In 1771, Fort Mifflin was commissioned. It guarded the city of Philadelphia from Mud Island, along the Delaware River. It was used in the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, WWI and WWII. It was used, in fact, until the 1950s when it fell into disrepair. In the 1960s, the American government deeded the fort to the city of Philadelphia. The army Corps of Engineers still uses it. Fort Mifflin is the only military base in use that is older than the nation itself. Throughout the years, the fort has been largely restored, In 2006, new discoveries were made. There are several buildings which can be viewed including an artillery shed, soldier barracks, blacksmith shop, powder room, torpedo room, and casemates. During the day, it is open to tourists. By night, it’s open to paranormal investigators.
During the Revolutionary War, the fort was bombarded by the British, who laid siege. American soldiers were able to hold off the British for a time, against great odds. The British did capture the fort in 1777, but not until General Washington had his men safely at Valley Forge. This event is thought by some to be the battle that saved the war. The walls of the fort today show the evidence of the siege. This was the only time fort Mifflin saw military action. The fort was rebuilt in the 1790s. During the Civil War, it housed Confederate POWs. A Union deserter was one of the three men hanged there. In WWII anti-aircraft weapons were stored. The first Negro Coast Artillery unit was stationed there.
OPI investigated the fort and learned some other history. We split into two teams: Rena and Linda, and Greg, Angel, and me. We stayed as far from each other as we could, to diminish chances of noise contamination. However, the fort is directly in the flight path of the airport, and planes flew by constantly. We had to stop EVP sessions often because of the noise. We started in the torpedo room, underground and near the river. The meters showed no increase in EMF. Using the Spirit Box, we heard a voice say, “Roger that.” That is a military term and so was very relevant. We also heard a male voice tell us his name was “Jackie.” When we asked, “Did you want to go to war?” he told us, “No!” We wondered if he died in battle. The ovilus spoke the word “fear.” It also gave us the word “disaster.” The camera went out of focus for a second, and we heard the words, “Stop it!” We also heard knocking. We think Jackie was a young soldier, probably from the Revolution. Angel tried an experiment with the dowsing rods. She thought the question, and waited for the answer. When it came, she told us what she had asked. In this way, we learned that he was young, but forgot how old he is. He didn’t realize he could leave the fort now.
From the torpedo room we went to the solitary confinement cell. It, too, is underground. This was where William Howe was held in 1864. Howe was a Union deserter who led an attempted escape of 200 prisoners. He was hung at the fort before an audience who had bought tickets for the event! The REM activated several times. We used the SB 11 and did get a few responses. A voice told us,”No,” when I asked, “Did you ever read Uncle Tom’s Cabin?” This was a very popular anti-slavery novel of the time. The voice also told us to “Shut up!” We went to the next cell, but had no communication at all.
In the artillery shed, Raggedy Ann lit up a few times, indicating the presence of a child. There were, of course, children at the fort who were officers’ families. I did hear a noise that sounded like footsteps, but it was not recorded. A male voice said, “Hi.” We turned on the spirit box. When we said that we came all the way from Florida, a voice repeated, “Florida.” We asked for a name. “Hans,” a male voice responded. I repeated the name, and he replied, “Sure.” It was as if he didn’t really want to continue talking. These are Class A’s. I did hear the words “phase 4 “and “northerner”, but they are not as clear. Therefore we classed them as B’s. They do point to a military connection, and a Civil War one. A male voice, not through the box, said, “half blast.” This is directly related to the military installation.
The Powder Room was active. We all heard a strange chirping noise in the next room. We looked around outside, but couldn’t find a source. Greg banged on the door, and it stopped. Maybe birds? The K2 went to red. We asked if a woman was with us, and it went to red again. A voice asked, “What is that?” We think she was referring to the K2. When we turned on the spirit box, we asked for a name. “Elizabeth?” There was a woman named Elizabeth who lived at the fort in the 1860s. The voice told us,”Victoria.” Then, because I asked again, “Victoria, Victoria I told ya.” She seemed to be impatient with our inability to hear clearly! She told us she was from Canada, she was French, she was here with her sweetheart. We heard a child’s voice and that of a male come through. She may have been playing, though, because near the end of the session, a voice clearly said, “Sucker in the room.” It might have been directed to us. Or he might have been saying that she was the sucker, for talking to us. A male voice uttered, “The general has been shot! Go to hell!” He also informed us, “Barbey’s gone.” It was most interesting, because in my research I found that there was an Admiral Daniel Barbey who served in WWI and WWII. There are reenactments done at the fort. This man may have been reliving a moment.
The blacksmith shop has an eerie feel to it. We have many SB11 EVPs from there, several Class A’s. A female voice asked, “Tell me you love me.” A male said my name, MaryJo. When we asked if he knew Matt, the guide who stayed at the fort while we investigated, the reply was, “Please! Ya know.” We take this to mean it was a silly question, that of course he knows Matt. We asked, “Do you know Elizabeth?” “I did,” was the answer. Elizabeth is said to have hung herself when her daughter died. Another voice, female, assured us, “Thank God I’m a Rebel!” I couldn’t find a record of a woman being held prisoner there, so maybe she didn’t mean a rebel from the Civil War. When I asked, “Do you have anything to tell me, a male voice replied, “What I tell you?” We think he was being funny. At the end of the EVP session, there is the sound of someone whistling, and none of us were. Other less distinct but relevant phrases are there, too. A voice asked, “Where are the horses?” When we asked if the Klan ever met here, a voice responded, “I did.” We asked about Bernard, one of the “Resident ghosts” a man’s voice told us, “He moved on.” It would be interesting to find out if anyone sees Bernard anymore.
As we were taking a break, I saw a figure walking by the artillery shed, and then disappear into the shadow. Rena saw a figure later, on the parade grounds that disappeared. Greg and I both saw a figure come into the barracks, but when we turned, it was gone.
We went into several of the casemates, but found nothing of note.
Rena and Linda had several experiences, too. Rena’s behind was pinched.
The following video clips contain EVP’s from our recent investigation of Fort Mifflin. We highly recommend use of high quality head sets when listening. Ear buds don’t provide adequate noise cancellation.