Learn the tragic civil war story of Jennie Wade on a US Ghost Adventures Tour of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Discover the dark side of this haunted and historic American town.
Only in Gettysburg can you stroll from one street and pass through multiple centuries of history and hauntings.
Because the city is so old, it’s one of the most haunted in America. Gettysburg was home not only to one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg address but also to good innocent people whose lives changed during that fateful battle.
One of those innocents was Jennie Wade, an ordinary woman who has captured the hearts of all who’ve dared to visit her haunted Civil War era historic home: The Jennie Wade House
Christened Mary Virginia but called Jennie, Wade was born, raised, and killed in Gettysburg. Her mother, Mary, practically raised Jennie and her five siblings alone. Their father, James, was frequently absent—a drunk, a mean man, and generally not a rule follower.
James was later committed to a sanitarium, or a mental asylum, for his violent and unpredictable behavior. But that was only the start of a rough life for young Jennie Wade.
Mary and Jennie worked out of their home as seamstresses while caring for a local family’s young disabled son, Isaac. Jennie was on the verge of adulthood when the Civil War came to Gettysburg. That infamous battle would change everything.
By all accounts, Wade was a kind, charitable and virtuous person. She came from a large family and loved reading, baking bread, and stitching socks and scarves for the struggling members of the Gettysburg community. She did all of this in her home in the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Little did she know that this home, now known as The Jennie Wade House, would stand in the middle of one of the fiercest battles in American history and be the location where the only civilian casualty of the battle would be killed.
When the war came, she joined the action the only way women could—by volunteering her time producing rations and healing wounded soldiers. Wade was known for her bountiful, warm loaves of homemade bread.
One night, while she baked, Confederate sharpshooters fired a flurry of bullets toward the house where Wade was staying with her sister, Georgia. The exact location where the sharpshooters were hiding out is still a contentious point for historians. Many point to the Farnsworth House Inn, where you can still see bullet holes from other skirmishes in the battle. Recent theories settle on the Welty House, closer to the Jennie Wade House, and located on a more elevated property.
Ironically, as Jennie cooked a loaf of bread to give to soldiers the next day, a stray bullet penetrated the home and struck her in the heart, killing her instantly.
She dropped to the floor and died, her blood pooling onto the floorboards, making a stain that’s still visible today. Jennie was the only civilian casualty of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Almost 200 years on, Jennie Wade’s story touches the hearts of visitors to the historic home where she died. But visitors have reported being touched in ways far more physical, ghostly, and unexplainable while there.
Ghostly activity occurs regularly within its walls. EVP, or electronic voice phenomenon, has been captured on audio equipment. There’s also video evidence of orbs zooming through walls and congregating around the blood mark where Wade fell in the kitchen.
Witnesses have claimed to hear Wade walking through the home, and visitors at local bed and breakfasts have seen a dour young woman in the kitchen windows when no one is home.
Chilling happiness descends over visitors to the Wade house, as they become possessed by the happy, optimistic spirit of its mistress, but then remember the terrible fate that befell her.
Gettysburg is a one-of-a-kind kind American town. Go from having drinks in a modern, sophisticated downtown bar to strolling the creek where soldiers took cover from incoming fire 200 years ago to chumming it up with spirits in four-century-old houses—all in a day’s Gettysburg ghost tour with US Ghost Adventures.
Since 2013, US Ghost Adventures has offered entertaining, historic, and authentic ghost tours of America’s most haunted cities. We deliver fun yet honest accounts of hauntings across the nation for curious people of all ages. Our ghost stories are based on historical research, but that doesn’t mean they won’t send a chill down your spine.
US Ghost Adventures also offers virtual tours, a self-guided mobile app, and an Alexa voice app.