Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Harper’s Ferry National Park, Part lll

The dramatic history of this town in West Virginia’s northeast Blue Ridge Mountains has left it with ghosts that appear to have unfinished business.

View of the junction of two rivers from Maryland Heights.
St. Peter’s Catholic Church sits high above Harper’s Ferry and is by far its most elegant structure. Designed in the Neo-Gothic style, it is accessed via stone steps.

St. Peter's Church
It was built with native stone and has beautiful Tiffany windows. Inside it has an impressive marble altar. It was built in the 1830s and restored in 1889.

It is the only church that survived the Civil War in Harper’s Ferry and it is still an active church today.

St. Peters was used as a hospital during the war, and Father Costello, who was the priest at the time tended the wounded. The ghost of one young Catholic soldier is still heard.

This soldier was brought to the church wounded but was placed outside for his wounds were not as severe as others. It is said he was relieved to find himself at a Catholic church.

As the sun set and his life’s blood slowly seeped out, he still did not lose heart. As he was finally carried across the church’s threshold, he whispered weakly, “Thank God, I’m saved.”

But tragically, he died.

At sunset multiple witnesses state they have seen a golden glow at the church’s threshold, and they have heard a weak voice state, “Thank God, I’m saved.”

Others state as they passed Jefferson Rock, late in the evening, they have seen an odd-looking priest walk right through a wall at the church. People have tried to talk to him, but he never responds to their greetings.

Jefferson Rock
A witness spotted this priest walking down a hill and then turn left toward the church. He remembers the temperature dropped drastically as this figure then walked through a wall.

Later as he and a friend walked down stone steps they felt as if they were being pushed down. It was forceful enough that they had to lean back and brace themselves so they would not fall. Both said their legs shook.

Another haunting in Harper’s Ferry takes place at a section of the railroad tracks that go through the Armory Yard.

Haunted section of
railroad tracks.
The first rail line came to the town in 1833. Part of this track passed a group of shacks near the river. When they were abandoned poor folks moved in.

One family that lived in one of these shacks had an 11-year old daughter named Jenny. One evening as she stood near the fire, her dress was engulfed in flames.

In a panic, she ran out of the shack and down the tracks. She then was struck and killed by an oncoming train. Today, engineers from nearby towns do not like this run through Harper’s Ferry especially on dark nights.

Several have reported seeing “ a ball of fire careening wildly down the tracks.” They have heard unearthly screams at the same time.

Some have even stopped their diesel, but never on time. These engineers then felt a bump, and when their trains have come to a complete stop, they have gotten out to investigate. But they have not found anything.

Because of this engineers traditionally slow down on this section of the tracks. The locals state if a series of frantic train whistles are heard at night, it means Jenny has returned again.

Harper's Ferry, West Virginia
In Part l of Harper’s FerryNational Park, the story of a Phantom Army is shared.

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