One Reddit user recently wrote, “The first time I went to Europe I visited London and a lot of the U.K.. While walking the beautiful streets, heading up the Themes River, I stumbled into a church that was built in the 1400s. I had never seen anything like it in my life. The architecture, the smells, the history that had absorbed into the hand cut stone walls.” Turns out she had stumbled upon the Landguard Fort. And her instincts were right! Visitors, as well as local people, have been having their own experiences of paranormal activity in or around the Landguard Fort for years. The most common being the image of a sailor looking out of the top right window (the side visible from the road). Most reports were in the 1990s, but occasionally there are still reports of lights at night and of visitors being “pushed” while visiting the top floors.
Harwich Harbour, is at the mouth of the river Orwell. It has always been the best safe haven for large ships between the rivers Thames and Humber. The rivers Orwell, Stour, and Deben stretch several miles inland and were ideal highways for trade and raiders. There have been quite a few forts built on the Landguard Peninsula through the years. This has to makes you wonder, how many people have died on this piece of land?
The use of the land as a fort dates all the way back to 1543. Henry VIII had two blockhouses built which rapidly deteriorated. So in 1552, the guns were returned to the Tower of London.
Then in 1628, a new fort was built. It was square with a bastion on each corner. In 1666, under Charles II, repairs were completed and a brick wall constructed around the Fort.
The dark corners are chilling.
There was an attack on the fort in 1667, during the second Dutch War. The Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot, commanded by Captain Nathaniel Darell, repulsed the Dutch assault. One of the ghost stories is about a solitary musketeer who was seen several times by soldiers during the Second World War, marching along a rampart. He is said to have been the only defender who lost his life during a Dutch invasion attempt (during which nine or ten Dutchmen were killed) in the distant past. Though the soldier has not been observed as of late, I was told that dogs are still afraid of that particular area.
In 1717, a new brick Fort was constructed, but gave way to a new structure in 1744, when a new red brick Fort was built in the form of a pentagon, with a bastion at each corner. These walls remain there today.
In 1871, the Fort was remodeled using yellow London bricks. All of the internal accommodation buildings and the river facing battery, dating from 1780, were demolished.
A seven gun case-mate battery was constructed facing the river to house four 12.5 inch and three 10 inch Rifled Muzzle Loaded (RML) guns. Accommodation was in a semicircular block connected to the case-mates to form an internal defensive position.
In 1878, a submarine mining establishment was constructed by excavating a test room within the thick walls of the Fort, building an observation room and adding a main building on the east side of the Fort, which was known as the Ravelin Block. Another interesting story to go with this picture is that the bathroom is said to be haunted by another soldier, who died around the time of the First World War. Two mediums visited the site at different times, one claiming the soldier cracked his head open on the bath during a practical joke that went wrong, while the other maintained the soldier was murdered because he was caught stealing from friends. Both stories featured several other people involved in the death, all of whom conspired to keep the truth hidden after the event. However, there is no official documentation to support the death; cover up or fiction? Either way, the area has a particular feel to it, whether this is due to a spiritual presence or environmental factors is subject to debate. This story is also connected to another one of the Landguard’s phantom tales. One of the soldiers who was involved in the bathroom death could not live with his actions. He sneaked into the magazine room, tied a noose around his neck and hanged himself. By the time the guard found him it was too late, and his phantom is still reported to remain in the area.
All of the remodels over the years must account for some of the dead ends, and hallways to nowhere.
Click the NEXT PAGE button below to see more of this haunted fort.