DESECRATION AND DISMEMBERMENT FROM DETROIT’S FORT WAYNE

It was on the playback that they heard the voice.

Everybody knows about Fort Wayne in Indiana but little about the Fort Wayne in Detroit that has become a Mecca for paranormal experiences.

The original Fort Wayne was a wooden structure

The French settlement dubbed Ville de Troit (“Village by the Straits”) began growing and expanding in the late 1700’s. The expansion not only pushed out the Native Americans, it consumed centuries of their sacred burial sites.

Unearthing native artifacts and skeletons became a common occurrence. One could scarcely dig a basement without unearthing pottery and human remains. Farmers reported bones ghoulishly sticking up out of the earth after their plow had turned the soil.

An area of particular reverence for native interment was along the banks of the river where several significant burial mounds. It was here, along the banks of this strategic narrowing of the river, where the U.S. government decided to build a fort.

They removed the mounds, discarded the contents, and finished the fort in 1851. Now, Native American’s of the area believed in an afterlife with internment connected to the journey beyond. Some believe the blatant desecration of these graves gave the place a certain … energy. Disturb the burial and you unrest the spirit.

The fort at De Troit, as the settlement was now abbreviated, was name after an early military hero, General Anthony Wayne, who served under George Washington. Just as Wayne’s namesake fort would later desecrate native burial sites, the general’s corpse was ravaged in grisly fashion.

Wayne had died in 1796. In 1808, his daughter wanted his remains relocated to the family plot. His corpse was dug up and they were shocked to find it had not decomposed.

Officers row with a yet undisturbed burial mound.

Wayne’s son asked a doctor to help him to figure out a way to move his father’s body. Remember, it would be a trip of days with no refrigeration. They had expected only bones.

The doctor dismembered Wayne’s body, boiled off the flesh and put the bones in a wooden ossuary. On the trip, the box fell off the wagon repeatedly as people sometimes do do on a long bumpy ride. Some of the spilled bones were lost in the weeds.

Fort Wayne served various functions for various wars throughout the years until it was turned over to the City of Detroit Historical Commission in 1949. Today, the old fort is empty and fallen into decay over the years except for a few renovations open to the public.

There is sadness around old abandoned buildings. They are never haunted in a happy way. Old Fort Wayne has had lots of … anomalies… as they are now called.

There is a famous photograph, from the private collection of a well-known family who wishes to remain anonymous, of an apparition with the appearance of a soldier sometime between the Civil War and WWI. The photo coincides with reports of ethereal guards in old uniforms faithfully patrolling the grounds only to suddenly disappear.

There are other lesser known photos of lurking ephemeral figures. Clanging gates, banging doors and opening windows are among other reported anomalies scaring the beejeebers out of people visiting the old fort. And at least one voice.

It was on the playback that they heard the voice.

Pitch dark, in the middle of the night and alone, the two investigators heard a door slam in the old gymnasium. It wasn’t the first time.

“If you’re here, do you want to talk to us?” one asked with digital recorder running.

Silence.

“Are you the one that just slammed the door?”

Silence.

Later, when playing the recording at the point, they heard an angry voice respond, “Leave me alooooone.

Or so they say. As you and I know, people will say anything so we shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about what people say. For some people, some things just have to be true. If a ghost slams a door and nobody is there to hear it, does it make any sound?