Haunted Harwich, Essex – Redoubt Fort
Essex is home to some amazing haunted places, but one of the top places to go is Redoubt Fort in Harwich.
History of Harwich Redoubt Fort
Harwich fort was built in 1808 to defend Essex against Napoleonic invasion. The fort is completely circular and surrounded by a very deep moat. While it now finds itself surrounded by houses, when it was originally built, it would have sat high up on a hill with a panoramic view all the way round. Even today, the view is very impressive from the top. The fort was put back into use during world wars 1 and 2, but was never actually used to fire a single shot. The fort has been lovingly restored by a dedicated group of volunteers known as The Harwich Society and is now accessible during the day for tours. It can be hired for use by ghost hunting groups.
Alleged Hauntings of Harwich Fort
The fort is alleged to be haunted by a young woman and child. It is said that a young woman married a soldier and got pregnant. When he went off to fight, he got scared and deserted his unit. The rest of the wives and soldiers proceeded to treat the wife left behind so badly, that she took herself and her child and jumped off the top of the fort one night.
The fort is also said to be haunted by the apparition of a headless soldier. It is reported that in 1972 a soldier was decapitated by a cable attached to a 12 ton cannon which broke under the strain. The soldier has been reported to be walking within the grounds of the fort headless and sometimes with his head tucked under his arms.
The Paranormal Academy Experiences at Harwich Fort
We have been lucky enough to investigate this location five times. It never fails to disappoint. We have experienced noises, items thrown, caught some amazing EVPs, seen figures map in on our XLS camera and even seen a full body apparition on one occasion.
Here are just some of our experiences in more detail.
We were investigating the room which is now set up as if it is a school room. There are rows of old fashioned school desks, with the hinged lids and build in stools. We decided that this would be a great place to set up a night vision camera so just inside the door we set the camera up, pointing the desks. We then sealed the door and left the camera locked off all night. On watching the footage back the next day, we caught two amazing incidents. We can clearly hear what sounds like two children having a conversation. The first voice is hard to make out but the second voice clearly says “no don’t, she’ll see us”. There were no children with us on this investigation but the voices we heard were clearly from small children.
What we caught next was even more surprising. On one of the desks, about halfway down the room and nearest the walkway through the middle, the heavy wooden lids opened all the way up, stayed up right for about 9 seconds before gently shutting itself. There was no one in the room at the time and there is no one else on camera. The lids are heavy and could not have been blown open. We don’t see anything on camera except the desk lid opening but there is just no explanation for it at all.
On another visit, we had a Kinect camera setup to monitor the corridor in front of the prison cells. We were all on a break and most of the team was in the cafe getting a drink. We left one person sitting outside the room watching the Kinect. There was no one in the prison cells and the camera was the only thing in the cell room. The camera was connected to a laptop that was sitting outside the cell block and the cable was passed through the window. The camera mapped in a human figure that walked from the end of the corridor, all the way down it, past the other cells and walked right past the camera. We couldn’t see anything with our own eyes and the night vision camera we had sat next to the connect didn’t pick up anything. It was one of the best Kinect experiences we have had.
On our first visit to the fort, we were lucky enough to see the most elusive of paranormal experiences, the full bodied apparition. We had just finished having a tour of the fort and were all standing in the courtyard in the centre. It was dusk so we could still see without using torches. One of our group happened to look up towards to walkway that goes round the top of the fort and clear as day’ there was a man in an officer’s uniform standing at the top looking over the edge at us all. He shouted and we all looked up and yes we could all see him. The caretakers of the fort also looked up and they could see him too. One of our team ran for the stairs to go up and see if this person was human but before he could get there, the officer faded away in front of us. We later went to the uniform room and there is a uniform in one of the glass cabinets that matches the one on the apparition perfectly. None of us managed to capture this on camera unfortunately, but it still remains one of the best experiences we have had.