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Thread: The Haunting Of Okinawa
10-31-08, 08:42 AM #1
The Haunting Of Okinawa
THE HAUNTING OF OKINAWA
Story by Lance Cpl. Thomas W. Provost
OKINAWA, Japan (October 31, 2008) -- Walking down the sidewalk behind the United Service Organization on Kadena Air Base, one may hear children's voices, crying or laughing, or see an eerie glow coming from an unusually small house: Building 2283.
If one should dare to enter this strange house, they may see a ghostly looking woman washing her hair in the kitchen sink, or perhaps a ghostly samurai warrior riding his horse straight through the living room.
Many stories and rumors have originated about the house near Stearley Heights. Some even suggest the house is built on top of an ancient Okinawan burial chamber.
Which stories are true? Nobody knows for sure. The one thing every story agrees on is there's something very strange about the little house.
One such story takes place in the early 1970s; a military family suffered a terrible fate there one day. It is rumored a man, maybe an officer, though no one knows for sure, went crazy and killed his entire family in the house.
Several years later, another family moved into building 2283, only to discover strange, unexplainable occurrences.
It is said one of the bedrooms always felt too cold - too cold even to sleep in. Lacking any rational explanation, the bedroom was torn down, leaving the house in its current small state.
It's said the new resident soon stabbed his family to death, making them the second murdered family in that little house behind the USO.
Since these alleged events the house was converted to a storage shed. But erie things continue to be noticed in and around the house.
Passers-by describe an almost ghoulish glow about the house once in a while, although most of the time it remains shrouded in darkness. Even the illumination of nearby street lights does not appear to light the exterior of the dwelling.
In 1994, on Halloween night, ghost hunter Jayne Hitchcock performed a seance inside the house. According to her book, "The Ghosts of Okinawa," Hitchcock and a few friends tried to contact Harry Houdini, who died on Halloween in 1927. To their surprise they contacted completely different spirits. Two children appeared -- one boy and one girl.
The next day, when Hitchcock developed film of the house's interior, two ghostly outlines were seen - one boy and one girl.
According to Chiyomi Maekawa, the duty manager of the nearby USO, the USO staff conducted a Halloween re-enactment of the alleged murders some years ago. The staff played out what happened those nights in the house, but nothing unusual happened. Not right away at least.
One by one, each participating staff member began to have unfortunate accidents. One person who had entered that house on Halloween night suffered an electrical shock. Another had a car accident. One even suffered a broken neck.
They woke up the spirits, who then became angry, Maekawa said.
Until the USO stopped using the house for storage, the staff members would not go in after dark, refusing to enter the house except during daylight and in groups. Even with these precautions they still felt a strange aura within, she said.
Since no one would dare live in the house, the Base Officials planned to tear building 2283 to the ground. Strange things started happening again as contractors began the demolition process. Every time they entered the house, a worker would get hurt or go crazy, suffering strange hallucinations, Maekawa said. Soon, the contractors refused to enter the house.
The house was never torn down. It stands to this day, bearing within its morbid walls whatever demonic entities reside there.
But building 2283 is not the only haunted place on Okinawa where many spirits are said to be. This sub-tropical island has a very dark and tormented past.
During the battle for Okinawa, the Japanese military convinced Okinawans they would suffer a horrible fate if captured by American Marines. Many Okinawans, to avoid capture, leapt to their deaths over the rocky cliffs around the island.
Bolo Point, also known as Cape Zampa is one such spot where many jumped to their final fate. It is said many have seen faces of the dead in the unforgiving water there. The lost souls seem to beckon the living to follow them off the jagged cliffs and into the violent, crushing waves. Some have even seen an older woman's ghost luring unsuspecting onlookers to the point's steep precipice before vanishing into thin air, as if plummeting to her watery grave.
So wherever you go this Halloween night, whatever festivities you may attend, be on the lookout for Okinawa's ghostly spirits of the night, for they are surely not limited to the stories told here. Whether it be the agonized spirits of House 2283 or the battered, drowned souls of Bolo Point, it would be wise to leave these island residents be, that they may carry out their eternal suffering alone.
10-31-08, 08:43 AM #2
Bats hang around Okinawa on Halloween, all year long
Lance Cpl. Antwain J. Graham
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa (October 31, 2008) -- Tonight on Halloween, as anxious trick or treaters venture onto the island's dark streets, they should keep an eye out for the winged watchers of the night - the massive, furry fruit bats of Okinawa.
Among ghosts, witches and ghouls, what would Halloween be without bats hanging around?
In many western traditions, bats are familiar characters on Halloween. For centuries, they have been associated with vampires, such as the one featured in Bram Stoker's classic novel "Dracula."
In such tales, bats are hideous figures that occupy the walls of caves or the attics of haunted houses. They loom in the shadows, awaiting the chance to swoop down and give their prey a bite.
This image is what some people have come to believe is the truth about bats. However, according to Kazumitsu Kinjo, a professor at Okinawa International University who studies bats on Okinawa, the image is far from justified.
Despite their man-made reputation, in reality, there are few documented incidents of bats attacking or biting people anywhere in the world and no record of attacks on Okinawa, Kinjo said. Unlike the vampire bat, who feeds on insects and small animals, the Ryuku Flying Fox, scientifically known as Pteropus dasymallus, likes to feed on fruit and other parts of plant materials, such as flowers and leaves. They especially favor papaya and figs. The Flying Fox lacks any taste for blood, Kinjo said.
When they roam the Okinawa skies at night and the early morning and twilight hours, bats are occasionally mistaken for large birds. In Okinawa, bats can reach the size of an eagle, Kinjo said. Though they weigh only about one pound and measure approximately 10 inches, Okinawa bats have an average wing span of more than three feet, Kinjo said.
They sometimes fly low which startles people and makes them think they are being attacked, but most of the furry critters are virtually harmless and refrain from close interaction with other animals or people, Kinjo said.
Some people believe that all bats are blind, another common misconception according to Kinjo. Though many bats utilize echolocation, using sound and sonar to see in the dark, many bats, like the Flying Fox, simply use their big beady eyes to maneuver through the night.
When not in flight, these winged mammals can be found suspended from tree branches, sleeping, foraging for food or watching passers by in the night.
So this Halloween, don't be afraid if you feel a presence lurking above your head or hear a high-pitched screech in the night. Simply look to the stars and you may be lucky enough to spot a winged watcher of the night staring back at you.
10-31-08, 08:44 AM #3
Salty captain, silent king duel, contest ends in draw
Cpl. Eric D. Arndt
Lance Cpl. Kentavist P. Brackin
CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa (October 31, 2008) -- Pop culture and fictitious time lines clashed Saturday at the Camp Courtney Bowling Center when, unbeknownst to the lanes' patrons, two legends stepped through the doors.
Burger King, the king of all burgers and mascot of a multinational fast food corporation, and Capt. Jack Sparrow, salty scourge of the high seas and former captain of the Black Pearl, both entered the bowling alley by chance.
It was not immediately clear how the men had arrived on Okinawa or what they were searching for, as King declined to comment and Sparrow muttered only a few hinting words.
"Nobody guards the beach, mate," Sparrow said. "I'll let them look into that. Savvy?"
Perhaps the King smiled at Jack for too long, but both he and the captain, equally salty in their own rights from high sodium levels and sea water respectively, would not back down from a chance to best the other.
On another day, the chosen medium for competition could have ranged from a pistol duel to a sea turtle race, but the men took notice of the Marine Corps Community Services Halloween Costume 9-pin No-Tap Tournament and chose to enter, keeping the contest civil.
Although others participated in the specialized bowling tournament, where players need to only knock down nine pins for a strike, everyone knew the odds at stake, with many gathering just to watch the epic battle between scurvy sea-dog and His Creepy Highness.
Sparrow was the projected winner due to his prior handling of cannonballs under extreme mental and physical stress, but his sea legs did not supply him enough stability to defeat King, who attributed his lead over Sparrow to a 'healthy' diet.
King re-embraced his silent demeanor when he lost his lead to local resident Eiko Kotari, who went on to win first place.
Although King continued gloating over Sparrow, the captain would not leave the lanes empty-handed; he happened to win another contest by complete coincidence.
"I was worried that no one would show up in costume," said Jennifer Goede, the Courtney Bowling Center manager in charge of the tournament. "Then these guys came in."
According to Goede, Sparrow won the Halloween tournament's best costume prize regardless of the fact he was only wearing his normal swashbuckling attire.
King offered only gestures in response to Sparrow's rags defeating his own royal robes.
Even though their celebrity status had not worn off, as evidenced by several people requesting pictures and hugs, the two decided to cut their losses and leave with a newfound respect for the other. In the end, one could say they both won - by taking what they could and giving nothing back.
10-31-08, 11:24 PM #4
Civil War battlefields, and areas in close proximity to battlefields, are noted for ghosts and supernatural events. I've often wondered if battlefields of other wars have the same distinction.
I have several books relating many of these occurances in startling detail, but none mention the following. I read it elsewhere. It seems several foreign dignitaries visiting Washington DC rented a car to visit the battlefield at Gettysburg. While there, they encountered a platoon of soldiers in Civil War era Union uniforms engaging in "troop and stomp" on a level grassy field. When the dignitaries returned to DC, they thanked their hosts for providing re-enactors to make their visit more meaningful.
There were no re-enactors at Gettysburg that day.
It's bedtime. I'd better take leave of this subject.
11-02-08, 11:27 AM #5
I have done and still do reenactments at Shiloh, Gettysburg and Chickamauga - Lookout Mnt. and on their anniversaries yes it is possible to see eerie cloud like forms floating across the battlefields and sometimes hear the cries of pain and death . and yes I do the Confederate side of the battles , and you think some of you new Marines have it tough in the field, you ant lived till you do it like our ancestors did it in 1861 to 1866
11-02-08, 05:13 PM #6
Regarding ghosts on Okinawa: Supposedly, there was a ghost of an anciently dressed Okinawan/Japanese who would appear periodically at the back gate of MCAS Fuetema at night and scare the crap out of the MP on gate duty. Nothing malevolent, just walk out of the darkness from up the road and disappear again before getting to the gate shack.
While I was at Fuetema in 1974, the back gate MP accidentally shot himself in his right lower leg with his .45 pistol (while holstered). He had loaded a round into his pistol "just in case" the ghost showed up, and had been standing there idly flipping the hammer with his thumb when the hammer decided to slam forward even though the safety was on.
He almost bled to death except for an officer driving in the back gate wondered why no sentry was visible and stopped to check.
No one could quite understand what a .45 would do against a ghost anyway. Needless to say he wasn't an MP for very long afterward and the ghost continued to appear.
11-03-08, 11:12 AM #7
I heard about a lot of spooky stuff when I was in Oki. I hated standing duty in my old barracks. Besides the obvious reasons, it was also really scary. At around 0200 or so when all the Marines were finally asleep you would get that feeling like someone just ran behind you. When you look to see who it was and what the hell they're doing, there'd be no one there.
I lived out in town after I got married and our apartment was right next to a cemetery....that combined with all the stray animals made for some very spooky nights as well...
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