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Newport Naval Base, Coasters Harbor Island


From 1980 to 1984, my father was stationed in Newport, RI and we resided in officer's quarters on Coasters Harbor Island. There were only a few houses on this small island, which also included the War College, Officer's barracks, gym, marina, library, and officers club. I was 10 (to 14) years old at the time and was the only child at home as my two older siblings were away in college. I don't know any history of the house we lived in - it was "Quarters H" on Bainbridge Road; a duplex at the end of the row of houses. It was a two-story home (also, with a basement), had steam heat, and appeared fairly old - again, I am not sure of the age or history. My room was on the second floor facing north and east.

I had several unexplained sightings at the house - all in my bedroom and all at night. The first sighting I had was about a year into our stay. I woke during the night and kneeling at the foot of my bed was an old lady that was resting her head on her arms on my bed. She looked to be over 80 years, white hair pulled into a bun, and wearing a long white dress. When I woke and sat up in my bed, I remember being so scared, but not able to say anything. And as I sat up, she stayed kneeling but lifted her head to look at me. I moved my legs away from her and screamed, which caused her to stand, turn away from me and move away from the bed towards my closet. My scream caused my mother to come into my room and upon her entrance, the lady was gone. I explained what had happened to my mother, who suggested that I was dreaming.

Later (not sure how many weeks or months had passed), I woke again in the night to find the same lady standing in my room. She was positioned on the far side of the room - again, near my closet - but looking over at me as I laid in bed. I sat up in bed and looked at her - trying to figure out if I was dreaming or not. She looked exactly the same - old, white hair pulled back, and wearing a flowing white dress - something from the 1800's. She didn't move or sway, but rather stood there looking at me. One thing that has stuck with me all these years, was that one of her hands was holding a white cloth. I didn't see it in the previous encounter, but this time it was very noticeable. As before, I screamed and again, my mother came into my room to comfort me. I don't recall what happened to the lady after I screamed, I just know that she was gone when my mother entered. The next morning, my mother asked me to explain what I had seen (I think she asked what I "dreamed about") and I shared the aforementioned. I also connected the lady to the first encounter. My mother did not react either way, but stood her ground that I was dreaming.

The strangest situation happened one night in 1982. It was a school night and my parents had put me to bed - I assume around 8:30 pm. I was a huge Los Angeles Lakers fan and they were playing the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Championship. I presume the game was in Los Angeles and therefore, I was missing it by going to be at that time. I had a radio in my room, so after my parents left the room, I would turn it on very low and listen to the game. That night, my father caught me listening to the game and directed me to turn it off and go to sleep. The second time, my mother (who was the disciplinarian) came in the room and threatened me with restriction if I didn't turn it off and go to bed. Being a 12 year old and a significant fan of the Lakers, I took the risk and again, turned it on. This time, for whatever reason, the station was all static. I hadn't had that problem all night and don't recall ever not being able to tune into the channel. But, regardless what I did with the antenna or turning the dial, I couldn't get a signal to listen to the game. I recall having a restless night of sleep waiting to find out the next morning, who won the game.

I had several more encounters after these - all in my room and all at night. In these, the lady was always kneeling at the foot of my bed, but I never saw her rise or move again. She just seemed to be overlooking me, as if I was ill or injured.

I mentioned this up to my parents recently and my mother does recall these incidents, but nothing of detail. She mentioned as well, hearing noises from time to time when she was home alone. She thought that someone was walking around upstairs, but wrote it off to the sounds of the radiators or the creaking of an old house.

I have tried to find out if any other occupiers of Quarters H on Coasters Harbor Island ever experienced what I did, but the military was of little help. In a visit to Newport about five years ago, I was able to visit the base and went by the house to speak with the current tenants to ask if they had any experiences. But unfortunately, the house was vacant (between tenants) and I couldn't validate my experiences.

I have read some additional posts in this forum that cite various experiences at the old Naval Hospital and the War College, and I am hoping that someone may come across my post and have some similar experience or know more about this house and the experiences therein. I have always been a skeptic, but what I experienced felt incredibly real and at the very least, makes me want to know more. If you have any info, thoughts, or stories, please let me know.



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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, cbrown1919, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

rookdygin (24 stories) (4458 posts)
6 years ago (2017-11-14)
Hummm I wonder if the Housing you speak of is old enough to have been housing for the nurses that tended to the poor and insane when the Original part of the War College was the Newport Asylum (1822) Later to become the Newport Poorhouse and Farm until 1882 when it was donated to the US Navy who formed the Naval War College, which its been ever sense.

Thanks for sharing.


AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
6 years ago (2017-11-12)
I get the feeling she once tended someone she loved dearly in that room or waited there for them to return from war... I can't but think that there was a very sad outcome to her months or years of waiting.

I think when you moved in, you filled that place for her - in that seeing you there in the place of the person she had cared for was bittersweet - she didn't resent you for being there but seeing you there brought back the heart wrenching image of her loved one and kindled her desire to nurture and watch over.
Depending on the era, many was the lad (though statistically more rare, some women and girls have done too) who lied of his age and ran away to war so you may have triggered the spirit memory of the house because you were close to the same age as her lost loved one.

Perhaps the white cloth was a handkerchief? They could be quite large in days gone by.

I hope she has since crossed over and can be with those she loves once again.
Manafon1 (6 stories) (712 posts)
6 years ago (2017-11-11)
Hi Chris - Your account really caught my attention. I have read hundreds of paranormal case studies over the years and your account of seeing an elderly woman kneeling at the foot of your bed and on one occasion, standing in your bedroom, is similar to many well documented reports. In other words, you're in good company! It is important to note that each time you saw the apparition you had just woken up. It is a very common time to see an apparition. The mind, unoccupied with other worldly thoughts in the initial moments after waking, is more receptive to such encounters. Similarly, when one is awake but occupied in activities like reading, writing, listening to music and so on, sets up an ideal situation that is conducive to seeing an apparition. That detachment from the world around the person having the paranormal experience is reported with regularity.

Your reactions were quite normal and it is interesting that she was aware of you and reacted to your screams by leaving. It seems likely she was, in her way, checking in on you. I was curious to know what her face looked like on the occasion she looked up at you? Was it a kind face? Could you make out specific features? That you noticed the apparition holding a white cloth was interesting. In several apparitional case studies I have read, if an apparition appears multiple times, new elements and details are seemingly introduced.

Who knows, this woman might have been tryimg to help out your parents by making your radio unable to pick up the Lakers game you were listening to. Again, your detachment from other thoughts while focused on the radio is pertinent and suggests the static could have been from paranormal interference. I hope someone who lived on the island can provide you with specific information of that house's history or to share their experiences there. This is a site where that does happen. I had a woman who lived across the hall from me in a haunted apartment comment on one of my stories. She was happy to find that she wasn't crazy all those years ago when she saw an apparition there and to find another who could validate what she experienced. I hope you will find that here too. Either way, your multiple encounters with the elderly female apparition are similar, in general details, to what many others have experienced. Hopefully that helps in some small way. Welcome to YGS.

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