Coalhouse Fort was built in 1861 as a result of the Royal Commission of the country's defences. Designed to defend the approaches to London from invading forces, together with Cliffe Fort and Shornmead Fort on the Kent side of the Thames, it formed a deadly triangle of fire across the river when completed in 1874 under the direction of General Gorden.
However the history of the actual site dates back to Roman times with the erection of a church by Saint Cedd. In the 16th century the existing earthenworks were fortified by Henry VIII with the construction of an artillery battery.
Coalhouse Fort was occupied by the military throughout both world wars until the 1940s when it was finally decommissioned. Unsurprisingly this ancient site is said to be haunted.
The most active areas can be found within the old fort's tunnels, below the perimeter walls, where visitors have reported hearing footsteps following them and the sounds of something heavy being dragged along the tunnel floor.
Ghostly voices and unexplained children’s laughter have also been reported. Volunteers repairing the tunnels were spooked by phantom voices of men playing a ghostly game of poker. Other visitors to the fort have seen strange apparitions and unearthly entities including dark figures that walk towards you and then simply vanish into thin air.
Reports of being touched by unseen hands whilst walking the dimly lit tunnels and in some cases visitors have been assaulted by some unknown force or forces.
However, the tunnels are not the only place of paranormal interest within the fort. It’s said that the washrooms are also haunted by an evil poltergeist nicknamed Harry. Witnesses have seen objects violently thrown across the room including stones, light bulbs, and on some occasion’s even heavy chairs.
The fort is not only famous for it's history and hauntings but for being the ‘Bhutanese’ prison in Batman Begins. Strange but true!