The Hauntings of Braddock’s Grave

Posted by junketseo in Ghosts of Gettysburg
The Hauntings of Braddock’s Grave - Photo

Just one mile west of Fort Necessity, along the historic National Pike, outside of the rural town of Farmington, Pennsylvania, is the grave of one of the most famous British Generals, Edward Braddock.

Nestled in the rolling hills of the arcadian splendor of the Laurel Highlands, the site belies the intense violence and loss of life the French and Indian War consumed in the crucible that formed our nation. It is out of this fiery furnace that ghosts arise and haunt the land, a testament to a time when freedom was not a liberty, and war was necessary to ensure peace.


The Fateful Battle


The battle that commenced on July 9, 1755, did not go well for the British under General Braddock’s command. The vastly outnumbered French forces and their native mercenaries met the 2,400 British soldiers in a surprise attack in the dense forest as the British advanced on their Fort Duquesne.

After a vicious four-hour battle, an unprepared Braddock was shot by a musket ball in the lung, dislodging him from his horse. Subsequently, Braddock called for a desperate retreat and pulled his men out of the ferocious battle.

The army led by Braddock had taken heavy casualties and were now forced to limp back along the road they had just carved out of the woods. Four nights later, the dejected General Braddock died, passing his leadership to the twenty-two-year-old George Washington.

Fearing that their enemies, the French and their Native American Indian allies, might take Braddock’s body if they could find it, his soldiers buried him in the middle of the earthen road. They hid his grave as now commander, General George Washington, read from a prayer book, offering petitions for the departed soul of his brother-in-arms in place of the military chaplain who had sustained grievous injuries in the heated confrontation with the French and Indian forces.

From that moment on, in the peaceful environs called the Great Meadow, the soul of Braddock and the fallen soldiers rested until construction began on a road project in 1804, and excavation uncovered human remains. The body of Braddock was eventually found, and his skeletal remains were moved to a higher burial spot, over which a stone memorial stands today. Unfortunately, many of these soldiers no longer rest in peace.

Often, spirits are stirred by the processes of change. These ghosts of the French and Indian War were no different. Their earthly resting places disturbed, they are now said to haunt the land that took their lives, residual reminders of a time and place all but forgotten. But intelligent spirits also roam this area, manifesting to witnesses as if they were still alive.


Hauntings Around Braddock’s Grave


Residual Hauntings


A residual haunting is an impression, an imprint on the environment that is a kind of recording of actions and deeds from a time long passed. Loss of life in war often imprints on the land, and this area is no exception. The outpouring of pain and emotion has stained this area as much as the blood from the fallen soldiers. 

Today, vaporous figures carrying guns have been seen wandering the woods, the look of fear etched on their faces, reflections of the actual battle from 1755. Native Americans have also been seen fighting alongside the French forces, who appear as ghostly apparitions.

The sounds of the battle are also recorded on the land and played back occasionally. Screams, cries of pain, and desperation have been heard and recorded. Gunshots from time to time break the silence of this somber location, fired over 250 years ago and echoing into our reality.

Also, a ghostly horse is said to cantor occasionally over this area. Because the animal has no rider, it is believed that this horse is the one of which Braddock was shot. A beautiful beast, the horse is sometimes witnessed at night, glowing incandescently as it swiftly runs through the trees.


Intelligent Hauntings


An intelligent haunting, sometimes called a classic haunting, is the full-bodied apparition of a departed soul who can—and often does—interact with the living. Occasionally, visitors to Braddock’s grave have reported seeing red-coated men carrying muskets.

Thinking they are reenactors, many rush for a photo opportunity only to find a blank photo on their device. Some people have reported saying “hello” as these soldiers pass by, only to watch the marching column disappear.

These soldiers may still be on guard, forever fighting for freedom from the afterlife, commanded by their beloved General Braddock, following orders meant to keep America intact.


The Ghosts in the Forest


Suppose you want to visit General Braddock’s grave and experience otherworldly activity. In that case, it is suggested you take the unpaved path down the hill to the final resting place of Braddock’s mortal remains. This location is the epicenter of the ghostly activity. 

Once disinterred, the spirits stirred and let loose, haunting this small clearing in the woods. Disembodied voices have been heard whispering through the trees and commands being shouted out to an army no longer living. Pitiful neighs of horses are said to pierce the quiet and saturate the area with a sad ambiance that often makes visitors weep. Even in the inhumanity of war, a bit of humanity lingers ever on. 

Out of honor and duty, they stay ever vigilant over the site of their fallen leader. Time moves ever on, but these ghosts are bookmarks to a particular place and are spectral souvenirs of the events that changed the face of the world. History should never be forgotten, and these ghosts do all they can to ensure no one forgets the names and circumstances that carved the appearance of this nation.

For more spooky stories, keep reading our blog. To learn more about the spirits and hauntings of Gettysburg, book a Gettysburg ghost tour with Civil War Ghosts!