Investigation Journal: Paranormal Mindset? The Fort Mifflin Investigation

Casemate at Fort Mifflin

Casemate at Fort Mifflin

I am not prone to experiencing physical sensations during an investigation. Only rarely have I felt the chills or goosebumps that  many other investigators have experienced.  After I had several video investigations under my belt, I came to the conclusion that it must be something within myself.  I couldn’t understand why other investigators, even those I have worked with, could “feel” or”sense” things while at locations. I eventually accepted the fact that I must be “as sensitive as a brick” and did not possess any empathic ability.  It hadn’t occurred to me that perhaps I wasn’t open to the experience. I eventually began to wonder if  the demands of documenting the investigation was keeping me from experiencing what other investigators experienced; maybe I wasn’t a “brick” after all.  While documenting a location my tasks were (in the early years) mostly behind the camera. I did the set up of the static cameras throughout the location, and then using a handheld camera I shot the investigators as they conducted the sessions. I also monitored both the lighting levels and the audio levels during the investigation.  In short, my mind was totally focused on the documentation of the investigation.

It wasn’t until an incident happened to me while investigating Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia that I realized that this might have been the case. I was alone shooting “B roll” in one of the underground casemates. The casemates are brick passageways that lead to larger vaulted areas where Confederate Civil War prisoners were kept.  Some stretches of the casemates can be quite narrow.  I was walking through a narrow stretch with my camera shooting down the casemate when I heard  the sound of footsteps of one of my  investigator running up behind me. Ignoring the sound I continued walking and shooting. Just as the footsteps reached me my entire left side went ice cold, and for a brief moment I actually saw myself from behind and slightly above. I can only describe it as being like a very quick dream. The entire experience only lasted a second or two, and when I turned around I was astonished to discover I was totally alone in that casemate. I wondered if a spirit had passed through me down the narrow passageway and for that brief moment I had “seen myself” as the spirit passed through me.  At that time I was alone and relaxed just walking with the camera and not concerned with any details of the documentation process.  This made me consider the possibility that having an open and uncluttered mind could enable someone to experience spirits in a more direct and personal way.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? If you have, what were you doing when it happened? Were you relaxed and open to the experience or does your frame of mind not manner?  Please share your experience by hitting the comment tab below the title of this post. Thank you. ~ Steve VPI


  1. Jon hill ward

    June 4, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Very cool

    • stevevpi

      June 4, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Hi Jon, I can’t explain what happened that day in Fort Mifflin but it did make me question why I didn’t seem to “sense” anything during investigations. I realized that my thoughts were too occupied with the technical side of the investigation. The incident appeared to illustrate that a more relaxed and open mindset allows an individual to experience more during an investigation.

  2. Trying a test myself just to see if the comment side of this blog is working. Could someone please comment on this post by writing “test” to see if it is working. Thank you very much –

  3. This was a great investigation, with interesting evidence ! Especially Steve’s experience, gave me the chills but I’d love to have been there for this one …

    • stevevpi

      June 4, 2016 at 9:36 am

      Hi Nell, I haven’t experienced that sensation before or since but now I make sure to always leave myself time to settle into any place we are investigating and it would seem I’m getting better results. ~

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