Sitting on the top of the hill in Harper's Ferry is the prominent St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church which we visited in July of 2017. This was the location where we all met for the Harpers Ferry Ghost walk.
The historical area of Harpers Ferry is now run by the National Park Services and just full of history and paranormal activity. A great stop for us on our Virginia trip, Harpers Ferry was on our bucket list for some time. We stayed in a bed and breakfast not too far from the church so that we could walk down to attend the ghost tours; however, we do not recommend this for anyone who cannot handle being on your feet or walking up and down hills. It was quite a hike, but we got through it. The church is located at 110 Church St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425.
Like I mentioned, the entire area is run by the National Park Service and I need to add that the people who we tried to speak with are not paranormal friendly. Some of the shop owners will speak with you about it, but if you try to question those working for the park service (even in gift shops), they don't want to talk about the activity. We took our tour with Ghost Tours of Harpers Ferry which took us throughout the town after meeting at the front steps of the church. If you would like to take the tour, please visit their website for more details on times and pricing.
We arrived for the tour early, so we decided to walk around a little bit before it started. Just up the hill from the church is Jefferson's Rock. Also, for our hiking friends out there, the steps that lead up to the church (photo above) and path those goes farther up the hill behind the church it is part of the Application Trail that runs through Harpers Ferry.
Father Costello and the Civil War
Father Michael Costello became the pastor of St. Peter's Catholic Church in Harpers Ferry, Virginia in 1857. He wrote a firsthand account, in a letter to fellow priest Father Harrington, of John Brown's raid in 1859. Costello also was the only clergymen to remain in Harpers Ferry during the Civil War. Dr. Nicholas Marmion, the only doctor to remain in Harpers Ferry during the war, and Father Costello stayed in Harpers Ferry to aid the remaining citizens.
Costello is noted for flying a Union Jack flag atop of St. Peter's to express neutrality. This action is attributed with saving the church from being a target during the many bombardments of the town. He held services and administered sacraments as much as possible during wartime along with allowing the church to be used as a hospital.
Annie Marmion, the Dr. Nicholas Marmion's daughter, would write about the experiences of living in Harpers Ferry during the war. Many of those memories tell of Father Costello and how he protected church property, was a faithful friend to her father, and how he risked his life to be a "doctor of souls."
Costello survived the Civil War and saw his church survive as well. He served as the priest of St. Peter's until he died of illness in 1867.
The church is still active today, you can find out more about their services or how you can get married in the church on the perishes' website. If you would like to hear more history about the church, please check out our paranormal profile video below.
Like I already mentioned, we traveled to Harpers Ferry, because we were aware of all of the paranormal activity within the town. With the town changing hands several times during the Civil War, loss of life due to the massive floods since Harpers Ferry sits at the point where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers flow together, plus all of that running water acting as energy for residual and intelligent spirits, we knew this place would be a hot bed for paranormal activity. If you would like to learn more about the paranormal reports for the church, please check out our following "Ghost Stories and Folklore" video.
If you have been to Harpers Ferry and visited the church, or even have been on the ghost tour of Harpers Ferry, please let us know about your experiences down in the comments section.