Fright of fancy: Chilling airport ghost sightings around the world
Is there anything scarier than missing a flight, losing your checked-in baggage, or an uncomfortable overnight stay at the airport? To a traveler, these may sound like horror stories, but we can guarantee that there are far more terrifying experiences to be had.
When you think about it, airports are portals, gateways for people, and different energies are constantly coming and going. So, it’s hardly surprising that airports are often a likely venue for supernatural experiences.
And with Halloween just around the corner, we’re rounding up a list of airports all over the world that are famed for spooky, trip-or-treat experiences.
Airport: Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV)
Savannah Hilton Head International Airport is a commercial and military-use airport in Savannah, Georgia, United States. During World War II, the United States military saw the need to expand its facilities. The US government leased 1,100 acres of land, and this is now SAV.
Shortly after the lease, the government began to obtain additional acreage to further increase its size. One of the pieces of land that was acquired had been used as a private family cemetery, which contained more than 100 graves.
After the Dotson’s great-grand children negotiated with the government, they were able to relocate most of the graves to a different cemetery. Only four graves are left at the airport. The original owners of the land, Richard and Catherine Dotson, along with two beloved relatives, Daniel Hueston and John Dotson.
To this day, the four graves remain next to the airport’s most active runway. You can read the official history behind this (and even see a photo of the actual graves) from the Savannah Hilton Head Airport website.
Pilots and airport staff who work at Savannah Hilton Head Airport often talk about a common sighting. Word has it that if you land shortly after sunset, two figures will sometimes appear along the northside of the runway.
image source: Komarova Julia / Shutterstock.com
Many believe they are the ghosts of Richard and Catherine Dotson. However, they seem to be good-natured ghosts as, apart from the two figures occasionally appearing, nothing untoward has really happened.
We’d like to think that Richard and Catherine Dotson are just giving the planes a warm welcome and that they might have even become aviation geeks. .
Airport: Suvarnabhumi Airport / Bangkok International Airport (BKK)
Thailand is not just known as the land of smiles. To many, it is also the land of ghosts. Belief in ghosts and the supernatural are a big part of Thai culture.
Generally, Thais believe that ghosts inhabit certain trees, cemeteries, shrines and abandoned spaces.
If you happen to be in Thailand, you don’t need to search far and wide for spirits as it seems that the Thai capital’s airport, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) is one of the most haunted places in Bangkok.
BKK is actually not that old. It opened in 2006 when it replaced the old capital airport, Don Muang Airport (DMK). However, BKK was built on marshland that was drained in order to make way for construction.
As it happens, part of the area that BKK was built upon was an ancient cemetery. As soon as construction began, workers started to report things that were out of the ordinary. Some even said that, out of nowhere, they suddenly heard screams, chanting and wailing. Others reported hearing Thai classical music played randomly.
This caused great distress among the workers, with some of them reportedly quitting on the spot.
Many Thai religious officials believed that the construction of the airport angered the spirits whose bodies were buried in the ancient cemetery beneath the airport.
Nevertheless, the airport was completed and, in 2006, it was officially opened. But not before a nine-week ‘exorcism rite’ took place, which involved 99 Buddhist monks.
There are way too many reported ghost sightings in BKK to enumerate one by one. However, the most popular ghost to haunt the terminals of BKK is ‘Poo Ming’, who made an appearance during the exorcism rite. He managed to ‘enter’ a baggage porter’s body and introduced himself as the caretaker of the ancient cemetery.
Poo Ming is so well-known in BKK that he is referred to as the ‘Blue Man’ because those who have claimed to see him have all described him as walking with a cane and having a blue complexion.
And then there’s the so-called ‘Haunted Honda’. A deserted Honda has been left in the parking space of BKK airport for years. Now covered in dust, the car remains unmoved, and people offer flowers and other sacred items to the ghost driver. Rumor has it that the man who rented the car died in a crash, and will not leave the Honda alone.
BKK airport is so infamously rife with ghost sightings, ghost enthusiasts have already created forums dedicated to their respective experiences at the airport. Just be discerning of other tales, like this supposed ‘ghost passengers’ sighting, which later turned out to be just a glass reflection illusion.
Airport: Daniel K Inouye International Airport (HNL) - Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport opened in 1927. Because it has lived through World War II, we assumed that there would be tales of wartime pilot ghosts. But the spooks of HNL airport turned out to be the haunting pain of a broken heart.
Legend dictates that a woman once fell deeply in love with a man who promised to marry her. The man boarded an international flight and never returned. The lady was so heartbroken that she took her own life.
The ghost of the heartbroken lady is now such a common sight in HNL, she has been dubbed as the ‘lady-in-waiting’.
Ray Duropan, a police officer who served 17 years at the Honolulu Police Department was assigned to HNL for two years in the 1990s. Duropan reported to local media that he would receive numerous calls about a blonde lady at a gate, looking out the window on the runway, as though waiting for an arrival.
Duropan would also take calls from people telling him that the ‘lady-in-waiting’ can also be seen in restricted areas of the airport, looking like she is waiting in agony.
image source: cleungchopan / Shutterstock.com
Duropan has never seen the ‘lady-in-waiting’, but calls and reports he has received about the spectre were enough to convince him that the spirit of the ghosted woman is still indeed waiting for her fiance’s return.
Lady-in-waiting aside, HNL is filled with other bizarre sightings and experiences, specifically in the airport’s bathroom stalls.
Airport custodians would be cleaning empty bathrooms in the middle of the night, and report seeing toilet rolls unravel and seats slam shut abruptly. There are also reports of toilets flushing by themselves.
We prefer to think that these hygienic ghosts were possibly just trying to help!
Airport: Denver International Airport (DEN) in Colorado, USA
Denver International Airport opened in 1995, and it’s rife with myths, legends, and conspiracy theories.
Spanning 135 square kilometres, Denver International Airport is the largest airport in the United States. Since its opening, locals have held various conspiracy theories about the airport, including that the transport hub boasts secret tunnels, has a bunker, and even a connection to Nazis.
There has even been speculation about whether the Illuminati or the Freemasons are behind the airport.
Among all ‘haunted’ airports, DEN is one that is happy to provide the fuel to fire its conspiracy theories.
The airport even runs numerous exhibits about its “haunted” past, with the last exhibit taking place in 2019, prior to the pandemic.
But DEN is not famous for actual ghouls, but mysterious objects and theories that fan the wild imagination of conspiracy enthusiasts worldwide.
If you happen to be in DEN, we urge you to find the mysterious time capsule that was buried in 1994, with instructions to only be opened a hundred years later, in 2094.
image source: Ted Alexander Somerville / Shutterstock.com
Then, there’s also the red-eyed blue mustang sculpture, which many claim to be possessed by an evil spirit. Aptly named ‘Blucifer’, some believe that the horse represents one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
However, what's more alarming is how the creator of the sculpture, Luis Jimenez, died when the horse’s head fell on him in 2006, severing a major artery in his leg.
DEN has certainly been more than happy to embrace its reputation as a mysterious airport, running exhibitions and tours and providing media coverage, especially during this time of the year.
Airport: Islamabad International Airport (ISB) - Pakistan
Unlike other ‘haunted’ airports in this article, which have been operating for decades or, in some cases, even a hundred years, ISB is the newest, having only opened in 2018.
Local media reports that laborers working on the new airport had several spooky encounters, the most common being feeling an invisible pressure on their chests. Apparently, the paranormal activity also caused some security guards to faint, the report said.
As the airport was just built in 2018, ghost sightings in ISB airport are still quite new and scattered all over local forums.
Plenty of people remarked that the airport has a “heavy feeling”. One stand out story is how pilots in particular are the only ones who have witnessed specific sightings. Pilots landing at ISB have reported seeing children playing cricket on the runway, yet no actual children are there, and the cricket-playing ghosts appear to only be visible to pilots.
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
Let’s hope that these sightings won’t cause accidents in the future.
This concludes our collection of haunted airport stories this Halloween. If you’ve ever had any spooky airport experiences, let us know in the comments.
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