Fort Gaines Phantoms :
Fort Gaines was established in 1821 and is best known for its role in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War, a Union victory which helped bolster President Lincoln’s bid for re-election just three months later. Despite erosion from intense storms in recent years, the site is one of the country’s best preserved Civil War-era masonry forts, and according to some the masonry is not all that has lingered over the years. Apparitions, shadowy figures, and other unusual sightings have been reported at the fort, as have cold spots and other strange phenomena.
This Fort may easily be the most haunted spots on Dauphin Island. Tales of wandering ghosts revolve around the stoic red brick facility on the extreme East End of the Island. Visitors at the Fort have reported seeing apparitions dressed in period attire on the grounds, skulking in the darkened recesses beneath the bastions, and atop nearby bunkers outside the walls. It was a moonlit night, not too long ago, that Island resident Ed Jones saw for himself the reality of the rumors. “It was a crisp, fall night with a half moon,” said Jones. “I had an old fraternity brother visiting me for the first time on the Island and we decided to run down to the East End near the Fort.”
“On a clear night the view of Mobile Bay and Baldwin County across the water is incredible, and I always enjoy sharing it,” he said. “We slowly drove to the turn-around behind the Fort when I caught a glimpse of a solitary figure on the ramparts.” “I slowed down and saw that it was a woman in a long, flowing skirt who appeared to be looking out into the Gulf,” said Jones. “My first thought was that she must be a re-enactor, but why would she have been there alone at night?” “As I watched, she turned her head slowly and stared silently at our car. Then like a glimmer she faded away,” he said. “It was a slow fade, not like someone disappearing down a stairwell or trying to hide. One second she was there, then … nothing.” “I knew that my friend had seen the same thing and for the longest time we were completely silent. Finally, in a hushed voice he asked, ‘did you see it?’ Yes I did,” Jones said.
“Though I often make the little trip to the Fort in hopes of seeing her again, the vision of the woman at Fort Gaines will be forever in my mind.”