Fort Richardson is a historic site maintained and managed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Being in Jacksboro, a mere 60-ish miles northwest of Fort Worth, it is an easy drive for a day trip with the kids. If you prefer, you can rent cabins and make a weekend out of it with plenty of fishing, swimming, hiking, or just hanging out with friends.
The site includes a handful of the original buildings including the hospital, powder magazine, morgue, guard house, and bakery. There are also barracks on site however they are not original to the fort.
Fort Richardson was built in 1867 to provide defense against the Comanche and Kiowa Indians, and was named in honor General Israel B. Richardson who died during the Battle of Antietam. The fort covered nearly 300 acres and was the northernmost army post in Texas.
The soldiers at the fort were responsible for not only providing defense against Indians, but also for gathering up criminals, protecting cattle herds, escorting wagon trains, and basically just keeping the peace. Sadly, the fort was abandoned in 1878 when it was decided that the army was no longer needed in the area. Fort Richardson served a mere decade of service. For more history on the military activities that occurred here, click HERE to go to TSHAOnline.org.
View of inside one of the locked buildings through a hole in the door.
So in all honesty, I don't know where the ghost stories came from. The paranormal reports include the hospital and morgue for the most parts (no surprise there), as well as the sounds of soldiers marching in the distance.
I have also heard that the heard that the Officer's Quarters near the barracks is haunted but I did not personally experience anything myself while I was there. There are a couple of children's graves next to the house but I can't find any of my photos.
I have been out to Fort Richardson three times and really only had substantial experiences during one of them. Being outdoors, it is hard to get clean evidence because of noise contamination. We could hear what we assume to be animals moving in the trees and there is a decent size thoroughfare not far away.
We did see a shadow figure in the trees outside of the hospital and morgue using a laser grid but we did not have access to the hospital building after hours. There were a couple of EMF spikes outside the hospital but that was about it.
One particularly interesting experience occurred on the parade grounds outside the barracks. A few of us were watching the monitors (we had night vision cameras set up) and we saw two apparitions walking through the grounds.
Could it have been campers wandering about? I would normally say yes except that the figures were only from the waist up. They had no legs and they appeared near one side of the field of view and then walked out of the field of view entirely. We attempted to recreate the experience but our attempts were futile because it was clearly solid human beings walking about rather than what we saw on the monitors.
The team has requested to go back but only for a camp out weekend. There are limited use cabins that we rented and will do so again. Bunk beds, air-conditioning and heat, and community bathrooms nearby.....that's all we need to have a good time hanging out.
I am off on another adventure this week and hopefully I will have something to write about when I return. Today I am in Montego Bay, Jamaica with a list of potentially haunted places to check out.
Until next time.......make this beautiful day count!