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The Mirror Above My Bunk


In 1990 I was a corporal in the Marine Corps counting down the last six months of my tour of duty at Camp Butler, on the island of Okinawa. Being an NCO, I managed to get my own room. Although made for two people, the room was small. When you entered, there was a wall locker then a bunk on either side and on the far wall was a desk, a small fridge, and an end table situated near a window. Hanging on the wall above the bunk on the left of the room was an old, large mirror held in a strange looking, heavy wooden frame. I took the bunk on the right.

Having recently been promoted, most of my friends were of lesser rank than me and I let them hide in my room whenever the needed to shirk any unwanted duty that came up. They never stayed long, though.

At first they would try to nap but complained of angry, violent dreams. Arguments would break out and even a few fist fights occurred over even the most trivial of things. People would enter the best of friends but leave angry, sad, or depressed.

A few of us were sitting around talking once when one of them, who had entered in the best of moods, suddenly became upset about something and jumped at me, getting me into a choke hold that took the other two with him to release me from. Later he apologized and said he had no idea what had come over him.

Another time my best friend was napping while I read a book when he suddenly sat up, looked off into space and said "I can't take this anymore", leaving abruptly with no explanation. He never stayed in that room again for more than a few minutes at a time. Feelings of dread, depression, and anger were only highlighted by the noises that came from the room.

I cannot count the number of times a sergeant who lived in the room next to me would come banging on my door telling me to turn down my music or the TV I had. The problem was, I was a very quiet person, only listening to music on my headphones and, on the rare occasion, I would watch TV, kept it down to a low volume. Numerous times he would complain about loud parties I was having only to find that I was alone in my room writing letters or reading when he came in to see what was going on.

During this time I had use of an acoustic guitar and was writing my own songs. Since there was a lull in traffic out in the hall and most people were away for the weekend, I decided to record a song I had just written to see what it sounded like. I am a horrible singer but wanted to hear how the words flowed with the song; so I turned on the recorder and very quietly strummed out my tune and sang along. I did this a few times until I had it the way I wanted then listened to what I had. On the recording, I could hear the soft notes of the guitar and my horrible, whispery voice.

Suddenly, I began to hear people howling like dogs. I shut the machine off and rewound it. Again, I could hear my feeble attempt at singing and then a chorus of people howling. It sounded as if they were making fun of my lack of musical talent. I was completely embarrassed and decided to wait until later to record my songs when I was completely alone. It did not hit me until later that the hallways and other rooms were empty at that time and that, upon listening again, the howling was coming from INSIDE the room.

The room had, to some degree, the same effect on me as it did everyone else and it was easy to see that the mirror was causing it. When I had company I noticed people would shy away from it. They would sit as far from it as possible and glance toward it now and then as if to make sure it hadn't moved.

The mirror stood out and although I used it, I didn't like to. I tried to avoid looking at it whenever I came or went, which was nearly impossible since it was so big.

Once, after work was over for the day but the sun still shining bright, I was getting ready to go out. It was the weekend and I was to meet some friends nearby. I had showered and dressed and was about to leave when I remembered something I had left on the desk. Retrieving it, I went toward the door, quickly checking myself in the mirror. I stopped and looked again. I still have a hard time believing what I saw. There, in front of my own reflection, was the clear image of a human arm. It was tan and slightly dirty looking; stretched out as if to shake someone's hand. There was no body or blood or anything just an arm from the shoulder to the fingers.

I am unsure as to how long I stood there staring at it. A full 30 seconds at least, before it quickly faded away. It seemed as if I were in a trance the whole time, just looking at what should not be there. I couldn't move or even really comprehend what I was seeing. Once it was gone though I came to; feeling cold and as if I were going to faint. I bolted for the door.

Not quite sure what to make of all this, I met my friends feeling strange and confused, but said nothing. I needed more time to think about it. Soon after, the friend who had me in the choke hold was promoted and moved in with me. It took a week but he finally said what everyone else had been thinking. He told me he couldn't stand the mirror and refused to stay another night in the room if it was not removed from the wall. He couldn't pinpoint one exact thing, but said the mirror exuded a strong sense of well...evil.

Hearing this, I blurted out my own story about what I had seen and we both agreed to do something. There really wasn't any place to store the thing and when we tried to toss it out, we were told by an anal superior we couldn't dispose of government property without proper permission and to put it back in the room (yes, he kept checking to see if we did). So we took it off the wall, wrapped it in a heavy blanket, and placed it behind the refrigerator with the glass facing the wall. This sounds silly, but it worked.

After that, there were no more bad dreams or fights to deal with and things were noticeably better. It was as if someone had turned on a switch and all the darkness fell away.

We had one more room inspection before leaving Okinawa and returning to the States so we cleaned everything up, but forgot to place the mirror back on the wall. The officer giving the inspection was a friendly, easy-going lieutenant and he gave us only one bad mark. The wrapped up mirror behind our fridge.

When he asked why it was like that, my roommate, much to my embarrassment, told him the whole story. The lieutenant listened, nodded, and then ordered us to unwrap the mirror. He looked at it, nodded again, crossed off the one bad mark he had written down, and said, "Wrap it back up. It looks better that way".

We did just that, leaving it covered up for the next tenants to find.

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

moon-gang (1 stories) (9 posts)
6 years ago (2016-02-07)
Thank you sooo much for your service! And, that sounds fairly creepy. They say that mirrors are portal that spirits use to enter the human world, I guess this story proves it.
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
7 years ago (2015-02-14)
Thanks for the comments, notjustme. It was a very weird room and it happened years ago but I remember it like it happened yesterday. As I've posted, a friend said they shut the building down. I'm not sure if the mirror is there anymore or not, but I'm hoping someone got rid of it.Again, thanks for commenting and I'm glad you enjoyed my tale.
notjustme (19 stories) (852 posts)
7 years ago (2015-02-09)
Great story! I wonder what happened to that mirror, and I wonder what would have happened if you broke it?...something like should not be kept there for the safety of the people. Glad you guys came out okay.
SoThereIWas (1 posts)
9 years ago (2013-11-24)
Semper Fi! Awesome story. I would have cover the mirror with a cool poster or something like that.
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
11 years ago (2011-06-07)
Thanks for the comments, luce! I have to agree that the room was pretty creepy and I've never seen anything like what I saw in the mirror since then. I'm glad you were able to enjoy the story and appreciate the kind words you have for my telling it.
luce (2 stories) (44 posts)
11 years ago (2011-05-26)
That was so creepy. I must admit, I found it creepier than the Barn House story you wrote though.

You're an awesome story teller.
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
11 years ago (2010-12-05)
Recently an old Marine buddy of mine wrote to say this building has been condemned and now has broken windows and trash in it. I've always hoped I'd hear from others who had stayed in that room after me so I could compare stories.
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
12 years ago (2010-05-01)
Vulcan 10, getting rid of government property in the Marine Corps is harder than you might imagine (especially after you've been denied to do it in the first place). As for the recordings, if I do have them, they're somewhere in my parent's basement and on cassette. The basement flooded not long ago but I think the cassette is still there. If I can find it I'll put it on... Although there is nothing eerie about it.

DannyBruise, we never knew where the mirror came from. It was just there when I got the room. Still, it was large and heavy and didn't fit in with the rest of the things there (military issue). I've recently come in contact with an old Marine buddy who was there last year and said the building is empty and will be razed soon.
DannyBruise (9 stories) (125 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-15)
That sounds like a bad nickle you can't get rid of... Pardon the pun.
But the reality is, there are objects that have a long history of negative energy. What comes to mind is the movie Rosemary's baby... Angel Heart... Curse of the Hope Diamond... And the list goes on.
Did you ever learn where this mirror came from in reality?
vulcan10 (5 stories) (332 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-03)
Why didn't you just get rid of the mirror, or accidently break the mirror thus requiring its discarding? That seems to be the most logical move after first realizing that it was the source. And if you actually have the recordings, put them on here.
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
12 years ago (2010-02-24)

Thanks for reading the story and for the information you provided me concerning mirrors. I do admit I've been to a few homes in Okinawa, Japan, and even China and cannot recall seeing even one mirror out in the open the way we sometimes have them here.

As for why the wrapping worked, I have no idea. I personally had no knowledge of paranormal cures and only did it because my friend demanded it.

I'll certainly read up on the interesting things you sent my way and see if they might help me understand that experience.

Again, thanks for reading and commenting!
Zander (7 stories) (138 posts)
12 years ago (2010-02-23)

Did you visit many Okinawans at their homes while you were stationed, there?

I'm asking because I would wager that if you saw their bedrooms, you saw NO MIRROR in them. It is a sort of pan-Eastern idea, as I understand it, that it is bad juju, period, to have a mirror in a bed room--especially facing a bed. This is said to cause trouble with love, frienship and to act as a "sha" mirror at night when little or no light is reflecting on it. If you look into Feng Shui, you'll see more about this tradition and the rationale behind it, if you're interested.

I was fascinated that your wrapping the mirror did the trick. When I mentioned that you would see no mirror in a bedroom in a home in the Orient, it does not necessarily mean that there is not one in there. Orinarilly, the mirror in a bedroom will be on the inside of a closet door which closes. So, it seems to me that you two did the exactly right, ingenious thing, given the circumstances and locale. I'm glad that inspector didn't give you a problem about it in the end. Cool.
Mr_Burnz (3 stories) (69 posts)
13 years ago (2009-06-09)
Well first off SEMPER FI! I'm actually about to leave from here in a couple of months, and only wish I had something like this to remember this place by haha. Which barracks were you at? I'm actually on Futenma, but I have friends ob Butler and Foster.

Second... I haven't read the comments so and answered questions. I'm just going to wing it... Man that was quite a story! Being a strong believer in the paranormal, Maybe it had a spirit caught inside it or possibly multiple ones. And the fights sound just like what still goes on today haha. Fights over nothing or being too drunk.

Thanks for commenting on my story by the way. I'll read your others as well. Haha, I'm actually on chow break over here right now, and STILL at work (yeah it's boring here on this base). It's been like 8 months since I've been on this site, and it's daylight outside and I still get chills reading all these cool stories;) Take It Easy Man.

girlie (15 stories) (426 posts)
13 years ago (2009-06-08)
Hello, you really should try to look into the history of the room. Thats sadly all I have for you. Have a nice day.
Carpediem (2 stories) (10 posts)
13 years ago (2009-04-26)
Hey troyarn,
I apologize that this is not relevant to your story but if you could read and reply to my comment concerning your post to Prep School Ghost In Rome it would be appreciated.
Ramzey (9 stories) (130 posts)
13 years ago (2009-02-19)
Hey, this is a very interesting story. Seems as if the mirror carries some bad energy with it, eh? Maybe it's had so much energy within/around it, that it captured some. The evp you caught, wow, cool evidence of what's out there. Sorry I was a bit rude to you... The night I went out by myself, I got no cool pictures, guess that's why it slapped my camera away. Anyways, cool stories you have, keep writing 'em, thanks!
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
13 years ago (2009-02-18)
Jennus, I never met anyone who went there after I left, but the barracks was used by a few of my friends before I ended up there. They said it was a strange place, but never did tell me anything specific. As for the room, no one EVER told me about it and I never heard about it afterward.
JennusDemenus (1 stories) (7 posts)
13 years ago (2009-02-18)
Did you ever find out if it had the same effects on the future occupants of that room?
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
13 years ago (2009-02-18)
hazzardsyndrome, I was happy you enjoyed the story so much! It happened years ago but I can still remember vividly what I saw.

Ramzey, thank you also for your comments. I do have a few more stories I hope to post sometime soon and hope you like them as much as you did this one.
hazzardsyndrome (10 stories) (121 posts)
13 years ago (2009-02-17)
such a cool story, I really enjoyed it. Really chilling. I think this has to be one of my favourite stories
Thanks for sharing
Take care
Ramzey (9 stories) (130 posts)
13 years ago (2009-02-17)
hey, you commented on my story, the way I seek 'em, just letting you know there are 2 photos there, I didn't even waste my time reading your story since you had to write something rude to me. Geez. People and their criticism. Does you no good whatsoever and you know it. 😐
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
13 years ago (2009-02-04)

I'm glad you liked my story and I enjoyed yours as well. That IS a freaky island, isn't it? I did see many small shrines and other burial things throughout the base (the Americans were not allowed to move them when building) and we did have one just down the hill from the barracks I lived in.
Still, I doubt the shrine had anything to do with my story.
Again, thanks for telling us your own adventure (voices in a tomb? I'd be out of there fast too!).
phunkyd (2 stories) (7 posts)
13 years ago (2009-02-03)
Ah Okinawa, such a place! I can tell you, more than likely the mirror was simply magnifying the incredible intensive paranormal aspect of the island. Being based on Foster as a teenager, I did a lot of walking around the various bases with friends, looking for good places to hide from older siblings and sneak smokes. Behind the house I lived in was a big hill that was clear cut on our side and overgrown on the other. Friends and I loved to hang out on the overgrown side until the day that I stepped through the roof of an ancient turtleback tomb. This tomb was older than any of the others we saw dotting the hills around the bases, this on was almost completely overgrown with trees growing out of it. We managed to scrape away the earth surrounding the hatch that serves as the door, and stopped. There were voices coming from INSIDE the tomb. That was it for me, I had had enough phantom noises and shapes in my house, I was not about to bring anything else home. My friend was not happy that I was chickening out, and she continued to try to get in the tomb as I went home. A few weeks went by, and she invited me over to hang out while she wait for workers to finish fixing the floor in het kitchen. The workers were hired Japanese, and were there for about 20 minutes before the head worker asked my friend when her mother would be home. We asked why he wanted to know, and he told us that an unhappy ghost was in the house, and his workers would not continue to work. We walked with him to the back yard to find all of his workers, grown men mind you, white as sheets and ready to run. That was the begining of a very interesting summer. I had experieinces all over that island. From the beach on Courtney to the hospital on Lester, I had experiences everywhere. So it does not surprise me that a mirror placed in a sensitive location could issue such a bad vibe. Great story and thank you for your service to this great country of ours. ❤
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
13 years ago (2009-02-03)

Your thanks for my service is very much appreciated. As for the haunting, I really do not know what to think. It was a tense place and certainly the mirror was a major factor in it all.


Thank you as well for mentioning my service. At the time, being in the military was NOT the cool thing to do and certainly we were not called heroes or anything.

And thanks for the compliment on my writing. All I submit is true, but I do like to take the time to make the story readable.

I have maybe two or three more to share and hope others will be able to enjoy them as well.
JamesRobiscoe (419 posts)
13 years ago (2009-02-03)
troyarn--One helluva good story. You have a good writing fluency, and it struck me I recognized your name. Sho'nuff, other stories by you are in my favorites.
As Devious Angel has stated, this citizen salutes you for your service. And thanks for putting your experiences into words.
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
13 years ago (2009-02-01)

Thanks for the information. As I said, I am no pro at knowing many things paranormal (although I am very interested in it).
Things that you and others suggest might make it easier for me to shed light on events that have happened to me before.

Again, thanks for the info and as for the battle... Keep rolling strong! 😁
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
13 years ago (2009-01-31)
Troy some believe that mirrors function as portals through which spirits are reflected. Covering the mirror blocks the portal and thus traps the spirits in it. That is why a broken mirror is considered "bad luck" because if it's broken, it releases the spirits into our own realm.

I've been reading a lot about mirrors and although most of it rings "superstition" to me, I HAVE to admit that the reason I began my own search was the fact that I experienced a few very inexplicable things while possessing a very old antigue mirror.

Sometimes reading through various articles that deal with the historical and cultural practices of different people one comes to realise that certain beliefs and testimonies that seem to withstand time might be hiding much more than mere superstition in them.

It's the skeptic part of me that constantly battles against what I have seen with my own eyes and could not for the life of me explain away that I need to reconcile with my more instinctual self.

The "battle" is ongoing... 😊
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
13 years ago (2009-01-30)
I don't know enough about specific hauntings to give much of an opinion, but there was something wrong in that room. As for the mirror, it did give off a bad vibe and I did quickly see that one arm. Perhaps a spirit was merely using the mirror to show itself? All I know is that it scared the heck out of me and the room caused all kinds of tension with my friends and I. Maybe I'll look into objects being possessed sometime.

Jmak, I had to laugh when you said I should have wrapped it up and sent it to my superior. Man, had I thought of that...
And Semper Fi!

Scaryboy, I'm glad you were able to enjoy the story. I don't have as many as others here, but I have posted a few others and will see if I can get around to the few more I have left.

Rhodes68, It's great to hear from you as well! I know it's been some time, but I have been reading lots on this site.

As far as seances, I vaguely remember one friend suggesting one, but AFTER people were getting freaked out by the mirror (and I am unsure if they ever did... I wouldn't have let them at the time).

I wouldn't be surprised if someone who had the room before me did that, though.

And again, I have no idea as to why all this happened. I always kind of wondered why the events stopped after we wrapped it up...shouldn't they have been able to continue if it was the mirror? Or does a mirror have to be able to reflect to have any power? I simply do not know enough to say one way or the other.

Thanks again for your comments and insight. It makes me wonder more about the whole thing. And have a great weekend!
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
13 years ago (2009-01-29)
Troy! Am I happy to see you again!... Well "see" is not so accurate but you know what I mean 😊.

That was a fascinating and yet disturbing experience you had at Camp Butler!

Although one would assume that a place with so much history and one that has suffered so much devastation could not BUT withhold the echoes of the past, I tend to believe, along with many others, that the mirror played a very important role in the encounter itself. Good choice to cover it up.

But there's one little thing that still remains unanswered although I doubt you may be able to answer it-you probably wouldn't know...

Mirrors are seen as portals through which spirits enter our realm. I had one of those once but there are some people who insist that unless somebody "summons" the spirits (through an Ouija seession) and gives them permission to do so, the mirror remains inactive-just a "liveless object".

My point is, could that be the case your mirror was so "full of life"? Had you heard back then of any seances being performed?

DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
13 years ago (2009-01-29)
Hello troyarn. Firstly, thank you so much for your service. ❤

It really sounds like there was a spirit or multiple spirits attached to that mirror. I'm not sure if it might have been residual energy from all the tension that naturally comes up in any military environment (with which I'm sure you're quite familiar) or if it was really an intelligent haunting. The wolf noises those voices were making makes me think intelligent haunting, but other things like the disembodied arm and feelings of oppression point toward residual. Maybe it was both?

Anyway, thanks for sharing your story!


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