Ghost Stories

Nightwatchman Danny Bradshaw has written a book, "Ghosts on the Battleship North Carolina," with editor—or possibly ghost writer—Blonnie Bunn Wyche. He describes taking over the job from a friend of his in 1976, a friend who said six months to a year might pass without incident.

Then, whenever something happened, a number of things usually happened. Lights that had been turned off were turned on, doors that had been closed were opened, and sounds were heard, most often footsteps. Bradshaw took the job anyway.

The first encounter occurred when he rummaged through a furniture storage area below deck, near the spot where the ship had taken that torpedo hit. Five men were killed in that blast, three of them in that immediate vicinity. While he searched for a table he could use in his quarters, the heavy hatch door swung shut on its own and he heard a voice that said, "Get out of here." He got out of there.

In the so-called bullpen where the servicemen whiled away their free time, he heard the sound of paper crumpling and then saw two sheets of paper balling themselves up, making ready for a toss to the wastebasket. On another occasion in that same room, the temperature plummeted and the refrigerator door opened and closed by itself.

Standing in an empty parking lot and looking back at a vacant ship all locked up after hours, he saw a face appear in a porthole. That porthole happened to be in his bedroom.

During the '90s the ship put on Sound and Light Spectaculars to simulate the fiery explosions of naval warfare, and Bradshaw believes it also stimulated paranormal activity. In one particularly electrifying encounter below decks after the show, a transparent, blond-haired young man crept up from behind and laid a hand on his shoulder.

Years later he saw this same fellow again in his room, turning up the television and loitering in the corridor.

Bradshaw's girlfriend stopped by to pay a visit and, when she left, one of the ghosts hitched a ride with her. That sudden deep chill pervaded the interior of her van and objects in the back of the van were hurled all around.

The ghosts occasionally have spoken to him, never in a particularly friendly way. "Hey, what are you doing?" "Why are you here?" "Don't come here again." "Get back. Get back now!" Probably officers, from the sounds of it.

And one time he shouted back, when the tap-tap-tapping of a hammer threatened to send him off on yet another run for his car in the parking lot. "Stop right now," he shouted, and the hammering stopped.

One troubled spirit became determined to take over his room. His drink was overturned while he ate his meal. The hot water turned cold when he showered. Three times he turned on the television and three times it turned itself off. At last he capitulated and went off to sleep in the captain's quarters. It was too cold outside to spend another night in his car.

Now certainly metal can creak and groan, and temperature changes causing metal to expand or contract could result in loud popping noises. At high tide the boat could pitch and lurch, which can be unnerving. But Bradshaw is clearly not alone in his beliefs about the ship's current inhabitants.

Haunted North Carolina has investigated the claims, most typically of cold spots and/or a pervasive feeling of sadness and despair. The P.I.T. crew (Paranormal Investigation Team) has done some filming and created several episodes focused on the Battleship North Carolina.

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Battleship North Carolina: Ghost Stories

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