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A Ghost Named Tennessee

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

As you have gathered by now, one of my favorite places for paranormal activity is Gettysburg. Back in June of 2021, I actually got to walk around with a Gettysburg local, named Karen, who knows all the hot spots for the paranormal. I knew Sachs Covered Bridge, a bridge a few miles outside of the town of Gettysburg, was haunted but I did not know about this particular spirit, but before I get into all of that, let me give you some background on the bridge itself.

They built Sachs Covered Bridge way back in 1854. For 114 years, the bridge served as a connection between the two sides of Marsh Creek. During the Battle of Gettysburg, in 1863, a good portion of both armies passed over the bridge; both going to and from the battle. Sadly, around the time of the battle, three soldiers were executed by hanging from the bridge for desertion (though some say they were spies). They left their bodies hanging to serve as a warning to other soldiers to stay in line.

After the battle ended, the town slowly put their lives back together. Sachs Covered Bridge fortunately did not sustain any damage and served as a functional bridge for another century. In 1968, the 100-foot-long bridge was determined to be no longer safe for travel and was closed for good. It updated in the 1990s and now stands better than ever. Every year, many tourists visit the bridge to take in its history and to seek its famous haunts.

For over 150 years, the claims have been consistent; the bridge is haunted. The hauntings of Sachs Covered Bridge are legendary. First reports of paranormal activity came in shortly after the battle was over. Apparitions of soldiers, the heavy sent of tobacco, and the sound of gunfire (sometimes even cannon fire) have all been reported at the bridge. Other paranormal experiences include orbs, disembodied voices, and phantom footsteps. Probably the most unsettling paranormal experience visitors have encountered is ghostly heads, which appear to be floating, randomly appearing and disappearing on a whim.

Now, I knew all of this leading up to our trip to the bridge, but I did not know about a ghost named Tennessee. Legend goes that Tennessee was a runaway slave that somehow ended up at the bridge. I’m not sure if he was killed there, died there, or just liked the spot a lot and settled his spirit there in the afterlife. No matter how he arrived, he’s there. Tennessee is said to be a big fan of cigarettes and loves to smoke the cigarettes that visitors leave for him at the bridge. When it comes to legendary stories, I tend to be skeptical, but I was all for checking it out to see if it were possible. Turns out, it one hundred percent is.

Karen lit a cigarette and placed it on the railing, out of the wind to prevent interference, and then asked questions such as, “can you move the cigarette?” To which he did, on command! She asked if he could point it towards her, and again he did. In between, you could see the cherry of the cigarette lighting up as though he was taking a drag. I’m not kidding. Had I not been standing there filming, I would never have believed it. She asked one last question, “When you’re done, can you knock it off the rail?” He did so immediately. It was the wildest ghost interaction I have ever witnessed. Little did I know I didn’t need to invest tons of money in ghost hunting equipment when I could just go buy a pack of cigarettes… first rule of investigating, know your target audience and she knew Tennessee.

I loved interacting with Tennessee and cannot wait to get back there and try this again. If you are ever interested in seeing the video, log on to my Facebook or Instagram. It’s there. Believe me, it’s worth seeing.


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