Fort Concho is something I came across while I was in town for a paranormal investigation at another location. I was actually in town for a private team event at the Olde Park Hotel (that will be in a separate blog article) but I had some free time during the day so I decided to go exploring.
History of the Fort
The fort was built in 1867 near the Concho River to provide defense for settlers in the area. It had more than 40 buildings spread out over 1600 acres including officers' quarters, barracks, commissary, and a hospital. The fort was deactivated in June 1889 after providing a mere two decades of service. Seems like a short lifetime for a fort to me.
I haven't brought the team out to the fort yet but I absolutely plan to do so sometime in the next several months. When I stopped by the fort, it was after hours so I was unable to speak to anyone or take a guided tour. I did walk into a couple of the open buildings--one of the barracks and an officer's quarters--and I was fascinated by them. I imagine what it was like to there, what it was like during the Comanche raids, and how challenging it was to survive. Surely a spirit or two remains. I can't wait to take the team!!!
I found various reports of people smelling cigar smoke, smoke from a camp fire, and a woman's perfume. Additional reports are seeing the apparition of soldiers at various spots around the fort and also of a woman dressed in black walking around the hospital building. While there is a great deal of documented history available, I was unable to find anything that would give an identity to the apparitions that might be walking about. Go to TexasHighways.com for more details about the alleged paranormal activity.
While I was there, I saw photos of children of various ages that had lived and died on the grounds. Perhaps they are the children that people sometimes see and hear playing around one of the homes on the property?
In addition to children playing on the grounds, one of the spirits may be Lee Temple Friend or John Valentine Maxey. Lee was brought to Fort Concho as a prisoner of the Comanches that had been released in an agreement made with them. He was reunited with his family however it seems he never really recovered from the trauma and he died not long after. Perhaps his spirit remains here in forever locked in heartbreak.
John Maxey was just 5-years old when he and his younger sister were kidnapped by the Comanches. His sister was killed however he managed to survive his wounds. He remained with the Comanches and reportedly did not recall his life prior to the kidnapping. He was eventually reunited with his family and died in 1898. I suspect that, despite being reunited with his family, he was never the same again.
Frontier life was no picnic and conditions were sometimes bleak. Any of the traumatic experiences suffered by the residents of Fort Concho could leave an emotional imprint on the area, making paranormal activity a very real possibility. As I stated before, I hope to take the team out there soon and record some of the paranormal activity for ourselves. Until then.....