Ghost Story, or Love Story?
By Sara, age 25, Pennsylvania
I recently took a trip with my family to visit Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Gettysburg is known for two things - the Battle of Gettysburg and ghosts. I heard countless ghost stories while in Gettysburg; pretty much everywhere you go has a ghost story attached. The Discovery Channel has named Gettysburg the most haunted place in the USA. Since Halloween is just around the corner, I thought it would be a perfect time to pick one of the many ghost stories I heard and share it with all of you.
However, the legend that I can't seem to get out of my head is not one of a creepy nature, but rather of a romantic one. While touring the Jennie Wade House I found out that if a single woman sticks her ring finger through a bullet hole in the door she will receive a marriage proposal within a year.
First, a little history lesson about Jennie Wade. Mary Virginia "Jennie" Wade was the only civilian to be killed during the three day battle at Gettysburg. She was killed on July 3, 1863 while baking bread for the soldiers in her sister's kitchen. A sharpshooter's bullet passed through two doors, striking her in the back and killing her instantly. Jennie Wade was only 20 years old. Her fiancé, Jack Skelly, was killed fighting in the Civil War in June 1863. Before dying, Jack Skelly asked a fellow soldier to relay a message to the woman he loved. That woman was Jennie Wade.
It's the bullet hole in the second door that a single woman must place her ring finger if she wishes to receive a marriage proposal within a year. The tour guide told us they get many letters every year from women who tried it and did indeed get engaged. One time three women were in town to be bridesmaids in a friend's wedding. All three women put their finger in the bullet hole, and all three women were engaged within the year. Another girl put her ring finger in the hole only to turn back around to find her boyfriend on one knee holding a big sparkling diamond. Now clearly that was a set up, but in my book it still counts.
Is it all just a big coincidence? Or is it Jennie Wade helping other girls live out their love stories in a way she never would? Two young lives were tragically cut short, but even though they died maybe their love didn't. Maybe their love lives on in all the couples who have gotten engaged and then married because of a visit to the Jennie Wade house.
Well, one thing's for sure. Whether you choose to believe in the legend or not, it's pretty cool. If you're a single gal and ever visit Gettysburg, go ahead and stop by the Jennie Wade house and give it a try. Don't worry, there's nothing in the legend that says you have to accept the proposal.