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Spooky Neighborhood


When my children were growing up, we lived in an old neighborhood of Fayetteville, North Carolina.Within walking distance of where we lived are the ruins of the Fayetteville Arsenal, which was burned by William Sherman's forces in March of 1865.

The actual arsenal grounds were much more extensive, and following the Civil War much of it was developed into a residential area which, like most such areas in many cities, has had a series of ups and downs over the years.

Apparently no one is sure of just what other buildings connected to the Arsenal were constructed, or where. The only surviving structure is a small wooden house that was part of the officers' quarters; no one knows, for instance, where the infirmary may have been located, but evidently the people who occupied the grounds still remember.

There were a lot of things of a pretty peculiar nature that occurred when my two boys and I moved into an apartment within two blocks of the grounds.

One of my neighbors told me of the odd occurrences in her apartment--most notably of the presence of something very feminine. One afternoon she was napping and felt a bit chilled, only to have an afghan on the back of her couch placed over her. This, of course, was when she was home alone.

It wasn't long before my younger son and I had encounters of our own.

Mine was simply olfactory--I awoke one night to a strong smell of sulphur. Now, I am a history buff, and the first thing I thought was NOT demon or evil entity, but disinfectant. I know that burning sulphur was used air least as recently as the 1930's as a fumigant in sickrooms.

My son's experience was not nearly as mundane.

One summer evening, he was sitting on the porch. At that time, he was about eleven or twelve years old, and across the street was an overgrown lot where a house had once stood. He told me that he'd seen a man in a Civil War uniform in that lot who had half of his face missing. He'd always been one to see things that most of us don't, so he was used to it and it didn't scare him in the least.

Much more common were the shadow figures we frequently observed flitting around at that particular intersection.

We've long since moved away, and both my boys are grown now. The vacant lot is no longer vacant, but now occupied by some business connected with wireless communications.

One of my friends still lives in the area, and I recently asked her if anything is still seen around there. Apparently the phenomena have decreased with the advent of the cell phone place, because she says the sightings have become quite rare.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, libertybelle, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Maya (8 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-03)
hmmm yeah I understand... Your son must be very courageous then. And you are supportive too. Great going libertybelle. Nice to hear this. Take care 😊
libertybelle (14 stories) (207 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-02)

Thanks for the comment. My son, even at that young age, had long been accustomed to seeing peculiar things, and some of those were definitely NOT of a paranormal nature.

He grew up to be very hard to throw off balance, and this stood him in excellent stead during his most recent tour in Iraq, when a rocket went through the wall of his barracks and literally took the legs off his battle buddy in the bed next to him (my son was unscathed). Miraculously, there were no fatalities and only four injuries.

In the aftermath, he told me he'd never have thought that he'd have cause to be, as he put it, "grateful for the tragedies of my childhood..."
Maya (8 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-02)
I really enjoyed your story! I can't imagine about how your son must have felt seein half the face of that man in the war uniform. But now m glad that you don't stay there and that such sightings have reduced. Take care. God bless! 😊

Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
14 years ago (2008-06-30)
I can not speak to the specifics of the Fayetteville Arsenal, but even if they did not manufacture ordnance, many arsenals had a magazine with munitions and ammo. Any way you want to approach this, there is strong contextual evidence for sulphur on the grounds. I see that I misspelled sulphur in my first posting--sorry.

I enjoyed your story. Please keep them coming!
libertybelle (14 stories) (207 posts)
14 years ago (2008-06-30)
Thanks, Kecoughtan--I hadn't thought of that. Although the Fayetteville Arsenal's primary function was the manufacturing of rifles, there's no reason I can think of that there wouldn't be sulphur around--and, as I said, it was destroyed by Sherman's army, so I would imagine there was some artillery used as well as rifles.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
14 years ago (2008-06-30)
Libertybelle, besides hygiene there is also a second possible historic use of sulpher at the Fayetteville Arsenal. Many arsenals not only manufactured and stockpiled weapons but also ordnance. In the nineteenth century, sulpher was a primary ingredient in gunpowder and exploding artillery ordnance. Whether the sulpher you smelled was a ghostly waft from the past or a whiff from a sulpher deposit buried on the grounds, its presence is consistent with its use as an arsenal.

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