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Ghosts of West Point


The United States Military Academy at West Point is an old but still functional military post plagued by a history of paranormal darkness.

Though it’s been in official operation only since 1802, the whole area, which sits atop the approaches of the Hudson River, has been in use for as long back as 1778. It’s a national landmark brimming with historical buildings, monuments, and ghosts & hauntings galore.

A lot has occurred at the grounds of West Point. It was used as a fortress during the American Revolution. Later it was used to teach by generals such as Grant, Lee, MacArthur, Patton, and Pershing. Nowadays it still functions as a military school, but not necessarily one you would want to attend. According to many current and former students, sinister forces haunt its halls.

Take for instance room Room 4714 in the 47th Division Barracks. In 1972, two freshmen cadets reported seeing the apparition of an 18th-century Revolutionary soldier materialize from the wall. They first tried ignoring it, but it soon began tampering with their belongings, e.g., ruffling their bathrobes, turning the lights on and off, and even breaking plates and cups.

After severals days, the cadets then reported the event to their superior, Cadet Captain Keith B. He attempted to investigate by spending an evening in the room, only to be awakened in the middle of the night by an “unnaturally cold” force. A subsequent investigation performed via the use of a thermocouple revealed that a significant decrease in temperature was indeed occurring in the room—though only at certain times of the day.

No other significant paranormal events have been ‘reported’ from Room 4714 since 1972, but many current and former cadets who are or were living in it claim having had strange experiences. Some merely experienced abnormally cold temperatures, while one even swore he once woke up and felt someone standing on his chest.

Room 4714 isn’t the only haunted room at West Point. There’s also talk of a female, Irish cook who can be seen and heard making bread in the Superintendent’s Mansion. Some cadets speculate that she is the ghost of “Miss Molly,” a long-deceased maid who used to work for Brigadier General Sylvanus Thayer in the 1800s.

There’s also the tale of Pershing Barracks, though it is one of the few unconfirmed instances of paranormal activity. Legend has it that a cadet was walking home to his room, when his roommate suddenly yelled a greeting at him from their window. The cadet turned toward his roomie, but he didn’t just see one person at the window—he saw two. Beside his roommate was a fully armed cadet dressed as if he was about to go off to a Civil War reenactment. This wasn’t strange, so the cadet continued on his way. Upon arriving at his room, he asked his roomie who had been with him. His roomie replied, “Nobody.”

Perhaps the most disturbing event to ever occur at West Point was when a priest was summoned for an exorcism on Professor’s Row. Newspaper clippings from the time speak of a possessed servant girl who began running around naked at night, screaming from the top of her lungs. A priest was subsequently brought in to cure her. There is no mention of what happened to her or the priest.

Despite West Point’s sinister history, many cadets manage to make it through there without ever laying eyes on a single ghost, or experiencing anything paranormal whatsoever. However, even they are quick to assert that West Point is indeed haunted. It’s not just ghosts and apparitions that have made West Point into what it is today. It’s the overall atmosphere—one of a long, tumultuous history marred by the violence of war.