Fort Smith, Ar

Status: Former POW Camp; Former US Army Base

Active National Guard Base No Public Entry


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Originally named Camp Chaffee this base was constructed in 1941 to meet the demand for trained troops for World War II. It was quickly changed over to a POW Camp and housed 3,000 Nazi POWs.

In the 50's the name was changed to Fort Chaffee in recognition of its permanent status and became home to the 5th Armored Division of the US Army. Elvis Presley received his first military hair cut in a building on base.

In the 70's and 80's the facility was used to house foreign nationals. In the 70's it was Vietnamese and Cambodian Nationals escaping the Vietnam War and the 80's it was Cuban Nationals after Castro emptied the prisons and sent them to the US by boat via Miami.

The Cubans caused major problems rioting in 1980 which had to be put down by the State Police using riot gear. The incidents of prisoner vs prisoner crime skyrocketed during the Cuban stay including sexual assault and murder.

In 1987 command of the facility was transferred from the US Army to Arkansas National Guard where it remains today. In 2005 the base housed 10,000 refugees fleeing the Hurricane Katrina disaster in Louisiana.

This is an active Arkansas National Guard Base. Entering it without permission would be unwise to say the least.


Paranormal Activity

Two areas of the base are reported as having paranormal activity:

Former Medical Complex

This complex of more than 128 interconnected buildings unfortunately burned down in 2011. Balls of moving light were often both seen and photographed in this area. Partial apparitions were also reported. Disembodied female voices have been heard in the former OB/GYN area and shadow figures have been seen in the former psychiatric care center. Disembodied voices have been heard all over the complex.

Former Cuban Prison Area

This area has since been turned into a haunted house attraction but not all of the hauntings are faked. There was once possible incident of possession while the prisoners still occupied the building. An empathic feeling of violence and hatred permeates the area. Feelings of unease, fear, physical illness, not being wanted and being watched are also reported. Disembodied voices have been heard; many of them saying "get out!"