We wish you a scary Halloween!

You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Apparitions / Voices / Touches :: The Man Dressed In A Revolutionary War Uniform

Real Ghost Stories

The Man Dressed In A Revolutionary War Uniform

 

When I was fifteen, my family moved into a house in Philadelphia that, at the time was approximately eighty or eighty-five years old. It's still standing (or was, at any rate, the last time I was in that neighborhood several years ago), and was the site of something which I, to this day have never been able to explain even to myself but has stayed with me ever since.

We were a typical nuclear family of the late 1960's. Dad worked, Mom stayed home, I had just finished my sophomore year in high school, and my younger twin brothers had completed first grade. Absolutely nothing extraordinary there.

Well, it was a summer afternoon. I was home alone. Dad was at work, my brothers were at the playground, and Mom was receiving a cancer treatment at a local hospital. I was engaged in what passed for amusing myself by sitting at the kitchen table reading a news magazine (we took both Time and Newsweek, but after all these years I'm hanged if I can remember which one it was!).

Now, the way the house was designed, there was a back door that led to a small wooden porch. We normally kept the porch door shut, but the kitchen door was usually open during the day. As I sat there reading, something (again, don't ask me what) caused me to look at the back door. There stood, of all things, a youngish man dressed in a Revolutionary War uniform. I must have stared for a good twenty or thirty seconds before it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks that people don't dress that way, at least not anymore. It was then that the figure kind of smiled and faded. At no time did I feel frightened, only curious. I never bothered to tell my parents about it, only my best bud, who also was interested in such things.

We never were able to figure it out; until the area was developed in the late 1800's, my understanding is that it was all farmland. However there was a battle relatively close by in what was at the time, a small place called Germantown and the historian in me is still wondering... And, in adulthood, one of my brothers told me that he'd seen the same figure himself on occasion!

Other hauntings by libertybelle

Hauntings with similar titles

Find ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from Pennsylvania

Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, libertybelle, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-02-03)
When it comes to the past, libertybelle, we're addicts. 😁

I do find it a bit odd that the wasn't carrying anything. If he were waiting to be relieved or holding a post, he would more than likely be armed or carry his haversack, at least. The only occasion that I can think of where he might not carry accoutrements would be in an encampment where his weapon was stacked and his kit would be at his bivouac. There's also the possibility that his timeframe is post-war. After the war many soldiers continued to wear their uniforms or portions of them. Some had no other clothes while others wanted to be identified by their service. I wonder if there wasn't a tavern or farm in the late eighteenth century on that site.
libertybelle (14 stories) (207 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-02-03)
Kecoughtan, I've come to the conclusion from your posts that you have an interest in history to equal my own! 😆

No, he wasn't carrying anything. He just stood there and smiled.

As to your theory of being a caretaker, I don't think that it's out of left field. His whole demeanor was one of--I don't know how to quite describe it. Non-threatening, definitely, with an indefinable something else that, after all these years, I can't quite put my finger on. Perhaps he was under orders to hold whatever was there and is still waiting for relief?

As to my niece, if she was seeing him, he must have had the same non-frightening aspect. Since she was less than 2 years old at the time, she was too young to have been 'conditioned' to fear things like that. Even though he was young, people married a lot earlier in the 18th century, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that he might have left a wife and baby of his own.

Oh, and by the way--yes, the handle 'libertybelle' refers to both my beloved Philadelphia and my adopted home of Fayetteville, NC. 😆
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-02-02)
By the way, libertybelle, I meant to ask this earlier, but forgot. Did your young soldier carry anything else: weapons, pack, canteen, haversack, a "liberated" chicken or hog under his arm etc.?

So, is having lived in Philly the origin of "libertybelle"?
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-02-02)
Libertybelle, how I wish I had trusted my first impulse--and told you exactly what I was thinking! Instead, I held back. In my work and scholarship I have to support everything I state with tangible evidence, so I often forget I am not held to the same standards here. Arghh. I just read your posting about rocking your niece to sleep and it reminded me of something I sensed when I initially read your account. From your description, I felt that the soldier was a caretaker; someone still inextricably bound to the land and someone who--despite the passage of so many years--still felt responsible for that particular place. If I have to cite evidence 😊, I think it was his non-threatening presence and reassuring smile combined with the fact that you were alone. He really seems to be checking in on you and got caught in the process. For all we know, he might have sang an eighteenth-century lullaby to your niece or spoken softly, comfortingly to her to help her rest.
libertybelle (14 stories) (207 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-02-02)
I sometimes wonder if he didn't meander around the house as well.

At the time, one of my nieces was still a toddler. When my sister (her mother) and the rest of the family came over (pretty regularly), she'd often get tired and fuss a bit.

There was a rocker in my parents' room, and when she got worn out from trying to keep up with the big kids--she had an older brother who was 5, an older sister who was 4, and two uncles who were 7--I'd usually take her up to Mom and Dad's room and rock her to sleep.

Thing was, she'd calm down once we began rocking, but she invariably would look over my right shoulder, staring at something I couldn't see, until she'd finally drift off to sleep.

Makes me wonder if she saw him, too.
ghostboy001 (4 stories) (137 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-02-02)
no he might want you to know he is there. He is safe don't worry. You are lucky to have seen him
libertybelle (14 stories) (207 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-02-01)
I'll readily admit to knowing very little of the various types of hauntings, but if they were all this gentle I don't think anyone would find them scary! 😆
ghostboy001 (4 stories) (137 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-02-01)
wow. Most revouloutionary war ghosts are residual this one seemed intelegent. 😕 that is a very rare occurence 😁.
libertybelle (14 stories) (207 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-01-31)
Yes, Rhodes, he was absolutely non-threatening. Since we all smile in the same language, any apprehension I might have felt would have been allayed by that, because it was just the friendly kind of one that you would share with a person on a first meeting. He didn't scare me, nor, for that matter, my little brother--funny, neither one of us mentioned the encounters to our parents, and Steve only told me of his after we were both grown.

I wonder if he stayed around the area to keep an eye on things, and appears from time to time to make sure everthing--or everyone--is okay in the place that's changed so much in the last 200+ years?

I think you may well be on to something, ghostwhispere. As I mentioned above, there was nothing the least bit frightening about him. For all I know, perhaps he had younger brothers and sisters, so he chose to materialize to me (I was 15) and my brother (who was 7) because we reminded him of them. Pure speculation, of course, but kids are, generally, more open to such encounters.

Scary boy, anything is possible. A lot of recruits in the Continental Army were pretty young, so he may very well have felt a deal of homesickness before his passing. If he died far from home, his last thoughts were probably of his mother and family.
scaryboy (2 stories) (117 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-01-31)
its strange that how I missed your story from commenting and I think he is little bit affectionate to his mother while he died and he might have roaming there isn't it?
Scary boy
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-01-30)
Very interesting encounter and a friendly one I might say Libertybelle-thank God for these few nice experiences!

Intelligent haunt and not accidental! He seems to be related to the land but he doesn't sound trapped. If he could smile to you, he could have attempted more interaction if it was needed.

I suppose your young soldier still feels a strong connection to the land he fought for and comes back to have another look.

Trully beautiful story!
libertybelle (14 stories) (207 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-01-29)
Oh, it was nothing, really, Kecoughtan. As a matter of fact, it's an unusual day if we DON'T talk to one another, even though he still lives in Philadelphia and I'm in North Carolina.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-01-29)
I can't believe you called your brother just to ask about his experience. ZOWIE, thanks libertybelle! 😁

I agree with your paradigm--he was seen in the same area by both of you. Your friend is right about the uniforms. Massachusetts regiments often used that color scheme. You might want to check this example:

Http://www.srcalifornia.com/uniforms/p12.htm

The Continental Line also wore a similiar color scheme:

Http://www.srcalifornia.com/uniforms/p12.htm

Only the uniform changes, libertybelle. They are always so youthful and thin--unlike their much older and stockier counterparts who dress up and play re-enactor on the weekends. Thanks for sharing.
libertybelle (14 stories) (207 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-01-29)
Kecoughtan, my bother told me (I just called him so I could answer your question) that he saw the figure in our back yard. In my paradigm, it seems consistent with my sighting in the dorrway between the kitchen and the back porch.

I'll admit that I thought of Germantown pretty quickly myself. From where I lived at the time, I'd guesstimate the site of the battle to be no more than ten miles away, and likely a lot less.

Some time after this event, I shared it with the mother of one of my friends, a woman who was very much in tune with the 'sensitive' side of herself in addition to being pretty well-read in history. When I described the figure's clothing (black tricorn hat, blue jacket, and white breeches), she said she thought he might have been part of a New England regiment, since the Pennsylvania regiments wore blue breeches.

In physical looks, he seemed not much different from a lot of the fresh-faced kids who serve with my son!

I suppose young soldiers will always be young soldiers, no matter if they wear Revolutionary War clothing or desert camouflage.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-01-29)
That's fascinating, libertybelle! Was your brother also at the kitchen table when he saw the soldier? Can you describe the type of uniform he wore? Germantown is a good guess. Washington unsuccessfully attacked a large British garrison there. Because Philadelphia was occupied, however, there were a lot minor skirmishes and engagements around the city. Unfortunately, with so much activity, foraging, and quartering of troops by both sides, it might difficult to narrow actual events with which he might be associated. I wouldn't be surprised if someone in the local historical society was not intimately familiar with military activity during the war. They could probably tell you a lot about where troops were quartered (often near taverns and farms) and minor clashes. Thanks for sharing!

To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: