Jennie Wade House: Unraveling a Haunting Civil War Tale

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 8 December 2023
  • Time to read: 7 min.


Who hasn’t heard of Jennie Wade, the only civilian casualty during the Battle of Gettysburg? Her story is one of tragedy and heroism, forever etched into the annals of American history. At the Jennie Wade House in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, visitors can unravel a haunting Civil War tale that transcends time.

This humble abode, where Jennie met her untimely end, stands as a poignant reminder of the war’s impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. The house, preserved much as it was in those fateful days, is not just a historical site; it’s a nexus of ghostly encounters and unexplained occurrences. Here, the echoes of the past are as palpable as the bullet holes still visible in the walls. The Jennie Wade House invites you to step back in time and experience the Civil War era’s haunting reality, where the line between history and the supernatural blurs in the most enthralling way.


Jennie Wade House stands as a silent witness to the tumultuous events that unfolded during the American Civil War. The house itself, constructed in the early 19th century, became intertwined with the tragic fate of Jennie Wade during the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. The battle was a turning point in the war, a clash between the Union and Confederate forces that resulted in heavy casualties and marked a significant shift in the tide of the conflict.

As the battle raged on, the McClellan family, who owned the house, sought refuge in their cellar to escape the deadly crossfire. Amid the chaos and destruction, Jennie Wade, a young woman known for her warm hospitality and kind-hearted nature, took it upon herself to bake bread for the Union soldiers. Little did she know that this selfless act of kindness would prove fatal.

Tragically, while preparing bread dough in her sister’s kitchen, a stray bullet pierced the door, striking Jennie in the back and ending her life at just 20 years old. Her death made her the only civilian killed during the battle, and her memory has become an enduring symbol of the impact of war on ordinary lives.

Over the years, legends have woven themselves into the fabric of Jennie Wade House, adding an aura of mystery to its already poignant history. Some believe that Jennie’s spirit lingers in the house, continuing her mission of kindness and protection. Others claim to have heard her soft whispers or witnessed the faint apparition of a young woman in period attire. The legends surrounding Jennie Wade House only serve to deepen the fascination with this historic site and its enigmatic past.

Jennie Wade House
Jennie Wade House | Credit: paranormalinpennsylvania

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

Step into the realm of the unknown as we delve into the eerie and enigmatic world of Jennie Wade House and its paranormal encounters. Ghostly whispers, mysterious apparitions, and chilling encounters have left both visitors and investigators in awe and trepidation.

Through documented events and chilling eyewitness accounts, this section will peel back the layers of time and unveil the haunting mysteries that shroud this historic site.

Prepare to embark on a spine-tingling journey through the ethereal realm, where the past and present intertwine in a tapestry of unexplained phenomena and restless spirits.

The Tragic Tale of Jennie Wade

The legend of the Jennie Wade House centers around its namesake, Mary Virginia “Jennie” Wade, a young woman who tragically lost her life during the Battle of Gettysburg. In July 1863, as the Civil War raged on, the Wade family sought refuge in the house, believing it to be a safer location away from the front lines.

Jennie, known for her warm hospitality, was busy preparing bread for Union soldiers when a stray Confederate bullet pierced the door, striking her in the back. She died instantly, becoming the only civilian casualty in the midst of the three-day battle. Visitors and staff claim to have seen a young woman dressed in a flowing white gown, believed to be Jennie’s spirit, roaming the rooms of the house.

The legend suggests that Jennie’s dedication to helping the soldiers during the battle and her tragic death have bound her spirit to the historic home, leaving an indelible mark on its haunting history.

Tragic Love Haunting

Amidst the turmoil of the American Civil War in 1861, Jennie found love with Union corporal Johnson “Jack” Skelly. Little did she know that Jack had been severely wounded, and he was unaware of her tragic fate.

Just days after Jennie’s death, Jack also passed away from his injuries, never learning of her demise. Their love story cut short, their spirits entwined forever. At the Jennie Wade House, whispers of their love echo through time. Legends speak of a mystical door, still bearing the bullet hole from Jennie’s fatal day. They say that touching it might bring an engagement, as if Jennie and Jack’s love blesses those who seek true love.

Ghostly Legacy – Jennie Wade

Jennie Wade, forever bound to her tragic fate, is said to linger in the Jennie Wade House on Baltimore Street. This historic residence, now renowned for its paranormal activity, attracts visitors and enthusiasts seeking a glimpse into the spirit realm.

Many claim to have encountered Jennie’s ethereal figure, donned in a long dress, gracefully wandering through rooms and hallways. The air is filled with the nostalgic aroma of freshly baked bread, a poignant reminder of her final moments. Soft footsteps echo, and whispers of her name drift through the air, leaving an undeniable presence.

Jennie Wade House
Jennie Wade House | Credit: thespookystuff

A Haunting Investigation

Paranormal enthusiasts and investigators delve into the enigma of the Jennie Wade House, chasing the lingering spirit of Jennie Wade herself. Intriguing photographs capture elusive orbs and elusive mists, while eerie EVPs whisper haunting secrets with phantom footsteps.

Psychic mediums and the sensitive find themselves engulfed in intense emotions, shivers down their spines, and an eerie feeling of being watched. As the chilling tales unfold, a haunting truth emerges—Jennie Wade’s presence endures in the very home where tragedy struck. Step into the realm of the unknown, where history and the afterlife collide in spectral intrigue.

The Jennie Wade House’s compelling legends and ghostly tales have turned it into a popular attraction for history enthusiasts and paranormal seekers alike. Its rich history as a witness to the tragic events of the Battle of Gettysburg and its association with the courageous young woman, Jennie Wade, have ensured its place as one of the most haunted and historically significant locations in the town of Gettysburg.

As the stories continue to be passed down through generations, the Jennie Wade House remains a place of intrigue and fascination for all who visit, eager to catch a glimpse of the past and perhaps encounter the spirits that still linger within its walls.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage

Step into the eerie realm of Jennie Wade House, a spotlight for chilling encounters and ghostly tales. As seen on the riveting series “Eternal Enigmas: Unraveling Haunted Legends,” investigators delve into its spectral past, leaving you captivated by the mysteries that lie within.

Literary works like “Spirits of Gettysburg: Ghosts, Hauntings, and Curses of the Battlefield” by Mark Nesbitt and “Ghosts of Gettysburg: Walking on Hallowed Ground” by James A. Willis bring to life the supernatural stories surrounding this haunted house, weaving captivating narratives that linger in your thoughts.

Jennie Wade House beckons history aficionados and paranormal enthusiasts, its enigmatic presence alluring as whispers of the afterlife echo through its walls. Immerse yourself in the chilling ambiance as the past and present collide, unearthing the secrets of a tragic fate that refuses to be forgotten.


Jennie Wade House stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who lived through the Civil War’s darkest days. As a historic site and a reputedly haunted location, it continues to captivate visitors with its rich history and paranormal allure.

Whether you are a history enthusiast or a seeker of the supernatural, a visit to Jennie Wade House promises a compelling and unforgettable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Where is the Jennie Wade House located?

It is located at 548 Baltimore St, Gettysburg, PA 17325.

Q. How did Jennie Wade die?

Jennie Wade, a 20-year-old resident of Gettysburg, was fatally shot during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. She was killed while baking bread for Union soldiers in her sister’s kitchen, making her the only civilian casualty during the battle.

Q. Is Jennie Wade House really haunted?

Yes, Jennie Wade House is known for its paranormal activity. Visitors and investigators have reported strange occurrences and encounters with ghostly apparitions. The house has been the subject of numerous paranormal investigations and is a popular destination for ghost tours.

Q. Can you tour the inside of Jennie Wade House?

Yes, Jennie Wade House offers guided tours of its interior, where visitors can learn about its history, the life of Jennie Wade, and the impact of the Civil War on civilians. The house is a living museum that provides a unique and immersive experience into the past.

Q. What makes Jennie Wade House significant in Gettysburg?

Jennie Wade House is significant in Gettysburg due to its association with the Battle of Gettysburg and the tragic death of Jennie Wade. As the only civilian killed during the battle, her story represents the human toll of the Civil War on ordinary citizens.

Q. Are there any other haunted locations in Gettysburg?

Yes, Gettysburg is known for its many haunted locations, as it was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The town offers numerous ghost tours and paranormal investigations, attracting those interested in the supernatural and the history of the Civil War.

Q. Can you stay overnight at Jennie Wade House?

No, Jennie Wade House is not currently open for overnight stays. It operates as a museum and historical site, offering guided tours during the day for visitors to explore its history and paranormal reputation.

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