- Ghost Hill in Burkittsville (Video Below)
- Ghost Hill is also known as Spook Hill
- The Gapland Road outside of the historic district of Burkittsville, Maryland, winds over the hills and through the valleys to the state park dedicated to Civil War correspondents. The area was the scene of vicious battles during the Civil War, and one in particular is worth noting.
- For days Union and Confederate forces marched toward Burkittsville in anticipation of a battle that would determine strategic control of a large area. At dusk the day before the expected encounter, only a large hill separated the two armies. Scouts from both sides saw the fires in the opposing camps, and the night before what would assuredly be a deciding battle, there seemed to be a charged atmosphere of anticipation and restlessness.
The commanders of the Confederate forces had no intention of spending a tranquil night before battle. Troops were quietly mobilized to draw the cannons and ammunition to the top of the separating hill, in order that Rebel forces could gain a strategic advantage during the night by being able to fire down on Union soldiers rather than scrambling for control of the hill when morning came. The horses were quieted and the men stealthily began pulling the implements of war toward the ridge. Hopefully they could gain the position before the Union soldiers awakened. Alert Union scouts noted the unusual activity during the night, however, and immediately reported the Confederate mobilization to their commanders.
No reveille sounded, and no bugle called. But the Union soldiers were awakened, quickly assembled, and armed. Torchless, the Union army ascended the hill and silently took positions. Heavy artillery was left behind. Below, Confederate troops were struggling with the heavy cannons, 'pushing and pulling them up the face of the hill.
Without warning the Union troops charged, firing into the surprised and unprepared Rebel soldiers. Cannons were abandoned and rolled down the hill as soldiers scrambled for cover and ammunition. Relentless Union soldiers pursued, slaughtering thousands. Remaining Confederate troops regrouped and hastily retreated as the sun rose on the day the battle was supposed to have taken place.
For more than a century residents of the area have seen campfires materialize on open fields and in wooded areas both adjacent to this battlefield and at various locations on South Mountain. Occasionally several phantom-like soldiers are seen stirring fires, but upon closer examination both fire and figures vanish. There is an eerie, intangible quality to the area on certain nights, but that hill - as well as Cherry Lane near Braddock Heights - is not wholly devoid of more tangible evidence.
Many people have taken their automobiles to the location outside of Burkittsville, where the road ascends the hill described. Turning off the ignition and putting the gear shift in neutral, one can sit at the base of the hill ... then silently begin rolling up the hill, powered by unknown means.
It is told phantoms of the Confederate army continue to haunt the area, pushing vehicles up the hill as though they were cannon. No scientific explanation has been offered that satisfies those who know of the haunted hill . . . and the curious phenomena continues to this day. For more read: Haunted Houses of Harpers Ferry by Stephen D. Brown
- Directions: From Harpers Ferry, take Route 340 toward Frederick, Maryland, and at the third exit over the Maryland bridge, take the exit clearly marked Burkittsville. Turn left off the exit ramp and drive about six miles to Burkittsville. At the square in Burkittsville, turn left and drive about 1/2 mile and you will see a red barn on the left
Video of Spook Hill:
There have been skeptical remarks made that cars only appear to roll uphill. I am not a surveyor, but was told by a surveyor that all one need do is take a small stool or chair and arrange a carpenter's "level" on the chair (so that it is level) and place it far enough away from the bottom of the "alleged" hill that the instrument itself is not affected by the strange gravity. Use your eye to sight along the top edge of the level and anything that appears to be below that imaginary line is down and whatever appears above is "up."
Of course, the gravity vortex may also affect the level. [Bill Heinrich, 02/28/2007]
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