The Ghosts Of Hawaii’s Camp Smith

Flickr / Dave Gingrich
Flickr / Dave Gingrich

After graduating high school I went right into the Marine Corps and became an Infantryman. I did one deployment to Afghanistan and one to Iraq. If you don’t re-enlist or have enough time left to deploy again with your unit, they send you to the Fleet Assistance Program (basically you do odd jobs around base). The majority of us were sent over to augment the Military Police.

I, along with a handful of my buddies, was sent up to a smaller post called Camp Smith. It was an old Naval Hospital built during the late 1930s that sits on a hill overlooking Pearl Harbor. Since the 30s, it was renovated as a command post for higher-ups. There’s a couple buildings and barracks. All the higher-ups come during the day and leave at night so really the only people around 24/7 are MPs.

During night shifts, you would perform a check of the main building before and after midnight — to make sure the building — and its interior rooms and vaults — are locked up. We usually did this with a partner. There were times we would check a wing lock the door and walk about 20 feet and hear it slam shut (this happened the most). It would be the only door behind us.

One night, we got to the medical wing which was supposed to be locked, but oddly enough, it wasn’t, so we had to lock it up behind us. My partner and I walked in and heard a medical machine beeping at the end of the hallway — no big deal — but when we got to the end, there was nothing, and now the beeping came from where we walked in. Kind of creepy, but we shrugged it off and locked up to continue the patrol.

You always had that feeling of people around you, watching you, but you were the only one in the building…and the only other Marines on base were the four by the MP building and front gate.

The time that stands out the most was when I had about two months left in the Marine Corps, so I would just pull my shifts and enjoy my off time. I was doing the rounds by myself since we were short staffed with guys at the range for a week. I used to go in for my rounds before midnight and check everything (nothing to report). This time, I headed in around 0230 for my second check. I was walking the halls on the second floor when I came to the main intersection of the two hallways. As soon as I stepped between the two paths, I felt a sharp pain on the left side of rib cage, almost like a runner’s cramp, when at the same time, a door slammed down the left hallway. I remember thinking, “Whatever, I have to head that way anyways to get to the first floor.” I walked down the hall and saw no one around, which didn’t explain the door.

Later, while finishing up the checks, I came to the same intersection in the hallways and I heard a loud whispered “HEY” or “STAY.” The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I turned around with one hand on my sidearm and flashed a light down the hall. I slowly walked back down that hall only to see all the lights off in all of the rooms and the doors locked. I had one thing left to check and that was the vaults in the basement. Thankfully, all was good and I walked out the back onto a catwalk heading towards the MP shack, which was about 200 yards away. About 10–15 feet out the door, I felt a heavy tug on my lower left side just above my duty belt. It was enough of a grip to get ahold of my camouflage blouse, the bullet proof vest underneath, and pull me back and to the left. I turned around to see if I was caught on something, only to realize there was absolutely nothing around, above, under me other than the ground. I didn’t know what to believe.

I got up to the MP building and I must’ve looked off because one of my buddies did a double take and asked me, “Are you alright?”

Not really being able to process what happened, I said, “Man, you know me right? I have no reason to lie to you, but something was talking to me in there and then I was grabbed.”

His jaw dropped and he didn’t even smirk to see if I was fucking with him.

There were a lot of weird experiences some of the actual MPs had up there as well in other parts of the camp and until I had those experiences up there (along with others now) I didn’t believe in this stuff either. TC mark

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