The Hauntings of Okinawa

There are many historical military places where you can experience ghostly specters, cold spells, and reports of things moving around all by themselves. Ghostly cavalry forces still protect F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. Houses on Fort Leavenworth feature terrifying child ghosts. Baltimore’s Fort McHenry is a veritable who’s who of the afterlife, with reports of people seeing Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Allen Poe, and even Chief Black Hawk

Nowhere in the U.S. military, however, is more haunted than Okinawa. This little island packs possibly the most Halloween haunts into 463 square miles and does it all year round. Here are a few reasons why.

Building 2283 is One of the Most Haunted Places in Okinawa

No single place on earth was more haunted than Kadena Air Base’s housing number 2283. Although it’s long gone now (they say it was demolished, but it probably imploded like the house in “Poltergeist”), no one could stay there, and those who did ended up dying in a murder-suicide. 

The first murder-suicide happened sometime in the 1970s. After the second murder-suicide, the Air Force stopped putting families in the house because it seemed hazardous to their health. Despite it being famously empty, people walking by could hear children crying, ghostly laughter, and the sound of a woman washing her hair in the sink. 



Little kids at the daycare next door would throw their toys to the kids on the other side of the fence, kids that definitely did not exist. Reports of running water, objects moving inside, and even a spectral glow came from residents. When a samurai warrior rode through the living room one day, the Air Force finally tore it down. Even then, the workers complained of hallucinations and on-the-job accidents in alarming numbers. 

Historic Sites on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa

Marine Corps gate guards began to refuse to guard Camp Hansen’s Gate 3 so often that the base closed the gate down entirely. They claimed the number of Japanese troops at the gate was disturbing since they were from World War II and might pose a danger to the Marines guarding it decades after the war ended. 

If the threat of a ghostly banzai charge wasn’t enough, they also routinely reported a figure dressed as a World War II-era Marine, bloodied and wounded, who would come up to the guard house and ask for a light for a cigarette. Once someone gives him a light, he vanishes. This reportedly happened every weekend until the gate was closed. 

Kadena’s Golf Course Cave

While the Battle of Okinawa raged in World War II, the site now Kadena’s Banyan Tree golf course was used as a field hospital by the Japanese defenders. After the Americans captured the island’s airfields and defeat appeared imminent, Japanese nurses are said to have fled into the caves near the hospital, fearful of what the U.S. troops might do to them. There, they committed suicide. 

Now, Okinawans won’t go anywhere near the caves, fearful of the angry spirits of the nurses who are said to reside there and appear occasionally. However, those interested in seeing the caves can visit one of the island’s many ghost tours. 

The Maeda Point Ghost of Death 

No, it’s not a ghost of the Grim Reaper himself, but legend has it that Maeda Point is inhabited by the spirit of an old man who only walks about near a tomb on the water’s edge. Reports say that those who see the elderly Okinawans know there will be a body washing ashore in the coming days. 

Maeda Point is not only the location of another Japanese field hospital during WWII, but it’s also where many people have committed suicide by jumping off the cliff. Some say divers in the waters below the point have encountered swimming ghosts, eternally trapped in the water or jumping off the cliff repeatedly for eternity.

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Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Air Force, Battle of Okinawa, Chief Black Hawk, Edgar Allen Poe, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Grim Reaper, house in "Poltergeist", Kadena Air Base's housing number 2283, Kadena's Banyan Tree golf course, Maeda Point, Marine Corps, World War II, Wyoming

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