Sunday, September 4, 2011

Haunted West Point

The United States Military Academy at West Point is located in New York State in Orange County. It dates back to the Revolutionary War when both the colonists and the British realized the importance of its location. 

George Washington early on realized the strategic advantage of the high plateau on the west bank of the Hudson River. 

Thaddeus Kosciuszko designed the fortifications in 1778, and Washington set up his headquarters at West Point in 1779. The Continental soldiers built the forts, redoubts, and batteries that are a part of West Point’s landscape today.

These early soldiers struggled for their lives and independence at the Battle of Fort Clinton and Montgomery near West Point.

Future generations of soldiers learned the art of war at the point. Most have taken this knowledge, as officers, with them to the many battlefields Americans have fought upon. 

Each class of cadets endures four grueling years at West Point, in their efforts to become leaders. In its history, many of its cadets, have returned to teach future cadet classes, others have given their lives for their country, so their final resting place is at the Academy.

West Point is rich in traditional and emotional history. Because of this it is not surprising that it hosts more than just cadets. 

The Thayer House, one of the oldest structures at West Point, is very active. 

Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, lived in this house while he acted as the Superintendent in charge of the Academy from 1813 to 1833. In 1973, a psychic determined that this house is “infested” with ghosts.

Unexplained things occur in this residence regularly. Maids have found that the bed in the Thayer master bedroom, often after being made in the morning, is disheveled when they return to the room. 

Loud knocks on doors and walls are common, as well as the slamming of doors and other noises throughout the house. Overnight guests, often find their personal items have been scattered throughout the house.

Chills, shadows, and wet spots are also common. One spirit rocks unseen in a rocking chair in one of the bedrooms. 

A lively ghost named Molly, who once was Thayer’s maid, also haunts the house. Her bed in the basement always looks slept in.

In the 1920s, another house on Professor’s Row had so much activity that a priest was called in to exorcise the spirit. It was said this ghost terrorized two servant girls, to the point that they ran out of the house, half-dressed and screaming, in the middle of the night.

One of the more recent hauntings happened in October of 1972. Four cadets that were all housed in room 4714, of the 47the Division barracks, saw an apparition of a soldier dressed in a 1830s cavalry uniform. 

The ghost appeared “luminous and shimmering, sporting a handlebar-mustache and carrying a musket rifle.” 

This ghost was seen materializing out of the wall and a closet in the room. 

On another occasion, a spirit form rose up out of the middle of the floor. A cadet while showering, saw his bathrobe swinging on its hook, and suddenly he was shocked by cold water.

Lorraine Warren was called in to consult on this activity.

Two upperclassmen were sent to stay in the room with the plebes (freshman). They both felt an unnatural coldness engulf the room. One of them saw the ghost, but it promptly receded into the wall. 

Later the men who had seen the ghost identified it from a print found at the point. 

The hauntings continued until mid-November of 1972, at which point the commanding officer, had all the furniture removed from the room, and declared it off-limits to the living. 

This apartment is close to the point's graveyard. It is also near a site where a fatal fire once burned down an officer’s house. Some point to these two facts as to why it is haunted.

Another sighting was witnessed by a visitor who saw an entity near the entrance to the grounds of the Academy. It appeared to be a black man in a turn-or-the-century uniform. 

The witness sensed the man was extremely agitated and angry. His uniform was stripped of all medals. 

When further research was done, it was discovered that this man had been court-marshaled but then exonerated by a military court. It appears he cannot forgive or forget this incident. He roams the grounds of West Point, still venting his anger.

1 comment:

Kat said...

Concerning the black soldier who haunts West Point - that is either Henry Ossian Flipper or Johnson Chestnut Whittaker. Both received dishonorable discharges wrongfully. Both were later found innocent and pardoned. A shame what they had to go through.