Is Fort Mifflin haunted?

A better question for many people might be, what is Fort Mifflin? Commissioned in 1771, Fort Mifflin or Mud Island Fort was built by the british, then taken over by the colonies. In early October of 1777 400 soldiers held off a siege by 2,000 redcoats, allowing General Washington to escape to Valley Forge. The fort was rebuilt between 1798-1800 and remained a military post until the 50’s. For more of the dry historical details, check out wikipedia.

Now, the good stuff. The longest reported ghost is that of the “Screaming Woman,’ Elizabeth Pratt. It is said that the officer’s wife hung herself after her daughter died of typhoid fever, and her screams still haunt the Officer’s Quarters.

The blacksmith shop is supposedly still haunted by Jacob, the resident worker who had many problems with the doors. Then there is the very helpful guide in revolutionary garb said to be found near the power magazine. Apparently, he will give you a top-notch tour of the fort, if you don’t mind a ghost guide.

Finally, the best known haunting is that of Billy Howe in casemate 5. He was a prisoner during the Civil War, convicted of murder and hung in the courtyard.

A few years ago Rodney Anonymous of The Dead Milkmen Fame, attempted to spend the night in casemate 5. He detailed his experiences on his web site in a section entitled “A Bad Night at Fort Mifflin.” He includes some audio, as do the folks at Moorestown Ghost Research, who visited the fort three times.

Interestingly enough, this casemate 5 was hidden for over 100 years and just discovered last year by the caretaker! Check out photos of the casemate in a slideshow on the myspace profile.

It seems most visitors, particularly those at night, agree Fort Mifflin is most certainly haunted. The site opens April 1 for tours, and there are special ghost tours every year around Halloween. Why not go find out for yourself?

1 Comment so far

  1. jen (unregistered) on March 5th, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

    i really wanted to include this in the post, but it wasn’t appropriate. if you’re curious check out what some philadelphia cops used fort mifflin for.

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