Two ghosts have been reported at this former World War Two airbase. A pilot who crash landed runs down the runway with his clothes on fire, while an engineer who lost his arm in machinery staggers around screaming. A ghostly rendition of the Missouri Waltz is also reported.
Over the years there have been many sightings and reports of ghost airmen, phantom bombers, laughing ground crew and low flying ghost ghost fighter planes. Have a look through this list of recorded and reported sighting of ghostly figures and happenings on and around British WWII airfields, museums and factories….
Location: Albrighton – Cosford Aerospace Museum Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Unknown Further Comments: The last remaining Avro Lincoln Bomber situated here is said to be haunted by a pilot seen in the cockpit, while a tape recorder left on board overnight picked up the sounds of a busy airport, though the hanger and the area were devoid of life.
Location: Ansty – Ansty Aerodrome Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1996, 19:00h Further Comments: A figure wearing a Second World War pilot’s suit walked past one witness as he stood by a photocopier. The figure then passed through a pair of closed doors leading outside and disappeared in a field. The pilot is rumoured to be a Polish airman who hanged himself.
Location: Barnoldswick – Area near Rolls Royce’s Bankfield factory, and area towards Craven Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: January 2004 Further Comments: Around thirty witnesses claimed to have seen a silent, grey coloured aircraft resembling a Lancaster Bomber moving silently through the sky. The accounts were virtually all isolated, and spanned the month.
Location: Barton under Needwood – Former RAF Tatenhill, now a business park Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 2008 – 2010 Further Comments: A witness who works on the site has reported the smell of old aftershave in the corner of a warehouse which is only detectible at 20:30h, and the sounds of young men in disused buildings.
Location: Bassingbourne – Former RAF Bassingbourne Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1960s and 2004 Further Comments: There were a handful of reports of a phantom aircrew made during the 1960s, at this base once used by the USAAF. More recently, a man who lived on the site of the former airfield reported seeing a pair of legs in dress uniform which manifested in his home, and the sounds of aircraft starting up.
Location: Belsay – A696, just outside of village Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: August 2015 Further Comments: Media outlets reported that Rob Davies and Chris Felton had filmed a figure which resembled a ‘RAF pilot’ standing on the roadside late at night. Although the footage was poor, the witnesses said the figure was dressed all in beige and held his arm out as if hitchhiking. When they turned the car around and drove back for another look, the figure had vanished.
Location: Biggin Hill – Biggin Hill Airport & village Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 19 January (spitfire) (reoccurring) Further Comments: Observed flying overhead, and sometimes heard, a phantom Spitfire haunts the skies of Biggin Hill – January would appear to have become its favourite haunting month. Airmen dressed in trench coats have been reported in the village; they stop people and ask directions before disappearing.
Location: Binbrook – Former Binbrooke RAF Base Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Twentieth century Further Comments: The nickname given to an Australian worker on the base who blew himself up trying to sabotage a Lancaster bomber during World War Two was maybe a bit too unkind, and he was seen for years after his death walking around on the perimeter road. A ghostly NCO also made a comeback at the former base. Sergeant Sinclair was in charge of loading bombs onto the aircraft here during the Second World War; a mistake caused a bomber to explode on take off, killing Sinclair while he was trying to flag the aircraft down to alert them to the error. For a short while his ghost was seen on the runway, arms waving wildly in the air.
Three Airmen Playing Squash
Location: Bircham Newton – Wartime Airfield (owned by Construction Industry Training Board) Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1940s onwards Further Comments: Many ghosts are said to exist here, mostly coming into being during World War Two. During the war, a car full of ‘merry’ (ie, very drunk) pilots crashed into a hanger, killing the driver and all the passengers; the scene is now re-enacted at irregular periods. Another group of ghosts were called into being when a bomber that crashed on the landing strip lost three of its crew – they now return to play their favourite racquet game! The sound of a squash ball echoing in the deserted building, and that of soft footfalls are more common than seeing the airmen, though one man in officer’s clothing has been seen a few times.
Man in Flying Kit
Location: Bitteswell – Asda distribution warehouse, Magna Park (site of former airbase) Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 2000s Further Comments: The warehouse was constructed at the end of the runway at Bitteswell. It is reported that in the toilets is a permanent stain on the floor in the shape of a man, and an airman in flying kit has been repeatedly seen in there.
Location: Bletchley – RAF Bletchley Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1950s (trolley lady), 2008 disembodied voice heard Further Comments: Throughout the 1950s, patients would report a ghostly woman in a green apron pushing a trolley through the sick quarters, disappearing through a door. In 2008, during a visit to Bletchley Park, four visitors sitting in a car heard a disembodied voice giving instructions to fill in log sheets.
Location: Boscombe Down – RAF base Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1947 Further Comments: A pilot killed when his new aircraft crashed into the sea was heard walking about his hut at night, his wet footfalls slopping on the floor.
Location: Bottesford – World War Two Airfield Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Twentieth century Further Comments: It is thought that the sound of droning sometimes reported over the former airbase is that of a Manchester bomber – a high loss ratio ensured that these aircraft were later replaced with Lancasters. A phantom light source has also been reported moving in the tower, and a pilot in full kit was seen once.
Location: Bridgend – RAF Stormy Down (abandoned) Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: June 2005 (man and son encounter), 08 April 2012 (photograph) Further Comments: A man and his twelve year old son watched a hazy figure dressed in a World War Two uniform walking towards them, even though the figure did not appear to actually move closer. The uniformed man then reached down to the ground as if to pick something up and slowly faded away. Other people have seen an airman near the former Hanger One, and have also heard an air raid siren. A photograph taken in 2012 is said to show a phantom figure.
Location: Burn – Wheatsheaf public house Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Unknown, but said to be most likely to appear on Mothers Day Further Comments: This pub is said to be home to a phantom airman wearing a great coat, most likely to be seen on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
Pipe Smoking Man
Location: Burscough – Burscough airfield Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Circa 1950s / 1960s? Further Comments: When farmers worked the land where a WW2 airfield once stood, it was reported that they would occasionally be approached by a young man smoking a pipe. This figure would wish them a good evening before vanishing. It was said that this ghost was once a pilot who worked here, though no one can be quite sure of his true past.
Location: Burtonwood – Old airfield Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Twentieth century Further Comments: An airman has been observed standing around with no head – it is thought that he was decapitated as he tried to bail prior to crash landing.
Location: Buxton – Skies above Harpur Hill area Type: UFO Date / Time: 1973 – 1974 Further Comments: A phantom helicopter was reported flying around the area at night several times over a two year period. Press and police were unable to discover who or what was behind the mysterious craft.
Second World War Pilot
Location: Cambridge – Cambridge Airport Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Late twentieth century Further Comments: A number of buildings on this site have reports of phantom pilots in their flying gear or RAF uniforms. Sounds of footsteps in empty areas are not uncommon, and there is also a story of ghostly singing.
Location: Cannock – Skies over private area Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 2000, 22:00h Further Comments: A man sitting in his living room at home heard an old fashioned aircraft approaching. The sound grew louder and louder, finally deafening and items within the house began to shake. The man went out to investigate, and found other people outside trying to spot the aircraft. Despite the weather being clear, no one could see the aircraft, although one old man was convinced that the sound was of a wellington bomber.
Location: Chalvington with Ripe – Ripe Lane, heading towards village Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1987 Further Comments: This pilot is said to have died during the Second World War when his aircraft crashed near the village. He now makes the occasional appearance in the field where he died. He was last seen by a woman driving towards the village.
Location: Church Broughton – Skies over old air force base Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Late 1970s Further Comments: A bomber thought to be from the Second World War has been observed moving silently over the skies in this area.
Location: Cirencester – Queen Anne’s Column, in the park Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: June 1999 Further Comments: Standing against the monument, this young man has been known to talk to members of the public, only to vanish after his first sentence.
Three Pilots with Pale Faces
Location: Clacton-on-Sea – Disused sandpit and spinney Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation Date / Time: 1953 Further Comments: Seen by two children, the three pilots are believed to be German, the sandpit being a crash site for a Messerschmitt 110 shot down during World War 2. The area is currently a car park for a nearby factory.
Location: Cropwell Bishop – Skies over village Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 2004 Further Comments: Looking out from their kitchen window, two witnesses watched a large grey aircraft pass silently overhead. As the aircraft was low, the witnesses thought it was going to crash, and stepped outside to investigate, although nothing could be heard. They later found out that a bomber had crashed nearby during the Second World War.
Location: Darlington – Teesside International Airport Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Late twentieth century Further Comments: Mynarski was awarded the VC for trying to save a rear gunner when the bomber they were in caught fire. His ghost dressed in flying kit has been seen around the airport’s hotel.
Location: Derry – City of Derry Airport (formally Eglinton air base) Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 2000s Further Comments: Staff have reported seeing figures dressed in World War Two clothing around the airport.
Officer on Bike
Location: Digby – RAF Digby Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Post World War Two Further Comments: Cycling along on an old bike, this phantom RAF officer once stopped and asked two guards for the control tower to be opened for him. When they agreed, the officer vanished. On other occasions, lights were reported moving around the control tower, though it would be locked and empty.
Aircraft of the Future
Location: Drem – Drem Airfield Type: Environmental Manifestation Date / Time: 1934 Further Comments: A lost pilot recalled flying over disused airfield in the 1930s and saw it operational, with yellow RAF aircraft on the ground – these did not exist at the time. He checked later on and found the airfield was really unused. A few years later, the airfield was reopened for training purposes, and aircraft based there painted yellow.
Location: Duxford – Imperial War Museum Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Late twentieth century Further Comments: The control tower is haunted by crew from a B17 which hit the building while attempting a landing. Other witnesses report hearing the sound of aircraft flying low overhead, though nothing can be seen, while hanger 5 is another paranormal hotspot.
Location: East Cowes – Skies above area Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Twentieth century Further Comments: Seen parachuting down from the skies, this decapitated airman is thought to date from the Second World War.
Location: East Kirkby – East Kirkby Watch Tower (now a aviation heritage centre) Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Late twentieth century Further Comments: This USAAF officer has been seen several times in the old watch tower. He is thought to have been killed when a Flying Fortress crash landed near the site in 1944. The same figure is thought to have been seen on the runway – dragging his parachute behind him, he slowly moves towards the control tower.
Location: Elsham Wold – Former RAF base and flight tower (no longer standing) Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1940s / 1950s Further Comments: A family living in the tower after the war reported hearing Morse messages being tapped out, seeing pilots dressed in flying gear, and even once watching a large aeroplane taking off from the disused runway, baring the code letters PM.
Location: Felixstowe – Crossroads controlled by lights Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Unknown Further Comments: For several days, a car driver found himself giving a lift to a World War 2 pilot, who would suddenly appear in the back seat of his car when he reached a certain point of his journey. This stopped once the driver started taking a different route.
Location: Fiskerton – Former RAF Fiskerton control tower (no longer standing) Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Post World War Two Further Comments: Left empty a few years after the war, locals reported still hearing voices coming from the control tower. Figures in RAF uniform were also reported in the area, as were men dressed in aircrew gear. An inter-denominational prayer team visited the site in 2006, and no reports of haunting activity has been reported since.
Tail End Charlie
Location: Fradley – Former RAF Lichfield Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Twentieth century Further Comments: The headless rear gunner that haunts this area walked into the propellers of a Lancaster – whether it was an accident or suicide we’ll never know.
Location: Grangemouth – Inchyra Road, site of former RAF airport Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Post Second World War Further Comments: A phantom pilot dressed in his RAF clothing has been reported haunting the site of his old base.
Location: Grantham – Old RAF Spitalgate, now Royal Corps of Transport base? Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Late 1970s onwards Further Comments: Joe ‘Tiny’ Harris, a former telephone operator during the Second World War, has been seen standing in the shadows, heard walking down corridors, and is blamed for flicking lights on and off.
Location: Gravesend – Private house on the River View Park estate Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Late twentieth century Further Comments: The site of a former RAF base, investigators belief that the pilot was shot down whilst on a bombing run over the area.
Location: Great Driffield – Driffield RAF base Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Post World War Two Further Comments: A pilot who bailed from his aircraft above the airfield landed on the tower while in a controlled descent, though died falling from the tower onto the ground. His shade has been seen slowly parachuting onto the building.
Airman with Hand Grenade
Location: Grimsby – Former RAF Waltham (aka RAF Grimsby) Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1982 Further Comments: Several former pilots walk this old RAF base, both along the aging airstrips and the perimeter road. One of the ghosts that has chosen the perimeter to haunt is said to have blown himself up with a grenade after being declared unfit to fly. Another spirit has appeared by the memorial laid for the Number 100 squadron.
Headless Airman wanting Lift
Location: Hadstock – The B1052 leading into Hadstock Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Unknown Further Comments: After losing his head in a flying accident, the apparition of an American pilot has been seen thumbing a lift on the roadside.
Location: Harrington – Road leading to Lamport Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Twentieth century Further Comments: Heading towards an old USAAF airfield, this car full of military personnel slowly fades from view as travels the road.
Location: Haverfordwest – Unnamed house in RAF Brawdy Type: Poltergeist Date / Time: Twentieth century Further Comments: A family living in a semidetached house were kept awake for several nights by loud knocks coming from their neighbour’s home. One night the sounds were incredibly loud, so the following morning they went next door to complain, only to find their neighbour now arriving home after spending the evening away. Upon investigation, it was discovered that all the furnishings in the house were moved around, though no money or credit cards were stolen. The RAF took the case so seriously they called in a bomb squad to ensure that an explosive device hadn’t been planted by the mysterious intruder.
Location: Hawkinge – Skies over the area Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Unknown Further Comments: Sounding like it belongs to a World War 2 aircraft, the engine has been heard in the skies, but nothing ever seen. One witness claimed it sounded like a doodlebug – a World War 2 German rocket. Another witness has seen a ghostly figure strung up in a parachute that is currently on display.
Location: Hayward’s Heath – Rocky lane Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1995, 13:15h Further Comments: Driving home for lunch, this witness watched a large aircraft, similar to a World War Two bomber, pass overhead and descend towards a railway line. The witness thought the craft had crashed, so climbed out of the car and ran over to a brick wall which had obscured the view of the falling aircraft. There was nothing there, and then the witness realised the aircraft had been completely silent as it passed above.
Pilot on Fire
Location: Hemswell – RAF Hemswell Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Unknown Further Comments: Two ghosts have been reported at this former World War Two airbase. A pilot who crash landed runs down the runway with his clothes on fire, while an engineer who lost his arm in machinery staggers around screaming. A ghostly rendition of the Missouri Waltz is also reported.
Location: High Ercall – Former airbase Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Unknown Further Comments: Spoken about by locals, the ghost known as Henry, an USAF pilot in flying kit, is said to have ginger hair.
Location: Hockley – Woods Type: Other Date / Time: Summer 1973 Further Comments: A person called police after hearing a loud crash and screams for help in the woods, which they thought to be an aircraft crash. On investigation, nothing could be found.
Cigarette Smoking Man
Location: Honington – RAF Honington Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: June 1983 Further Comments: Two RAF police officers spotted a man dressed in Second World War flying kit smoking a cigarette between two barbed wire fences. They challenged the man, who turned away, walked through one of the fences, and faded away. A local story reports that a USAF bomber exploded on take off during the war, and one of the crew’s bodies was never found.
Location: Hope – Aston Lane, near the railway bridge, skies over Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: April 1995 Further Comments: Witness Tony Ingle watched a totally silent aircraft fly past him, a mere 15 meters above the ground, before it dived behind a hill. Expecting to find the crash site, Mr Ingle investigated but found nothing there.
Location: Hornchurch – Site of RAF Hornchurch (no longer operational) Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1970s Further Comments: One witness reported hearing schoolchildren playing on the site, although it was late at night, and seeing pilots walking around the area.
Location: Kelstern – Road leading to the former RAF Kelstern Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1983 Further Comments: The man dressed in an old RAF uniform tries to hitch a lift to the now ruined airbase. There are also reports of the sounds of an old aircraft in the skies and along the former runways.
Location: Kirton in Lindsey – Former RAF base Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Post World War Two (screaming), pilot spotted 1990-1995 Further Comments: The phantom screams of pain are thought to date from an air raid which killed many French pilots. One of these men has also been observed lurking by an old hanger, and may have been spotted during the early 1990s by two witnesses in the clubhouse.
Smoking RAF Pilot
Location: Lakenheath – Lakenheath Air Force Base, perimeter road Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation Date / Time: Spring 1951 Further Comments: A phantom hitchhiker was seen along the road, dressed as a RAF pilot. An American policeman picked him up, only to find that the pilot had disappeared a few minutes later.
Location: Lakenheath – Near Brandon Road Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1945 onwards Further Comments: Seen walking across the airfield on bright moonlit nights, the ghost here is believed to be that of an Australian pilot who died when his bomber crashed during World War 2.
Location: Langar – Former RAF base Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1973 and 1983 Further Comments: In 1978 one witness watched a man in a uniform walk down a set of steps. The figure smiled at the witness before walking through a wall. While driving away from the site in 1983, a director of a business operating from the former base thought he had hit a uniformed man that had appeared in front of his car. He stopped and looked for what he assumed was an injured person, but could find nothing. The same thing happened to him again a few weeks later.
Crash and US Airmen
Location: Langham – Apple Orchard, once the World War 2 airbase Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Late twentieth century Further Comments: The sound of a crashing aircraft has been reported amongst the trees, and misty figures dressed in US AAF uniform have been seen – always dissipating when approached. Screaming was once heard coming from one end of a former runway, though when the sound was investigated, nothing was found.
Location: Leeming – Former Airfield Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1950s onwards Further Comments: The crew from a bomber have been seen walking together here, and when not seen they have been heard laughing and joking.
Sounds of Action
Location: Lindholme – Former WW2 Air Force Base Type: Environmental Manifestation Date / Time: 1962 Further Comments: A witness recalled how he and a friend were walking across the deserted airfield at night, and seeing a strange light in the control tower. Both knowing that the building should have been empty, the illumination unnerved them slightly. As they passed by a hanger, they were suddenly surrounded by the sounds of activity – they could hear the hanger doors screeching open, the engines of aircraft starting up, and the patter of many pairs of feet running by them, though nothing could be seen.
Pete the Pole
Location: Lindholme – Former WW2 Air Force Base Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Reputed mid to late twentieth century, last confirmed sighting November 1957 Further Comments: A Polish airman who died when he crash-landed, ‘Pete the Pole’, aka ‘Lindholme Willie’, turned up at the airbase several times in the years following his death. Even when the former airbase was replaced by a prison in later years, the pilot reportedly turned up in prisoner’s cells. In 1957 a misty shape was seen walking along the runway before vanishing.
Location: Linton on Ouse – RAF Linton Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 1980s onwards Further Comments: A former pilot at the base, Hodgson’s ashes were scattered across the runway and a small plaque erected in the 1950s. When the memorial was moved thirty years later, a spectral pilot was seen several times around the control tower. The officer’s mess is also thought to be haunted, this time by a pilot who died in 1978 when his Provost crashed.
Location: Lissett – Former World War Two airfield Type: Crisis Manifestation Date / Time: 1940s Further Comments: This phantom bomber only made itself visible to a crew once inside their aircraft, if they were all going to die together.
Location: Little Walden – Little Walden Airfield, near Saffron Walden Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation Date / Time: November 1993 Further Comments: Fifty years after dying when his Mustang crash landed, Captain Scholz, dressed in his flying suit, appeared in the back seat of a car as it drove past the airfield. The apparition was only visible for a few seconds.
Thomas Campbell Black
Location: Liverpool – Liverpool Airport, formerly known as Speke Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Twentieth century Further Comments: Black died in an accident on the runway of the airfield in 1936 – his shadowy form has been seen walking around the area where the old hangers stood.
Location: Llandovery – Towy Valley, between Llandovery & Llandeilo Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Unknown Further Comments: A training zone for World War 2 crews, one assumes this phantom belongs to a group that didn’t make the grade.
Location: Llandow – RAF Llandow (disused) Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 18 August 2009 Further Comments: A father and his young son were walking along the misty runway at this disused airfield. They paused to drink tea, and noticed that there was a red flashing light on the control tower, just visible through the mist. The wind suddenly picked up, and as the mist cleared they both spotted the silhouette of a four engine Second World War bomber, moving silently, banking over the airfield.
Location: Llysfaen – Colwyn Bay area, skies over Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: Early 1980s Further Comments: A family on holiday in the area watched a World War Two bomber fly over the sea and vanish inland, diving behind a hill as if going to crash. They noticed there was no sound accompanying the aircraft.
Location: Longdendale Valley – Bleaklow Hill Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: May 2003 Further Comments: A wife and her husband camping here heard the droning of what they believed was an old wartime bomber coming in to land. They could not see anything, and the sound ceased without warning. When talking to the campsite owner the following morning he said they were not the first to report such sounds.
Location: Longdendale Valley – Entire area Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: March 1997 Further Comments: A dozen witnesses in different areas of the valley called emergency services after they watch an aircraft crash in the valley one spring night in 1997. A search of the area revealed no evidence of an accident, and locals blamed the ghost of a B29 that crashed just after World War 2. The captain of that aircraft is also said to walk the area in which he died. Other sources say the plane is a Skytrain transport or a F13 which crashed in 1946.
Two Former Airmen
Location: Maes Artro, Llanbedr – Former WW2 airbase Type: Haunting Manifestation Date / Time: 2000s Further Comments: A training base for fighter pilots during World War Two, a couple of the trainees have refused to go away post mortem, and are blamed for moving chairs and removing small items left laying around. The site has now been converted into a holiday village, with the majority of the original buildings destroyed.