TV's Ghost Hunters Investigate Fort Delaware aka Pea Patch Island

April 23, 2008

If you follow my blog, you know that back in March, I stayed overnight at Fort Mifflin with my son's cubscout pack. If you missed that one, you can read all about our adventure here.

One of the reasons that trip was so cool to me was Fort Mifflin was widely reported to be haunted, and TV's Ghost Hunters had been there a few weeks before us to do an investigation. It was aired on television a few days after we got back.

Ghost Hunters airs on the SciFi channel, Wednesday nights at 9 pm. It's a "reality based" program where the investigators go to places that are purported to be "haunted" and attempt to debunk reports of paranormal activity by finding plausible explanations for the claims. Often times they are successful in finding alternative explanations...sometimes, they cannot find plausible explanations. Other times, they encounter some pretty interesting stuff. All in all, it's a lot of fun to watch, whether you "believe" or not.

Last week, they were here in Delaware - on Pea Patch Island, investigating Fort Delaware. Fort Delaware is an incredible location for this type of investigation because of it's rich history. Construction of the fort began in 1819, and it was originally slated to be a garrison to defend against water attacks from the British, however, it became a prisoner of war facility that housed 33,000 prisoners by the time the Civil War ended. I've read conflicting reports that anywhere between 2,400 and 3,200 people died on the island.

This past weekend, I saw a group of people standing and cars parked on the grass right up against the Delaware City ferry launch as I passed by. After ascertaining what was going on, I decided to wait with the onlookers in the hopes of meeting the cast of Ghost Hunters.  As it turned out, however, they had been just been ferried over to the island and I missed them.

It was fully dark by this time (about 9pm) and they had the Fort all lit up. The kids and I went over to the water's edge and could see shadows being cast on the Fort's walls and flashlight beams cutting through the darkness on front side of the fort. To the left of the Fort, back where the bird estuary is located, incredibly bright beams of laser-like lights were casting light up to the night sky and back down to the island. It was really neat to see. We stayed about an hour - certainly way past bedtime for the children, but it was really exciting for all of us.

I'm not sure when this episode will air, but I'll be sure to keep everyone posted.
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