Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Scary Ghosts

    Ghosts don’t scare me. Well, most ghosts don’t scare me. Most of the time I don’t realize they’re a ghost as most of them just look like regular people. Even the few times where I knew I was looking at a ghost I was not frightened, just fascinated as I tried to take in as much information as I could. Still, there are a couple of times where I was scared enough to run.

     The first one was classic. I had slipped into one of the huge three-story barracks to locate a mural I’d been told about. The barracks was essentially a large apartment building. The first floor was pitch black. The windows were all boarded up. I had a small flashlight, but the pure darkness engulfed the beam so I could only see what was in the light beam. I found the mural in the mess hall; a Cobra painted on the wall, and I snapped a few pictures. I figured where there was one mural there should be more so I searched the entire building. I love poking around abandoned places, there is a thrill of discovery, and the thrill of breaking the law makes it a unique experience.
I found nothing more to photograph. I returned carefully down stairs to the huge entry hall. I waited a moment by the doorway to listen for footsteps. The last thing I needed was to walk right into a cop. So I’m standing there in the pitch black and a voice comes from behind me.

     “Hey buddy.” A male voice said.

     I clicked on my light as I swung around. I was sure I was going to see a police officer standing there with a huge grin on his face. Instead the hallway was empty. The voice had come from less than a foot away. I bolted out of the door and ran all the way back to my truck.
Looking back I can still hear the voice. It sounded curious, like “Hey buddy, what are you doing here?” I had heard voices before, but it was in another building where I was on a well-lit floor. That time I heard two men yelling at each other on a floor below me. I had just come from that floor, and it was empty.

     The second scary ghost happened in the daylight.

     I had gone to East Garrison, which is the dark-side of the moon at Fort Ord, and parked my truck at the gate. I was with my friend, Mike, a former Army Ranger, and Navajo. Mike likes to run, and I don’t so what we do is plan to link up at a specific location within a window of time. He’ll run five miles in twenty minutes, and we decide to link up on a large road just opposite of the huge ammo bunkers just south of the Pre-Ranger site. It’s a two mile hike for me, but I like the challenge.

     I chugged my way up the road, into the trees, down into a slot canyon, and made the road in exactly twenty minutes. I was feeling like Superman. I waited for Mike…and waited…and waited. No problem; in our planning we had a secondary plan that if we didn’t link up at the appointed time we would return along a set course until we got back to the truck. I figured we’d bump into each other at some point on the way back.

     I began walking down the hill. I hear Mike call my name. I call out “Hooah!” the universal greeting of grunts everywhere. There is silence. Oh well, he knows where I am, and he’ll find me. I continue moving, and a short time later I here Mike call my name again. He sounds closer, but now I have moved down the ridge to a point where I my view into the canyon is obscured by the Manzanita that grows thick here. I yell Mike’s name, but there is no response. I yell “Hooah Ranger!” and suddenly there is the sound of radio communication. It sounded like someone had a police radio somewhere below me in the canyon. It seemed fairly close.

     The voice stopped. I shrug, and continue moving. Then I hear Mike call my name again. I stop and yell “Hooah Ranger” again. The radio chatter erupts from the canyon again. This time it sounds closer. Fuck this, I’m running. I take off at a good clip down a side trail that takes me into taller trees, and thick brush. I hear Mike call me again, and the radio chatter pipes up immediately. Now it seems to be coming from close by. Close enough I should see the source, but I don’t. The brush is so thick I should hear someone moving through it.

     The radio chatter is now following me.

     I’m running downhill along a narrowing trail, and the radio thing is keeping up with me just off to my left. I can hear someone relaying my position on this radio, and a voice responding ordering to stay with me. I pick my knees up and I run as fast as I can. The narrow trail finally broke out into a wide open space just about the BLM road. I got down to the road, and continued to run all the way to Barloy Canyon Road. The Radio chatter stopped somewhere on the way.

     I got back to my truck in record time. Mike joined me a few minutes later. I asked him why he didn't link up after he saw me. I told him I heard him call me, and he told me he had seen on the ridge, and called to me. He said he didn’t hear me call back. Then he saw me head down the ridge, so he figured he’d meet me back at the truck later. It asked him why he kept calling me.
He said he only called me once.

     I tell him I heard his voice calling me a couple of times. I tell him about the radio sounds, and how it followed me down the ridge. Mike shook his head. He didn't hear any of that. Driving back to Pacific Grove we discussed possible explanations. Maybe sound bouncing off of the fog. Maybe there was a SEAL team working in the area (SEALs still train at Fort Ord). We both agreed it wasn't a SEAL team as those guys just don’t make noise in the field. It is the only time I have ever felt fear when encountering the unknown.

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