Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Do you believe in ghosts?
***Here's where Anne planned to put the picture of Fort Mifflin, but she can't figure out how to load it since she just cleaned her C Drive***
Do you believe in ghosts?
Wow. That's a loaded question. We haven't discussed ghosts much here at TGAB, because first of all we would have to define the concept of "ghost," and proceed from there. And we haven't got all day, for the love of fruit flies! There's furniture to be cleaned.
For the purpose of argument, let's just say that "ghost" is a catch-all word for paranormal phenomena that includes the extrasensory perception of departed people whose spirits linger between dimensions.
Whew. Forget the upholstery. That's a damned good definition!
There's a Revolutionary War-era fort on the Delaware River just downstream of Philadelphia. It's name is Fort Mifflin. The fort has been preserved as a museum, but I must warn you: Its official web site has annoying sounds of cannon shot ... and its location is right next to Philadelphia International Airport. Whether you plan a virtual or a real-time visit, you're going to hear some really really loud noise.
If you Google "Fort Mifflin ghost" about a gazillion sites pop up. The fort is notorious for its paranormal activity. During the Revolutionary War, American patriots were killed defending it (fruitlessly). During the Civil War, it served as a less-than-sanitary prison camp for Rebel soldiers. Bound to be a few ghosties hanging out there.
Last year, not surprisingly, Fort Mifflin ran into financial difficulties. Its staff got laid off and its bills went unpaid. Finally the only remaining employee put on his thinking cap and asked himself, "How can I save this museum?"
Answer: Reach out to the psychic community.
A year later, Fort Mifflin is chock-a-block with funds, it's open every weekend, and many special events are scheduled for the summer of 2009. This is because, through psychic and paranormal Web sites, the Fort's director was able to raise donations to balance the budget.
What the American soldiers couldn't save in 1777, they've saved in 2009.
The fort will be holding a paranormal investigation from July 31 through August 2. If you want to register for it, you can email AsylmMngr@aol.com to make a reservation. Or turn down your speakers and hit the fort's home page.
I haven't had an extra-sensory experience in 34 years. Truth be told, my five senses sometimes let me down. But I'd like to go to Fort Mifflin sometime this summer, and that weekend sounds like a promising one. A bevvy of psychics trying to communicate with deceased Revolutionary War soldiers would sure beat a bunch of fat, old, drunken men in polyester re-enactor uniforms, pretending to be something no one would ever choose to be -- a doomed young man, cut down in the prime of life.
A toast to the ghosts of Fort Mifflin! Haunt on, elusive phantoms. There are bills to be paid.