Ghost Stories

Hi. I'm new. Got some stories, too!

That rhymed. Anyway, I'm Trey. Nice to meet everybody.

When I was younger, I was an Army brat, so I got to visit/live in a few places that had a rich history of ghosts and such. Here are a few things I can think of from a place in Illinois called Fort Sheridan. The fort's since been closed down, but I've no doubt that it is still rife with ghostly happening and such. Jeez, where to start?

First of all, the base is old. It was established in 1887, so that'll give you an idea. There's a gigantic tower in the middle of the base, and legend has it an officer's wife flung herself from it one night after finding out he was having an affair. Apparently, on the anniversary of her death you can see her fall and disappear as soon as she hits the ground. I never saw it myself, but I did hear a few things, namely a scream and a thud. I tried not to hang out there too often. ;)

The library on base dates back to before WWI, when it was used as a hospital. The basement was used to hold POWs and foreign patients (how they got POWs from overseas to Illinois is beyond me), and after WWII they converted the hospital into the library. The building itself is about 3 or 4 stories tall, and it has quite a few rooms. The most famous ghost story pertaining to the library, and one I witnessed myself on more than one occasion, has to do with the basement. There are windows lining the bottom floor, so that the POWs and such could look out if they so desired. Now, the windows are now painted black and boarded over, but if you go there at night you can see white ovals, extremely similar to faces, peering out. I was face-to-"face" with one, and there was no light source that could've created the illusion, let alone one that could've done it to all the windows that had the faces peering out of them. There's also a ghost of a nun that apparently frequents the ground floor around the reception area.

Outside the library is the morgue, which hasn't been in service since the 50's. The building is very small, has no windows and has one door, which has a cross on it. I do not know of any phenomena associated with the morgue, only that every time I was near it, I had an extreme sense of evil and dread that came over me. I didn't go near it too often.

Here are a couple of detailed paragraphs about the ghosts of the Fort, then I'll get into my own personal experiences.

Although most of Fort Sheridan's more colorful characters have since passed away, a few still linger. Curiously, the most famous do not seem to be military. Instead, the fort's two most active spirits are working class unenlisted going about their respective business. Best known is a so-called "Woman in Orange," seen during random sunrises at Building 31, the Community Club Building. Building 31 previously housed the Officer's mess hall and the El Morocco Lounge, an officer's club which once hosted George S. Patton. The Woman in Orange, so dubbed for the stunning orange dress she wears, seems perpetually concerned with the perfection of her catering skills. She, by the way, is rumored to resemble Mamie Eisenhower.

Meanwhile, at Building 1, the old fort hospital and now library, a custodian eternally tends to his duties, stoking the furnace and tapping the pipes. Across the road out back, the hospital morgue *which I mentioned earlier*, nicknamed the "Dead House," still stands, although its ivy-covered walls and skylights have disappeared. The tiny, solid structure, bearing blind windows and crosses in relief housed a neat interior with sink, sewer, and a room for autopsies. It is interesting that the Dead House was designed by Holabird and Roche, while the fort hospital itself was built from standard plans.

Other strays at the nearly deserted fort include a nineteenth-century chaplain named Charles Adams; a drill sergeant who scares the dickens out of witnesses by hollering orders to his long-dead enlisted; the galloping shade of a horse on Patten Road; and the festive strains of accordion music from the site of a former German POW camp.

There's also a picture of a man in white robes crossing the street at Christmastime, which is supposedly a chaplain who lived in the house directly behind him.

Now for my own stories.

I lived on the fort for a good 4 years, and my house was one of the places that was haunted. I would wake up occasionally in the middle of the night and see a woman standing at the foot of my bed. She was dressed in a long, flowing black dress with white lace around her neck. Oddly enough, this didn't scare me. She was a comforting presence. Scared the hell out of my grandmother, though. :)

On the main road which lead out of the east gate, I would occasionally hear a horse galloping by at night, though I couldn't see anything.

My stepdad worked in an old barracks, and we went there one night on a "ghost hunt" to see if we could find anything. Well, when we were about to leave, a water pipe on the wall burst, thanks to the wheel coming loose, and it took three of us to turn the wheel to get it closed again. Kind of creepy.

I then moved on to California, to yet another Army base. I only have one story that came out of that one, but boy it was a doozy. I'll share it later on. :)
Thanks, guys!

blackadder: I think I read something about the base being used for condominiums and such, seeing as how it, quite literally, sat on the edge of Lake Michigan. My house was about 100 yards from the lake. It provided for some spectacular views. I think they scrapped the condo idea, though, as I found this paragraph on the official site. Here ya go.

"Fort Sheridan was selected for closure in 1988 and officially ceased operations as a U.S. Army installation on May 28, 1993. Of the 714 acres at the base, the U.S. Army has retained two parcels of 114 acres, which continue to serve Army Reserve missions. The Navy purchased 185 acres from the Army for use as military housing and office functions; 415 acres remained as surplus property for disposal by the Army. Of the 415 acres of surplus property, 230 acres comprise the National Historic Landmark District and the remainder is open space. Congress established the process for disposing of the surplus property to fulfill its obligation to preserve the historic resources located at the fort. In 1995, President Clinton signed into law the Military Construction Appropriations Act of 1996, which included under Section 125A the transfer of up to 290 acres to the Lake County Forest Preserve District at no cost, including 60 acres within the National Historic Landmark District. This legislation also permitted the Army to conduct a negotiated sale with a Local Redevel-opment Authority (LRA) for the balance of surplus property and the Historic Landmark District."

Actually, I just checked and they are renting or selling houses on the site. They're still using the golf course too, surprisingly. I think they're trying to turn it into an upscale neighborhood or housing development or something. I'm not sure. I live in Houston now, so I have no way of knowing what is going on up there aside from what I can find on here. Hopefully they've left the cemetery intact.

Here's a link to the website, if you want to check it out.

I'm sure you can get in and tour around, it wouldn't make any sense to me for them not to allow it, but I don't know if much of anything is left. I'm almost positive the water tower and everything is still there.