Monday, April 7, 2014

Hauntings: Fort Mifflin


Fort Mifflin (Pennsylvania)

The British built Fort Mifflin south of Philadelphia in 1772 to defend against naval attacks from the Delaware River.  But in 1777 during the American Revolution, the British destroyed it with a barrage of cannonballs estimated at a thousand rounds every twenty minutes.  Nearly three quarters of the garrison stationed there were killed.  The fort was rebuilt twenty years later and used in the War of 1812 and then made into a prison during the Civil War.  

The fort’s now a tourist attraction featuring guides in historical dress and war reenactments.  However, the actors aren’t the only ones attracting tourists.  Many come to see the ghosts!

The Lamplighter's Ghost appears on the second-floor balcony of the barracks, carrying a long pole with a dimly flickering light on the end.

The casements, which were probably the most heavily bombarded area during the British attack of 1777, are the site of too many ghost sightings to number.  The visions are mostly pale outlines, but one of the apparitions is visible enough for people to see he’s missing his face!  The Faceless Man is supposed to be the ghost of William Howe, a war criminal held in the cells during the Civil War for killing his superior and desertion of duty in wartime.  He was hanged with a black bag over his face as the mark of shame for being a deserter.  People report seeing his ghost in Civil War clothing, but with no face.

The Screaming Lady is never seen, but her wails are heard in the old officer’s quarters.  She's supposed to be Elizabeth Pratt, an 18th century neighbor of the fort whose daughter had an affair with an officer.  After Elizabeth renounced her and threw her out, the girl died from dysentery. Consumed with guilt at her loss, Elizabeth killed herself.  Her crying isn't the only spectral sound at the Fort.  Near the blacksmith shop, the rhythmic pounding of hammer against anvil often rings out but disappears when people come by and peer in.




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35 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

I have a friend that I think visited that place. I think that was it, anyway.

Manzanita said...

That is a very interesting ghostly piece of history. The tour with actors in costume must make it appear very authentic. Thanks you for visiting my blog
Manzanita

Kate Larkindale said...

I think I've been there. But I don't remember any ghosts. I would have only been 6 at the time, so it's probably a good thing!

Multi-tasking Mama said...

I must remember to read your blog postings earlier in the day next time, when it's not dark and eerie. Awesome and freaky stuff ... LOVE IT!

Heather Holden said...

A ghost without a face?! Creepy!

Mina Menon said...

now thats definetely haunting!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

At least the ghost isn't faceless because his face was blown off....

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like an interesting place to visit, especially with the ghost sightings.

messymimi said...

Such sad memories, as with any place associated with battle.

Liz Fichera said...

Such an interesting post!! Sharing. :)

HJ Blenkinsop said...

I do love a good haunting. A faceless man and a screaming lady - priceless! (http://www.hjblenkinsop.com)

Natalie Zaman said...

Another cool one--and close to me, too! http://nataliezaman.blogspot.com/ :)

Annie said...

Neat! Although.. "Fort Miffin" doesn't sound very scary. Too close to "muffin," haha! They should really think about changing that name...

Julie Flanders said...

Ooh I love the Lamplighter's Ghost. So cool.

Valerie Storey said...

Excited to have discovered your blog, Lexa. I love Egypt, hauntings, things that go bump in the night. Looking forward to reading more.

Crystal Collier said...

Very cool. I worked at a campground once supposedly built on a Native American burial ground. They said they saw all kinds of strange things there, but I never did in the summer I spent taking care of the grounds.

Steven said...

It's amazing how many old forts are haunted.

Al Diaz said...

At first I thought the ghost was faceless because it had been blown off or something that gory. In any case, it must be frightening.

Bish Denham said...

This is a new place for me. It doesn't seem at all strange that places of battle would be haunted.

Ava Quinn said...

Another Pennsylvania site! Woo hoo! I doubt I'd get so lucky as to see a ghost if I visited. lol.

cleemckenzie said...

That fort has some scary ghosts. Faceless man and screaming woman? New characters, Lexa?

S.K. Anthony said...

Okay, I kept reading "Fort Muffin" in my head but after I got to the faceless man and the screaming woman,I remember Fort Mifflin...I'm hearing the name loud and clear in my mind now lol.

Stephen Hayes said...

Very spooky. I've never seen a ghost but I keep an open mind about such things.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

A ghost with no face. Hmm. I think I'd prefer that to him having a nose missing or maybe eyeballs hanging out. Very interesting, Lexa. I agree with Lee, sounds like a great setting for a book.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Ghosts fascinate me. A few years ago, I attended a ghost conference. These people were big believers in the existence of ghosts and showed videos and pictures of images and sounds. Researching ghosts is interesting. Forts interest me too. I've ben to several Civil War battlegrounds, some with ghosts. They do make for great stories. :)

Zoe Byrd said...

HOW COOL IS THIS BLOG! How did I miss it for so lonnnnnnng? THis is fascinating!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

The screaming lady? Oooo *shivers*. Too creepy for me.

Kelly Steel said...

Oh! Chilly and fascinating!

Christine Rains said...

I love ghost stories! I'm catching up on your posts. Great scary stories. I'd love to go on a ghost hunt. Too bad I'm usually asleep before 11:00!

writerlysam.com said...

Oooh, this place is high on the creepy scale. I tend to wail about, when we run outta coffee...keeps the neighbors on their toes:)

WriterlySam
Echoes of Olympus
A to Z #TeamDamyanti

Jocelyn Rish said...

Yeah, if any place is going to be haunted, I'd assume it would be a site with so many violent deaths. The no face ghost is especially creepy.

Medeia Sharif said...

Eerie. I'd like to explore the Northeast more and I would visit this place.

Kim Graff said...

Philadelphia seems pretty haunted. I guess if I ever make my way over there, I should be able to find plenty of creepy places to stop by.

TMW Hickman said...

Ghosts are fascinating, but the most interesting part for me is the history. The Fort sounds fun! Thank you for visiting my blog--I appreciate it!

Millie Burns said...

How cool that the blacksmith is still working in his shop : )

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