The GRS was the first and only group to ever investigate this location.
former Army base which has been shut down and is due to be divided into a
half-park half-cemetery was established in 1872 and has trained American
soldiers for service in the Spanish-American War and World Wars I and II.
The fort used to occupy 729 acres on a high wooded bluff overlooking
Address: 42°12′45″N 87°48′38″W in Highwood, Illinois 60040
Hauntings: Peggy Flanigan who was the
fort’s most informed storyteller, unofficial historian and public relations
director has seen the most famous ghost at
most frightening experience was in the old officer’s mess, where staff have
reported glimpsing the ‘Lady in
I stayed there overnight. At dawn,
as I was getting ready to leave, I was suddenly overcome by an immense feeling
of foreboding and the room turned ice cold.
made a dash for the door. Suddenly
the lights went out. I crawled down
the stairs in the pitch-black, feeling my way to the cellar, and escaped out a
few weeks later I escorted a respected psychic into the mess hall.
She’d been given no details about previous happenings but after a few
minutes told me: ‘I see a woman, her dress is very bright, possibly
orange...she looks a little like Mamie Eisenhower...she is the wife of a senior
officer, possibly a general...’
we were leaving, I caught a flash of something orange out of the corner of my
eye like a wisp of orange in the air.” Additional
research by Flanigan did yield some photographs and one of the women looks a
great deal like Mamie Eisenhower!
discovered that sometime in the 1950's or 1960's, a general’s wife used to
come to the dining room on a daily basis, talking to cooks, giving orders and
drinking martinis. She died and was
buried in the post cemetery, directly across from the clubhouse.
Perhaps she became so fond of the clubhouse, she couldn’t stay away.
Perhaps she still wants to be the one thing in charge of the clubhouse
December 1977, official Army photographer Eric Lundahl of the
Police Officers have occasionally reported an unauthorized entry into the
hospital cellar of a person described as a stocky man.
After repeated searches, he was nowhere to be found.
Other soldiers have heard footsteps inside locked barracks even though
they were empty at the time. Still
other soldiers complained about being awakened by what sounded like German
retired custodian used to tell people that a soldier dressed in Civil War garb
would appear occasionally at the foot of the basement stairs.
According to legend, there was a young man killed in an accident in the
building’s basement when the sewer system was being constructed.
a 1974 production of Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,
Frank Conway, theater director, claimed a poltergeist began misplacing props
during the performances. The prop
person put a back-scratcher and towel in place before a scene, but when the
actors went to use them they were gone.
lighting director said that light bulbs were constantly blowing out as fast as
he could replace them for a time. A
light bulb would burn out, he would climb a ladder to replace it and as soon as
he reached the stage floor, another one would go out.
The cast assumed the ghost lived in the building and affectionately named
him “George Spelvin” as an inside joke.
Actors use that name in the production credits when they wish to remain
figure of woman, dressed like a nurse, occasionally appeared in the window of
the top floor of Building 1. An
officer and his wife reported seeing an old blacksmith wander into their house
on the post one day while they were watching television.
former clubhouse manager said that in the early morning hours, he often had the
feeling that someone was behind him. Another
officer, who perhaps was not liked by the ghost, could never make it from the
kitchen to his office without his hot cup of coffee turning ice cold while other
officers’ coffee stayed warm. A
bartender in one of the clubhouse lounges said she felt a presence after the
last customer had gone in the wee hours of the morning.
said she and a friend visited the clubhouse dining room one morning around three
AM. Since the building was warm when
they walked inside, they removed their sweaters and slowly walked into the
kitchen. Suddenly the entire room
grew bitterly cold. They felt a
clammy force in the room and ran out of the building terrified.
The Ghost Research Society investigated Fort Sheridan on July 20, 1984. Team members included: Stephanie Willis and Dale Kaczmarek with help from Pat Shenberg of the Illinois Society for Psychic Research and PR Director Peggy Flanigan.
Personal experiences: I
had the opportunity of meeting Peggy Flanigan in person with psychic Patricia
Shenberg during an all-night investigation of the fort.
We gained entry into any and all buildings that we were interested in but
limited our searches to the clubhouse, officer’s mess, fort hospital, an
enlisted men’s barrack and the post cemetery.
sensed quite a number of interesting entities especially a Puerto Rican enlisted
man who was very angry that he had to leave this earth ahead of schedule.
The post hospital was a very sad and distressing place so we didn’t
spend much time there. Our main
focus after a brief visit to the post cemetery was the clubhouse where much of
the phenomenon was centered including reports of the “Lady in
sitting in total darkness in the clubhouse lounge, several members of our group
did begin to see small swirling circles of orange a few inches below the
ceiling. They lasted for only a few
moments though. I then decided that
we should split up in an attempt to try to cover as much of the clubhouse that
we could at one time. I took the
I was walking around and being a quiet as possible in the darkened basement, I
suddenly heard such a loud commotion that I almost jumped out of my skin.
It was coming from the next closed room a few feet away and sounded like
someone or something was throwing around metal pots and pans!
Now imagine yourself walking alone in a dark and unfamiliar location by
yourself when you suddenly hear a loud noise just a few yards away.
It was definitely unnerving.
cautiously approached the door and with all the courage I could muster at the
time. Quickly, and in one jerk, I yanked open the door expecting to see a total
mess of cooking utensils inside. To
my utter surprise, there was nothing out of place!
The room was in fact a storeroom for stainless steel pots and pans but
not a single one was thrown on the floor. I
was at a lack to explain this. I
closed the door, found a nearby chair and positioned it directly next to the
door. There I sat for thirty minutes
or so with my hand on the doorknob waiting for a repeat performance.
Of course, no encore was to take place.
fellow investigators were fairing well upstairs as well.
They had heard the sounds of footsteps and followed them to a room with
no other way in or out. The
footsteps just disappeared into the solid wall!
retired to the lounge again to await further happenings and during our wait
Peggy informed us that if we stayed around until a little after 6 AM, we might
see the phantom cook which had been reported numerous times coming up the back
steps into the clubhouse. Needless
to say, we waited but no culinary ghost was observed.
We left a little after 7 AM with a greater appreciation of the many
ghosts that so many people had seen at
Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
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