Dauphin Island, AL
Archive of Historical Data, Books, Maps
And Other Materials
The Haunting of Fort Gaines|
www.hauntsofamerica.blogspot.com - Berkeley, WV
Published August 17, 2007 by: Berkeley Girl
was originally built as an addition of our country's security but the
original fort had many problems. For one, Fort Gaines was built too close
to the Mobile bay and at high tide, water would enter the structure. Another
problem arose over land rights but the military did finally gain rights
and the deed to the island.
In 1853, a new engineer was brought in; he determined that the structure
was such a mess and the plans were so outdated, that it would be better
to start back over at the beginning and build a whole new fort. The fort
he designed was finished in 1858.
During the Civil War, Fort Gaines became central operations for blockade
running and in 1864 the battle of Mobile Bay broke out between Confederate
and Union forces.
Union Army commanders, Admiral David Farragut and Major General Gordon
Granger, came through the bay amid fourteen ships, with the orders to
shut down the fort. The guns in Fort Gaines rang out and much damage was
caused to the Union Army. Then, Admiral Farragut gave the notorious order,
"Damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!" The Union army succeeded in its
task when Fort Gaines surrendered to avoid hand-to-hand combat.
Fort Gaines has a long history of military use and found itself involved
in the Spanish American War, World War I and World War 2 for various military
Today, the Coast Guard has a base at Fort Gaines and the fort continues
to be of service.
Over the years, many men have died at the site of Fort Gaines; a reported
1,800 of these men died in the bloody Battle of Mobile Bay.
The Island itself has the nick name of "Massacre Island" and it is no
surprise that this fort is haunted by so many angry, restless spirits.
Many visitors to the fort, as well as employees, have reported seeing
the apparitions of former Confederate and Union soldiers wandering all
over the grounds. Many have even caught these specters on film, including
Another apparition of the fort, a soldier, is said to follow people around
the fort until they leave the front gates; this spirit has been seen and
its presence has been felt by many.
Other ghostly encounters in the fort include the common ghostly cold spots
The MTV show called "Fear," filmed an episode on Fort Gaines. According
to MTV a Native American woman's apparition has been seen wearing the
skins of animals and covered in blood.
Also, MTV shed a little light on some of the horrifying events at Fort
Gains. Apparently, the storms that occur on Dauphin Island are sometimes
especially harsh and these storms tend to wash up more bones of departed
More bones can be found in a tunnel that collapsed on several Native American
slaves. These slaves were chained together and they were buried alive
in the accident. According to MTV, the bones were never removed and are
still there in the tunnel.
MTV also reported that several soldiers died in an underground pipe while
trying to escape the fort; high tide came in a drown them.