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Hapers Ferry Armory and Yard

Hapers Ferry Armory and Yard paranormal

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Location submitted by: sdonley on 09/03/2017
DBA Approved: Y

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PANICd#: 1972

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This location no longer exists; however, the train station sits at the location.

112 Potomac Street
Harpers Ferry , WV 25425
Open to the public: No

Lat: 39.324511
Lon: -77.73101600000001

Database Summary:

Demographic Rank: 4
History: 1
Stories: 2
Claims: 1
Evidence: 0
Resources: 0
Retrievals: 7581
Vistor Rating: 0.0
Votes: 0

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History information is some background and history about the location. This is meant to be a basic summary. Below the history records you will find sources in which you can click on to find out more information. There may be multiple history records per location.

Robert Harper founded the community of Harpers Ferry in the mid-18th century. Robert Harper was born in 1718 in Oxford Township near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since he was a builder, Harper was asked by a group of Quakers in 1747 to build a meeting house in the Shenandoah Valley near the present site of Winchester, Virginia. Traveling through Maryland on his way to the Shenandoah Valley, Harper proceeded to the area where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers met. Attracted and amazed by the ample latent waterpower that resided in the rivers and by the strategic location for travel and transport, Harper obtained a patent for 125 acres (0.51 km2) of the land in 1751. He built a ferry to cross the Shenandoah River to help pioneers reach their destination in the new western lands. After the creation of the ferry, more people were attracted to the area and it became a transportation hub dotted with flourishing businesses.

In 1794, the United States Congress passed a bill calling "for the erecting and repairing of Arsenals and Magazines". President George Washington, given wide latitude in carrying out this order, selected Harpers Ferry, then a part of Virginia, for the location of the Harpers Ferry National Armory. In 1796, the United States government purchased a 125-acre (0.51 km2) parcel of land from the heirs of Robert Harper. Subsequently, in 1799, construction began on the national armory. Three years later, mass production of military arms commenced.

The national armory at Harpers Ferry was actually the second national armory. The first was the Springfield Armory, constructed in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1794 after Congress approved the bill to create the nation's first national armory.

Upon its grand opening, the armory's size seemed inadequate for a work force. It consisted of only one room, and the workers numbered a mere twenty-five. Nevertheless, the armory produced many muskets, rifles, and later pistols for the United States. Between 1821 - 1830 the armory produced 11, 855 arms. Each decade after that, production declined. The building relied on river power to drive the armory's machinery.

After the Civil War, John Brown's Fort was the only building to survive the destruction wrought upon it by the Confederates and the Union. The building was named after John Brown for his notorious raid on the Harpers Ferry Armory in 1859. The building was the armory's fire engine and guard house. Due to the degree of damage to the armory during the Civil War, the U.S. government decided not to re-establish the armory at Harpers Ferry, instead focusing the quickly developing areas west of the Mississippi River.

Today the site is mostly covered by railroad track embankments.

Added by: sdonley on 09/03/2017 DB#:338


Stories are just that. Stories and personal accounts that have been reported about the location.

Screaming Jenny

A poor woman who died after she caught fire and ran into the path of a train while seeking help is another of the ghosts that apparently haunt Harpers Ferry, according to Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State. "Jenny," as she is known, had no family or money and she lived alone in a shack near the tracks. One day, while warming herself and eating by a fire, her clothes caught on fire. She ran for help as her clothes continued to burn, but while doing this she didn't notice that she was running right into the path of a train. It killed her instantly. People say that on the anniversary of her death, you can see the phantom of Jenny, a ball of fire on the tracks that disappears when the train strikes her.

Added by: sdonley on 09/03/2017 DB#:1298

More about Screaming Jenny

The old storage sheds along the tracks were abandoned shortly after the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was built, and it wasn't long before the poor folk of the area moved in. The sheds provided shelter - of a sort - although the winter wind still pierced through every crevice, and the small fireplaces that the poor constructed did little to keep the cold at bay.

A gentle, kindly woman named Jenny lived alone in one of the smaller sheds. She had fallen on hard times, and with no family to protect her, she was forced to find work where she could and take whatever shelter was available to someone with little money. Jenny never had enough to eat and in winter her tiny fire barely kept her alive during the cold months. Still, she kept her spirits up and tried to help other folks when they took sick or needed food, sometimes going without herself so that another could eat.

One cold evening in late autumn, Jenny sat shivering over her fire, drinking broth out of a wooden bowl, when a spark flew from the fire and lit her skirts on fire. Intent on filling her aching stomach, Jenny did not notice her flaming clothes until the fire had burnt through the heavy wool of her skirt and began to scorch her skin. Leaping up in terror, Jenny threw her broth over the licking flames but the fluid did nothing to douse the fire. In terror, Jenny fled from the shack and ran along the tracks, screaming for help as the flames engulfed her body.

The station was not far away, and instinctively Jenny made for it, hoping to find someone to aid her. Within moments, her body was a glowing inferno and Jenny was overwhelmed by pain. Her screams grew more horrible as her steps slowed. She staggered blindly onto the tracks just west of the station, a ball of fire that barely looked human. In her agony, she did not see the glowing headlight of the train rounding the curve, or hear the screech of the breaks as the engineer spotted her fire-eaten figure and tried to stop. A moment later, her terrible screams broke off as the train mowed her down.

Alerted by the whistle, the crew from the station came running as the engineer halted the train and ran back down the tracks toward poor dead Jenny, who was still burning. The men doused the fire and carried her body back to the station. She was given a pauper's funeral and buried in an unmarked grave in the local churchyard. Within a few days, another poverty-stricken family had moved into her shack, and Jenny was forgotten.

Forgotten that is, until a month later when a train rounding the bend west of the station was confronted by a screaming ball of fire. Too late to stop, the engineer plowed over the glowing figure before he could bring the train to a screeching halt. Leaping from the engine, he ran back down the tracks to search for a mangled, burning body, but there was nothing there. Shaken, he brought his train into the station and reported the incident to the stationmaster. After hearing his tale, the stationmaster remembered poor, dead Jenny and realized that her ghost had returned to haunt the tracks where she had died.

To this day, the phantom of Screaming Jenny still appears on the tracks on the anniversary of the day she died. Many an engineer has rounded the curve just west of the station and found himself face to face with the burning ghost of Screaming Jenny, as once more she makes her deadly run towards the Harpers Ferry station, seeking in vain for someone to save her.

Added by: sdonley on 09/03/2017 DB#:1300

Paranormal Claims

Here are the paranormal claims for this location. These have been found through Internet research, reports from members, or reports from personal interviews. To add a claim, please contact, and we will review and add your information.

Claim # Added Added By Claim
2598 09/03/2017 sdonley An apparition of a girl or a ball of flames has been seen running down the tracks and into on-coming trains.

Paranormal Evidence

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