|Last clematis, 10/28/10|
I have hesitated writing about this, but if not now, when? It's Halloween time, and I have read some good ghost stories on the blogs. It just makes me a little anxious to recall a time that was frightening and worrisome.
In 1987 my husband and I were living in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. He was in the Navy and we were very near the end of his tour at Pearl Harbor. I was working as a word processor for Public Works at Pearl Harbor in Building One. I worked the shift from 4:00pm til 12:30 am with a staff of 6 others. We sat for 8 hours typing, plugged into our walkmans, listening to Sally Jesse Raphael, or music. It was always quiet in the building, daytime staff of over 200 people gone for the day. Most of the two-story building was dark, just our section lighted.
I think most of were experiencing small trivial things at first. Not really paying attention to odd little noises, or the occasional shadow, non-specific little events. It is a very old building, there are bound to be noises, settling, office machines making their little electronic hums and beeps.
I was on a break with one of the girls, Liz, sitting outside having a smoke and a coffee, chatting. There was suddenly behind us a loud sound, as if someone was dragging something heavy, possibly metallic. We looked and saw nothing. The noise stopped. We immediately returned to our office, feeling slightly odd, but not too concerned. We did not mention this to anyone.
The next night, two other of the girls had gone out to the same place for a break. They returned very quickly saying they had heard a very strange sound, and were nervous to stay out there. Liz and I looked at each other and mentioned we had heard something the night before. We then, all shrugged, and decided not to take breaks in that area anymore. Who knows what it was....just keep working and forget about it.
In an office area down the hall, cubicle type office, all the lights are always off. There was a fan mounted on the wall. Occasionally it would be left on by a day worker, and I would just go and turn it off. One night after I had turned it off, I noticed an hour or so later it was back on. Well, maybe the switch didnt fully connect when I turned it off. So, turned it back off, went back to my work. It was back on within 15 minutes. So this time I unplugged it. It was back on by the time I returned to my work station. We all started talking and wondering aloud what the heck that was about. And then the others started mentioning other things that had been going on. Bathroom lights going off and on, loud footsteps. Nervewracking when we all began to compare notes.
Things began to escalate in just a few nights. It was late, near the end of our shift, and one of the girls suddenly hollered: "Whoever is throwing paperclips at me, would you stop?" The rest of us looked at her blankly, and she asked again, which one of us was doing it. No one responded. We had all been steadfastly working. Suddenly as we were talking, a pencil fell from the ceiling, into the middle of the floor. Startled, we stared and looked around, finding no one else. Liz called Security. Two burly armed guards showed up a few minutes later, searched the building, said all was secure, no one to be seen, and pretty much acted as if we were a bunch of nervous women, calling the cops about a stupid pencil.
For the next two or three nights, we were plagued by pencils dropping, paper clips falling, erasers showing up on our keyboards, loud noises, and voices at the far end of the hall. We left early on two nights, and on the third night barely made it an hour into the shift. Lots of voices in the office areas down the hall. Lights going off and on. A general feeling of unease, unrest, an abnormal sense of darkness and fear. We all were scared and unwilling to continue to work there. The next morning Liz called our supervisor, Ed, who works days in downtown Honolulu, and explained the situation. He was dubious, but wanted to give us the benefit of the doubt, and arranged to meet us all that during that night's shift.
Ed arrived around 6:00 pm, with pizza and soda, and a briefcase of work. We ate, gave him all the details of our experiences. He explained to us, that the building we worked in was used as a temporary morgue during the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. There were also rumors, not verified, that there had been a murder-suicide in the building, maybe 20 years before.That certainly unsettled us.
So, here we are, Ed and the six of us, stuffed with pizza and working away. Suddenly, there is a loud noise and the metal trashcan by Ed's desk is knocked over, and rolls across the floor. We all jump up, and Ed picks up a large alligator clip that had hit the trashcan. It came from the direction of the hall, not a soul around to throw it. Ed gathers up his papers and brief case, tells all of us to go home, and he went flying out of the building before we could barely turn off our word processors.
The next day, Liz called me at home to explain that Ed had arranged for a Hawaiian menehune, a priest, to come and do a cleansing and blessing of the building. They wanted all the workers to be there, except me, as I was just a couple of months pregnant at the time. The menehune did not want a pregnant woman present when he was trying to rid the place of negative entities for fear of them inhabiting the fetus. Needless to say, I never went back to work there, and we left the Island a couple of months later, relocating to a new assignment in California.
Liz said the blessing seemed to work for a while, but she also left Hawaii a while after that. We never were in contact with anyone else. So who knows if the ghosts of Building One are still walking the halls and teasing the workers. I cannot express though, how frightening many of those nights were. So eerie, with such a strange atmosphere of tension, fear and darkness. It always disturbs me to talk about it as it calls up memories of an odd and unsettling time in my life.