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Halloween: JU readers tell their ghostly stories

Date Posted: 1998-10-30

Residents, visitors and guests to Okinawa have often recounted their ghostly experiences to friends and family members. Some have even chosen to post their happenings online.

Strange Presence
By "Daisy"

Hi. I'm a military wife living on a Marine base in Okinawa, Japan. We have lived in our present apartment for 2 1/2 years and have experienced a few "weird" things. It began with the all so common doors slamming and opening. And moved to something more real. My husband is a skeptic...a have to see it to believe it kind of person. Well, we heard something together one night that we can't explain. I had put our three small children to bed and shut all of the bedroom doors and door to the living area. Our living area couch faces away from that door. My husband and I were sitting there watching a movie when about 15 minutes later we heard the doorknob rattle and the door open. Then we heard our 3 1/2 year old daughter timidly call out, "Mommy?" Well, I tossed my hands up in the air and preceded to scold her for getting out of bed. I turned to find the doorway empty. So I got up expecting to find her behind the door or scurrying down the hallway, but instead found an empty hallway and all of the doors shut. So I checked her room to find her snoozing heavily tucked into her bed as was the other two children. Seriously confused I walked into the living area to ask my husband if he just heard something. He asked, "What? You mean "Lisa" calling your name?" Neither one of us knew what to make of that.

After that on occasion I would see the reflection of something moving behind me in the steel cabinet in my kitchen. I would turn around expecting to find my husband or one of the kids, but instead found nothing. I would hear my daughter calling "Mommy" from a few a feet away when she wasn't even in the room or in the apartment.

The strangest experience was when my husband and I were up watching Letterman and from across the room (20 feet) I could see what appeared to be a shadow standing in THE MIDDLE of the floor. It was a little girl swinging her arms back and forth. It lasted about 4-5 seconds. I was so shocked I couldn't move or say anything to bring my husband's attention to it. Then he noticed my fright and started asking me what it was. Right as he started to look in the direction of the girl the "shadow" seemed to just jump up into a cloud mass and back down into the lamp. I have seen a very brief glimpse of a child in a wall mirror that is positioned at eye level for me. (5'3") Just last weekend at a USO on a different base as I filled soda cups for all of us a little girl appeared to run very quickly behind me. I assumed it was my daughter "Lisa". So I looked around the corner to find her sitting with the family. I went back to the soda machine and it happened twice more. I don't know what to make of it. Is it a ghost? Is it a projection of my daughter's "spirit"? She has a very strong personality. I just don't know. I don't get any "evil" feelings from whatever it is. But it's strange nonetheless.


A soldier stationed in north Okinawa during World War II recalled his experience with an unidentified flying object. He was facing the East China Sea one evening and suddenly saw a bright flash of light, and then a cigar-shaped object passed by him flying 200-300 miles per hour at an extremely low altitude. This man's account coincides with other stories of "Foo Fighters", strangely-shaped objects which were not picked up on radar, but of which many eye-witnesses claimed to see. Foo fighters had been spotted during the war from the coasts of Africa to Hawaii to Okinawa.

The Button
By Ann Summar

In case you're wondering, I have my very own ghost story to share with you all. In 1995, my husband and I lived in an apartment building in Chatan. One evening, while he was at work, I was sitting on the couch reading a book, when I felt something drop on my head. Startled, I sat up and was surprised to see a button fall off of my head and into my hand. Confused, I looked up at the ceiling...yes, it was the same as always, with the light fixture about 12 inches from where I sat on the couch. Turning, I saw the bathroom door open, but of course no one was there. A bit freaked, I started looking at the clothing in our drawers and hanging in the closet. Unable to find the shirt or other piece of clothing the button belonged to, I set the button on counter and tried to forget about it. When my husband returned home at about 11 p.m. that evening, I told him what had happened, and he helped me look through the clothes one last time. Finding nothing, he threw the button in the trash, and took the bag outside. I watched from the balcony as he threw the bag into the trash area and walked back to our third floor apartment. Laughing, he teased me about a thinking a ghost threw a button at my head.

About a week later, I was driving and searching for change in the cup holder in our car. I was again startled to see the button, mixed in with the change. I threw it out the window (whoops, I littered!) and have not seen the button since.

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