On 66,000 acres just outside Fort Smith and Barling in Arkansas sits Fort Chaffee. This fort has played a major role in U.S. history servings as an army training center, prisoner of war camp and a refugee center over the past 50+ years. Now some claim it is still serving history as one of the most haunted places in America.
It was late in September 1941 when the building of Camp Chaffee begun. The U.S. was preparing for WWII and wanted to double the size of the army. 16 months later the first soldiers arrived, Dec. 7, 1941…the day Pearl Harbor was bombed.
From 1942 to 1946, three armored divisions trained there, the 6th, 14th and the 16th. The major purpose of the camp was to train soldiers for combat and prepare units to be deployed but during this time there was also 3,000 German POW’s held in the camp.
From 1948 – 1957 the 5th armored division called Camp Chaffee home. That is until March of 1956 when the Army changed the name to Fort Chaffee. In 1958 on his way to Fort Hood for basic training, Elvis Presley call Fort Chaffee home and in building 803 Elvis received his first military haircut.
In 1975-76 following the Fall of Saigon and of Phnom Penh, Fort Chaffee processed 50,809 Vietnam refugees and in 1980 following the Mariel Boatlift 25,390 Cuban refugees were processed. The latest not going without incident as some of the Cuban refugees rioted burning two buildings.
In 1987 the fort was used by the Joint Readiness Training Center until 1993. In 1995 Fort Chaffee was on the list of base closures and later that year was turned over to the Arkansas National Guard for use as a training facility. The Fort was again used to house over 10,000 people affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Not only does it have a rich military history but Fort Chaffee also holds a little Hollywood movie history as well as the movies A Soldier’s Story, Biloxi Blues and The Tuskegee Airmen all filmed there. Let’s not forget a little TV history as well as the Ghost Adventures show also filmed there in 2010.
Haunted Fort Chaffee has had many teams investigate the old buildings and many have claimed to have seen apparitions, recorded untold number of evp’s and seen shadows. Here is the news report form a local station done after the Ghost Adventure show was recorded.
Unfortunately, in August 2011 there was a fire that destroyed the hospital complex and nearly 120 buildings. The fire was ruled accidental but local paranormal investigators say not only was it a huge historical loss but the hospital complex was considered one of the paranormal hot spots within the complex.