204/366: Fort Mifflin

Beautiful wildlife in the moat around the fort

History buffs and ghost hunters would be attracted to Fort Mifflin, located on Mud Island near the Philadelphia airport.

In the fall of 1777, about 400 Continental Army soldiers garrisoned here held off the British Navy for six weeks, so that General Washington and his troops could safely reach their winter quarters and re-assemble at Valley Forge. On November 10, 1777, the “largest bombardment of the Revolutionary War” took place here, with 2,000 British troops and 250 ships firing 10,000 cannon balls over five days. The brave soldiers of Fort Mifflin held them off as long as possible, but with 150 casualties and heavy damages, they were forced to evacuate to Fort Mercer on the other side of the Delaware River.

The fort was rebuilt 20 years later, and during the Civil War, it housed both Confederate and Union prisoners.

Like other military battle sites and prisons, Fort Mifflin is reported to be haunted. Which is why a number of paranormal groups have conducted investigations on its grounds. And which is why I went there in the daytime. (Those who have seen my Eastern State Penitentiary post need not be told what a wuss I am.) Did I mention some of the paranormal investigators have reported “aggressive and violent manifestations”? [Gulp.]

And um, to explore some of these casements (where the “activity” is said to be common), you are required to walk down very dark or pitch-black corridors. No, thank you.

I will, however, thank the 10-year-old boy who emerged from one of the underground structures screaming about spiders. Good tip that let me know to keep on walking.

If you’re not a wussy bear like me, you might want to visit Fort Mifflin during one of their Paranormal Friday evenings. This includes a guided tour of the fort, review of paranormal investigation techniques, and small group investigations of all the “hot spots.” I just love how the official site states that you get to “enjoy all of this for only $90.” [“Enjoy.” Ha!]

Maybe you’ll see the Faceless Man, Screaming Lady, or Jacob the Blacksmith.

Thankfully, the only screaming I heard was the roar of jet engines approaching every few minutes for landing.

Officer’s Quarters where the “Screaming Lady” is said to be present

Room in the Officer’s Quarters

Second floor of the Officer’s Quarters. There isn’t anything in that window, is there?

View of the blacksmith shop from the entrance to the Torpedo Casemate. (I ignored the brochure’s advice to “take the zig-zag passage into the firing chamber.”)

Moss along the fort wall

Sign in the Artillery Shed.  Duly noted.

Looking down on the moat

Close-up of some cannons

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