Guest writer STEVIE MILLER takes us on a tour of England’s most haunted airfields
Airfields are places that have seen laughter, love even, extreme sadness, and ultimately, inevitably, death.
It is little wonder ghostly sightings and paranormal activity have surfaced and, through the years, produced some impressive phenomena.
Here are six airfields/bases where some inexplainable and genuinely terrifying events have occurred in England.
RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Sergeant Sinclair, an Australian NCO armourer stationed at RAF Binbrook during World War II, was carrying out his duties at the base on the east coast of England when a careless pilot accidentally injured him.
The incident resulted in Sinclair suffering from a permanently damaged foot which led to him being christened as “Clubfoot”.
Clubfoot almost immediately sought vengeance on the pilot who had unintentionally maimed him. In fact, in a degree of pettiness and cruelty hard to register, Sinclair took it upon himself to attach explosives to said pilot’s bomb load.
But whilst doing so, he blew himself into pieces.
There have since been numerous sightings of Clubfoot limping across the airfield, flapping his hands wildly in an attempt to wave down passing vehicles.
RAF Grove, Oxfordshire
The old abandoned World War II airfield in Oxfordshire, England was once home to both the RAF and USAAF.
There are two different ghostly encounters here: a voice is overheard in a hanger and is attributed to a tragic young American serviceman who hanged himself there.
The apparition of an airman in full flying gear is also said to be seen quite often. He moves between hangers and only to suddenly vanish.
This airman was part of a Lancaster bomber team that got into trouble due to a damaged engine. Sadly, the bomber crash-landed at RAF Grove before it could reach the field. Laden with full fuel tanks and a massive bomb load, the crash was always doomed to have been unsurvivable.
After the war, the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) took over the site and remained there until the mid-90s. More than one employee has reported hearing eerie voices throughout the vicinity when it is believed to be completely empty.
RAF Biggin Hill, Kent
RAF Biggin Hill, famed for its role in the Battle of Britain (and one of my favourite haunted airfields to visit), has seen its fair share of ghostly sightings – from spectral airmen to supernatural planes.
Although not technically in the airfield, one of the more famous ghost stories of the area is a young airman wrapped up in a trench coat. He has often been seen in the village stopping people and asking for directions, before vanishing into the night.
But the strangest sighting at RAF Biggin Hill by far is that of a Spitfire aircraft.
There have been reports of witnesses seeing the aircraft not merely flying, but also performing a victory roll over the Biggin Hill airfield before disappearing.
For anyone wanting to catch a glimpse, this sighting is most prominent in the month of January each year.
RAF Waltham, Lincolnshire
After RAF Waltham was left derelict, houses were built on certain spheres of the site.
In the late sixties, a young lady named Susan reported a ghostly figure that happened to appear to her one night within her house which was built on the base.
On the night in question, Susan awoke from her slumber, and through sleepy eyes, she believed she may have caught a glimpse of a figure, standing by the foot of her bed.
Half believing she was still somewhat asleep, Susan reached her hand out to turn her bedside light on.
With that, her concerns were confirmed. She focused on an auburn-haired male figure in RAF uniform. Both parties’ eyes fixed on the other momentarily before the man simply turned away and dissipated into Susan’s wardrobe.
She was pretty understandably shocked and, after waking the whole house with a shriek, her parents searched the house and its exterior.
However, no culprit was found.
The family did not take long to move from their house soon after.
Another tale from the base has it that a young airman was declared unfit for duty close to where Susan and her families’ home was situated.
Upon hearing the news, the airman was heartbroken. So heartbroken, he committed suicide by pulling the pin from a hand grenade which he refused to let go.
One unknown onlooker reported seeing a headless airman in full flying attire, and was so traumatsied by the event that his hair turned completely white.
There also continues to be reports of a phantom airman who is seen patrolling the perimeter road around the base.
Exactly who he is, is unclear, but these sightings are often balmed on the young, depressed airman.
RAF East Kirkby, Lincolnshire
Now a museum, throughout World War ll RAF East Kirkby sadly saw its share of plane crashes, so this might just help explain some of the unusual activity that has been reported.
Sightings of green lights flashing have been seen outside at night, as well as the distant yet distinct ringing of old Bakelite dial telephones.
Yet these telephones have long been disconnected.
However, it is the control tower that seems to be a particular hive of activity. Museum staff in the building often report feeling particualry uneasy inthis part of the base – as if they are being watched.
In 1945, towards the end of the war, an accident occurred while a Lancaster bomber was being loaded with ordnance. A 1000-pound bomb dropped and hit the floor, killing instantly three unfortunate airmen and injuring a further 16.
Could this tragic accident have anything to do with the sightings and footsteps so often heard around the buildings?
A Spitfire crashed at the base during the Second World War, yet it wasn’t until 50 years later that the long dead pilot’s remains were discovered inside the wreckage. Even the officer’s wallet was said to have still remained in his pocket .
He is said to be seen walking around his aircraft at night, deeply frustrated at his early entry into the afterlife.
RAF Honington, Suffolk
During the war, the base was attacked by the Luftwaffe. This resulted in the deaths of 20 airmen, all of whom had been walking across a parade ground on their way to dinner when they were hit.
As well as this, a returning Wellington bomber crashed whilst trying to land, bursting into flames, killing all on board.
Because of these two events, it is no wonder that sightings have been seen of ghostly airman walking the field.
In June 1983, two police guards, whilst out patrolling, spotted an airman in-between a set of metal fences.
He was smoking a cigarette – nothing too unusual there – except this airman was dressed in a wartime pilot’s uniform.
Inquisitively, the police challenged the airman, whereupon he simply turned and walked through the fence, fading away as he progressed.
Yet another tale from the base is that of an airman who baled out over the airfield, tragically hitting a hanger and succumbing to his terrible injuries.
There is a bar for the servicemen and women who live and work on-site, and sometimes this phantom airman walks in; but on second glance, he is gone. It is for this very reason that a number of staff simply refuse to lock up on their own, for fear of the figure making another impromptu visit.
Have you visited, or perhaps worked at, a haunted airfield? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
Guest Writer STEVIE MILLER hasn’t always been interested in the paranormal – in fact, the whole thing terrified him! London born and bred, but now living in the West of Scotland, Stevie spends his spare time, when he can, travelling to various haunted locations throughout Britain and Ireland with his long-suffering missus, hoping to experience something ghostly. His other hobbies include military aviation, football, and beer.