I was born in Hawaii. Actually, on the island of Oahu, the city of Honolulu. My dad was a Marine and I was born at Tripler Army Hospital. So, Pearl Harbor and the anniversary on December 7th has always been significant to me. Since yesterday was Pearl Harbor Day, I thought I’d do a little research on some of the hauntings in Hawaii and share them with you.
Of course, Pearl Harbor itself is sacred ground and there is an overwhelming sense of sadness when you visit the grounds. The website Dread Central tells the story – “It was a day that would forever live in infamy, known throughout the world for its brutality and devastation. Two thousand, three hundred, forty-five soldiers lost their lives, while an additional fifty-seven were seriously injured. And the most frightening part was that no one saw it coming. There was no warning, no inkling, that such a thing could possibly happen on domestic soil on that winter’s day. And now, almost seventy years later, those voices are not silent. The guns still fire, screams still echo over the harbor, and people know that those killed will never be at rest.”
We’ve talked about battlegrounds before – when people die in war, they often linger in those spots – like Gettysburg. Pearl Harbor is similar to those because it is a military battleground, but different because many of the men killed weren’t engaged in battle, they were taken by surprise. And many of those who died were never given a proper burial.
Ford Island is an islet in the center of Pearl Harbor. According to Dread Central, all over Ford Island there are reports of strange things, sounds and presences that correspond to the events of that day. This is more of what they report:
On Ford Island, residents report phantom voices and footsteps in their homes as well as objects moved, lights and electronics that turn on and off by themselves, and dark shadows that walk about aimlessly, only to vanish when approached. The airstrip also has a reputation, as visitors often report a real sense of panic and a strange glowing mist that floats about.
Perhaps the most well-known ghost on the site, “Charley,” has been there so long and his presence so well documented that it isn’t uncommon for officers to respond, “That’s just Charley” when they receive a report. Water faucets turn themselves on, radios have been turned on and their stations switched, and heavy doors have been observed to swing quickly back and forth. All of this accompanied by the jangling of keys and loud footsteps in empty hallways.
The Military Times website talks about another Pearl Harbor ghost: It didn’t take long for Anne Murata to have her first experience with the ghosts of the Pacific Aviation Museum after she started working there a few years ago. Located on Ford Island in Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor, the museum’s two main buildings are hangars that are still riddled with bullets from the Japanese surprise attack in 1941.
“I was working in my office pretty late at night and kept hearing music out on the main floor,” Murata says.
When she went out to investigate, it suddenly stopped. But soon she heard the murmur of men talking, as well. “It almost sounded like a party was going on out there,” she says.
But again, every time she investigated, it all stopped. “It wasn’t threatening at all, and eventually I just went back to work,” she says.
Later, her boss explained that it was just another particularly active night with the museum’s resident platoon of ghosts. “Everyone who’s worked here has had many experiences like this,” she says.
The place has become a magnet for local and national paranormal investigators. The SyFy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” devoted an episode to all kinds of creepy occurrences they experienced there. “The investigators always find amazing sounds and lights and orbs and footsteps and voices. It really is pretty rampant here,” according to Murata.
One recent occurrence involved what looked like an elderly retired service member wearing a veteran’s baseball cap. “We kept seeing him over many nights sitting on various benches,” she says.
One evening at closing time, a worker at the front desk, thinking it was an actual veteran, explained it was time to go and walked him to the door. “When they looked on the security cameras, there was no one there. She was just talking to thin air.”
But the most haunted area, and deservedly so, is the memorial built upon the sunken remains of the USS Arizona. People say that they’ve seen apparitions of soldiers on the dock of the sunken vessel. The ghost of another soldier is believed to wander the deck of the USS Arizona when the tied is low.
As we remember and honor those crewmen who died in the service of our country, we should give them even more credit because, it seems, many of them are still performing their duties today.
Like what you read? Find more stories by Terri Reid here.