Wars are full of inspiring stories and tales that defy the odds. They are also the best place for creepy stories that will keep you up in the dark midnight hours.
World War II is no different and offers many stories of the darker side of human nature, as well as of unexplained phenomena for years after the war’s end.
The missing children
During the war, Switzerland did its best to remain neutral, but was sought after by both the Allied and Axis powers. When Germany initiated acts of aggression against the country, the United Kingdom sent reinforcements. That was how one British company found themselves stationed in a remote village in the Swiss Alps.
A few weeks after the British company had entered the village, the locals started to notice a series of strange incidents.
Pieces of wood and tarps disappeared from sheds. Valuables were stolen from their homes. The culmination of these events was a child from the village going missing. At first, it was assumed that the disappearance was a tragic accident, but then more children disappeared.
The only adult to disappear was Private Reginald from the British unit. He went missing from the barracks and this led to a rumor that a monster was living in the mountains and preying on the village. After Private Reginald, more children disappeared.
One night a figure was seen peering through the window of a house as the soldiers patrolled the town.
The soldiers yelled at the figure, which took off. They gave chase, reaching the edge of the village where the figure appeared to jump into the ground. The soldiers found a cave hollowed out of the side of a snowdrift.
Shots were fired from the cave and returned by the soldiers. After moments of silence, they investigated the cave further. Inside they found Reginald shot through the heart–and surrounded by the half-eaten bodies of seven children.
The Japanese cannibals
Cannibalism during war has happened throughout history. In most cases, it occurred due to dwindling supplies and a need for survival. For Indian prisoners of war held by Japanese forces in New Guinea and Singapore, however, this was the culmination of their torture.
According to testimonies from POWs for the war crimes investigations commissions, cannibalism was conducted under supervision.
Two testimonies state that nineteen prisoners were eaten by their Japanese captives. The reason was not survival, but the simple fact that they could.
The testimonies state that certain parts were removed from the body and cooked including the thighs, liver, and buttocks. There were times when the prisoners were dead when this happened, and others where they were still alive.
Many people saw ghost planes during and after the war. Fighter aircraft would appear and disappear without a trace. One such sighting occurred a year after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
When the United States Army’s radar started to pick up the signal of an incoming plane, a few pilots were sent out to investigate. They returned with an amazing story: they had seen a plane, but it was an American P-40 that looked like it had been through a battle.
The plane was said to be covered in bullet holes with the landing gear missing and the pilot bloody. The pilots had seen the plane suddenly crash as if it had just dropped out of the sky. They went to investigate the crash site only to find the plane with no pilot.
The L-8 blimp mystery
Ghost planes are not the only aircraft linked to strange happenings in the war. An L-8 blimp which took off from Treasure Island in 1942 has its own mystery. The blimp was on a submarine-spotting mission and crewed by two men. It was a simple mission, but an hour and a half into the patrol the pilot radioed that they were investigating a possible oil slick in the water.
That was the last transmission to come from the L-8. Later that day, the blimp was seen drifting over the coast and was starting to sag in the middle. The flight of the L-8 ended when it crashed into a house in Daly City.
The rescue team sent to the crash site found something strange. The doors to the cabin were open and the crew was missing. Everything was in its correct place and no emergency gear had been used. The crewmen had simply disappeared, and were never found.
The Diplomat Hotel
The Diplomat Hotel in the Philippines is a prime spot for ghost hunters, with banging and screams being heard in the middle of the night. The terror seen in this building occurred when the Japanese invaded the Philippines. The building was once a monastery and the invading forces beheaded all of the nuns and clergy when they took the city.
The monastery was turned into a sanatorium for the remainder of the war. After the war, the use of the building changed again as it became a hotel. Guests of the hotel often reported seeing black figures, and women in white.
The Normandy ghosts
Normandy has a number of sites from WWII that can be visited today. One father decided to do this with his 7-year-old daughter. While in France, nothing strange occurred, but in the year after the visit, his daughter often spoke of men and other things that she saw while there.
She described men pointing guns at her and following her while they toured the bunkers in the area. She described them as hiding behind corners and moving around like soldiers would.
While this could normally be written off as an active imagination, she was able to perfectly describe the uniforms of both sides of the conflict.
The SS Alkimos
The SS Alkimos was an American ship where strange accidents happened. The ship was built for use in the war and sold to Norway, which used it to transport weapons. In 1944, a radio operator was killed by one of the crew who then shot himself.
The death was covered up and the radio operator was claimed to have been killed by enemy fire.
Following the war, the ship was sold to a Greek shipping company. In 1963, the ship crashed into a reef, and then caught fire while in Fremantle for repairs. The ship had barely left Fremantle for Hong Kong for more repairs when the tow line snapped.
The Alkimos could not be unstuck from its location, though many companies tried to salvage it over the years. Each attempt was met with bad things happening to the crew. The caretaker on board also reported hearing footsteps and voices, and having strange feelings. The ship was eventually abandoned and slowly sank into the water.
The ghost in Islington
During the darkest days of the war, Rosina French was a volunteer fire watcher in the London Borough of Islington. While she could not serve on the front lines, she could check for traveling fires and bomb threats.
During one of her shifts, she encountered a supernatural force. While standing at her post, she noticed a shining white figure. At first, she assumed it was a person or a gravestone, but the figure was too tall.
When she later told other people about the being, it appeared as if she had called it. Her post was next to a church and cemetery, and it is believed that the figure was lost souls escaping from the grave.
The headless gringa
The Galapagos Islands were home to a US Army post during the war. According to the legend of the headless gringa, a soldier lived on post with his wife. When he found out that she was cheating on him, he pushed her off a cliff.
As if this were not gruesome enough, her head caught between some rocks as she fell. The momentum of the fall caused her head to separate from her body.
While there are no records of this actually happening, ever since then sailors and airmen have had encounters with the headless gringa. The most common experience is someone climbing into their bed and pressing their weight on their chest to suffocate them.
The man in the attic
In 1991, a young woman was in her new family home in Colmar, France. In the attic, she found a hole in the wall through which she could see another room, but there was no door to it. She later returned with a flashlight and saw something in the room.
A young man was sitting on the floor with his knees pulled up to his chest. He turned his head to the woman and her friend, then smiled.
At first, they believed he was a real person, but they later realized that he had had no color. Their grandmother later learned that the house was a clandestine printing office during the war that printed slogans against the Germans.