Fort Widley Ghost HuntPortsdown Hill Road, Cosham, Portsmouth.
The impressive and imposing Fort Widley was built between 1861 and 1870 as part of the group of fortified defences on Portsdown Hill named after the then Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, which were constructed in response to the potential danger of attacks on the Portsmouth Dockyards by the French, either by sea or by land from the North.
By the time this immensely expensive project was completed, the threat of attack had passed, armament design had improved and the site consequently became known as Palmerston’s Follies. The six sided Fort, which is encircled by a dry moat, has a central parade ground and it is via a spiral staircase from here that access is gained to the amazing underground tunnels. These lead deep into the chalk hills to the gun batteries, barracks and vaulted main magazine which could house 2500 barrels of gun powder.
The site also provided accommodation for up to
Soldiers of the Royal Artillery were barracked at Fort Widley between its initial
decommissioning and 1939. The Fort then became a Royal Engineers’ Bomb Disposal
base and, during WW2, it was used to hold prisoners of war. This amazing military
site has seen decades of history right through from the 1860s to its conversion
to a control centre against nuclear attack up to the end of the Cold War.
Reported Paranormal ActivityIt is within the labyrinth of intriguing underground tunnels that most of the reported paranormal activity has been experienced. These include unexplained footsteps, loud bangs and whistling as well as whispered voices and stones being thrown by unseen forces.
Is the female spirit which has been contacted the wife of a soldier or one of the prostitutes who used to visit the Fort and who allegedly was murdered here ?
There have been several experiences of hearing the sound of running steps along the tunnels, possibly those of a young drummer boy said to have fallen to his death down the spiral staircase whilst being chased through the tunnels by an Officer seeking to administer punishment.
Within the tunnels and on the Fort keep, lanterns being carried by invisible figures have been seen and, in some areas, there has been a sense of foreboding, linked to a powerful male spirit whose towering shadow has also been witnessed.