Ghost hunting on Peaks Island yields haunting results

Peaks Island, an island neighborhood of Portland, has a long history of ghost sightings and creepy stories.

One of the places said to be most haunted on the island is Battery Steele, a 14 acre World War II fortification that was built in 1942 on the backside of the island to protect Casco Bay from a German invasion.


Named for Harry Lee Steele, who was a coastal artillery officer during World War I, it was purchased in 1995 by the Peaks Island Land Preserve, a community land preservation group which formed with the direct intention to preserve the site as a public space.

On October 20, 2005, the old fort was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The place is really cool, and definitely spooky whether you believe in ghosts or not.

There is a TON of great graffiti, some of which is truly amazing artwork, and some of which is just plain frightening.


In many of the pictures that I took it looks bright in there, but that’s just because of the flash from the camera. It was really very dark throughout most of the fort.

Check it out:

Personally, I don’t believe in ghosts, but even I couldn’t deny the heavy feeling in the air, or the fact that our cellphone and camera batteries died within minutes of entering the fort after being full charged, or the dozens of orbs that showed up in the photos, or the fact that my dog was freaking out the entire time we were there and refused to enter a few of the dank rooms- all signs said to be indicators of paranormal activity.

I must admit I was pretty spooked and some strange things did happen, but I remain a skeptic.

Now that you’ve taken the virtual tour, you’ll have to go check it out for yourself.

It’s just a short ferry boat ride away.

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Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.