Graveyard Shift The Creepiest Ghost Stories and Legends from WWII  

Jen Lennon
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List Rules Vote up the scariest WWII tale

Wars are always ripe for ghost stories. With all of the tragedies that occur, it’s not uncommon for people to have encounters with some restless spirits. World War II was particularly brutal, and with all of the soldiers, prisoners, and bystanders who lost their lives, who can blame a few for sticking around? These creepy stories from WWII will definitely put you on edge.

There are plenty of WWII ghost stories and WWII legends. Many have been passed down through generations of families. Some soldiers experienced unexplained phenomena during their time in the war, but some people have seen ghosts of those who fought long afterghosts still in their uniforms, sometimes still fighting. This list includes everything from missing blimps to a mystery in the Swiss Alps. And, of course, the occult.

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Missing Children


Missing Children is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Creepiest Ghost Stories and Legends from WWII
Photo: Swiss Federal Archives/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0 CH

This story comes from Reddit user Igloo444. Their grandfather was a member of the British Army and was stationed in a remote village in the Swiss Alps during the winter of 1943. The village quickly got snowed in, and all the telephone lines were out. The roads were blocked, and the whole battalion was just stuck in the Swiss Alps for the entire winter.

Most of the villagers only spoke German, and most of the troops only spoke English. So when the troops were out at a local bar one night and a man began yelling ““Where… take you… the children?” at them, they were pretty confused. They rounded up a translator and took the man back to the base, where he told them that, since their arrival, several small objects had gone missing. A tarp. Some wood. An axe-like weapon called a halberd. And then the children started disappearing. If it had just been one child, they probably would have written it off as a weird or tragic accident. They were, after all, stuck in the mountains, surrounded by snow and wild animals. But three kids? That was weird.

Igloo444 writes, “The Captain told the villagers that he would continue to look into the matter, and that he would begin sending some of his men to patrol the streets each night looking for whoever (or whatever) was the culprit behind all the strange thefts and abductions.

"Later that night, Private Reginald disappeared from the barracks.

"Disappearing children was one thing, but a grown man? It seemed unlikely that an animal (even a wolf) could have taken down a healthy full-grown man on its own. Naturally, rumors began to surface that there was some sort of monster living in the mountains that came down at night to feast on the occupants of the village.”

So they keep doing nightly patrols. One night, the grandfather and a few other soldiers see a person standing outside the windows of a darkened house, peering into it. They shout for the figure to stay put. Instead, it takes off running. They gave chase. Eventually, it jumped into a hidden cave and began shooting at them. They returned fire, and when the shooting stopped, they investigated. They found Reginald in the cave, dead, surrounded by seven half-eaten children.

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Ghosts of Normandy


Ghosts of Normandy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Creepiest Ghost Stories and Legends from WWII
Photo: Philippe Ales/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

One father took a trip through France with his family. He wanted to visit Normandy and see a few sites from WWII. His daughter was seven years old at the time, and he says that she had, at that point, never been exposed to any history about WWII and didn’t know what either side’s uniforms looked like. After they returned home, things got a little odd. He writes:

“Over the past year, my daughter has often spoke of 'things' or 'men' that she saw looking at her, pointing guns at her, and following her while we were in the bunkers and around the Normandy area. She often described them as crouching down, hiding behind corners, holding guns and looking as if they were very mad.” He started asking her questions about what she saw. Here’s one conversation he had:

“Were you scared?”

“Yes, but I knew they weren't trying to hurt me. So I didn't think anything of it, but there were a lot of them. Everywhere I looked. They were moving around, like army men do. Kind of crawling, but bent over. When we would walk out of a bunker, I would see one in the grass, or behind a tree. Then when I was in the car, I could see them looking at me from behind a fence in a field. Sometimes a lot of them, sometimes only one or two.”

She also described their uniforms perfectly, camouflage and everything.

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Ghost Planes


Ghost Planes is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Creepiest Ghost Stories and Legends from WWII
Photo: U.S. Air Force/Wikimedia Commons

After World War II ended, many people saw “ghost planes.” These fighter jets would appear in the sky, then disappear without a trace. One scary story takes place a year after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States Army picked up an incoming plane on their radar. They sent a few pilots out to investigate, and when they came back, the pilots said that they had seen an American warplane—a P-40, to be exact—that looked like it had been through hell. It was covered with bullet holes, the landing gear was missing, and the pilot was bloody. Then, the plane just…crashed. Dropped right out of the sky. When they went to investigate the crash site, they found the plane—but no pilot.

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Man in the Attic


Man in the Attic is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Creepiest Ghost Stories and Legends from WWII
Photo: Unsplash/Pixabay/CC0

In Colmar, France, a young woman experienced something strange in the summer of 1991. Her family had just moved into a new house, and she found a hole in the wall of the attic. Through the hole, she could see another room, but as far as she could tell, it had no door. She felt something strange coming from the hole but didn’t investigate. Later, she went back with a flashlight and saw something.

“There was a young man sitting on the floor, his knees against his chest. His arms were crossed on his knees, like he was hugging himself. He turned his head toward us and smiled. We bolted out of the room and went to the storage room. My heart was pounding, I was out of breath. I first thought that it was a real person, but he had no color. It was like a 3D dark shadow. And we never heard any footstep. My friend refused to admit that we saw a ghost and we never talked about it…

"My grandmother learnt later that our house was a clandestine printing office during World War II. The owners printed slogans against the Germans. But I think that there was something else in that house. I believe that the secret room was used to hide people.”