Washing Up at Fort Washita

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Washing Up at Fort Washita

Fort Washita ghost

Fort Washita is located in Durant Oklahoma and was built in 1841.  Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, the fort served as a former United States military post during the Civil War.  It was established in 1842 by General Zachary Taylor, who later went on to become President of the United States.  Fort Washita was built to protect the area from the Plains Indians.  It was ordered to protect the Texas frontier from attacks in 1842 so Texas could muster the strength to fight as attacks from Mexico were starting to become imminent.

(images:46183897@N00/flickr)

(images:[email protected]/flickr)

Originally, Fort Washita expanded over seven square miles with ninety buildings and sites.  While the fort was abandoned during the American Civil War, it quickly fell into disrepair due to disuse.  The farm, home, and cemetery quickly fell to waste until it was bought in 1962 by the Oklahoma Historical Society.  They restored Fort Washita and it is now utilized as a museum.

Despite the fact that Fort Washita had long ago served its purpose, people travel from all over the country to visit the site and learn about life during the Civil War era.  They are able to wander the grounds and hear about how people lived and also about the many gruesome deaths that occurred on the land.  They learned about the fighting and the soldiers who fought valiantly for what they believed in.  Unfortunately, many of the tourists also get a whole lot more than they bargained for when walking through Fort Washita and imagining taking a step back in time.

(images:baronbrian/flickr)

(images:baronbrian/flickr)

It seems the Fort is hesitant to give up its past, often showing reminders as if playing a movie.  For example, in one of the buildings, an apparition known as Aunt Jane is often found.  She was beheaded by soldiers when the fort was in use and is often seen in a white gown, missing her head.  Rumor has it Aunt Jane had hid gold and wanders the fort looking for her treasure.  She often appears when people are digging, seeming to attempt to prevent them from finding her treasure.  She has also been known to disassemble locks and open and slam doors.

Another story at the Fort was that of Charles Colbert. Charles was awarded the ruins of the fort after it was no longer being utilized.  He turned one of the barricades into a home for his family and thirty two dogs.  On their first night in the new home, all of the dogs disappeared.  Charles and his family spent the entirety of the next day searching for the dogs.  Luckily they were all found, but eerily, they were all rounded up in odd areas.  Often they were found in areas they could not have achieved alone.  After they disappeared the second night, the family left the fort and refused to return.

Others who stayed at the fort after that time also expressed odd occurrences with the paranormal.  One individual, Dr. Steele, was so upset by the incidents that he was driven insane and had a nervous breakdown.  Some of the reported stories involve having all of the doors and windows locked, even from the inside, despite having no one in the rooms.  People described feeling strangled or seeing things hovering above them.  They have dreams of being suffocated and have found clothing or personal items missing.  No one has been able to explain the hostility or why so many are driven out of the fort or completely mad.

Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

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