The Farnsworth House Inn

Located in the infamously haunted city of Gettysburg, PA, the Farnsworth House Inn was built around 1810 and operates as a local tourist attraction, inn, and landmark tourist shop. It’s also one of the most haunted locations in the town, thanks to its connections with the Battle of Gettysburg.


The building sits on a parcel of land initially owned by Reverend Alexander Dobbins, an early frontier pioneer who helped settle the area. Born in Ireland in 1742, he grew to be a man of great dignity and education and a well-respected minister. He even had a house named after him in Gettysburg called The Dobbin House. 


Reverend Dobbin later sold the property to John F. McFarlane, the home’s first resident, who owned it until he died in 1851. After his passing, the Bank of Gettysburg took ownership of the house. Following this transaction, the home was passed along to several owners until it was finally sold in 1972 to the Shultz family, who still maintain ownership of the Farnsworth House Inn. 


It was also The Shultz family who first reported unexplainable activity occurring in the home.

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History of The Farnsworth House Inn

The Shultz Family bought the Farnsworth House Inn from the Black Family, who ran it under the name of The Sleepy Hollow Inn. The Black Family advertised their inn using the historical fact that the home had 135 bullet holes riddled in one of its sides as a result of the Battle of Gettysburg. 


During the historic Battle of Gettysburg, the Farnsworth Inn was occupied by Confederate forces who utilized the structure as a makeshift field hospital and headquarters, a common practice during the Civil War. Many residential and business buildings were all but taken over and used for planning attacks as well as treating the wounded.


On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Union soldiers stormed the Farnsworth Inn, killing the many Confederate snipers who were posted within its walls, waiting to strike. They had been stationed there in an attempt to pick off Union soldiers as they crossed the nearby Cemetery Hill.

Hauntings at The Farnsworth House Inn

Since taking ownership, the Shultz family has reported disturbing and strange activity in the inn. They believe that at least 16 spirits occupy the residence, each with its name and personality. 

In its time as a makeshift hospital, many soldiers passed away in the inn, and visitors, as well as staff, have reported seeing them in and around the building, patrolling the house and its grounds. Sounds of disembodied breathing, grunts, and voices, along with the strong scent of cigars, have been experienced by guests who visit the home.


Several photographs of an entity in a window have been captured in one particular room when seen from the street below. This room is known as the “Sara Black Room,” named after one of the family members who previously owned the residence. It is also considered one of the most haunted in the entire house. 


One of the more common encounters within the Farnsworth House Inn occurs only in the dead of the night. In the empty attic of the home, the unnerving sound of a jaw harp can be heard playing tunes throughout the night. The harp is believed to be played by a young soldier at his post and is heard on the darkest nights at the Farnsworth Inn, echoing throughout. 


While employees of the inn fulfill their daily tasks, they have reported the sensation of being followed while working. When they turn to see who has invaded their personal space, no one is there—no one living, at least. 


Dark shadows and silhouettes are reported almost nightly by patrons of the inn as well as by employees. These apparitions are witnessed in several rooms, quickly vanishing after they make themselves known. One such figure is predominantly seen in the dining room, while others have been witnessed sitting on the edges of the guest beds.

The Kitchen’s Cranky Chef

One of the most popular spirits of the Farnsworth House Inn is the cranky cook in the kitchen. She is described as an older woman dressed in period clothing and is seen roaming about the halls and kitchen. She is usually seen looking over the products on the kitchen and pantry shelves, almost as if planning what to cook for supper that evening.


In what appears to be an attempt to make her presence known, she frequents the restaurant area, where she behaves rudely to the staff. It’s said that she pulls their apron strings, pushes them, and knocks them down occasionally. However, her spirit is believed to be the only evil entity at the Farnsworth House Inn.

Captain, Captain!

A more lighthearted story out of the Farnsworth Inn is that of a local radio station that hosted a special broadcast from the inn that involved the crew dressing up in blue costumes. Interestingly, they kept referring to the radio host as ‘Captain.’


Their civil war-style blue duds and their repeated use of the word captain appeared to stir up the spirits of the soldiers who were seen on that particular evening more than usual. They were witnessed dozens of times running about the inn and its surrounding property.

Farnsworth House Inn Today

These days, the Farnsworth House Inn is a significant tourist attraction for ghost enthusiasts. Its vibrant and dense history serves as a perfect backdrop for all of the otherworldly activity that occurs inside its walls. 


With the claim of sixteen individual spirits residing inside the inn, one doesn’t have to look far to find an entity. The owners are so confident in the frequency of unexplained happenings that they say guests don’t even need to try to find the ghosts; they will come to them.


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