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The Ghosts of Fort Mifflin

Updated on August 18, 2014

Is Fort Mifflin Haunted?

Fort Mifflin is known as the Fort that Saved America. This is a very deserving title. It was built by the British in 1771 and is the site of the largest bombardment the North American continent had ever witnessed. It held off the British just long enough for General George Washington to make his way to Valley Forge. Some say that had this had never happened we would all be speaking the King's English. It was a bloody battle to say the least. Thousands of cannonballs bombarded the Fort over a 5-day period. Many gave their lives to defend this country but in the end the British eventually seized the Fort.

So having been your typical bloody battle, as a paranormal researcher it is my job to see if ghosts exist in a place where death was frequent and in abundance. It is also my job to sort out the stories and urban legend that have been passed through the lines over the years. Fort Mifflin has many of them.

The first one I am going to tell you about is the story of the "Screaming Woman". She does have a name and it is Elizabeth Pratt. Or is it? I will give more on her identity in a minute. Ok the story goes (inhales deeply) Elizabeth lived in the Officer's quarters with her husband and family. He daughter wanted to marry an enlisted man, which at the time was considered marrying down. Mother and daughter fought, daughter eventually dies of typhoid fever (rumored), and mother is distraught having never reconciled with and hangs herself over the second floor railing of the balcony. Of course screaming to her death over the loss of her daughter. (Exhales last bit of breath) Sounds like a typical ghost story? Now there have been many claims by staff and guests that they have heard a women screaming. Even the skeptical current caretaker has experienced this event first hand with no explanation. The Philadelphia Police have been called out to the location in fear that a murder was being committed because reports of a women screaming had been called in. When they show up and find nothing they leave scratching their heads and possibly thinking that it may have been a prank call. Was it the ghost of Elizabeth? Someday someone will be able to answer that question. Now I mentioned before that her name might not be Elizabeth Pratt. This is the name that has been used to tell this story for many years. Some recent information has been brought to the forefront about the facts of these stories and I believe they are being published in a book that came out later. So it is likely that her name is not Elizabeth Pratt but the story of the screaming woman still exists.

So have I ever experienced the "Screaming Woman"? I've investigated the Fort plenty of times, too many to count in fact, and I have yet to experience that actual screaming. I've had some personal experiences up in her room and I have captured some audio evidence to support my experiences. Does she really exist though? As a paranormal researcher the only way to answer that question is by doing more research. Sorry to be so inclusive. It's best to form your own opinions anyway. It's more fun.

Moving on to our next ghost, the Blacksmith. Almost in the middle of the Fort sits the Blacksmith's shop. Jacob was the Blacksmith. He was known for always getting in trouble for wanted to keep the door open. This was against his Commandants orders. I know I'd want to keep the doors open in such a small shop working with such intense heat. It is said that his spirit still haunts the shop. There have been numerous problems with keeping the door shut. To this day it is still a mystery.

Probably one of the most famous ghosts at the Fort is the spirit that haunts Casemate 5. This story has changed quite a bit over the years as well. It was originally thought that the faceless ghost seen in this area was William Howe. William Howe was a deserter of the civil war and was eventually convicted of murder. He was the only person ever hung at the Fort. Recently a new underground casemate was discovered. This underground find resembled what looked to be a jail cell. William Howe's signature was found written on the wall in one of the cells. So is it Billy that haunts Casemate 5? Who knows? He was held in that Casemate for a little bit of time but did he stay around to haunt it? There is some spirit energy in there and supposedly he isn't too found of painted blondes.

There are some other miscellaneous spirits that roam around the Fort as well. These are just some of the main stories. Having been to the Fort countless times to investigate and to volunteer I have had too many unexplained personal experiences for me to say that it something isn't going on there. I am a hardcore skeptic when it comes to this field. I am constantly pushing myself to seek the truth and find explanations behind hauntings. I use a lot of scientific equipment as well. It is in my strong opinion that Fort Mifflin, The Fort that Saved America is indeed haunted.

Fort Mifflin

William Howe's Signature
William Howe's Signature


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    • GhostChaser profile image

      GhostChaser 16 months ago from PA/NJ

      If you don't feel like paying $225 dollars to ghost hunt at the fort with "paracelebs" you can just go during the day on May 28th. The day is about celebrating Lorraine and Wayne...the real celebs of the Fort. Not to mention more things happen during the day at the Fort ;)

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      Ideal Event 16 months ago

      Join Ideal Event Management in celebrating Lorraine and Waynes departure of 20+ years with for Fort Mifflin on a lights out ghost hunt investigation at Fort Mifflin on May 28th, 2016 with Ghost Hunters stars Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango. Tickets available at

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      RES 23 months ago

      Spent 3 days and nights there several years ago for a WWII event and had zero paranormal experience. Slept in casement 5. Under one of the officers quarters and on the waterside wall. Even though I was in these areas alone maybe The Fort was too crowded? Wish I knew then there is hard stories.......

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      Its spooky 2 years ago


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      Skeptical 3 years ago

      That place is haunted

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      Gene Pisasale 5 years ago

      I'm an author based in Kennett Square outside Philadelphia and I visited Fort Mifflin in October 2011 for their "Sleep With the Ghosts" night. It was an interesting experience and there was a local paranormal group there doing reconnaisance. I believe they were the PA Paranormal group, but I'm not completely sure. Do you know of them? Have you ever recorded any verifiable unidentified noises/voises there at the Fort? If you have any information on this, I'd like to include you in my next book, an historical novel which mentions Fort Mifflin which should be out by year-end 2012. Please contact me if you have any information worth sharing. Many thanks!! -Gene Pisasale

      H 610-925-1795

      C 610-304-3993

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      Dolores 5 years ago

      I did not know that George Washington was involved with Fort Mifflin so thumbs up!

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      SpiritRUNNERS 5 years ago

      hi, me and a group of my friends began a ghost hunting team called the spirit runners. It would mean the aboslute world to me if you could email me some advice!


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      Peter Stoddard 5 years ago

      This is the most complete online biography I have seen on Capt. Nathan Stoddard, my 4th great-grandfather:

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      sally 6 years ago

      I was at the fort with my son. Wee went into the powder magazine. I felt a heavy presence and an urge to get out of there or it would not be good. Then while standing outside the casements someone laughed in my right ear.

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      nick 6 years ago

      I recently got to "sleep with the ghosts" and I slept in the quarters below elizabeths room, and all night I heard moaning like someone was in pain, and someone calling "hello" and "mommy" ALL night lol. It got annoying after a while because it kept me up, but it was a great experience. I do believe that the fort is haunted.

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      Laurie Terio 7 years ago

      I was at the Fort with my sister Lisa from UPPI and I heard the scream (my first time there). It was a distinct scream and came from the fort direction. We were in the kitchen outside the fort having a bite to eat and I went into the bathroom and lo and behold, I heard it plain as day. when I walked out and told our group I heard it. They said "I don't believe it, people come here so often and have never heard it - you come for the first time and you hear it". It was not my imagination -- it was for real.....

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      Fort Mifflin Genealogy Committee 7 years ago

      To Peter Stoddard tell us about your 4th great-grandfather, Capt Nathan Stoddard. Find us on Facebook at FortMifflin GenealogyCommittee or email at

    • GhostChaser profile image

      GhostChaser 7 years ago from PA/NJ

      Hey I can always try to find out by asking. I'm going to see if I can find out more information!

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      Peter Stoddard 7 years ago

      More on the reference above to Nathan Stoddard, a copy & paste of a post I sent to another Ft Mifflin website:

      My 4th great-grandfather, Capt Nathan Stoddard, was killed at Fort Mifflin on Nov 15, 1777. He was briefly the senior officer at the fort, following the death of his superior. There was an eye witness, a Lieutenant John Strong, who returned to their home town of Woodbury, CT, and for years related seeing Nathan decapitated by a canon ball. “He stood there for a moment, erect, as in life, without a head, before falling.” I lived in Philadelphia for a few years (I’m now in Florida) before learning of all the paranormal activity at Fort Mifflin. Perhaps Grampa Nate is one of the spirits who continues to make his presence known …

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      vic 7 years ago

      wow cool

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      Jamie 7 years ago

      i hope sometime i can go to fort mifflin i am very interested in ghost hunting.and last night i set up cams and what i did was looked it over in the morning and saw an orb a mist that didn't move till i came in and a sound of 3 can see this video at after i record again to night.but i might not post it but i might not but you can check out my other videos they are better go to and type this exsactly the way i did.ghosthunting oppritunity.and then on the right it will say 166candyland click it and watch my other videos and please please comment

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      fortmifflinman 7 years ago

      justin,that is a straw dummy .you can see its a pair of coveralls stuffed with straw.

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      danny 7 years ago

      i am going on a field trip to fort mifflin.

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      Justin Dahl 7 years ago

      Hello... I was at the haunted tour tonight at Fort Mifflin. Got a very interesting picture in the Castmate area. Take a look at the last cot on the left and zoom in. Let me know if you see the figure with its legs on the cot and the back against the wall.

    • GhostChaser profile image

      GhostChaser 8 years ago from PA/NJ

      I can find out for sure. I know a historian that has specialized in the Forts history.

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      Raymond Stoddard 8 years ago

      What are the miscellaneous spirits? Ar there any stories of a Revolutionary era spirit who may be a soldier/officer named Nathan Stoddard who was supposedly decapitated by a British cannonball during the siege?

    • GhostChaser profile image

      GhostChaser 9 years ago from PA/NJ

      I can't say anything about the Black Bass actually. The week I tried to investigate it there was a flood. We were unable to get back to this. The flooding continued at this establishment too. I'm not sure of the status now. If I make it around there I will def. fill you in.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I'm looking forward to reading more of your stories, GhostChaser, as I, too, am from the Philadelphia area. I wonder if you'll be telling us about the Black Bass Inn up in Lumberville?

      Welcome to HubPages!

      Regards, S.