The old haunted Fort Chaffee complex in Arkansas is not very accessible. The Ghost Adventures Crew featured the old Army post on an episode of their show, and the paranormal team RVPRI has been within the overgrown collection of buildings a number of times, but very few others have also been in there to investigate. Our case manager, Cathy Nance, had a heck of a time tracking down who she needed to speak to in order to arrange the investigation, but in the end she prevailed and this past weekend we made the trek out there.
Most of the assembled team (Cathy, Logan, Taylor, and Audry) headed out Friday morning to get the key and conduct some preliminary research, but I was unable to join until later that evening. Honestly, I would have preferred to have gone up during the day and gotten a feel for the place before plunging into the dark oblivion. All one sees when driving up in the dark are the tops of a couple nearby buildings protruding above the countless trees and underbrush that have grown up since the site was abandoned. Then when you walk in you plunge into darkness…
My investigator-in-training daughter, Arielle, came along to take part in our two-day investigation of the complex, as did Marc Hall who comes out with us at times when we’re around the Muskogee area, and we joined up with the team at about 10:30 PM. It was fairly soon when we first began experiencing some activity in the OB/GYN area. Audible whispers were heard, a dark form was seen entering the file room, and other shadows were seen. It also felt like there was someone near the location where Logan and I were standing. At different times we felt like the hair was rising on the back of our necks. We didn’t stay long, however, since there is so much area to cover there. We wanted to hit a little bit of everything.
I will definitely agree with Zak Bagans that the long hallways throughout the ruins are like something straight out of the video game Doom. This would be a fantastic place to play laser tag or paint ball if it wasn’t so dangerous. It many places the floors are rotting or falling away from the wall, and we had to be very careful in many spots. I’ve walked the hallway at NSA that is said to be the longest in the country, and some of these come pretty darn close. Technically, the longer ones take you outside and are split by small roads, but they pick up right where they left off and continue on.
We concluded the first night in the detention area where we discovered one of the trademark black X marks left by the Ghost Adventures Crew. However, these buildings were relatively quiet that night. We heard a few knocks and what may have been footsteps, but the spiders were more active that night.
We didn’t roll into bed until about 5:00 AM and were completely exhausted. That might explain why we overslept; Cathy finally woke up two minutes after check out and we scrambled everything together. We spent part of the day touring Arkansas and took a look at a historic sanatorium. Just as we were headed back to Fort Chaffee a storm rolled in and cooled off the weather for us. We were also hoping that the storm’s lightning would rouse up the spirits. Our daytime walkthrough was lengthy, and we still didn’t cover the whole fort. There are so many places to explore and snoop around that it would take an entire week (at least) to cover it all. And that would not include investigating.
The two most notable places we hit for that night’s investigation were the strip known as the haunted hallway where the apparition of an arm has been seen and what we thought at the time might be a psychiatric ward. The haunted hallway lived up to its name. When we were in one of the wards off the hall we kept hearing footsteps out in the hall and I also heard what sounded like a woman’s moan. When then had a group sit-down while standing) in the hall, and most of the group members repeatedly heard voices. Footsteps and voices were heard in the presumed psych ward as well, and I repeated felt an icy cold breath on my neck in the stifling heat. (Note: A photograph found after the investigation shows the building we thought to be a psych ward to actually be a facility used by the military police.)
We were fortunate to be accident free the entire investigation until… on our walk out of the facility Mark fell through a rotted floorboard. He was rather good-natured about it, and received only minor cuts and scrapes. Even while being careful, Fort Chaffee still has its dangers.
We’re still going through a lot of the collected evidence (hours of audio to go through!), but we’ve posted a photo gallery to the web site for starters: http://www.societyofthehaunted.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=8&Itemid=58 — more to come on all of this.
And congratulations to the Boston Bruins for winning their first Stanley Cup since 1972!