After Dark Investigations explores Gettysburg’s haunted side

Gettysburg is known not only as one of the country’s most historical towns, but also one of the most haunted.

Susan Barton and Grayson Stuber have experienced many instances of local paranormal activity first-hand over the past decade. Barton is a co-founder and Stuber is the manager of After Dark Investigations, a paranormal investigation team that offers a variety of haunted tours to the public.

After Dark Investigations

Barton grew up primarily in New Jersey and Virginia. As a child, she remembers seeing her grandmother after she had already passed. “I saw her from the corner of my eye, so that instilled something in me,” Barton said.

Before moving to Gettysburg, Barton visited the town and went to a haunted tour but left unsatisfied. The rise in popularity of ghost hunting shows at the time served as an inspiration in making her next move.

“I wanted to see a ghost. I wanted to hear a ghost. I was frustrated, so I went back and started looking at these TV shows and said ‘I could do that.’ So I moved [to Gettysburg] and I did it,” Barton said.

In 2011, Barton helped found After Dark Investigations. Over the past eleven years, both Barton and Stuber have spent a significant amount of time building up the team’s reputation within the community.

Each tour involves at least one location in Gettysburg. Guests can enjoy the freedom to look around and to also use many of the tools common in paranormal investigating.

“People with us get to explore. They get to have things happen to them,” Stuber said. “My favorite thing to say is ‘I’m not here to put on a dog and pony show.’ I’m going to let the spirits do what they want and whatever happens, happens.”

Although each location on a tour is special in its own way, Stuber said the historic John Eisenhower Bridge has been the home to many memorable experiences, not only to guests but for Barton and Stuber as well. “A lot of people are afraid even to go there because it’s so unexpected and unpredictable,” Barton said.

Barton spoke of a time where she and others witnessed a soul on their equipment that was being lifted into a tree. Prayers were being said among pleas to go to the light and to Heaven. Suddenly a beam of light came down from the sky around that area.

“This man standing next to me said ‘Oh my God. I think he’s being saved,’ and we all had the same impression,” Barton said. “It was like God came and grabbed him and took him up.”

Stuber said he feels connected to the bridge and that the spirits there know him.

“I would go there and would start crying. Like full tears and I’m like, ‘this isn’t my emotion, it’s just being played through me,’” Stuber said.

Stuber, also the team’s equipment specialist, was at the bridge one night using a Panabox, a piece of equipment that allows humans and spirits to communicate. He asked into it if there was anything that could be done for the spirit. The response was a male voice telling Stuber to take his cancer away.

“It just floored me. I was on the investigation like, ‘Guys I can’t continue on after that.’ I had to go home,” Stuber said. “After hearing someone pleading for you to take their cancer away, it shut me down.”

Every location After Dark Investigations visits has something to offer. Barton described hearing an Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP), where she asked who was the president and got several different answers. Some said Obama, the president at the time, and others said Lincoln, the president during the battle of Gettysburg.

“I asked one time, ‘How’d you get killed?’ ‘Shotgun.’ Just right away, you know? Just intelligent conversation,” Barton said.

Stuber’s scariest experience involved a family on a tour that had a service dog with them. The dog was trained and not known to act out in any way. The tour was progressing as normal. After trying to reach out to a relative, the dog started jumping up and howling, very scared of seemingly nothing. After a couple minutes the group shone a light on the dog’s back and saw three dusty fingerprints.

“We asked on the Spirit Box, ‘Did you just touch this dog?’ and clear as day ‘Yes,’” Stuber said. “It was just astounding how reactive this dog was.”

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Three marks became visible on the service dog, as if something had touched it [Grayson Stuber]

These experiences are just a sample of what might be in store for any guest that is interested in a paranormal encounter.

After Dark Investigations offers six types of tours ranging from thirty to eighty-five dollars per person. All equipment will be provided and guests must bring their cars to each tour.

“There are some people that are there to kind of just quell that first experience and for that I would definitely say just take the evening investigation, see what it’s about,” Stuber said.

The evening investigation is forty dollars per person on weekdays and forty-five on weekends. Different start times are available as they last around three hours where guests will visit two or three locations.

“Then we have people like us that are like, ‘We’re dead set on this. We want to do this by ourselves.’ And that’s when we’d recommend something like the private tour or the Devil’s Hour tour,” Stuber said.

The private tour is eighty-five dollars per person and guests must call to book their session. The Devil’s Hour tour costs sixty dollars per person and runs from midnight to three in the morning.

Barton and Stuber have both achieved significant success since After Dark Investigations started. Both have appeared on television with Barton appearing on season two, episode six of Terror in the Woods and Stuber appearing on season one, episode eight of Paranormal Nightshift.

After Dark Investigations has become so successful that they decided to extend their brand to St. Augustine, Florida. Like Gettysburg, St. Augustine is a town known for its paranormal activity.

Barton and Stuber opened their Florida location for the first time on February 9th. The Sunshine State is where the two currently reside.

“We came down initially just to start the business and come back up, but we liked [Florida] so much we moved here,” Barton said.

There are plans to expand After Dark Investigations to other places if Barton and Stuber can get trustworthy staff at their new location.

The Gettysburg location is still running with an experienced staff, and the pair fly up often to Gettysburg to oversee it.

Last year, After Dark Investigations was a recipient of the Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Award, an award given to businesses that put quality and customer service first. Many guests gave rave reviews which helped the team get recognized.

“It was just so amazing how so many people have been supportive of us and how many people have taken the time to write about their experiences,” Stuber said.

Barton and Stuber made it clear that the investigation team cares about being genuine and authentic when it comes to their tours. Passion for paranormal investigating seems to be a very big element within the team.

“I always thought that getting on TV and everything like that was the goal, but at the end of the day it’s not the same. I care more about the investigations back home than I do about anything like that,” Stuber said. “We’re here to give you a genuine experience the best that we can.”

Tours are available to book every day. For more information about After Dark Investigations, the offered tours and to book a session, visit afterdarkinvestigations.com.

Hello! My name is Michael Donegan. I am currently a senior at Shippensburg University undertaking an internship at The Gettysburg Connection. I'm studying journalism with a concentration in electronic media and a minor in English. My interests and hobbies include sports (football, basketball and soccer to watch/tennis to play), videogames, reading, and I love to write in my free time. The internship gives me an opportunity to learn about Gettysburg and Adams County and I am always happy to learn new information.

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