Gettysburg Paranormal Summit Cancelled

The ghost-hunting summit that was expected to attract more than 500 paranormal investigators to Gettysburg in June has been cancelled.

The Gettysburg National Military Park's policy against organized paranormal investigations on the battlefield is the main reason for the cancellation of the G4 Summit, organizer Kerry Eble-Keller said.

"It was just not what it could be," Eble-Keller said Tuesday.

Had things gone as planned, it would have been the first year for the event. As many as 540 people were registered to attend, he said.

Efforts to find homes and businesses in the area open to paranormal investigation were met with limited success, and without the battlefield as an option, "we realized we were just going to disappoint a lot of people," Eble-Keller said.

Park spokeswoman Katie Lawhon has said the park's policy against ghost hunting stems from a broader policy of only allowing organized activities on the battlefield that support the mission of the park. Individuals can, however, conduct investigations if they do not disrupt other visitors or damage park resources.

"We've tried to be very clear about our position on commercial ghost hunting and paranormal activities and also large-scale events in the park," Lawhon said Tuesday. "It all comes down to our mission."

That mission is "to preserve and protect the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Soldiers National Cemetery, and to provide the understanding of the events that occurred here, within the context of American history."

Activities consistent with that mission can be granted special-access permits, but events like the G4 Summit do not qualify, Lawhon said.

"Our focus continues to be talking about the history of the Battle of Gettysburg and the soldiers who sacrificed their lives here," she said. "We're going to continue to spend our time on that."

Before he learned of the park's policy, Eble-Keller said he began organizing and publicizing the event through

Eble-Keller has said the ghost hunters wanted to conduct paranormal investigations on some of the deadliest spots of the Gettysburg Battlefield, including Devil's Den, Little Round Top and the field of Pickett's Charge.

When that fell through, effort went into finding other places in the Gettysburg and Hanover area open to paranormal investigation.

But only about a dozen homes and businesses volunteered - far fewer than what would be needed to occupy more than 500 ghost hunters, Eble-Keller said.

"We came up way, way short," he said.

Besides, the battlefield is the main draw for ghost hunters, he added.

"That's the main reason they wanted to come to Gettysburg," Eble-Keller said.

E-mails went out Monday informing would-be investigators of the cancellation.

Whether some people will still show up is unknown.

"A lot of people made motel reservations," Eble-Keller said. "It's up to them if they still want to come on their own."

Most reactions so far have been ones of disappointment, he said.

"Other people say that they feel sorry for us because we put so much hard work into it," Eble-Keller said. "I have more sympathy, I think, than anger."

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