The Great Lakes Training Center Ghost
John M. Stewart, IL, USA
First off, I'm not a real ghost enthusiast. I've always had sort of an interest in the subject, but never took it too seriously. That is, until I had an actual ghost experience myself.
It happened back in the fall of '93. I had just joined the U.S. Navy and it was my forth or fifth week in boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Chicago IL.
I had pulled the 2:00 am shift of fire watch, which meant while everyone else in the compartment (Division 2) was asleep (about 80 men), I would walk around the compartment with a flashlight and keep an eye out for fires, etc. for about 2 hours at a time.
On this particular night, I was about an hour into my shift when I heard it first. From the back of the compartment I heard the sound of dog tags hitting the deck as if someone was doing push-ups. You see, in the Navy, when you do push-ups, you go down until the tags around your neck hit the floor, and it makes a very distinct sound. I even heard, very faintly, the sound of the person breathing heavily as they doing the push-ups.
Anyway, I started to walk towards the sound (about 40 or 50 feet away) to see who it was. I assumed it was one of my shipmates staying up late to prepare for a PT test or something. As I approached, the sounds were getting louder and louder until I got about 15 feet from it or so, then it suddenly stopped. I investigated all around where I heard the sound and found nothing but my shipmates sleeping soundly.
I thought it was a bit odd, but didn't pay it much mind until I went back to my post, logged it in my log book, and not 5 minutes later I heard it again.
This time I ran to the back of the compartment to catch who it was, but by the time I got halfway there, it had stopped again. I investigated again and again found nothing.
Ok. This was starting to feel a little strange so I called down to the Quarter Deck for the O.O.D.(Officer On Duty) and told him what I was hearing and that we may have an unauthorized person in our compartment. I went back to my post and waited for him for him.
He arrived a few minutes later and I told him about hearing it again. He didn't seem to take it very seriously, but was a little intrigued, so he hung out with me for a few minutes to see if we could hear it again.
After about 10 minutes or so, he was getting ready to go back to the Quarter Deck when the sounds started again. We both literally froze in our tracks and turned to start heading towards the sounds again. This time, we were very quiet, almost tip-toeing, but again, by the time we got within 20 feet or so, it stopped again.
Well, at this point, we didn't really know what to do so we called the S.P. (Shore Patrol) to come and investigate.
We waited around for a little while until they got there. When they did, the senior S.P. didn't seem very impressed with the story we told him. He went on to say that he'd heard the same story from other recruits who've stayed in that particular compartment before. He said it was an old story and that he never really believed in it, and pretty much blew it off and left.
I didn't hear the sound any more for the rest of the night, finished my shift, and went to bed (a little unnerved).
The next day I told my Company Commander about the incident and he started telling me the he too had heard the story before and he heard it was the ghost of a young recruit who had hung himself in the rear of the compartment back in the fifties.
I have no idea if this was the case. All I know is what I heard when EVERY one else in the compartment was dead asleep, and that I didn't imagine it because the O.O.D. heard it too.