HISTORICAL HAUNTS: FORT MORGAN, AL


 

An aerial view of historic Fort Morgan

Fort Morgan sits at 30°13′41″N 88°1′23″W at the mouth of Mobile Bay, AL.

Prior to Fort Morgan, the land at the above coordinates belonged to a smaller redoubt fort made of earth and wood. That particular fort was known as Fort Bowyer taking its name from the colonel John Bowyer who completed construction of the fort in 1813.  About a year after completion of the fort, Americans abandoned the structures but found their way back to garrison it in 1816 under Major William Lawrence.

The fort’s curved front faced the shipping channel into Mobile Bay while on the landward side there was a bastion flanked by two smaller bastions. Fort Bowyer was designed to keep British soldiers from invading the port through the Gulf Coast during the war of 1812. The British made 2 attacks on the fort, their first unsuccessful and their second was successful though celebration was short-lived. Upon seizing the fort, the British received word of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent which signified the end of the war. The British troops turned around and headed home just two short days after raising their flag over Fort Bowyer.

The British lost 32 lives in the land and naval attacks on Fort Bowyer while the United States lost only four lives.

After the seizure of the fort during the War of 1812 the U.S. decided that strengthening their seacoast defenses was of vital importance. In 1818 The U.S. contracted Benjamin Hopkins to start construction of Fort Morgan on Mobile Point working from drafting plans by Napoleon’s former military engineer Simon Bernard. However, little was accomplished on  the fort when Benjamin Hopkins succumbed to yellow fever. The government then brought in Samuel Hawkins to complete the design but he died before he completed any work at all.

The task of completing the fort was ultimately handed over to the Corps of Engineers who, using slave labor, completed the fort in 1834 and handed it over to the 2nd US Artillery Division. The unit remained at the fort for less than 2 years before being called away to assist in the Second Seminole Indian War.

During the Civil War the Fort fell to Union soldiers during the battle of Mobile Bay that raged from August 2nd – August 23 of 1864. The battles resulted in the loss of approximately 1,822 lives with the Union suffering 322 losses and the Confederacy suffering a staggering 1,500. The exact number of lives lost at each fort is undetermined as a majority of loss most likely took place in the bay between the forts.

Though Fort Morgan fell in the battle, the city was never captured.

 

The entrance to Fort Morgan

Between 1845 and 1900, Fort Morgan was fortified with 5 concrete batteries with the latest in fire-power, electric, and top-tier communications. Fort Morgan was hit by several natural disasters in the form of hurricanes between 1906 and 1916 which caused major damage to the structure and officers quarters along the coast and though the fort remained operational it was the beginning of the end of an illustrious fort that had served the military proudly.

The fort served as a training ground for artillerymen when war was declared on Germany in 1917. Seven short years later, the U.S. Army abandoned the fort and it quickly fell into disrepair. Life returned to the fort for a short 5 years starting in 1942 around the start of World War II and it received several weapons fortifications before it was abandoned once more and handed over to the State of Alabama in 1946.

Fort Morgan was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960 but little was done to preserve the fort and in 2007 the Civil War Preservation Trust named the fort “One of the Nations 10 Most Endangered battle Sites”.

The historic fort is now a popular tourist destination for those visiting the gulf shores. Over the years there have been reports of tourists encountering otherworldly activity within the dark recesses of the former stronghold of Mobile Bay.

One female tourist recalls seeing shadow figures looming about a dark corridor. She thought they were part of her tour group and as she descended further into the near pitch-black room she discovered that her tour group was not there and she was alone. Still, she could see the distinct shapes of people moving about the dark room.

Other reports from visitors claim to feel a heavy sensation within the fort. An oppressive sensation of dread and fear and anger, and it seems to proceed the appearance of an apparition dressed in “old-time” clothing.  Could this figure be the lost soul of one of the battles at Fort Morgan or does he hang around from his service at the former Fort Bowyer?

Other visitors have reported seeing strange mists, glowing lights and hearing odd sounds from disembodied voices and whispers to scratching and moaning. One startling report from a visitor to the fort claims that he was physically thrown tot he ground by something unseen.

The Fort’s staff is quick to denounce any rumors of a haunting and insist the claims are just the over-active imagination of people visiting a place that has seen war and war related deaths. They claim that the place is rife with shadows because of the lack of lighting in the Fort and of course there is going to be ambient noise as the structure is not in the best condition.

The Spirit Seekers’ founder Alan Lowe believes that something is not at rest at the old fort. A previous tour of the fort yielded an experience that he can not quite explain away so easily. Convinced that what he saw was paranormal he contacted the proprietors of the fort and sought permission to bring in a team of investigators. He was granted permission and an investigation is just three short days away at the time of writing this article. In time we will know the answer as to whether or not Fort Morgan is haunted.

Please check back often for details on this SPIRIT Seekers landmark investigation into Fort Morgan and follow along with the investigators as they tweet live from the investigation.

 

 

 

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About SPIRIT Seekers
Spirit Seekers is a Paranormal Research Team located in Arkansas, dedicated to investigating and documenting the spirit world around us. Our Team is committed to the research, documentation, education, and investigation of ghostly phenomena recorded through EVP, digital, film and video photography. Spirit Seekers consists of professional people who believe there is far more to the world around us than meets the eye. We believe that our spirits enter into another plane of existence upon physical death. For any number of reasons, some have elected to stay here or have been anchored here, unable to move on. We, as a whole, desire the knowledge and understanding of life after death. One of our main goals is to assist those who are experiencing paranormal phenomenon. We will look for authentic evidence of the paranormal and try to determine if the location is haunted. We do not charge a fee for our services. Please feel free to contact us if you need our assistance.

5 Responses to HISTORICAL HAUNTS: FORT MORGAN, AL

  1. Christine says:

    Hi. I recently visited Fort Morgan and took several photos. In one, I think I may have photographed an orb. I was there alone, there were no other visitors.

  2. Hi Christine. We too visited the fort recently and captured several orb photos.

    We lucky to have the place to ourselves for an overnight investigation.

    I posted some of photos of the investigation as well as a video of us hearing footsteps during an EVP session.

    Thanks for posting. If you want to share your photo with us and have it posted on or blog please email ssisubmissions@AOL.com

  3. Todd Abrams says:

    We are Gulf Paranormal Society from Foley, Alabama.We have investigated this fort over thirty times and it gets better everytime.We have countlesspictures, E.V.P.’s and videos.This is the place to be to investigate.Any questions visit us on face book.

    • Hey Todd, thanks for the reply! I am glad to know that what we experienced wasn’t simply our minds playing tricks on us. We were unfortunately a small group and didn’t get to investigate everything we hoped to during our visit. Perhaps, if we find ourselves in the area again, we could get some pointers from your group.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Jay says:

    My 7 year old saw green glowing eyes looking at us in a dark room. I had snapped a pic at the same time. Many orbs were there, one was glowing green.

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