What’s something you never believed until you experienced it?
When I was in the Air Force, it did not matter where I went. There was a ghost story on each base. Actually, there were usually several. In England, there was a haunted gate shack, a haunted aircraft hangar, a haunted section of woods, a haunted abandoned air traffic control tower, and a haunted tree. Those are just what I remember from the main base. We did security at a smaller base nearby, too, and there were plenty of stories out there.
The aircraft shelter and the gate shack were not places I felt nervous around. I was posted in the gate shack numerous times without incident. A co-worker insisted he had a guy walk up to him and ask for a cigarette. When the co-worker turned to give him one, the guy was gone. When I was posted as the security patrol in that area, I would sit in front of the aircraft shelter during part of the shift. Why? Because the lights back there did not work and it gave me some peace from the other blinding lights and activity during the night shift. But the woods… I hated going through those woods in the day time. I generally stayed away at night. Same thing with the abandoned tower. The tree… was creepy looking, but it was outside the base perimeter, so I did not give it too much thought. Some places on the base made the hairs on my neck stand on end.
In Oklahoma, there were a number of them, too. I actually knew the stories behind them. A gate shack was haunted because a troop shot himself while on post one night. A hangar was haunted because several people died when it burned to the ground in the 1940s. Another huge building on base was likely haunted for the same reason, though I did not actually hear any stories about that building. I was in there quite frequently, though, and it is creepy to walk through at night. I will be amazed if a certain house on base does not have a few stories about it after an incident there several months before I separated.
Now, the gate shack was never a problem for me. Probably because I was posted there numerous times before I heard the story about it. The hangar… well, it depended on the night. I will be honest. I actually went around looking for the sources of some noises in that hangar just to ease my imagination. Sometimes, I found the noises were caused by a piece of paper being blown around by a draft. Other times, like the very noisy pipes… I could not fix those. I was glad whenever a maintenance troop came in to do something with the plane.
It is all about perception. Maybe I give the stories too much credit after having some uneasy feelings about being posted alone during the long night shifts. Who knows? I definitely do not doubt the existence of hauntings like I used to, though.