From: (IamEricaB)
Newsgroups: alt.folklore.ghost-stories
Subject: Erica’s Stories: Civil War Hostpital
Date: 1 Apr 1999 06:23:24 GMT

I live in the sleepy little redneck town of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Nothing much happens here except for the occasional JMU student getting arrested for Drunk In Public, or the local college bar loosing their liquour license (again….).

136 years ago, however Harrisonburg was NOT the place to be. Union generals Sherman and Sherridan were turning the Shenandoah Valley into a tinderbox, and things were pretty rough around here. Twenty miles to the north of us is the infamous New Market Battlefield, and not far from where I live, contained almost completely within a farmer’s property, is the Cross Keys Battlefield. There was a skirmish here during the Civil War, and to this day, you can walk the fields and turn up artifacts without even looking for them (One person I know tripped on something and broke a toe; when she turned to see what she tripped over, she saw a pyramid of rusty cannon-balls, still waiting to be loaded after all these years….).

Anyway, this particular battlefield was surrounded by farm houses, most of which are still standing. On some of the ones that were closer to the action, you can still see the pockmarks in the brick walls made by glancing miniballs. Several of the houses close by were turned into makeshift battlefield hospitals, and in one elegant old place it is rumored that there are blood stains on the floor of every room that cannot be removed (the blood seeped into and stained the wood…this is not a particulary paranormal event when THAT MUCH blood is left sitting for days). Anyway, the particular house I want to talk about tonite was recently rented by some friends of mine, and although I mantain my gripe that noting paranormal has ever happened to me personally, I have some stories from my friends who lived there.

First and foremost were the manacles in the basement. The man of the house, Pete, made the basement his playroom and workshop, and in a fit of curiosity pried open an old door down there, expecting to find a musty root cellar. He found just that, but he also found several pairs of rusty manacles crudely hammered into the walls. Only one thought entered his mind: prisoners of war. He closed the door and never bothered to open it again.

Secondly, their cats would often watch something walk up and down the stairs, when nothing could be seen by the human residents. One adventurous kitty in particular attacked whatever it was on the stairs, and was found hours later curled up in a quivering ball under the sofa. He refused to come out for over a day, so they had to move the sofa and go get him so they could feed him.

Thirdly, one night, my friends who were renting the place went to visit other friends across town, and since thier house was set far back from the road in the middle of a field, they didnt bother to lock the doors. Another friend of theirs went to visit, and, finding the door unlocked, went on inside. He called out, and distinctly heard someone upstairs say “Come in!” but when he searched the house, no one was home. On his way back downstairs, he found that all the lights on the bottom floor were out (they were on when he went upstairs). Needless to say, he left the house at once and waited outside in his car with the engine running for my friends to get home.

The last eerie thing that happened before they moved out (they found a cheaper place to stay; they didnt move out because of the ghosts) occored the night before they moved out. In the back of the property is an old covered well. It supposedly went dry around the turn of the century, and it was covered and abandoned. When the house was rennovated and rented out, the owners of the house re-covered the well, and had the cover padlocked down to make it more safe. The lady of the house awoke that night to the sound of hammering and pounding, and when she looked out her window, she could see the cover of the old well shaking violently as though something were inside trying to bash its way out. She attributed that even to a dream, since it happened late at night and she had always been leery of that well anyway. She just figured that her fears culminated and made her dream of something in the well that wanted out. But she is not sure if it really happened or not.

Anyway..thats the tale of the old house in Cross Keys Battlefield. I hope you enjoyed it. =)

Im going to research New Market Battlefield next, to see if I can find out about any spirits that might be there….

Erica Lynn B

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