Haunted Fort Leavenworth

A first-hand account of the hauntings at Kansas's famous Fort Leavenworth prison. The teller of the story, currently a police officer who has helped out a lot with the website, was a guard there for a time when he was in the Army.

This is what I can remember of Ft. Leavenworth, besides all the parties in the barracks.

There was definitely another presence besides the prison staff and the inmates. You could ask anybody that set foot insides those walls. There are twelve towers along the wall; not all are manned. We would work in 5-6 of them at a time, depending on what day in was. Eight tower was never manned while I was stationed at the USDB. It was an old tower, and it had never been renovated. It was closed off--the only was you could get into that tower was to walk along the wall from another tower. The door to get into the tower from the ground had even been bricked off. When working the towers, around Eight Tower, you would sometimes see something move in there. You could never tell what it was, but it was enough to catch your attention. I had been told by many people that a soldier had shot himself in the head with his shotgun one day in Eight Tower, and that one had never been manned since.

Control would still get phone calls from Eight Tower, even though there was no phone in there. It would be nothing but static. The M.P.s even called one day. There was a patrol car driving down the road next to the prison. In Eight Tower, someone was standing in there, pointing a shotgun at the M.P.s. They called and asked Control to tell the guard in the Tower to stop pointing the gun and them. But there was nobody in the Tower.

Seven Tower was also haunted. My squad leader had an experience with it one day. He was the sergeant in charge of posting the towers. He would walk the soldiers around to the towers, unlock a gate, then unlock the door at the bottom of the tower. From there you would walk up the spiral staircase, knock on the trap door, and say the daily password. The off-going guard would then unlock the trap door, and you would switch. The sergeant would then lock you inside the tower. One afternoon there was a call over the radio. The Seven Tower guard had somebody in the tower, and they were trying to get in. The Guard said that somebody was at the bottom of his tower knocking on the door, but when he tried looking out the window, nobody was there.

The sergeant went to investigate. When he was on his way, another call was heard over the radio. Somebody was walking up the stairs. The sergeant started to run toward the tower. More backup was also on the way. Another call was heard, this time screaming, coming from the guard. This invisible intruder was now banging on the trapdoor, trying to get into the tower. The guard was standing on the trap door to keep it shut.

The sergeant said that while he was running to Seven Tower, he could hear the banging on the steel door, and the soldier yelling. Once the sergeant opened the gate, then the door to the tower, he stepped inside, looked up--and the pounding stopped. Nobody was in the tower. That guard was relieved of his post, and, I was told, was later discharged from the Army due to medical reasons.

I personally have had similar experiences in Four Tower and in Six Tower. I would hear somebody at the bottom of my tower. Thinking it was time to "rotate" towers, I would pack up and get ready to leave. I would hear somebody walking up the metal staircase, but he wouldn’t knock. I would eventually open the door and nobody would be there. After a couple of times, you kind of got used to it. You would hear the door close, look out the window and nobody would be there. You just knew that it was not time to change towers yet.

One of the buildings inside the walls, known as Building 65, used to be the prison hospital. It was now a health clinic, dental clinic, barber shop, and a housing unit for Minimum Security inmates. There is an old elevator in the building that has not been used for years. I believe in the 60s (maybe even more recently than that) fourteen German POWs were executed in the elevator shaft. They had been hanged. One night while working there, my sergeant and I heard a screaming coming from the elevator shaft. I was scared to death. That elevator had not been used in decades, and all the inmates were sleeping. We even thought it might be a cat stuck. But it wasn’t a cat.

I even recall, a female friend of mine, a guard also, telling us that she had seen the ghost on the third floor: a guy in a wheelchair, being pushed by his buddy, going up and down the hallway. The third floor was closed off to the inmates by two locked gates. It was being used for storage at the time. There are stories of inmates walking down to the Guard Cage in the middle of the night. When asked if something was wrong, they would say that the guy in the wheelchair had woken them up.

One night, I finally got two friends of mine to take me to the roof of Building 65. It was common knowledge among everyone that worked there at night that the top of the elevator shaft had a light that would always stay on. I wanted to see it. We went up there, turned it off, locked everything back up, and walked back to the courtyard. The light was still off. When I was walking through the courtyard about an hour later, it was back on. The elevator would also move by itself. I don’t remember anyone ever hearing it move, but it would. You could look through the crack in the doors and see it. Days later when you looked again, it would have moved.

Inside the Castle, in the wings themselves, the occasional "shadow person" would be seen. While you were walking on the bottom tier, 3 tier, you would see somebody walking up on 7 or 8 tier. Both were locked off and only being used for storage. All guards would be accounted for, and all inmates would be locked down, but somebody would be up there walking around.

Since we were not allowed to smoke inside the walls, we would walk to the back of the tiers and go up to 7 or 8 tier, sit on the steps, and smoke our cigarettes. Nobody would see us there, out of the camera’s view. Again, you would hear somebody walking up the stairs. One guard would be in the cage and you and your partner would be sitting right across from each other. The inmates would be locked down. But somebody would be up walking the stairs.

A couple of friends would often take short naps while we were taking our breaks. One would stay awake, in case someone called over the radio for us. Two friends of mine often recalled dreaming of a man, possibly a soldier, in an olive drab uniform, walking the tiers. This man would walk up to them tap them on the shoulder, and they would then wake up--usually asking the other person why they woke them up.

Scary stuff, if you ask me. Made all the more believable because it lacks the outlandish elements of so many ghost stories, and because the teller is a reliable source, from what I've ascertained. The stories about Tower Eight are particularly chilling--especially the phone calls that came from the bricked-up, unmanned post.