Operation P.A.R.A.NORMAL at the Civil War Exchange Museum and Hotel!

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Operation P.A.R.A.NORMAL at the Civil War Exchange Museum and Hotel!

Step back in time with the team at P.A.R.A.NORMAL as they investigate the Civil War through a paranormal lens!

When and where

Date and time

Location

The Exchange Hotel Civil War Medical Museum 400 South Main Street Gordonsville, VA 22942

Map and directions

How to get there

Refund Policy

No Refunds

About this event

  • 7 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

On June 26th, 2021, P.A.R.A.NORMAL visited the Civil War Exchange in Gordonsville, Virginia. The building, erected in 1860, served as a hotel during its first five years offering refuge to passengers on the Virginia railroad. The earliest notable activity is a tribute to the first African American entrepreneurs who took advantage of the bustling railroad to sell food at the railroad stop behind the Exchange Hotel. Those early entrepreneurs specialized in chicken legs, pies and other southern treats sold to passengers over 8 decades before the railroad industry provided food and beverages to travelers. This early pioneering gained official recognition in 1997 when this site became the “chicken leg capital of the universe.” In 1862, as the Civil War raged on, the site became a focus of the confederates due to its convenient location and rail route running on site. The opportunity to transport supplies as well as troops arose, and the building transformed for the first time of many over its long history.

In 1862 the Confederates took possession of the hotel and transformed it into a receiving station for the dying and wounded from the surrounding battlefields. Cedar Mountain, Mine Run, Chancellorsville, Trevilian, Brandy Station and the encompassing wilderness brought over seventy thousand troops to the site over the course of the war. Brought in via train car, one year during the Civil War brought in an influx of six thousand wounded Soldiers in just a month and twenty-three thousand over that entire year! The Civil War, spanning four tumultuous years, resulted in seven hundred bodies buried on the land outside the museum: one of the largest mass grave sites and present-day mausoleums paying tribute to civil war casualties. Although this was a confederate hospital there were twenty-three Union soldier deaths at the site as the doctors were said to be empathetic to all who required medical attention. By war's end more than seventy thousand men received treatment at the Gordonsville Receiving Hospital and just over seven hundred would be buried on its surrounding grounds. Despite the battles that raged nearby, the agony and death within and without its walls and the evolution of the 150 years post-Civil War, the building stood strong until the 1940s.

After the war and the emancipation proclamation freed slaves were given many of the civil liberties they had previously been denied. As many of the structures held by the Confederates were taken back by the north and utilized for education, medical needs and housing, the Exchange transformed once more into a schoolhouse for those freed men, women, and children. From 1865 to 1870 freed African Americans filtered through the doors of the Civil War Exchange seeking a proper education. In 1867 over 250 students registered at the school. As the United States recovered from the war and the railroad industry prospered the building transformed back into the Exchange Hotel once again in 1870. After the 1940s, however, during a second world war, the building began to decline. In 1971 the historic society claimed the dilapidated building and restored it to a replica of its original beauty. Today the museum contains a plethora of various medical and war artifacts that undoubtedly contribute to the ensuing paranormal activity.

During our investigation, we captured EVPs of not only voices but also sounds such as pencils rolling around the upstairs classroom and doors squeaking. There were clear answers to our questions caught via both video and digital voice recorder. Our medium, Laurissa Rex, captured the name of a wounded soldier whose picture happens to hang on the wall in the surgical suite of the building. The outside of the building is just as haunted as the inside due to the body count on site. There are many spirits still roaming the halls of this Victorian beauty eager to communicate with anyone who will listen. Our investigation yielded photographic, video, and digital evidence making this site one of our most active investigations to date.

In conclusion, the Civil War Exchange Hotel is a paranormal gold mine with a rich cultural value that only contributes to research in the paranormal field. The symbiotic relationship between paranormal research and historical imperatives is precious and indispensable. Where a story ends in this dimension the voices captured via the latest technological instruments continue the narrative beyond comprehensible limits, and, oftentimes, research done at sites like the Civil War Exchange apprises historical gaps where the only real connection are the intangible voices of those left behind; patiently awaiting to take that train to its final destination.

We will provide you with a unique experience showcasing the most high-tech tools used by paranormal researchers today. We will also do some experiments where you will be a participant. This is not for the faint of heart as you will experience paranormal activity so if you are frightened of that which you do not understand this event is not for you. However, if you dare to question science and spirituality, we invite you to join us on an unforgettable adventure like none you will ever experience!