Welcome first time visitors and followers! I’m Nicholas McGirr, Author of the Afterlife and you’ve landed on another blog post of haunted stuff. This blog (and podcast) is intended to entertain you with my research on haunted locations for inspiring my fiction works. I hope you enjoy another adventure with me! Read on for this week’s post on Fort Fremont Preserve in Beaufort, South Carolina.
Finding the location
Finding another location to investigate after my time at Old Sheldon Church was a fairly easy decision. Looking through online haunting catalogs (I love shopping for new haunts!), I found little information about the Fort Fremont Preserve, even though it is listed as one of the hauntings in Beaufort, South Carolina.
With this investigation, I was accompanied by April (my wife) and a third person to help manage the use of equipment while I handled Byron, my dappled dachshund.
The beach is surreal
It was late afternoon when we arrived. Our GPS didn’t take us to the front gates of the Preserve and we had to walk around the gated area through a beach to find a way in. There was a much easier way to enter the preserve, but we found it even more interesting to have to pass through a very small segregated beach area. There was no one on the beach, but the waves crashing in were calming. The beach made the entire area feel surreal and the eerie factor crept up on us as we kept exploring.
Using a Spirit Box app
Like our visit to Old Sheldon Church, I wanted to explore the possibilities of a Spirit Box App. A spirit box uses radio frequencies or white noise (static) to allow spirits to communicate. If you’ve watched ghost hunting television shows, it’s the static box that spits out words.
The app we chose is called “Ghost Detector”, and it was chosen for the cheesey name. My thought behind the app is that it is intended for party games or hoaxes on friends. Nonetheless, it provides white noise and will keep a tally of words it thinks come through with the abled frequency settings.
Without having a psychic with me, or Psychic himself from my previous investigations, I found that I needed words or phrases to investigate through research. The “Ghost Detector” app was readily available, fun, and well, free.
I wasn’t sure what was going to come out of using the app, but I did notice that in both locations, Old Sheldon Church and Fort Fremont Preserve, that the words came through much quicker than when I tested the app in my home.
A brief history of Fort Fremont
This fort was one of six forts intended for the Spanish-American War. It was built in 1889 and then abandoned by 1910. It housed three disappearing canons, two of which were given to France during WWI and the other sent to New Jersey. To date, it is known that all three canons were scrapped.
This fort was never under attack nor was it used in the Spanish-American War. It housed approximately 110 soldiers which took care of the facilities that included a commissary, a bakery, a hospital and many other buildings. Overall, the entire fort area covered more than seventy acres of land. All to protect Beaufort from threats of the Spanish-American War.
The Haunted Claims
There are many haunting claims of this area including those of Land’s End which sits where the original fort would have extended.
It is said that there was a fight on the Fort Fremont grounds between soldiers and local African-Americans over moonshine. All survived but one: Pvt. Frank J. Quigley. It is also said that this soldier had intimate relations with a local’s wife and that’s how he died. Who’s to say? None of us were there.
This leads to the haunting of Land’s End Light, where it is said that if you drive to the end of the road near the beach that you will see a lantern swinging. Locals claim it is Pvt. Quigley.
Other claims on the Fort Fremont Preserve are of EVP’s (electronic voice phenomenon) or of smoky images that seem like spirits.
One YouTube video shows a couple investigating with a Spirit Box app similar to the one I used. The words that came through their app were much different than that of what came through my phone. They had words like “chemical”, “No one”, “Spirit”, “Charles” and “This is one”. Towards the end of the video the woman claims that the spirit box answered her questions by using her name.
All of these stories were just creepy enough for me to want to visit for myself.
Upon the arrival while my team and I walking through the beach area, I began to get a migraine. I’ve had a history of migraines, but hadn’t had one in quite some time, I pushed on so I could discover the grounds.
As I did, the headache grew stronger as I got closer to the fort until finally I had to come to a stop once we reached the front of the fort with the cavernous openings. I had to sit down, my eye was watering to the point I couldn’t see and I had sweat pouring down my brow and neck.
My team checked on me as I sat down. Byron stayed with me as April took a few photos and the Spirit Box app was running picking up a few words before I decided I couldn’t handle the headache any longer.
April had to help me to the car since the migraine behind my eye was causing it to strain and water profusely. Once we reached the car, the headache eased slowly, my eye stopped watering and the sweating seemed to come to an end. After 20 minutes, I was able to drive us home.
I tell you about my migraine due to a connection in my research. Keep reading…
Spirit Box Findings
Now we come to the cheesey Spirit Box, “Ghost Detector” and the words it gave me for research. I was able to connect the history of the Fort Fremont area with six out of the nine words it recorded. Not too shabby for a free app.
The only three words not connected to this area: “January”, “Warrior” and “Tea”. But let’s work backwards on this list to see the connections.
Three: I connected this term to the three canons that were stationed at the fort.
Friends: There is an organization called “Friends of Fort Fremont” that preserves the land and educates on the history of Fort Fremont. Also, notice there are “three” F’s in their title.
Soldiers: This one is pretty obvious as there were over 100 soldiers stationed at Fort Fremont.
Now, I’m going to tie a story together for the words, “Raid”, “Weak” and “Rocks”.
Going further into the history of this land, it is known that Harriet Tubman led a raid of Col. Montgomery’s men to the Combahee River (just across from Rock Creek) to weaken the rebel’s Army camp and freed over 700 slaves in June of 1863.
The area that Harriet Tubman started this raid was near the grounds where Fort Fremont currently stands. I looked into the maps of these areas to show where the Combahee River and Rock Creek are in relation to Fort Fremont. You can see Fort Fremont on the bottom left of the map, Combahee River with the Red pin and Rock Creek in the very top right corner.
Dear Reader, I would love to be convinced that the legendary Harriet Tubman came through on a free app used for a game. But I needed more clues.
I found that Tubman suffered from migraines and seizures throughout her life due to a riot that happened when she was just a girl. These migraines and seizures were spiritual for her as she grew closer to her religious values.
My overall conclusion is that similar to Litchfield Plantation. I went in expecting one haunting, but through research was able to dig up a whole other history. This experience for me went further than just a history lesson, it became personal. The migraine I felt during this investigation was intense and I felt that it had something to do with the property at Fort Fremont.
I want to know your thoughts on the matter:
Do you feel that deeper histories arise when researching a haunted location?
Have you had an experience at Fort Fremont?
Tell me your ghost story and we’ll compare notes. Be sure to leave your comments below.
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I’m a writer, and now you know another story that inspires my fiction. Thanks for reading,
More than just a Blog
This is episode 9 of the Stories in the Cemetery podcast.