Haunted Real Estate Blog by Mary Pope-Handy mary@popehandy.com

Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island, June 27, 2008Sorry for the long pause between haunted real estate posts. We’ve been busy on the family front with serious illness and hospitalization (my dad) and blogging about ghosts has been a luxury that my time  budget couldn’t afford. But now I’m (we’re) getting a little break with a visit to the east coast to see family and with that breather I’m able to investigate a little and blog a little.

Today my family and I toured Fort Delaware (on Pea Patch Island) in Delaware. It’s now a state park but was a Civil War POW camp and is supposedly the most haunted place in the state.   It was made even more famous by having an episode of Ghost Hunters feature it.

Scott Debski of Pea Patch Island's Fort DelawareA friendly docent named Scott Debski told us a bunch of interesting stories about the place, and I’m afraid my blog post really won’t do his storytelling (or the ambiance of the place) justice.  Even so, I’ll give it a shot.

One sad, salient story relates to the death of a child near the entrance of the fort. During the Civil War era, a young Italian boy named Stefano ran errands for the captured officers. One ran the poor boy ragged!  During one race down the The spot where Stefano died at Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Islandslipperly granite stairs, Stefano took a bad tumble, badly injuring himself as he rolled down the bent stairway until he crashed at the base of it – dead or mortally injured and dead soon thereafter.

The spot where Stefano landed is oddly darker than the stone pavers around it, which I hope will be visible enough with the photo taken with my Treo.

There’s a long, darkened walkway where some have experienced hints of hauntings. We walked through (and I borrowed my son’s new digital camera to snap a lot of pics) but saw/felt nothing. (Unfortunately, an extremely boistrous group of enthusiastic primary schoolers was just a few feet behind us. I don’t begrudge them being there in the least, but would have preferred a quieter walk through the place.)

Toward the end of our stay on the island, I asked Scott if he’d ever heard, seen, or otherwise experienced a ghost at the fort.  He regaled us with two stories from his first night there (happening at around 3am) in which there were distinct sounds (a fife playing and a woman crying) with no natural explanation. Both came from directions in which the sounds were impossible. (He tells it better.)

More to come soon!