Haunted Gettysburg

Mick Zano

The night was moist and clingy like a BBQ-sauce-smeared wet nap. A damp chill hung in the air like a BBQ-sauce-smeared wet nap. OK, I’m out of similes. I got nothing. As fate would have it, there were far too many eateries and drinkeries within walking distance of our hotel to do any justice to the ghosts of Gettysburg. In a spirits vs. spirits grudge-match in my world, the carboxyl group version trumps ectoplasm every time. Some people shake at the sight of spirits; I shake when I don’t get enough of the other kind.

In preparation for our Gettysburg ghost hunt, I asked my wife to pack the Ouija board. We had planned to hold a candlelight vigil—illegally at midnight—in Gettysburg battlefield (and throw in some of that chocolate body frosting for good measure, sweetie). For those appalled by the imagery, remember, this is a spooky article. If you really can’t handle it, just think of my wife.

Armed with the latest paranormal research
equipment, my wife checks out some dudes

As it turns out, we had not packed the Ouija board, but instead packed the kid’s Jumanji game (I can’t make this stuff up, people). Well, at least it wasn’t Monopoly—we own the Pokeman edition, which I am reasonably convinced would be an affront to all spirits lurking in the Gettysburg region. Jumanji is at least a scary movie, so the themed board game could potentially work to our favor. You see? Aside from my incessant negativity, I am the eternal optimist. Now, if I had only brought Pokey’s bongos.

Armed with only an umbrella, a board game, a semi-chewed wad of gum, and some small bits of string, we headed toward the Devil’s Den. Prior to the Civil War massacres, the American Indians had already deemed the place “heap spooky.” It did warm my heart to discover that the gazillion Americans, who had butchered each other there, did so to the back drop of some pretty groovy free-standing boulders. Apparently, a primeval snake, called the devil, inhabited the place while feeding on unsuspecting tourists throughout the eighties.

As we approached that dreaded domain, an exigent fear crept into our souls like an eldritch cloud of necrophagous shadows. Amidst a foul unearthly stretch of hillside, above the ghoulish din of the myriad of Gettysburg ghost tourers, we heard the whirring and flapping of huge membranous wings. A church bell tolled thrice in the distance before an Angus Young rift split the night (Sorry, Hells Bells is my ring tone).

“Ah, yeah Dave, I’m in the battlefield now—covering the story. You’re not coming? And you say ‘m’ abstains? Loser.”

As I hung-up on loser man, a smell beyond putridity escaped from the most unfathomable, ineffable depths of that ancient necropolis.

Note to self: never eat the chili dogs at Ernie’s Texas Lunch.

Just after dusk, we played Jumanji amidst the lichen-covered ruins of that dark and terrible place. The game was never finished…we lost the instructions.

Sadly, our investigation revealed very little. We never returned to Devil’s Den for our late night séance (we ran out of body frosting). Instead, we poked around a place known as the “the grove,” where the battle for East Cemetery Street once raged. Besides, it was closer to the pubs. We did get scared witless upon our return to town—the humidor had already closed and only the Lincoln Diner was still serving food. I did catch one green orb in the upper right hand corner of a picture taken in the basement of the Farnsworth Bed & Breakfast. However, our parabnormal research team is convinced the mysterious anomaly is simply the spirit of Kazoo. You know, when the Flintstones ‘jumped the shark’ by adding a Martian to their prehistoric antics.

All things considered, the most frightening place in and around Gettysburg remains Gettybrew, one of the lousiest brewpubs north or south of the Mason Dixon Line. A year earlier, myself and fellow Discordian Pokey McDooris ventured into this spooky joint and, much to our horror, we accidentally ordered two samplers of the beer (served in wine glasses—monstrous, unfinishibly-large wineglasses—for seven dollars a pop. For the love of god, Montrisoure!) Already fourteen dollars in the hole, we could not muster more than a sip from each of the foamlessly flat brews. Ultimately, negotiations from the headless brewer of creepy hollow broke down, when we less than tactfully explained, in American Indian, how the beer “sucked big wampum.”

Years later I can still taste the phantom foam, those haunted hops, and that narley barley of Getttybrew. I still recall the words of that old gypsy barmaid: “Even beer brewed well by day, can become skunked when the skunk bane grows, and the kegs are exposed to light.” Mwahahahaha.

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Mick Zano

Mick Zano

Mick Zano is the Head Comedy Writer and co-founder of The Daily Discord. He is the Captain of team Search Truth Quest and is currently part of the Witness Protection Program. He is being strongly advised to stop talking any further about this, right now, and would like to add that he is in no way affiliated with the Gambinonali crime family. 

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