In July of 2016, we traveled to Key West, Florida, and one of our stops was at the Fort Zachary Taylor complex. At the time, we had no idea about this location and did find out until later on that it is haunted.
The Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, better known simply as Fort Taylor (or Fort Zach to locals) is a Florida State Park and National Historic Landmark centered on a Civil War-era fort located near the southern tip of Key West, Florida. Construction of the fort began in 1845 as part of a mid-19th century plan to defend the southeast coast through a series of forts after the War of 1812. The fort is located at 601 Howard England Way, Key West, FL 33040. You can find out more about the park on their website.
The fort's foundation consists of oolitic limestone and New England granite. Its five-foot thick walls rose 50 feet above mean low water, and included two tiers of casemates plus a terreplein or barbette at the top. Three seaward curtains 495 feet between bastions, each containing 42 guns on three levels, were augmented by a land facing gorge. Troop barracks were built into this gorge with a capacity for 800 men. At either end of the barracks was a large gunpowder magazine while a Sally port was located in the center, connected to land by a 1200-foot causeway. Rainwater was collected in underground cisterns along the perimeter of the fort. Yellow fever epidemics and material shortages slowed construction of the fort, which continued throughout the 1850s.
For us to get out to the fort from where we were staying, we took a supped up, road worthy golf cart. Like I mentioned, we didn't realize the location had paranormal claims, so I hung back by the car while Marianne went and took photographs of the location. If I would of known, I would of loved to walk through there with her and a spirit box. Oh well, maybe next time. Just for the record, I carry the spirit box with me all the time now.
If you noticed the address for the fort is on Howard England Way. I get curious about things like this, like what is that road named after Howard England? Who is he? Well, after looking at the photographs and doing a little bit more research, we had enough to make a video about Mr. England and how he actually saved the fort.
You see, at one time, this location was just a Naval storage facility, until Mr. England discovered some interesting artifacts. Please be sure to check out the video below.
If you would like to know more about the history of the fort, we produced a paranormal history profile that goes into the details about the history of the site.
Now back to those paranormal reports. Again, we didn't find this out until later, but you can hear about some of the paranormal activity that take place within the fort in our "Ghost Stories and Folklore" video below.
Let us know if you have visited the fort before and share with us your experiences. Also, if you would like to see more pictures from our adventure, please be sure to click on the "More Photos" button below.
Find out more about Shawn and Marianne Donley on our About Page.