Friday, October 28, 2011

My "I don't believe in ghosts, Ghost Story"

As you all learned at the beginning of the week, I did Civil War reenacting when I was a young teen. With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it would be an appropriate time to share a spooky tale from those days.

One year, Gretchen's family took me to Fort Simcoe. It was built in the 1850's to establish peace between the Indians and the settlers...I use peace loosely here because we were informed that the playground area at the Fort is actually built right where the hanging tree used to be. There were some nice white houses, one really nice one being the Commander's Quarters, which we were also informed was haunted.

Gretchen and I sat around a fire the afternoon we arrived and listened wide eyed to the tales of the lady who haunted the Fort. I hope I remember this all correctly but I'm pretty sure this was basically the story.

Back in either the 1850's or 1840's, in New York City, a wealthy woman married a military man. She loved her lavish city life, but sometime in the 1850's her husband received orders to move to Fort Simcoe as the Commander. He whisked his bride all the way across the country to what the wife could only see as a God forsake place in the middle of nowhere. Supposedly she hated it there, and was frustrated at her husband for making her live in such a savage place. At some point they had a child, and soon after the child's birth, the Civil War broke out. Her husband was called off to war, leaving her and the baby with some military men in Indian territory. Some sort of illness broke out at Fort Simcoe that the woman and baby both caught. The baby died, and soon after, the woman died as well.

Since her death, there have been reports of a woman in a white blouse with a large black skirt, which practically melts into the ground, roaming around the Fort. The man who told us this tale also told us about an encounter he had with the woman. At first he thought it was his wife. After all, this is a place for Civil War reenacting so there are a lot of women dressed as the 'ghost' would dress. He followed what he thought was his wife around the houses one night, wondering what she was doing. When she disappeared, he went back to the fire to discover that his wife had been with the rest of the people around a fire the entire time. Everyone else was also accounted for, so they knew it must have been the 'ghost'.

The house that she lived in is viewable by the public in the day. The furniture is still in place, and one particular item, a mantle clock, hasn't worked in many many years. Oddly enough, the clock will occasionally go off only at noon. Nobody knows how or why, but it just does. I also remember being told something about acorns being heard falling on the roof, and you can find acorns on the ground around the house but there are no acorn producing trees in that area. Now I can't remember what the trees were like. That's just what I remember being told.

After listening for a couple of hours about the spooky ghost woman of Fort Simcoe, Gretchen and I decided to take a tour of the house...not a good idea. First of all, this is where I fell down from running in my hoop skirt and flashed everyone and secondly, despite being two girls who don't believe in ghosts (and I still don't), our imaginations were probably running a bit too wild as we stood clinging to each other before the front porch. We heard our comrades laughing as us in the distance, so we finally hitched up our skirts and made our way through the door. Ever so slowly and silently, we baby stepped our way into the hallway. There was an open doorway a few feet on our right and another open doorway a bit further ahead on our left. Since I was on the left side of Gretchen, I was the first to get a glimpse into the doorway on the right. It was the living room with the notorious mantle clock. Unfortunately for me, that wasn't the first thing that caught my eye. The first thing I saw in the room was a figure in a white blouse, with a big, dark skirt and a lifeless look upon her face...I let out a shriek! Gretchen caught her first glimpse, and we both darted out the front door, screaming our girly heads off!

Then the laughter hit us, as we realized what we saw. Nobody told us there were period dressed mannequins set up in the rooms! Mannequins are scary enough in their own right, but they really take on a new form of terror when you aren't expecting them! After we composed ourselves, we made our way back into the house, and I think we ended up singing to try and handle our nerves as we made our tour through the two floors. We survived! There were some other creepy mannequins all through the house but at least we now knew to expect them.

That night, we had a small dance and get-together in the small log shed type thing across the yard from the great house. It was next to a small apple orchard and was a nice place for evening chats and laughs. Gretchen's and I headed off for the night while some stayed to continue on through the night. About 100ft or so from the building, I for some reason turned around to look back. There was the happy little log building we came from, with candle light seeping from the doorway and windows. You could hear people laughing and some stomping as someone was trying to dance again. Something in the apple orchard caught my eye. I just noticed more with the sweep of my head as I turned back to walk towards the camper. A woman was standing in the orchard, just staring at the building. She was in a white blouse and a skirt that could have been made of shadows. My conscious mind registered what I just glimpsed as I whipped my head back around to confirm the image...but it was gone.


  1. I love a good ghost story! Awesome!
    Thank you again for your post yesterday. I will hopefully be able to post about it over the weekend.

  2. Wooooo those mannequins would have given me a heart attack, too!

    It's funny how your imagination can run wild....

  3. Ooooo!! I love spooky history!!! Great post!! Happy Halloweenie!!

  4. This is SOOO funny. I started laughing hysterically when I read this part: "I fell down from running in my hoop skirt and flashed everyone and secondly, despite being two girls who don't believe in ghosts (and I still don't), our imaginations were probably running a bit too wild as we stood clinging to each other before the front porch."

    It started out so sad, and then you had me crying with laughter. I LOVE this post :)

  5. Great ending! Although I'm having trouble getting the image of you flashing in your hoop skirt out of my head.

  6. Good Halloween story--GREAT READ!!

  7. Love it. I've been tempted to see if I can get the Atlanta Ghosthunters to come to my house. I swear there's something in my basement.

  8. Stephanie, I had fun remembering back and writing out my memories of this eerie tale. I'm glad you liked it! Hope to see you around on the weekend!

    Lisa, since mannequins are terrifying at the best of times, they definitely were heart stopping on that day!

    Lil Dreamer, spooky history is the best! When we lived in Edinburgh there was tons of it! The infamous Burke and Hare body snatchers, visiting the gallows and a few vampires thrown in...

    Thanks Elisa! It's never a totally serious day with me. Sure I saw something creepy but we had more things to laugh over than to get goosebumps about! :)

    Tony, it wasn't my best moment...I was lucky the whole skirt didn't fly over my head and cocoon me!

    Fishducky, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Branden really got into it while he was editing so it was fun to watch his intent face scour the words.

    Joshua, something in your basement...creepy! I'd just be hoping it's a rat but you never know. If you live in an old house there could be something lurking....muahahahahaha!!!

  9. Spooooooooky! A good story and well written.


  10. One of the dorms at my school was haunted by "the Blue Lady". I never saw her, but one night, I had the biggest case of the "heebee jeebees" EVER when I knew something was STANINGTHISCLOSEBEHINDME.

    Did I turn around? Heck no! Not sure which would have been worse: Seeing something or not seeing something.

  11. These kind of stories creep me out. I'd like to say I don't believe in ghosts, but it's safe to say, I won't get up to pee tonight.

  12. There's nothing like flashing everyone, in a hoop skirt, to make them forget about ghosts..hahahhahaha


Does this straitjacket make my butt look big?