Fort Mifflin, PA

by Dan LeRoy

Fort Mifflin: The fort that saved America. The name says it all, but behind the title hides a historical landmark that is rich in history and of course the paranormal. The day and a half John Zaffis and I spent there, proved to be interesting for sure. As with any historical landmark, you hear stories about people seeing apparitions, hearing strange noises, and seeing things they can’t explain. I, along with several other visitors definitely had our share of experiences there.

Fort Mifflin consists of about six or so buildings, including underground bunkers. In addition, they have some underground tunnels which lead to the casements. Several stories of paranormal activity included sightings of a revolutionary war soldier in the Powder Magazine, as well as activity in one of the houses where a woman committed suicide.

The night we were there was “Sleeping With the Ghosts”, an annual event where a guest speaker (John in this case) would do a presentation on the supernatural, and the visitors could then walk around the property taking pictures, recording video, and audio in attempts to collect evidence of paranormal activity. It was early in the evening when I was doing a general survey of the land, taking pictures with my remaining daylight, and walked up to one of the cannons in the lot. As I approached, I noticed that the low battery warning appeared on my digital camera. I had just put in newly recharged batteries and thought nothing of it, other than a camera malfunction. I was able to take a few pictures and continued on. I noticed as I moved away from the area, my battering warning light went off meaning there was no low battery anymore. In fact, for the rest of the night, I was able to use the same batteries (including continuous flash) without a problem. Later on, I discovered other people experienced the same phenomenon in the same location.

The cannon at the fort was fired off just after sunset, and the night began. John had a sneaking suspicion that something was going on in the Powder Magazine, which is basically an underground bunker where they kept the explosives during the war. Upon walking in, you immediately feel the cold damp air. And it’s not more than 5 feet in the door that the atmosphere surrounds you. The other disconcerting thing about the Powder Magazine is that it’s all brick and the noise reflecting in there is tremendous.

It truly throws the senses off with major echoes, and it also seemed to capture noises from outside and amplified them in the interior. One of the visitors to the fort was taking pictures in there and was able to capture what appeared to be ectoplasm. I spent a great deal of time in there taking pictures and recording audio, all of which were fruitless. Another one of the buildings was the Ammunition House. According to history, prisoners were held in the back rooms of this house. This was one of the locations in the fort where I can honestly say I felt the most uneasy. Upon taking five paces into the building (which was basically one big room), I felt the sensation of being watched. I took a total of two pictures, and heard what I thought was one of the fort visitors coming up behind me to take some pictures or what have you. I turned around, and no one was there. In fact, no one was even remotely close to the building. Others had also gone in there and investigated, but nothing turned up. I had later gone back in there to see if I could get that same feeling again, but it wasn’t as strong as the first time.