'Ghost Hunters' Investigate Fort Delaware

The haunted are being hunted at Fort Delaware this week as a team of investigators from the SciFi Channel show “Ghost Hunters” check for Civil War-era paranormal activity on the former island prison.

The set is closed to keep out bad vibrations from more earthly visitors, but lead paranormal investigators Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, head of TAPS, The Atlantic Paranormal Society, say they expect this search to be even better than a popular one at Fort Mifflin, which is further up the Delaware River in Philadelphia, that aired last March.

“Fort Delaware is so incredible, it’s such a piece of history – 2,400 people died in it, so the potential for paranormal activity is so enormous,” Hawes said during a conference call. “It’s on an island so it’s isolated, without the contamination of a city.”

Hawes said during the investigation of Fort Mifflin “planes were practically landing on our heads” causing problems with the equipment used in the investigation.
“There’s no obstacle at Fort Delaware. The only thing at Fort Delaware, you make a wrong turn and its a 40-50 foot fall to your death,” Hawes said.

The team of paranormal volunteers will be at the fort on and off during the week taping the show, which will air sometime this summer.

The majority of members are from Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, said Hawes, but Mark Fusetti, who won the show’s “Hunt for the Hunter” contest last year is from Philadelphia and joined the team on this hunt.

Grant and Hawes are both plumbers from Rhode Island who head up TAPS, a group of volunteer paranormal researchers who investigate and attempt to debunk claims of otherwordly activity.

The show started following the group in October 2004 and is now in its fourth season.

“What we love about investigating the paranormal is we come face to face with living history,” Grant said during the same conference call. The team investigated a recently uncovered solitary confinement unit at Fort Mifflin, where they saw the handwriting of prisoners on the wall. “We came face to face with something down there, it’s a good investigation.”

Though they believe in the paranormal themselves, the team is not necessarily out to prove the existence of ghosts.

“Every place we come into, we come in hoping to disprove some of the claims,” Hawes said. “We never go in planning on catching any paranormal activity, but there are so many reports from that place.”

“The claims are big but its never been investigated,” Grant said. “We’re trying to wrap our brains around the truth there, debunk claims, find a natural, normal cause someone hasn’t figured out.”

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