You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Haunted Places :: Yanks, Tanks And Diggers

Real Ghost Stories

Yanks, Tanks And Diggers


G'day, all!

It's been a very, very long time since I've used this site, to the point I'd almost forgotten I had an account on here.

In the years since I posted my first story I've had quite the number of experiences, so I figure I'd try to break them down into sections.

This section will deal with my run-ins with some of the long forgotten servicemen still knocking around in the bush and suburban factories long after the conclusion of WWII.

Salisbury, QLD. Late 2018.

I had just started a new job at a large automotive accessory factory in the outskirts of Brisbane. I worked the afternoon shift, which meant I'd clock in at 2pm and finish up at about 11 or 12. My first few weeks were pretty uneventful. That was until I had my first encounter with "Bobby".

I was working alone in the rear section on a sweltering summer evening, standing at a table wrapping some weathershields in plastic for shipping. Behind me, clear as a bell, I heard someone say "Hiya, John" in a Southern accent. I didn't work with any Americans, so this struck me as very odd. I brought it up at smoko and one of my co-workers explained "Oh, that's just Bobby. He's harmless." After work that night, I did some research on the factory I worked in and discovered that the little industrial estate it was in was quite the hive of activity during WWII. Our factory, specifically, was a large tank repair workshop for the Americans operating in the Pacific theatre in from '43-'45.

Slowly, I noticed more and more activity around the factory. Because there were only 5 or 6 people working during the night we only used the front half. Over the course of the night you'd hear the odd knock, or bang in the back section. Occasionally you'd hear a shout, or see a shadowy figure move around in the shelving. Some nights, an awful smell would waft from the screen printing section. One night in particular a co-worker and I could hear a whole conversation going on down the back, in distinct American accents. Then, late one January night as I was taping up some boxes I noticed some movement down at the far end of the factory. Someone was walking towards us, quietly. I pointed them out to my co-worker, who also turned to look. It was a young guy, probably about my own age, fairly skinny and dressed in a pair of ragged looking coveralls, with a leather helmet tucked under his left arm. He kept walking until he was about 40-50m away, looked towards us and then faded out of existence, as though he'd never been there. My co-worker and I looked at each other in stunned silence.

Then, there were the upstairs offices and the "bunker". While the atmosphere downstairs was never dark, the offices were a different story. We never saw or heard anything up there, but it just felt off, like we weren't supposed to be there. It was a similar feeling in the "bunker", a WWII-era air raid shelter that'd become storage for our cleaning equipment. Although I never experienced it, a few of the women I worked with told me they'd been grabbed or touched while in there and as a result, refused to go anywhere near the place.

While chatting with a family friend a year or so later, I discovered that during the war his family had housed a few officers that had worked at the repair depot. The screen printing section had been where they'd hosed out the tanks before they started repairs. The crews used to do a pretty good job cleaning them out in the field but often by the time they reached proper repair shops here the bits they'd missed were getting pretty ripe. The dark atmosphere in the offices upstairs was probably the result of an officer who had shot himself after finding out his son had been killed in Italy. As for the bunker, no-one really knows about that place.

Wacol, QLD. June, 2020.

One of my hobbies is metal detecting, especially on WWII sites. The particular bit of bush I was working through at the time had been part of Camp Cable, one of the biggest US camps in the country at the time. It was also used by Aussies during Korea and possibly into the early days of the Vietnam war. I'd set aside a weekend to go for a bit of a fossick through what was left, and arrived at around 9am on what was a pretty crisp winter day (to avoid the snakes). I wandered into the bush, put my headphones in and went for a sweep. After about 2 hours and a dozen or so fired.30-06 shells I decided to stop and have lunch. I picked a nice spot by a creek, sat down and tucked into my sandwiches. While I was eating, I noticed something moving off in the bush on the other side of the creek. It was pretty indistinct, but it looked like figures moving from right to left between the trees. I figured it was probably just some other people wandering through the area and went back to detecting. After another few hours I was getting pretty tired and figured I'd come back the next day to have another stickybeak. While I was trekking out I saw the same hazy figures again, moving between the trees. I still had plenty of daylight left, so I went and checked it out. I crossed the creek and wandered across to roughly where I'd seen the figures. There was nothing obvious to show that anyone or anything had ever been there. Had a group of people been through there the grass would have been disturbed, and it's a long way from the designated walking trail. What I did notice, though, were rows of logs marking out the boundary of the old camp areas and roads. After that, I called it a day and went home. The next day I saw the same thing again a few times, but I figured that as long as I was doing my thing and they were doing theirs I'd leave them alone.

Archerfield, QLD. October 2020.

This brings me to my latest experiences, which is what prompted me to look up this site again after all these years. My new workplace is another WWII era warehouse, with another set of ghosts. These ones are far more mischievous than the ones at the old place, probably because it was staffed by the Aussies during the war. Much like the old place, it took me a while to notice some of the weird goings on. Every now and then I'd be assembling some pieces of furniture, put down my tools for a second to adjust something, then go to pick them up only to find that they've been shifted, usually to the desk behind me. On night shifts, it's not unusual to smell cigarette smoke and see the faint red glow of someone smoking way down the back of the warehouse. Initially we'd send someone down to go yell at whoever it was that was smoking (since the place is full of cardboard, timber and flammable liquid) but there was no-one there to be yelled at. Sometimes we'll be prodded and poked, and it's not unusual to hear random shouts of "Oi!" coming from empty sections of the warehouse. The forklift drivers out the back say they've seen someone standing out the back in a singlet and khakis just watching them work, then walking off out the back (there's only one way in and out of the container section, and it's surrounded by a 2.5m barbed wire fence). 3 of my co-workers and I all saw someone dressed in period clothing walk through the racking one night, wave to someone, then continue walking. Despite all the weirdness, it never feels scary or sad. We're pretty sure whoever is here likes having us around still.

Anyway, that's all I have for now. Thanks for taking the time to read all this and feel free to comment!

Other hauntings by XBFALCON74

Find ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from Australia

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, XBFALCON74, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

ranaj (1 posts)
1 year ago (2020-12-30)
What are the odds! I haven't been on this website from last year. Your story is the first I clicked and reading this year... Co-incidence is that I am also from Brisbane!
Berggraf38 (3 stories) (20 posts)
2 years ago (2020-11-18)
Hi XBFalcon, I enjoyed your ghost tales a lot, but what I really loved was the detecting terms. I've been detecting religiously for 11 years and I've heard fossick before, but "stickybeak" cracked me up, I love it, thanks mate!
Australians are so much more fun than most Americans.
XBFALCON74 (2 stories) (3 posts)
2 years ago (2020-10-30)
Thank you all for your comments!

Rex-T, I can assure you that the laid back Aussie attitude is a relatively accurate stereotype. Most of the time it's just too hot and humid to kick up much of a fuss, even over something as outlandish a ghost sighting. I'm not sure whether or not it's the locations or some special talent I have, I'm pretty sceptical of a lot of "woo-woo" stuff but at the same time I've experienced a lot of weird stuff in my short time. I'll likely expand on that in a later post.

As for the username, when I first made my account I was the proud owner of a '74 XB Falcon ute that unfortunately was a bit too much of a project for a 17 year old on an after school supermarket job budget. Hopefully it'll pop up on eBay again and I'll be able to buy it back. And yes, I'll definitely be on the look out for snakes!

Tweed, I've noticed the same thing. I've been to a few places that are reputedly extremely haunted and not seen, felt or heard a thing out of the ordinary but I've seen some very odd things in the most mundane of places, especially in old factories, warehouses and sheds.

I've seen The Detectorists pop up on my recommendations on streaming services but never got around to watching it, I'll get there eventually though.

DarkStar, I'm glad you enjoyed reading about my experiences! My 'Strayan accent is a bit off thanks to my English mother, but it still sneaks in every now and again.

To answer your question, "bits" was the best word I could think of to try and keep my story fairly family friendly. A family friend of ours was a crewman in the Royal Tank Regiment late in WWII and told me that in the unfortunate event a crew member were wounded or killed in the confines of a tank often the best they could do was wash it out with a bucket of hot water and rag before it was pressed back into service. It probably wasn't as big an issue in Europe, where repair shops were nearby and the climate is relatively mild.
Rex-T (5 stories) (288 posts)
2 years ago (2020-10-29)

Your adopted name takes me back to the days of a young Mad Max, his black XB Falcon Pursuit Special and his trusty blue heeler.

My dad didn't talk about "The War", but he did mention "Those Yanks" and their knack for getting whatever they needed. He also told me that they would always be there beside you when things got tough.

Reading your experiences and particularly your reactions reminds me of the (supposedly) laid back Aussie attitude when facing extraordinary situations... "Yeah, don't worry mate, they're harmless".

You've left me to ponder (once again) whether most old buildings or sites attract their fair share of spirits/echoes from the past or it is you and your ability that draws them out.

It is also possible that your relaxed attitude may help them feel comfortable too, rather than scare them off with a big hullabaloo.

I hope one day that you can tell us the story behind picking XBFALCON74 as your name, considering that being listed as a "young adult" could put your birthday around 1974 or later.

Anyway, stay safe and keep an eye out for those snakes, especially brown snakes and taipans.

Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
2 years ago (2020-10-29)
Hi XBFalcon,

Thanks for sharing your cool experiences thanks also for all the research!

There's something about warehouses and mobile homes they seem to be the location of many vivid and active hauntings. That doesn't have much to do with your experience but it's a detail that jumped out. Wish we understood more about how the heck ghosts do what they do and if a building's shape/materials/whatever played a part in making things possible or more likely to happen.

You're lucky to work with open minded people and share the experiences with them!

Btw do you watch Detectorists?
DarkStar (1 stories) (25 posts)
2 years ago (2020-10-28)
Hello XBF, welcome back to YGS!

I really enjoyed reading this account of your more recent experiences. I appreciate your writing skills, with hardly any detectable 'Stralian accent (just kidding; I'm from Kentucky, and our accent is hard to miss). And I've always liked the Aussie way of speaking, along with the amazing (and often impenetrable) slang terms.

A slightly squeamish question concerning your description about the "bits" left over from when the tank crews did field cleaning of their damaged tanks... I immediately wondered about what this term referred to. If they tank crew members, I could definitely see how the cleaning area might accumulate some sort of residual energy, unpleasant as this might sound.

In any event, welcome back, and please post more of your experiences on the site!


To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: