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UPDATED WITH PODCAST -The ghosts of Dauphin Island – have you seen them?

The Ghosts of Dauphin Island

When French explorers arrived in Mobile Bay and found sun-bleached bones stacked on an island, they didn’t realize that they had “disturbed a sacred Native American burial ground that is rumored to be watched over by supernatural specters at night. (See story: Have you ever heard of Massacre Island in Mobile, Alabama?) “Since that “spirited” beginning, the whispers and shadowy folklore surrounding Dauphin Island, Alabama and its resident apparitions have grown and continue to this day……Legend says that late at night you can hear Indian maidens singing to the beat of tribal drums and haunting flutes as they dance around the sacred “inner circle” of this ancient cemetery. A regular destination for séances and paranormal investigations, these burial grounds seem to be a gathering place for entities from many periods in the Island s colorful history.”(Gulf Coast Specters)

fort gaines historic sign

Ghosts of Fort Gaines

Across the main channel from Fort Morgan on Dauphin Island was Fort Gaines. Fort Gaines contained 26 guns, and a garrison of about 600 men during the Civil War and today it is considered by many to be the most haunted spot on Dauphin Island. There have been tales of wandering apparitions dressed in Civil War attire at the red brick facility on the extreme East End of the Island and atop nearby bunkers on the walls. Others have seen a woman in a long, flowing skirt appear and then fade away. Local legends state that when two mid-to-late-1800s homes that sat near Fort Gaines were moved , the restoration of the homes was slowed because contractors often left. The contractors reported that they were scared away by spirits who visited them. One of the remaining houses still remains which is falling into deep decay.

Other ghosts on Dauphin Island

Dauphin Island seems to be a haven for ghosts such as the following reported by locals.

  • A man dressed in military garb on the east beach looking at the waves who sometimes drifts across the road into oncoming traffic
  • A young bride left alone on the island by her husband who never returned. She walks at night along the beach whistling for her husband.
  • A woman who wears a bag tied over her head and digs in the park looking for something.
  • A lighthouse keeper who fell to his death from a catwalk high above the floor who walks the island smoking his foul-smelling cigar.

Fort Gaines officers quarters

Fort Gaines Officers Quarter (


ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1) is a collection of lost and forgotten stories about the people who discovered and initially settled in Alabama.

Some stories include:

  • The true story of the first Mardi Gras in America and where it took place
  • The Mississippi Bubble Burst – how it affected the settlers
  • Did you know that many people devoted to the Crown settled in Alabama –
  • Sophia McGillivray- what she did when she was nine months pregnant
  • Alabama had its first Interstate in the early days of settlement

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Rhonda Lorraine

    Josh Box, have you ever explored here?

    1. Josh Box

      I actually haven’t. I need to

  2. Linda Peterson Camardelle

    When I was little, we still found arrow heads on the island.

  3. Rachel Roberts

    I love going to the East End to explore and visit the fort. I would enjoy going to the fort at night.

    1. David Williams

      Back in the 70’s me and some of my friends went in the fort at night several time. They used to have an alligator in a pen inside the fort.

    2. Dona Smith

      If there are spirits anywhere that fort might have a few…I could feel that at 14.

  4. Corren Clardy

    Angela Bracewell Clardy

    1. Angela Bracewell Clardy

      oh yes ..we need to check this out

    2. Angela Bracewell Clardy

      you would love it down there..we used to go when we were kids because we lived on that side of the is beautiful there

  5. Ned D Boggan

    I visit often and have been spooked

  6. Lesley Walker

    Thomas Walker, thought you might like this post.

  7. Rwandall West

    Been there hundreds of times never got that fealing

  8. Tommy May

    There are no ghosts, just childish gullible people.

    1. My first ever email to anyone about my time at Dauphin Island. I can vouch for many actual events that took place while I was manager at Fort Gaines in the early to mid 1980’s. Not only a manager, but also a live in caretaker of the fort. Anyone can feel free to contact me to discuss further. I was 24 at the time and now retired in the N.E. I was amazed to see all the stories that are now on line. Would love to contact someone who would be interested in my actual accounts of many strange, scary sightings. I even got married in the fort by the Dauphin Island Baptist church Minister. We separated shortly after our marriage because of her being scared off by unknown entities that ruined our short time together at the fort. I spent two years as a Yankee caretaker in a Rebel fort. Even my boss now retired on Dauphin Island could not believe I lasted this long. Being young and loving my job kept me there until I also began seeing and hearing things that drove me away! Left my job as manager and went to Bahamas where my uncle got me a job with a navy contractor.

      1. We go to the island every summer. I live in Nashville and one day i googled closest beach, Dauphin Island came up so we went and now we go every year. Such an amazing place. With all your info, you shoukd write a book!!

  9. LaRue Hardinger

    Hmmmm been there SOOO many times during my years in Mobile. It was our weekend excursion. I don’t believe I saw a ghost. I did experience the rare “Jubilee” and THAT was amazing.

    1. LaRue Hardinger

      Definition from Wikipedia for “Mobile Bay Jubilee”: Jubilee is the name used locally for a natural phenomenon that occurs sporadically on the shores of Mobile Bay, a large body of water on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. During a jubilee many species of crab and shrimp, as well as flounder, eels, and other demersal fish will leave deeper waters and swarm—in large numbers and very high density—in a specific, shallower coastal area of the bay.[2] A jubilee is a celebrated event in Mobile Bay, and it attracts large crowds, many drawn by the promise of abundant and easy-to-catch seafood.[3]

      Although similar events have been reported in other bodies of water, Mobile Bay is the only place where the regular appearance of this phenomenon has been documented.[4]

  10. Jamie Dial Kirkland

    Ashlee Holycross Gillespie
    Jimmy Gillespie
    Mary Holycross

    1. Ashlee Holycross Gillespie

      Wonder if they ever do any ghost tours? That would be cool.

  11. Dianne Duncan

    We’ve never seen ghosts or felt anything out of the ordinary. Hogwash.
    Lauren A. Duncan

  12. Wayne Bagwell

    Louis Wilhite does your daughter know about this ?

  13. Carol Lyn Churchill

    Loryn Green Zeph Ariste Leggett Reddock Davenport

  14. Amanda Herman

    This is a fascinating piece of history from the area. We actually have an original art piece by Sean Herman based on this tale!

    1. Amanda Herman

      The Serpents of Bienville

  15. Mike Jones

    My Mom lived on Dauphin Island she and her brother would swim the river to Mobile. I don’t remember and ghosts stories from there although she had lots from Fayette Co. Alabama.

  16. Zeph Ariste Leggett

    I’ve been to the burial mounds before. There is a giant oak; feels very peaceful

  17. Todd Harmon

    The French called it Massacre Island

  18. Teresa Kerchner

    I want to visit there Mandy Cooley Revette

  19. Vickie Nelson

    My grandfather was born on the island and many relatives are buried there but never heard ghost stories

  20. John L Ravenwood

    Have spent much of my time on DI and I have experienced nothing with regards to paranormal activity. People see what they want to see.

  21. Charles Mcbryde

    I think the ghosts were afraid of us back then. We were too stupid to be afraid there, on our journey.
    The Farmer,

  22. Dona Smith

    No but I saw the TURTLES ( 60’s Rock Group)

  23. Cathy Selman

    Yeah they’re there. But you don’t have to go far to see “them” anyway

  24. Hi – my name is Britney. I am the grand-daughter of Oliver Clark and Annie Lorraine Goodson. My grandmother, Lorraine, was born at Fort Morgan. She died in 2008. Her father, James Goodson, was a lighthouse keeper at Sand Island (and several other gulf coast lighthouses). My grandmother’s mother, Laura Goodson Bosarge was BOI, as was Alabama Lamey Bosarge, her mother, and her father, Lewis Bosarge. My great-great grandmother, Alabama Lamey, or “Aunt Bama” as people called her, used to make pastes that could heal sores on kids (and cattle) and there’s actual documentation of her doing this! I wish I knew more! Dauphin Island ancestry just fascinates me. Generations upon generations living and dying on the island, long before it had a bridge to the mainland! I have records and photos of all these folks (even Alabama Lamey!) and I’d love to learn about anyone who may know more or anything!

    1. I just come across all of this the people that are in the museum at fort Morgan are my great grandparents. My grandma’s was little when she was at fort Morgan.

  25. I lived on dauphian island for a few years. It is a very spirtaly place. I had my first vision that saves my by life.

  26. Cherry Collins Saint

    Susie Saint Veasey Karen Saint Sullivan

  27. I have family on the island and inland. It’s a beautiful place I would recommend anyone to go. But I have never seen nor felt anything of this sort.

  28. Liz Cain

    Nice! My Great Aunt Elizabeth Cain Musgrove’s son, Lycurgus Breckinridge Musgrove, once owned Dauphin Island and used it as collateral on a loan during a business trip on the train to NY. Sadly, he defaulted and lost Dauphin Island. Love these ghost stories.

  29. Terry Carnathan

    LBM man what a name! I had a relative named Barzila.

    1. Liz Cain

      Great name for a monster movie

    1. Crystal Miguez

      Makes me think about a rocking chair with no occupant rocking anyway. It’s the season for creepy stories after all.

  30. […] There are the fire-starting poltergeists, endless tales of the macabre and unexplained from Indian burial grounds, the raving insanities and sorrows of Southern Gothic, the tragedy of the Civil War played out night-after-night in fens and fields — from the boys in both Blue and Gray, the slaves that toiled and died in servitude, the despondent suicides, the unspeakable sorrow of dead children, voodoo possessions, the love of mothers bereft of their family. And, of course, there are the haunted places: the haunted bridges and courthouses and houses and sanitariums and plantations and factories and furnaces, the haunted roads — even a stretch of a river and an entire island. […]

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