Tuesday, August 23, 2011

That is the Question

I'm always amused, but never surprised when I answer the phone at the hotel and hear the inevitable question, "Is your hotel haunted?"  The question amuses me, because it's often asked in conjunction with other questions about our amenities, like do we have a pool?  Do you have ironing boards in the room? What's the breakfast like? Oh, and are you haunted?

The question never surprises me because this is Gettysburg.  Any town that's seen as much death as this town's seen would field this question.  Saying that the question never comes as a surprise doesn't mean that I can answer it without getting all flustered, however.

I've found that the people asking the question don't always want the same answer.  Some people are asking because they want to stay in a haunted hotel.  Others are asking because they would like to avoid an encounter at all costs.

Now, one would think that it would be a no-brainer to tell each of these groups that yes, we are 100% haunted, or no, absolutely not, as the case may be.  How could they prove otherwise if everyone experiences things differently?  I've never felt this to be a black and white issue, so I hate to give a yes or no answer.

So, how should one answer the haunted question?  Well, it's not surprising that everyone has her own method of response.  I go for the personal approach - I tell guests that I have not personally seen anything, and that I don't really want to hear any of the stories, because I have an overactive imagination and spend too much time alone in the building at night.  This answer usually gets a sympathetic chuckle.

I mentioned that there are people who are not keen on being in a haunted building.  I simply tell those guests that I've never seen anything in a year of employment here, nor in twelve years of working in Gettysburg.  It's the truth, and hopefully it helps to put their minds to rest.

I know that everyone who works here has their own way of responding to the question.  General Manager Stephanie prefers not to shade people's possible experiences in the hotel by telling specific stories.  If you come downstairs in the morning, bursting to tell a story that is similar to any other stories she's heard, Steph is likely to tell you about it at that time.  Kristina takes a similar approach to both Steph and myself.  She typically tells guests it's for them to decide if we're haunted or not, because everyone's experience and perception is unique.

Twice each year, we host a Ghost Quest Weekend (listed as Spirit Quest on our website).  This is a special event weekend that includes instruction by Mark Nesbitt (author of the Ghosts of Gettysburg series) and his investigative team, including Investigative Medium Laine Crosby.  There are also investigations of the James Gettys, the Ghosts of Gettysburg HQ and another location in or around Gettysburg.  The weekend is always a hit with guests and staff alike.  The next event is scheduled for the weekend of September 9th to the 11th.  We do still have one slot available (book now!).  If you are unable to join us in September, please keep an eye on our website for the next date to be announced!

Don't worry, you don't have to be a "ghost quester" to enjoy our hotel any other time.  We specialize in making you feel welcome, so book a stay and come relax in one of our comfy suites.  As for the haunted question - that's for you to decide!

Clean & Comfortable:  Nightly turn-down service turns a suite into a home-away-from-home. 
Photo credits:  Catriona Todd

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