With the second year of recruiting duty coming to a close at the end of this month, Jeremy and I have been getting one question a LOT lately. “Do you know where you are going to next?” While the two year mark is typically when most recruiting families find out their next duty station, Covid is probably going to mess with this timeline. We will hopefully know by Christmas. We are hoping for either Beaufort, South Carolina or to head back to Japan but we both know that the Marines will send him wherever they need him. No matter where we end next year, I can’t wait to explore all the haunted and paranormal locations near our next base. Especially if it’s Okinawa. Okinawa seems to be extra haunted and creepy in areas. The only down side is I doubt our spirit, Al, will want to go. He wasn’t happy about going to Iwakuni (you can see a video of him being upset here). If you want to know more about Al and why he doesn’t like Japan, please check out this post.
While we lived in Iwakuni, I often heard about some of the various haunted locations in Okinawa. There are so many places, legends, and customs that I could (and will) write several posts about them but today I am going to focus on some of the paranormal activity that I have heard about happening on military bases. By the way, the title, Hai Sai is a common Okinawan greeting.
The story I have heard the most often is something I have actually heard more from Marines that had been over to Camp Hanson. While none of them had experienced this paranormal activity themselves, it is a story that is passed around often. As with most bases, there are multiple gates to get onto the base. At each gate, there are military members who check ID cards and visitor passes. At Camp Hanson, their old Gate Three has been permanently closed because it was hard to find military members to stand guard there because of a ghost that visited the gate often. The ghost that is said to visit is a Marine who walks up to the guards and ask them for a light for his cigarette. Once his cigarette is lit and he takes a drag off of it, he fades away. What’s so unsettling about him is that his World War I era uniform is covered in blood. Since the gate has been closed, there aren’t as many reports of the Marine walking up but that hasn’t stopped some people from trying to go there to encounter the spirit. I don’t recommend doing this. Hanging out at a closed military gate will probably end up with attracting the wrong kind of attention.
Another location I heard mentioned often was Building 2283 on Kadena Air Base. This use to be a home but then turned into storage and finally demolished in 2009. Supposedly there was two murders in this building (I couldn’t tell from my research if this was true or just urban legends). Back in the 1970’s, an Air Force officer killed his family and himself inside the house. As in typical military fashion, another family was moved into the building. The family reported feeling paranoid while living in the building. Eventually, the father ended up stabbing his family. After that, the military turned the building into a storage building. But I guess they forgot to tell the ghosts that. People living near the building have reported seeing lights turning on and off, children crying and laughing, hearing a phone ring despite the phone lines being cut, and faucets turning on by themselves. The most bizarre thing reported was seeing a woman standing in the kitchen washing her hair in the sink. The daycare center next door has also reported some odd activity. The kids that attend the daycare have been known to throw their toys over the fence so the children crying on the other side can play with them. The kids have also asked to go play with the children on the other side of fence. When the attendants go to the other side of the fence to get the toys or check on the crying children, no one is there.
Another spirit known to haunt Building 2283, is a samurai that rides through the house on a horse. Multiple people have claimed to see this apparition and they all claimed to be throughly scared by this spirit. Granted I probably would be as well if I saw this suddenly. According to my research, the reason that it took so long to tear it down was because the workers that were doing the demolition reported having hallucinations, headaches and a high rate injuries.
This is just a tiny bit of the stories I have heard from Okinawa. I will definitely be doing more posts about all the ghosts, spooky legends, and festivals for the dead (yes they have more than one). If you know of any that I should check out or if you’ve experienced anything paranormal over there, let me know in the comments. I want to hear about it!