Barksdale's haunted tales

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jason McCasland
  • 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The cover of night can give the most common things an eerie feel, causing the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up as if a chill wind has blown.

This phenomenon can be acutely felt at a historic base like Barksdale during Halloween, when black cats scamper about and ghost stories hang thick in the air like humidity in July.

For example, the large three-story building off Davis Ave. that serves as home to the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron and several other base support agencies, used to be the base hospital and morgue. Literally thousands of people both began and ended their lives there.

Today, at night, Airmen who work in the building have reported hearing footsteps in empty hallways and the crash of doors slamming shut with no earthly explanation. The wing's public affair's staff has become so familiar with these spooky occurrences that they have named the building's ghost 'Clarence.'

Down the hall from public affairs, Lt. Col. Chandler Bigelow, 2nd Bomb Wing Command Post commander, also reports that his Airmen have felt a spooky presence.

"Over the years I have had Airmen that have been so terrified of the basement they wouldn't even walk the hallway after dark," he said.

The former hospital is not the only place on Barksdale with a few ghost stories. For more, one needs look no further than the Base Exchange and Commissary, which sits upon the former home of Stonewall Cemetery.

Airmen working at the base's satellite pharmacy, which is co-located in the same complex, relay a particularly troubling story about a potentially angry ghost that is prone to throwing things.

"I was working in the pharmacy filling prescriptions in back when I was hit by something," said Senior Airman Emily Klunk, 2nd Medical Group Pharmacy technician. "When I went to find out who had thrown the empty bottle, there was no one there, and my teammate was working at the next station. The pharmacy gets pretty creepy at night."

Across base, at the Barksdale Global Power Museum, it has been reported that there is more than just history in the air. Amy Russell, the museum's director, reports that lights have been switched on and off at random and that sometimes creaking floors can be heard when nobody is around. Ghosts with an appreciation for air and space power, perhaps?

Regardless, Ms. Russell tells one story that is particularly bone-chilling.

"After closing the museum we did a final walkthrough to make sure everything was off and locked," Russell said. "However, the next day, when my staff came in to open the museum, they heard water running. They entered the men's restroom and found all of the sinks we running at full blast, yet the water stayed just below the edge."

Since growing out of a Louisiana cotton field many decades ago, Barksdale has undergone countless transitions and served as home to generations of military families. Therefore, it is no surprise - particularly during Halloween - that a few ghosts may be lurking about. If you happen to see one, approach with as much courage as you dare, for you never know if a trick or a treat awaits ... But most importantly, have a happy and safe Halloween!