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Ghosts Of Hickham


This is one of two experiences that I had while stationed at Hickham Air Force Base as a security specialist on the island of Oahu, Hawaii in the mid 90s. This incident would occur in 1997. The first day we were processed in, the other troops there started telling us new guys ghost stories. I thought they were just messing with us until I had been there for a little while. It took all of one shift to start verifying the most prevalent story told on the base. It involves the 12th Air Force Headquarters Building being haunted by the war dead of Pearl Harbor. The Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Command is also located in this building, so it is a very important place that requires strict security. There are manned security posts on the premises as well as state of the art laser and camera systems blanketing the property. (As it should be!)

Anyway, a little historical background on the building. During the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, the building was used as a hospital and temporary morgue. Over a thousand dead servicemen were stored there until their remains could be dealt with properly. Many of them would die in the building while being treated. There was so much blood that the cleanup required stringing of hoses throughout the building and washing the floors with scrub brushes. Pretty gruesome and for sure sets a good stage for some paranormal happenings.

Well, the first night on shift, around 3 am, the motion alarms went nuts and the SRT (special response team) was called to respond. I was training with the base patrol that night, so we went that way and provided backup. Every guy there seemed more tense than they should be. Something strange then happened to me. Instead of the SRT going in the building and clearing it, they simply reset the alarm and documented the occurrence. Anyone who knows anything about military security knows this is extremely unusual and not protocol.

Well, when we returned to our patrol, I asked my FTO (Field Training Officer) "why?" that just went down that way. This is what he told me: "It happens every night, usually between 3 and 330!" He also let me in on why there was a little shack outside the front door of the building, instead of the guard being posted at the CQ desk in the lobby of HQ. Almost every airman that tried to work the post, would refuse to stay in there because they would hear walking and inaudible talking, smell what was described as rotten meat or a slaughter house smell, and the stairs in front of that location would squeak and vibrate violently on a regular basis.

I was still thinking that this was them messing with me. It just seemed like it was a little too scripted. Man, was I wrong! For the next 6 months I was there, this alarm thing would occur each and every night between 3 and 330, just like the Sergeant said. I saw military working dogs refuse to go in to search. Every dog would whimper, growl, and try to hide behind their handler. Those of you who know, know that military working dogs don't refuse service! I also witnessed grown men choose to sit on a stool in a 4x4 foot shack instead of at a nice desk in a spacious, air conditioned lobby.

I quickly became one of those guys in the shack! I experienced the walking, talking and stairs all in about the first hour of my first shift on that post. My shift on the HQ post began at midnight and by 0100 or so, my time of trying to stay at the CQ desk was over! I was pretty shaken. I never experienced the smells, but would experience the sounds on several occasions. Then at 3:17 am, the alarm went off-motion detected in the basement and on the third floor! There had been nobody there since 5pm, when the building had been secured for the evening. Peculiar thing, very seldom did anyone come back in the evening to work there alone. I think I remember only about two times in my six months that anyone came back to work after 5 pm. And they did not stay long... In and out so to speak!

These are my experiences at the HQ building on Hickham AFB. I would be interested in knowing if there are any other former SF guys on this site who have had similar experiences while stationed there. It was creepy, and I experienced these things on several occasions, but the alarm thing was EVERY MORNING, without fail! Extremely unnerving place to work. (The days off were great, though!)

Other hauntings by nowabeliever

Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, nowabeliever, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

bizzjoe (1 stories) (162 posts)
11 years ago (2013-06-15)
very interesting story... I would like to stay in this building over night to see for myself what goes on... I will bring my dog...
nowabeliever (2 stories) (2 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-13)
Jav...thanks for your comments... No I did not try again... I guess I am not as bold as some! Lol... As for the shack, I believe it made its appearance sometime during the late 80's! Don't know if it was still there or not, but everyone seemed to use it except for the new troops!
moravian (1 stories) (171 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-05)
Great story. I searched rhe internet and found other stories of that building being haunted.
Siskakes (4 stories) (68 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-05)
Gasp! I love this story! Its so interesting to hear about these buildings involved in wars etc and what we experience in them years, decades later
Seeker1 (3 stories) (58 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-04)
I think most of that is residual energy left over from all the trauma. The energy is what the dogs were picking up on. There may also be intelligent energy as Jav stated. I don't think there is anything to fear, although it gives you the willies...
I've had experiences at Holloman AFB that unnerved me while working inside the BX that I may share later as "nowabeliever" has sparked those memories.
Enjoyed your experience. Thanks for sharing.:)
BadJuuJuu (guest)
12 years ago (2012-07-04)
As you were giving the historical background, I was thinking to myself "wow, this has the potential to make for a very intense residual!" Which is what the activity you describe sounds like. The motion detectors going off at the same time every night, the sounds and smells, all seem to indicate a replay of past events. And those poor dogs! If the smells were strong enough to bother humans, no wonder the dogs refused to go in. The smell must have been truly overpowering for their senses.
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-04)
I have heard about the HQ at Hickham being haunted, but it was so long ago that the details were simply gone from my memory. Thank you for writing this, it helps bring it all back. I served in the USAF way back at the end of the 70's, and though I never had the pleasure of getting assigned to Hickham, the stories were going around even then. So this is a treat for me!
I don't recall ever hearing about the dogs refusing to enter the location, that is very interesting indeed. It puts the odds in favor of this being an intelligent haunting. I am just crazy about my dogs, and growing up, my mother raised pedigrees. So, when you say a trained security K9 refused to follow commands, and to see them cower as well? Oh yeah, that is a very big deal!
You mention the first night you worked the inside desk, but did you ever try again? Which brings me to the Security shack out front. That was another detail I didn't have before now. I am loving this! I wish there was a single category for the military base haunts. There are quite a few of them in the archives already, but this is the first I've seen for Hickham. Which is not to say there aren't any, I just haven't seen them.
Thank you again for sharing this experience, it made my day. 😁


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