4 Paranormal Encounters on Army Bases as Told by Soldiers and Their Families

4 Paranormal Encounters on Army Bases as Told by Soldiers and Their Families

The following accounts have been submitted by military personnel and their family members. These experiences are claimed to describe true events.

Editor’s note: Some of the following accounts have been edited for grammatical mistakes and increased clarity of information. Permission to perform these edits was granted by the eyewitnesses.

“He was said to practise dark magic.”

In 2015 I was placed on desk duty in the barracks on a 24 hour rotation (Charge Quarters, as it’s officially called). We sat at the desk for 24 hours, from 9am until 9am the following morning, often passing time with books, video games, homework or a movie.

This particular duty also requires that we monitor “high risk” soldiers that have been confined to their barracks, for posing a risk to others or themselves, but have not been psychologically evaluated yet. We had one recently-kicked-out-soldier in my unit who never should have enlisted. He was an angry, hate filled individual that never progressed past Private Second Class in his 20 months in uniform. It is rare that someone would be such a low rank for so long. He was a troublemaker. He was also rumored to be interested in the occult and was said to practise rituals and “dark magic” in the barracks.

What I know for a fact though, was that when he was kicked out, he left his barracks room a complete mess. I’ve seen portable toilets cleaner than his room. The toilet had been broken and didn’t flush, but he had continued to use it. In the closet there were mountains of trash, and rotten food in the sink and refrigerator. The shower was also filled with garbage and water.

Asides from the mess, there were strange things as well. When the commander, First Sergeant and myself, the Supply Sergeant, went into his room, we found chicken bones tied together, hanging from strings from the ceiling. They had been lashed together to make seemingly archaic symbols. We counted roughly two dozen before we quit counting. The floor was covered in grime and candles had been lit in a circle. All of the furniture had been stacked out of the way or shoved in the closet. I’ll spare you the description of the smell. But the whole room had an unsettling feeling to it.

The trouble-making soldier’s room was not only a mess, but suggested occult activity. (Image source)

I joined the military in my late twenties and had a good amount of life experience, including an interest in the occult when I was in my late teens. I wasn’t particularly phased by the bones hanging or the candles, it all looked pretty run-of-the-mill “nerds in basements with a paperback edition of the Necronomicon they bought on Amazon”, which I voiced to my superiors in the room. But the air in the room felt wrong. I couldn’t tell at the time if it was the smell or the filth. Whatever the reason, I didn’t want to be in there. We called a special cleanup team and put in a work order to have the room stripped and cleaned by professionals. After they were finished, the room was spotless.


In the months following this dirtbag getting kicked out of the Army, the Charge Quarters on duty would quietly talk about hearing things in his old room, which was unoccupied at the time. Occasionally reports about the room would be made, something along the lines of “heard some sort of sound from room such-and-such, CQ investigates, finds nothing, smells burning plastic, cannot find source, no electrical appliances in room. Will monitor and notify my replacement”. But overall it was brushed off as immature soldiers spooking new guys.

A couple of months into the rumours, my name comes up on the duty roster. It was a Thursday night, the unit is mostly in the field training and my CQ Runner (assigned private) and myself are quietly going about our business. The room in question is halfway down a hallway from the front desk. If someone was having a conversation in that room with the door closed you’d never know. Suddenly we both hear some sort of roar. It didn’t sound like a dinosaur from Jurassic Park or something from a video game, this sounded like metal tearing while someone played a recording of a scream, except distorted and in reverse. The soldier with me later described it as “the loud part of a metal collision (he said car accident and was asked to clarify) with no build up or drop off. Just sudden noise”.

Being the senior ranking, I instructed the soldier to call the Barracks Representative (LNO) and have him get to the desk as soon as possible. Five minutes later, he and I are using his master key to gain access to the room while my Private covers the hallway from the desk, staying with the phone and also watching our backs. As soon as we enter the foyer, we’re hit with the smell of dog poo and burned plastic. Neither of us can identify the source, but the room is completely empty. We sweep and clear every nook and cranny, later agreeing that we felt like we were being watched the whole time. We found nothing but the smell remained.

We decided to resecure the room and not log the incident, because I, for one, didn’t want to look like a crazy idiot when my boss’s boss read my report. We move for the door. We exit, turn and go to close the door behind us when a massive force hits the door from inside the room, shoving the Barracks Representative out of the doorway and slamming the door shut.

None of the doors are allowed to slam, they all have hydraulic arms at the top to prevent that. They’re not even quick to close if a 200 lb male leans on them, so one slamming so hard it could move a grown man is impossible – especially considering it had worked moments prior when we entered the room.

We tried to open the lock again, but this time the keycard wouldn’t work. We agreed that neither of us wanted to go in again anyway, and we agreed not to report any of it, because we would be taken as seriously as anyone else.

After that incident, I kept an ear out but didn’t hear anything nearly as dramatic again. On another occasion, it sounded like there was some kind of shuffling coming from the room, like someone moving around, but I kept a stalwart face about it and ordered my private to stay away from it as well.

To this day, I cannot explain what happened in that room.

Submitted by Sergeant M.

“They agreed not to tell their commander.”

My uncle Bob was in the army. Last thanksgiving he got drunk and told us all a story that shocked me.

It was around 1985, and he was still new to the army, only being about three years in. He was on patrol duty on a base in Arizona. It was late, and he and another guy were walking along the fence line.

Bob and the other guy were focused on the other side of the fence, when they heard a sound behind them. It was coming from the inside – from their side of the fence.

When they turned around, they saw an old man dressed in buckskin with long hair in braids. Bob described it was being so grey that “it almost glowed”. The man was standing approximately thirty feet behind them. Both men drew their weapons, as the old man was in a “shoot to kill” area, with warning signs all over the place. Neither Bob or the other man wanted to shoot an old man. They figured that he must have Alzheimer’s, and had wandered into the base or something. After all, he was not being threatening, and appeared harmless.

The men shouted to the old man, telling him he was in a restricted area and that he needed to put his hands in the air. Bob thought they’d walk him to post call and call the local police department who would be able to get him back home. Bob tried the radio, but it was just static. Calling his friend to help, both he and Bob turned to tinker with the walkie. Although they only looked away for “half a second”, to quote my uncle, when they turned back the old man was gone. In his place was a massive cottontail, just sitting there, watching them.

According to Bob’s testimony, when he and his partner turned around, the man had disappeared, and a large rabbit was in his place. (Image source)

Both men looked around, right to left, and back again, to see where the old man had wandered off to. But, he was nowhere to be seen. In that time, the cottontail took off towards the fence. Again they heard a noise behind them. When they turned around, the same as last time, the old man was there. This time, however, he was on the outside of the fence.

The fence was a good eight to ten feet tall – there was no way this old man could have jumped it.

Bob described how that sent he and his buddy off running. They agreed not to tell their commander.

Keep in mind that my uncle was drunk, but despite over thirty years having passed since that night, he still looked scared as Hell when he told us that he had seen a skinwalker.

Submitted by Stacy C. on behalf of her uncle, Bob. R.

“Claw marks – piercing its outer metal shell.”

My name is Adolph Schäfer. I am currently rank Feldwebel (the equivalent of sergeant) in the Bundeswehr. I am not easily scared.

The Bundeswehr is the unified armed forces of Germany. (Image source)

When my experience occurred I was a cadet in boot camp in East Germany. It was around 5.00 in the afternoon. We were doing drill courses whilst the base was having technical problems with the electric grid, which was uncommon considering it had just been inspected days earlier and nothing I noticed that time was really that odd. Except, a few of us kept hearing these eerie, unexplainable noises coming from one of the head buildings nearby, where the water is kept during five minute breaks.

But skip ahead a few hours, to around 8.00 – the power was going in and out again, and the drill sergeant had told me and three others to go and fix it. So, me and the others grabbed flashlights and tools, and went to the basement where the generators are located. We found the first backup generator and it was turned off but operable as expected. It was the same with the second generator.

The third generator was the largest main source of power in the base. The first thing I noticed were the scratches: this seemingly super-hard-to-break hunk of metal had what I think were scratches and cuts – claw marks – piercing its outer metal shell like a buzzsaw. So deep, the scratches had cut the cords inside and had damaged the batteries as though they were paper.

After a moment of thinking I knew this couldn’t have been a person doing this, seeing as nothing any cadet had could cut through that tough metal so easily, I immediately rushed up the stairs to tell my drill sergeant, hoping he would know what to do. He told me, “The most we can do is tell base command and put someone guard the door, and have the generator replaced. Good thing reporting this, cadet Schäfer.”

After getting a pat on the back, I resumed my daily training routines without anything too odd happening. But some hours later, sometime in the night (I can’t be exactly sure when), I heard scratching noises, but not from the basement, they were too close and too loud… as if they were in the sleeping quarters.

After that moment of realization, I opened my eyes and looked around. I saw what I thought was someone in the corner, going through a bag… But, when I looked around the room, sheer terror came into me: all the bunks were full, every one.

“Wait….the hell?”, I thought to myself. But, then, as if it had heard what I was thinking, the “thing” in the corner turned to face me. It was a pale grey, with no nose, and claws like razors. This thing was skinny and two feet taller than my six foot self. After that I just froze in a blank stare of horror. In my mind seconds turned to minutes, minutes turned to hours and hours turned to days….

I think I passed out of terror, because all I remember after that is waking up to my buddies and sergeant looking at me, while talking to me, telling me I looked sick. And I felt sick too, like all energy from me was drained for days on end.

I swear during my entire military career, I have never been so afraid since that night.

Submitted by Adolph Schäfer.


“That was when I realised he wasn’t a man.”

My dad is in the army. Because of this, I’ve lived in various different army bases. Several of the bases have been haunted.

The first time I experienced something paranormal was at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. At the time I was about ten or eleven years old, and would often visit my friend’s house. Every time I visited, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. When I was there, inexplicable things would happen. Sometimes Xbox controllers would fly off my friend’s bed and across his bedroom. Other times, the TV would flicker on and off by itself. By far the scariest experience there was when I opened a pantry door, and a Tupperware bowl flew out and into the wall on the other side of the kitchen. There was nothing obvious to suggest why this happened. Nothing was stacked up or cramped to cause it to move. Besides, the bowl didn’t fall – it was thrown.

However, it was what happened in Kansas, at Fort Leavenworth, that I remember most vividly. The military base is well known for being haunted, and is sometimes referred to as the most paranormally active in the country.

The base is home to the Fort Leavenworth National Graveyard. It is very large, and takes up a good amount of the base.

Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery has been used as a burial ground since 1844. (Image source)

One night, I was riding my bike to my friend’s on the sidewalk that ran alongside the graveyard. As it was summertime, it didn’t get dark until very late. The sun had set, and there was only about fifteen minutes of sunlight left before darkness set in. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man walking in the graveyard. This surprised me, as not many people visited the graveyard, and definitely not this late. I slowed down to look at the man closer.

That was when I realised he wasn’t a man.

He was dressed in an old military uniform, and walked slowly. In fact, it was more like he was gliding across the yard. One thing which struck me was that he had a mist around him. His form had a strange quality to it – he appeared translucent and undefined. His shape seemed to change slightly. And, I could see through him.

Paused on the sidewalk with my bike, I watched him for about two minutes. Occasionally, he would stop to look at a grave. I knew my eyes were not playing tricks on me, as when he kneeled next to a grave, I could faintly see the outline of the grave through him.

Eventually, he stood up from one grave, and walked away from me, and up the hill. He got more and more translucent the farther away he walked.

In no way was he hostile towards me, or seemed like he wanted to harm anyone. As he did not carry a gun or backpack, I believe he was in his dress uniform. This led me to speculate that I had seen the spirit of a man who did not die in the war, but lived through it, and was now visiting the graves of his friends.

I was very shaken up after that experience, because I have never seen a ghost before. To see something like that affects you – it is hard to describe, but I know that I will never forget that experience.

Submitted by Carter.

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About Laura Rowton 82 Articles
Laura Rowton is a filmmaker and paranormal researcher. In 2019, she released her debut feature documentary on life after death, "In Search of the Dead", which she co-produced with her husband, Erik. Follow her on Instagram for more.