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  • Writer's pictureolivia perreault

Fort Wetherill — The Abandoned War Fort

A sight once filled with angst and fear during the Revolutionary War is now home to a graffiti-covered exploration park.

Fort Wetherill, which sits in Jamestown, Rhode Island, holds a great amount of history. The sight, formerly named Dumpling Rock, was a vantage point in the Revolutionary War. At one point, it was heavily armed and known as one of the best lines of defense for the coast of New England. However, after the war, operations were ceased at the Fort, and for the last quarter of a century, the ruins have been abandoned.

Cement walls and structures stand tall around the 61-acre Fort, but parts of the grounds have been dilapidated over the years. Everything is heavily graffitied - offering anything from cheeky phrases to beautiful art pieces - and is constantly changing. Vines and overgrown weeds climb up the surrounding walls and fences. Some points are even blocked off by the vegetation or unsafe to walk on due to holes in the cement.

Parts of the Fort are unaccessible without using the underground tunnels. While my exploration partners and I weren't too keen on traveling via the tunnels, I knew I had to give it a try. I'd recommend heading into the tunnels during the day to get any amount of light as possible, as the inside is completely dark. We walked through with our iPhone flashlights leading the way.

Throughout our adventure, I didn't receive any weird vibes until we were underground. They seemed to go on for miles, but it was hard to determine in the pitch-black atmosphere. A revolving belt could be seen on the ceiling, and certain pathways were blocked-off by cages. It was eerie and unsettling — like at any point, an animal would come busting out of a hallway and attack us. I definitely felt like I was in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, waiting for a Basilisk to slither around the tunnels.

One of the highest points of the Forts has a trail, leading deep into the woods. This trail - though extremely overgrown - leads to a cliff with a beautiful view of the Narragansett Bay. The 65-foot drop has been known as a popular spot among cliff-jumpers, and swimming isn't prohibited in the area — if you can make it down the rocky drop.

Of course, I was most interested to visit Fort Wetherill because of its reportedly haunted history. Back in the 80's, four women were mysteriously murdered and dumped in the water near the docks. All of the women were in the 20's. Following the tragic deaths of these women, there have reportedly been over 200 police reports from the fort, claiming paranormal activity.

The sounds of the water crashing into the rocks was quite peaceful and serene. While I didn't feel any paranormal energy in the area, I'm sure the sight offers a different-feel at night, once the inside and outside of the Fort is shielded by darkness.

Scare factor: 👻 👻 (2/5 ghosts)

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