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Spooky! Ghost Stories

Date Posted: 2001-10-23

Happy Halloween! In the last two issues, we asked our readers to submit a ghost story they experienced first-hand while living on Okinawa. Here are a few of the stories we received in response.

Dead End!
My wife (my girlfriend at the time) told me about a place known for its ghost sightings located up a dark winding road behind MCAS Futenma near Jimmy's on hwy 58. So we decided to go just for the thrills. As we made our way up this narrow road, neighboring houses were starting to thin out and there were signs warning of what to expect if you continued up this hill. DEAD END! I turned the car around to park facing the way we came. We left the doors unlocked as we walked past the last warning sign and headed to the tree line. There was a ruined stairway leading down into complete darkness. At that moment, without even speaking, we both knew we'd had enough and ran back to the car as fast as we could. Of coarse the car was still unlocked and we were now safe within the confines of a locked car with the windows rolled up. Our hearts were racing and were full of laughter realizing we had very silly imaginations.

"Let's get out of here," we both agreed. I turned the key but the car wouldn't start. Trying again and again but to no avail. Our cheap thrills were now replaced with genuine fear. "We're stuck. What are we going to do? We have to get help." We ran to the nearest house and embarrassingly asked a nice lady for help. Shortly after, five of her children marched out of the house with flashlights, jumper cables as if this wasn't the first time they've had to do this. The kids started my car and marched back home emotionless, not even saying a word. The next day I had my car checked but the mechanic said it was fine. "What?! Fine?" So why did they choose to live so close to such a place, away from everything? I can't help but think the posted signs were there to protect something. Something of theirs.

Camping at Itoman
I had been living on Okinawa a short time when some of my friends organized a camping expedition at Itoman. It was during the time of Obon, a Japanese festival celebrating the return of ancestral spirits from the dead. Many ghost stories were told around the camp fire that night, and everyone went to bed with that strange, nervous excitement produced by tales of the supernatural. Given this atmosphere, I was hardly surprised when strange things began to happen. Just after midnight, I heard rustling noises coming from the bushes behind my tent. Thinking that it was just my friends fooling around, I ignored it and tried to sleep. An hour later I woke up in a cold sweat. The moon shone brightly that night, and through the thin material of the tent I could clearly see silhouettes of people standing nearby. Assuming that my friends were responsible, I quickly unzipped the entrance and scrambled outside, hoping to catch them in the act of sabotage.

To my immense surprise and horror, there was no one there. I thought I saw movement at the edge of the campsite, so I headed towards it apprehensively but still convinced that one of my friends was responsible. In the darkness of the trees, I heard something nearby. Every hair on my body stood on end. I heard the noise again, and recognized the familiar sound of footsteps moving in a steady rhythm through the undergrowth. I hesitated. Part of me wanted to dash to the safety of a friend's tent and cower there for the remainder of the night, but I was still convinced that this was part of a carefully orchestrated prank, and I knew that I was obligated to play along with it.

Stepping further into the jungle, I could still hear the noises faintly ahead of me. I tried to follow as quietly as possible, keeping low to the ground. I followed for approximately 10 minutes, then the forest ended abruptly. What I witnessed next filled me with terror beyond comprehension. My body froze and I was unable to speak or breathe. About 50 meters in front of me was a group of shadowy figures. They were walking slowly and steadily in one direction, packed tightly together, towards the edge of the cliffs. They were definitely not my friends. As I watched, they neared the edge and paused for a horrible, long moment before plunging silently over.

Returning to the campsite, I discovered all my friends sleeping peacefully in their tents. I woke them and we packed up camp in the darkness and left immediately. To this day, I have never returned to Itoman.

World War II Revisited
While stationed at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, some friends and I loved going to the Maeda cape. You can carefully climb down the face of its coral cliff and go into several caves down there. We loved one big one that had a huge rock you could climb up on and almost touch the roof of the cave. Here, you could look out and see the ocean and the rest of the cape. Also there was another underwater cave entrance that formed an indoor pool in the cave, we would throw a large watertight sealed flashlight in and it would light up the water like a swimming pool!

During World War 2 the Japanese had a strong defensive position here and the battle was very intense! One weekend, while camping here, I awoke to a sound at about 3 a.m. Looking out across the cape I saw strange lights and could distinctly hear gunfire. I woke my friends and we all heard and saw the flashes of gunfire. At first we thought some war games might be being done but this cape is a Japanese park and its located on the east coast south of the mid point of the island.

As we watched, more sounds were heard. Men screaming, orders in English and Japanese, and loud gunfire. We could see the flashes and hear the 'tatatatat' of machine-gun fire, heard the distinctive bark of m-1 rifles and felt the concussion of mortar rounds going off. We watched and listened for about one hour and 45 minutes approx.

An Unwelcome Passenger
There is a tunnel on Okinawa where a car accident occurred, killing a young man and woman. Rumor has it that the tunnel is haunted, but only by the ghost of the woman. An American named Jim got out of work late one night and decided to take the tunnel home because it was a shortcut. Jim's coworkers had warned him not to drive through the tunnel alone, but Jim was not superstitious. He drove his motorcycle through the tunnel and found it was badly lit. For the first few yards, it didn’t seem bad, but as he drove farther into the tunnel, the weight on his motorcycle suddenly started to feel heavier. Jim knew he had only a few small things in his backpack, but it felt like the weight on his motorcycle had doubled. He looked into his rearview mirror, and to his surprise saw what appeared to be flowing, long, black hair blowing in the wind and a young woman's face, although he could not quite see the face. Jim shrugged it off as an illusion because he was tired and it was so late. But the weight and image in the mirror did not go away. Jim became very impatient with whoever it was and finally said out loud, "What do you want?" The answer was "I WANT YOU!!!"

“Is this your car?”
One instance that supposedly happened during my time here, is about a young couple out for a drive. The couple had pulled into an Okinawa City fast food restaurant and were waiting at the drive-through when a little boy came up to their car. He spoke to the driver and asked him, "Is this your car?" The driver answered, "Yes." Then the child turned and walked away. Forgetting about it, the couple got their food and left, driving north on this island. They were out to visit a relative up there to celebrate the Obon season with. When they made it to Nago City they pulled into a parking area, when this SAME small child whom they encountered a couple of hours ago approached them again! He asked them again, "Is this your car?" And again, the driver answered yes, he knew he had just bought the car. He then asked the boy why he wanted to know? The boy answered, "This is the car that killed me!" The couple was speechless when the boy moved away from the car and saw he didn't have any legs, and then the boy disappeared!

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