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Fort Benning/harmony Church


Previous to this incident, I had never experienced seeing any "ghosts" or apparitions.

I attended Infantry Basic Training/Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, GA in the Harmony Church area, from January through March of 1981. The barracks were two-story WWII-era buildings. Anyone who has been in the Army knows what "Fire Guard" is.

I was on fire guard early (after midnight) one morning. The fire guard was required to have a flashlight, and you had to "patrol" the building constantly, during your one hour tour of duty. The barracks were completely dark, and were "open bay". There was a REALLY bad thunderstorm going on, at the time of this incident. Pouring rain, lightning, and thunder that was constant. The area outside the area was lit, but only by a couple of street lights, on the power poles.

I was on the first floor, and was standing at the door of the barracks. I could see the fire guard's flashlight, in the adjacent building, approximately 25 yards away. That fire guard was close to that building's front door. I looked through the window, to my left, towards where the CQ was on duty. A huge bolt of lightning lit up the sky at that moment.

On the sidewalk at the end of the building, approximately 50 feet away, I saw an older man, with long gray hair and a long gray beard. He was wearing what appeared to be cut-off jean shorts, and had no shirt on. He was standing very "rigid." I thought maybe I was just worn out, and was "seeing things." How could someone be standing in the pouring rain like that, with no shirt or rain gear on?

About 15 seconds after I saw the old man, the fire guard from the adjacent building came running towards our barracks, and came through the door. He seemed upset, and asked me: "DID YOU SEE THAT OLD MAN?" I almost passed out, knowing that what I saw was witnessed by another person. Needless to say, I don't think I slept very well, the rest of the morning.

I brought up the subject to my Drill Sergeant the next morning, and wasn't ready for his response. I figured the Drill Sergeant would tell me to "move along, Private." He stated something along the lines of: "Yeah, I've seen him, too." I was floored.

I'm posting this story in hopes that someone who has served in the Harmony Church area of Fort Benning, GA has experienced anything like this.

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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, AT1984, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Cuddlebear (4 stories) (173 posts)
5 years ago (2019-05-17)
AT1984 ~ Salutations!

As a vet and military contractor I've heard many stories of sightings on bases, though I've not spent much time on Army bases, mostly Navy and Coast Guard. Most of the stores I've heard echo yours, in that was a sighting with little or no interaction with the object.

I can't help but wonder if Silverthane is on to something.

Thank you for sharing.
silverthane61 (4 stories) (344 posts)
5 years ago (2019-05-17)
I went through Benning for Infantry Basic and Advanced in 1983, I also went back to Benning in 1985. I am familiar with the Harmony Church area and believe me, your tale is not the only strange one that I have heard and personally witnessed. I imagine the spirits of soldiers long gone often stray back to the places that they have spent may sweat and blood stained days in training. Thanks for your service and good tale!
RSAChick (115 posts)
5 years ago (2019-05-12)
Hi AT1984, that was a great story.
Interesting to note that if you search 'Benning' on this site how many other stories come up. Ranging from footsteps, doors opening and closing, apparitions and even a shadow figure harming a baby.

Fort Benning seems like a paranormal hotspot. Nothing similar to your experience, though.
Hoping that someone who has also seen the old man, finds this story!
Caz (342 posts)
5 years ago (2019-05-12)
Hi AT... And welcome to YGS! While I can't claim to know anything about the Harmony Church area of Fort Benning, I sincerely hope someone who does will come along soon for you! In the meantime, I hope you'll read lots of real fascinating true stories just like your own on here, while you are waiting. Thank you for sharing it with us!
RCRuskin (9 stories) (820 posts)
5 years ago (2019-05-11)
And I'm commenting, to let you know that I want to know more. What was on the base prior to the army?

And more importantly, from an air force brat: THANK YOU for your service. 😁

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