Is Bentonville Haunted? – Plus Paranormal Activity at the Harper House
A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to The Bentonville Battlefield in Four Oaks, NC.
Bentonville is a national historic landmark and the site of the last major Confederate offensive of the U.S. Civil War. Eighty-thousand soldiers fought on 6,000 acres of land, and more than 4,000 men were killed, wounded, or missing during the 3-day battle. The battlefield is reportedly haunted and people have heard cannon fire, rifles, shouts, and seen phantom fires and apparitions. The smell of gun smoke, and decaying human flesh has also been reported.
Perhaps the strangest element of the Bentonville Battlefield is the reported paranormal activity at The Harper House.
The Harper House & Paranormal Activity
In March 1865, the Harper House was seized by the Union army, and turned into a field hospital for wounded soldiers.
The home owners, John and Amy Harper, were Southern farmers and owned over 825 acres of land (wealthy by 1865 standards). Needless to say, John and Amy Harper were not very happy to have their home turned into a hospital with blood, guts, amputations, and wounded Union soldiers. However, they did the best they could. The Harpers (and their 6 children) retreated to the top level of the house, while the field hospital operated on the bottom floor. Both Union and Confederate soldiers were treated in the makeshift "field hospital." The front yard and surrounding grounds served as a triage area for the incoming wounded soldiers.
So, what kind of paranormal activity has been reported in the Harper House?
Visitors have reported seeing John Harper in the house, and on the grounds. Strange lights and cold spots have also been reported. According to one witness, there are 6 Union soldiers who hang-out around the Harper House and the Visitors Center. Despite reports of strange activity at Bentonville, management tries to "downplay" these events. I was told by one employee (at the Visitors Center) that he was instructed NOT to talk about what he's seen. Luckily, I found 3 people who were willing to talk to me.
You can watch two witness interviews below. Both witnesses are historic re-enactors, so they are dressed in 1800's clothing with artifacts from the Civil War era (looms, knitting needles, spinning wheels, etc.). Historic re-enactment is a hobby in which participants re-create certain aspects of a historical event or period.
And, here's what's amazing about historic re-enactors…they tend to see a LOT of paranormal activity.
Re-creating historical events seems to draw spirits from that particular time period. Go talk to anyone who re-enacts historical events, and I bet they've witnessed something unusual.
The videos below were filmed with a small, handheld camera (no tripod) to avoid drawing attention to ourselves. So, the camera does move around a bit. :-)
Video # 1 – Bentonville Witness Interview with Brenda – Paranormal Activity on the Grounds of the Harper House
In the video below, Brenda describes something very strange that she experienced on the grounds of the Harper House at night.
Video # 2 – Bentonville Witness Interview with Linda - Residual Paranormal Activity & Intelligent Spirits
In the video below, Linda describes the intelligent spirits she has encountered, and some of the strange residual activity on the grounds of the Harper House. Linda also describes Bentonville as "one of the most consistently haunted places" she has visited. Compared to most witnesses I've interviewed, Linda was very educated and aware, and I really enjoyed talking to her. She knew the difference between a residual haunting, and an intelligent haunting—and she has visited some very interesting places.
I like to ask witnesses why they think paranormal activity is occurring in a particular place. I have learned a lot just by listening to the answers I'm given in response to this question. Try it for yourself, and see if you learn anything new about your target location. You may be surprised at what people tell you.
Bentonville Part Two – Upcoming Videos & Photos
Coming soon, I will have 2 more videos for you, and some photos. You'll get to see the Harper House, the mass grave, and watch a video of us exploring the Union trenches (in the woods). There's also a fun story about a cold spot we found at the back of the Harper House.
Thanks for being patient with me as I worked out the technical details of putting videos online. I'm glad to put videos online for you guys—although, it's not as easy as it looks!