Jim Jacobs Real Ghost Photo At Gettysburg Engine House

Jim Jacobs Real Ghost Photo At Gettysburg Engine House

I began hearing whispers of unexplained events in and around the railroad engine house sometime in 2003. Before invading a site with meters and psychics, my first step in beginning any investigation is to interview individuals who have experienced the paranormal phenomena. Some academics call information gathered from eyewitnesses “anecdotal evidence,” and consider it unreliable. (Strangely enough, some of these same critics, called “historians,” praise eyewitness accounts to historical events, calling the evidence “primary source material.”) I like to say that if you gather enough anecdotal evidence, as I have with over 1,000 ghost stories of Gettysburg, it becomes “data,” and information can be gleaned from it. Railroaders, like many
hard-working, no-nonsense individuals, are notoriously reluctant to relate anything out of the ordinary for fear of being ridiculed, so I knew I had my interviewing work cut out for me. But as with any group of individuals, once they got started relating their experiences, the information flowed. It was interesting to hear one railroader talk about his experiences hearing phantom footsteps walking down the aisle in a parked passenger car he was working on, then to hear another pipe up and say, “You heard that too? I thought I was hearing things and didn’t want to tell anyone!” After spending a couple of hours interviewing and touring the engine house, I was convinced that something out of the ordinary was occurring there.

My next step in an investigation is to research the history of the site. The engine house was fairly easy.

The engine house is a huge metal building with a “garage” area large enough to accommodate rail cars and locomotives while they are being repaired. In the south eastern corner of the building are offices. While the building itself is not historic, the land upon which it sits is remarkably so. The building was built on the east slope of Oak Ridge, the eminence upon which the Union Army made its “last stand” on the afternoon of July 1, 1863, before being driven back through the town of Gettysburg. Union soldiers fought desperately to hold the position, then, as they retreated, fought just as desperately to save their lives as Confederates poured rifle fire down upon them. Some were wounded at the future site of the engine house; some were killed there; some may have even been buried there; some may still be buried there. (The most recently discovered human remains were found in the mid-1990s just a few hundred yards from the engine house.) The engine house sits less than a hundred yards from one of the three “railroad cuts,” fought over so savagely by the soldiers. So I knew there was a bloody history associated with where the engine house now sits.

As well, I was interested in the possible existence of a “matrix effect.” Railroad rails represent a steel matrix that connects the entire continental United States: touch a rail in Maine and you are connected electromagnetically to California. The rail system represents a huge, electromagnetic “net” or, perhaps, “antenna” across the land. Though I haven’t had a chance to test out any paranormal theories yet at the engine house, that day may soon come.

Later that year I investigated the engine house with a local “team” who had set up near infrared video cameras and took still photos. I was successful at obtaining several EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) including getting a loud raspy response after asking for Confederates to give us the famous “rebel yell.”

On one notable night, Rob Conover, a psychic from Pekin, Illinois, who has been featured on “A Haunting,” helped “cross-over” numerous souls who had been stuck in the area, including a preacher, unable to leave those who remained. In a remarkable piece of EVP, I recorded Rob telling the preacher, “Go on, Preacher,” and a phantom voice which says, “Heaven!” In the meantime, Laine Crosby and another psychic who was with our group, saw a large number of spirits in a field on the other side of the parked train. One thought it was a group of college students gathering, since Gettysburg College is adjacent to the railroad. “No,” the other said. “Look closer. See, they have no legs.”


Additional reports from the engine house continued to filter in. One of the employees saw a haze appear between two engines, then vanish through the side of the building. A second time he saw it, he was determined to touch it. As he moved toward it, the haze backed off; when the employee backed up, the haze approached him. Again, it disappeared through the metal side of the building. The employee began to carry a camera with him. Sure enough, within a few days, it appeared again, and he got a photo of it.

After we were featured on the Travel Channel’s, Mysterious Journeys series, “Ghosts of Gettysburg,” we began to bring groups into the engine house to accompany us on our investigations. Along with some members of the Ghost Research Foundation, I obtained some excellent EVP, including one where I ask the ghost to speak a little more quietly, since she was too loud on the recorder to be of use. Her recorded answer: “All right. I’ll be quiet.” Other subsequent investigations have yielded additional EVP and some unexplained photos of what appear to be humans in empty locomotives.

Poltergeist activity has also been witnessed. One employee left his coffee cup in the middle of his desk as he left the office area. When he returned in the morning, it had been moved to the side. He asked if any of the other employees had moved his cup and was told no. The next night, he made sure he was the last to leave and placed his cup in the middle of the desk. He was the first one in the next morning, and the cup had been moved, again to the side of the desk. As a final experiment, he left his cup in the middle of the desk with a folded note that said, “move it to the other side.” The next morning, he was the first one in the office. The cup was moved…to the other side of the desk!

While I was attempting to obtain EVP, Patty Wilson, of the Ghost Research Foundation, was adamant: someone else wanted to talk to me. He was male and a burly railroad employee…from many decades past. I ignored her for a while, until a traffic barrel, which had been sitting on a tire at the end of the engine house for weeks, suddenly flew off as if it were kicked. I decided it might be a good idea to talk to the gentleman.

In 2005, I was approached by an officer of the Pioneer Lines Scenic Railway who inquired if I would like to partner with them to produce a “Ghost Train” tour, placing one of our guides on the train to tell stories of great train disasters and the ghosts they spawned. In 2008, I was asked to re-write the ghost train tour to include the stories and EVP from the engine house investigations. The railroad added some track, and now the train actually enters the haunted engine house, and passengers can risk experiencing some of the paranormal phenomena we all know occurs in there.

Since the new Ghost Train has been operating, passengers have had experiences. A grandfather and his grandson, sitting in aisle seats, both reported that someone unseen had touched them on the shoulders, as if steadying themselves from the rolling of the train. A young woman wrote to me and asked, while they were sitting in the car in the engine house, if anyone had exited the train. She had seen a bald man, with just a fringe of hair, walk gingerly past her window. I asked the manager of the railroad if anyone had gotten off the train that night. He said, yes, the assistant manager, who is female, and the conductor, who has a full head of hair. No one else, for safety reasons, is allowed off the train while it is in the engine house.

Ghost Photo taken By Jim Jacobs

The above Ghost Photo taken By Jim Jacobs

Additional investigations are scheduled for the engine house, most in association with our Mysterious Journeys weekends, sponsored by Mark Nesbitt’s Ghosts of Gettysburg Tours (www.ghostsofgettysburg.com) and the Cashtown Inn (www.cashtowninn.com), in January, February and March 2009, and spaces are still available as of this writing.

For reservations or information on the Ghost Train, visit www.gettysburgrail.com. For listen to samples of EVP, and check out investigation pictures and videos, visit www.GhostChannel.TV.

Please Also See: Mark Nesbitt: The Real Ghost Man Of Gettysburg

The Gettysburg Ghost Train Tour

You saw it on The Travel Channel's "Mysterious Journeys", now experience the thrills and chills of the Haunted Engine House and the Gettysburg Ghost Train.

Experience a trip that can only be taken by train, into the haunted Gettysburg countryside. As you roll over the very fields bloodied by the fighting in July 1863, past the legendary railroad cut, just below mysterious Oak Ridge, and within a stone's throw of the infamous Iverson's Pits, expert guides from the Ghosts of Gettysburg Tours treat you to eerie tales of hauntings.

Your ghostly adventure continues as your rail car pulls into the haunted Engine House where you will hear the voices of the dead captured on tape in that very building! No other Ghost Tour in Gettysburg takes you so close to the actual battlefield, in the very car where those before you have had ghostly encounters, and into the actual haunted site that you saw on tv! This is the only tour offered that will take you into the Haunted Engine House.

The Gettysburg Ghost Train Tour

Please allow at least 1 1/2 hours for the ride. Reservations are STRONGLY recommended.

The ghost train will be running on the following dates in 2008 at 7:00pm: 5/24, 6/7, 6/13, 6/20, 6/28, 7/4, 7/5, 7/12, 7/18, 7/26, 8/2, 8/9, 8/15, 8/23, 8/30, 9/20, 9/27, 10/3, 10/10, 10/11, 10/17, 10/18, 10/24, 10/25, 10/31, and 11/1.
To request information or make reservations contact Pioneer Lines Scenic Railway, 106 N.Washington St., Gettysburg, PA 17325
Phone: 717-334-6932
email: pioneerlines@innernet.net
Website: http://http://www.gettysburgrail.com/train_ride_details.php?ride_id=256.

Price: Adults/$22.00; Children (ages 8-12)/$16.00; Children (ages 3-7)/$9.00; and age 2 and under free (must sit on lap) 

THE GHOSTS OF GETTYSBURG CANDLELIGHT WALKING TOURS© Voted the #1 Ghost Tour in America by HauntedAmericaTours.com many visitors 2004- 2008. And honored as the 2007: Paranormal couple of the Year Mark Nesbitt And Laine Crosby.


The Well Known Paranormal Investigator and author of the popular Ghosts of Gettysburg book series , A Ghost Hunter's Field Guide: Gettysburg & Beyond,and several books on the Civil War. He also appeared in the TravelChannel's “Mysterious Journeys.” He founded the Ghosts of Gettysburg Candlelight Walking Tours in Gettysburg and the Ghosts of Fredericksburg Tours in Virginia.

Mark Nesbitt was born in Lorain, Ohio, and graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College with a BA in English Literature.

Ghost Talkers is a paranormal talk show with Ghosts of Gettysburg author Mark Nesbitt and Investigative Medium Laine Crosby. The duo interview authors, psychics, historians and paranormal investigators. Series topics include- capturing E.V.P., ghost hunting, psychic encounters, and uncommon adventures investigating the paranormal. Exclusively on www.ghostchannel.tv Ghost Channel.TV voted #1 by Haunted America Tours as 2007-8 Up and Coming in the Paranormal Community.

On the Travel Channel:
Ghost Talkers co-hosts Mark Nesbitt and Laine Crosby appear on The Travel Channel's new series Mysterious Journeys in the Ghosts of Gettysburg episode.



Ghost Channel.TV Launches
Dead On Productions is proud to announce the launch of the first paranormal channel on the Internet. The Ghost Channel.TV launched September 10, 2007 with video and audio downloads, EVP recordings, pictures, audio blogs and much more.

Ghost Talkers is a paranormal Talk Show with Ghosts of Gettysburg author Mark Nesbitt and Investigative Medium Laine Crosby. The duo interview authors, psychics, historians and paranormal investigators.

Now, armed with tales from these ghost books - and with a few that aren't in the books - knowledgeable guides will take you on your choice of several evening tours through sections of town that were bloody battlefields 13 decades ago; through night-darkened streets to houses and buildings where it's not as quiet as it should be; to sites on the old Pennsylvania College campus where the slain once lay in rows, and the wounded suffered horribly, waiting to become corpses themselves; to cemeteries where the dead lie. . . sometimes not so peacefully. 

Of all the forlorn, countless souls awash in time, none reach out to us more than those of the dead at Gettysburg. They were young men, mostly, with hopes for a bright future and moved by sincere patriotic dreams, caught up and cruelly thrown down again, in the great, hot whirl of mortal combat.



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Lisa Lee Harp Waugh The Great American Necromancer


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