Ghosts & Jefferson Barracks Historic Site – Oh, My!

Ghosts. Witches. Vampires…yes it’s almost Halloween and the time of year where things go bump in the night. Time to question once more – do you believe in the supernatural? Werewolves? Zombies…I truly don’t get the zombie-thing. Nevertheless…I believe, from personal history, that ghosts, spirits, exist among us. Let me explain.

I closed on my house the day my father died. He’d never seen the inside of the house – he was too ill to see it. But he’s been inside my house since he died. How do I know? He used to smoke pipes. His favorite tobacco was Bondstreet. But he didn’t like moist tobacco. He used to dry it out in the oven, later microwave. Why? I don’t know. But that gave that tobacco a distinct aroma and I’ve never smelled it anywhere else. No one smokes in my house but the scent of that tobacco has been strong at three different times since I moved in. Nice.

Laborers House JB 1Another incident came from when I used to work at Jefferson Barracks Historic Park. JB itself was an operation military post from 1826-1946. Today, some of the historic buildings date back to the 1850s. One is the Laborers House. The two-story limestone building is a freestanding exhibit that had to be manually opened and closed daily by the staff. The windows to it were the old wood-framed ones that had to be manually lifted and a pin in the frame to keep it open to push back the shutters. Yes, shutters that swung open and shut. Cool, actually. The building had 1 light – in the shotgun hallway on first floor. The only lights in the rooms (1 main room on first and 2 bedrooms on second) were the two windows in the front and back.

098379pvSo one evening, I was the only staff there and had to close the house. It was fall and dusk was descending. Upstairs, the two bedrooms had a door between them that was open. The doorways from the hall were Plexiglas panels so people could look into the rooms. So the staff entered back room’s door because it was close to stairs. I closed the front windows then went through the adjoining door to the back room. Closed the farthest shutters then went to the last window. As I looked into the glass as I raised the window, I saw a reflection of a man leaning in the adjoining door. His arms were crossed as he watched me. He wore white cotton pullover shirt, tan breeches. It was the strangest thing. I also realized I had to cross within three feet of him to leave the room. So I did what anyone else would do – I jammed the pin into the frame to keep the window open, slammed the shutters fast, latching them, almost dropped the window in closing and looked down as I sped out the room.

Odd. Totally cool. Yes, I am a chicken.

People have been in that house tell me they can sense the spirits there. Upstairs in particular, especially the back room. There, they claim, are a lot of men, busy playing cards and talking.

There are many other stories of ghosts at JB that I know. Plus, I had another encounter at General Daniel Bissell’s House too, which I’ll tell later.

So yes, I believe in ghosts, in spirits still making their presence known for whatever reason. Tell me, have you seen ghosts?

 

 

As to vampires, check out Her Eternal Rogue – the Regency story of vampire/pirate and the lady.GinaDanna_HerEternalRogue200Amazon  Barnes & Noble   iTunes

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18 thoughts on “Ghosts & Jefferson Barracks Historic Site – Oh, My!

  1. Gina, those are great stories. I personally haven’t had too many experiences with ghosts, but my sister who is in the hotel business has had many.

    Recently she was at the Omni Shoreham in Washington DC, a very large and historic hotel. She was there for a task force job and was staying in a double room on an upper floor. She had strange dreams all night and when she woke in the morning the desk chair was between the two beds setting right next to where she was sleeping as if someone had been sitting there watching her sleep.

  2. Oooh Kary, I’ve stayed at the Omni several times. I can so see that happening. Gina, I would run too. If I didn’t try to talk to him first. I have seen and felt spirit like things, but have not had one materialize. Tweeted and shared.

  3. I’ve had a few ghosts stories happen to me, too. On those occasions, I think they were ‘angels’. :) I have a good friend who is a nurse and works in the hospital. She has a lot of ghost stories! I love hearing ghost stories. Please, tell me more!!

  4. Great post.
    One time I visited my dad’s family in Virginia. I slept in the attic spare bedroom. Just before I drifted off to sleep, I felt a hand on my shoulder as though someone was trying to see who I was. I just repeated my name – including my maiden name – a few times and the pressure left, but I still felt the pressure on my shoulder for hours afterwards.

  5. I have had my own encounters with ghost. I neither believed nor disbelieved until I took over the Job of infirmary Nurse at a local college. When I moved my family in we began to have “visits” The infirmary had been built in 1900 and still had beds from that era on the top floor. Two of the ghost were there. I could see the clear shaddow of one on the walls as he passed down the hall. I believe he was a victim of the flu epidemic around the time of the first world war. He passed away in the infirmary. Another was the first nurse to work and raise her family there. We could only hear her footsteps. Walking from the downstairs room she past away in toward the exam room. There would be two shuffling steps and the sharp tap of her cane tapping on the floor. She snuck up behind the maid one day and poked her in the behind with the cane. Then there was the unknown patient that would walk on crutches through the hall and up the stairs at night. At first we thought some one had broken in and was trying to get in thelocked medicine room. My husband even sat at the top of the stairs trying to catch the intruder. The last upstairs spook I didn’t know about until years later my daughter told me he would play with her in the storage room. He pushed her around in the old high backed wooden wheel chairs stored there. After that I totally believed in ghost.

    • Wow Mary what an encounter to say the least! I’ve heard about children who play with spirits, not knowing that’s what they are but knowing they were real. Kinda scary, for sure! Thank you for sharing :)

  6. My grand-father built many houses but we lived for many years in the biggest one, after his death. Let’s just say he let his presence knows. Years later, my mother, brother and I exchanged similar stories, though at the time, we never talked about the weird noises in the house.

  7. I definitely believe. Right now I live about 10 minutes from Valley Forge, and one time we went to visit the area around Washington’s HQ. There was a building closer to the road, next to the Schuylkill River, where I walked the porch. The hairs on my arm and the back of my neck all stood on end. I will still swear that as I looked in the windows of the empty house, someone else looked out at me. I didn’t see anyone but I sure felt them. I’ve been back a few times but didn’t feel them since.

    The closest I’ve been to a ghost was when my youngest was a few weeks old. I woke at 2:16 to nurse him, and I was sitting up in bed when I “saw” my grandmother there in the room with me. It never occurred to me to question why or how she was there, even though she lived in FL and I was (then) in NY. She’d never met my sons but I could feel her joy radiate through me. She beamed and said, “They’re beautiful!” so I knew she’d already been to my older son’s room to see him sleeping. I was glad she was happy. The next morning at 7 a.m., my mother called to say Oma had passed the night before, around midnight. I know without a doubt she was there.

    Lots of ghosts in the Philly area. I’m curious about Ft. Mifflin, down by the airport. I hear there’s a Screaming Lady who shrieks at men at dusk. She lost her whole family to illness and then went mad before succumbing, herself.

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