Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Ghosts of the USS Alabama

I thought I would return to where I started tonight.   My first few blogs were about Alabama and the places I had been in Alabama.  The USS Alabama is one of my favorite Southern haunts.

The USS Alabama is a large and impressive ship that is a major tourist attraction for Mobile, Alabama. It has been retired and docked in the Mobile Bay and sees thousands of visitors every day. At night, the ship hosts many cub scout camp outs so the battleship is rarely empty or quiet. Despite the fact that officials claim the ship is not, nor has ever been haunted, many claim to have seen ghosts on this ship. There have been reports of phantom foot steps and odd noises. It is said that late at night bulkheads open and close by themselves and odd tapping noises can be heard throughout the ship.

The Battleship Alabama’s first two deaths were of men who were in the Norfolk shipyard as she was under construction. She was finished in 1942 and served 37 months without any deaths due to enemy fire. As for death under friendly fire, however, there were 8 deaths on gun mount #5 when gun mount #9 fired upon them. It seems that the safety feature that was supposed to prevent the turrets from firing upon each other had failed. The men were completely destroyed; the only thing left of the gun commander was his boots.

The USS Alabama staff does not allow anyone interested in the paranormal to spend the night on the ship, so few people can tell stories of what happens when night comes aboard this old bit of history.  My boys, however,  were fortunate enough to spend the night on this wonderful ship last summer. As cub scouts, they were able to camp out on the ship.  Women are not allowed on the ship after dark, so I had to abandon my men to the shadows and wait for their stories.  Both of my boys claim that they saw and heard ghosts the night they stayed on the ship. My oldest son says he saw a barefoot ghost by turret five.This is particularly interesting, because he didn't know about any ghost stories associated with ship or about the man who lost his boots at this turret.   I have attached a picture of their overnight t that shows an orb by one of the turrets. The orb is directly above my son's head.  I know orbs are nothing like hard proof of the paranormal,  but it is still an interesting picture especially since it was taken my gun mount # 5.

32 comments:

Pam Morris said...

interesting but why are women not allowed on the ship after dark? just curious...that seems like a really outdated regulation. (also, how fascinating that your son told you the ghost was 'barefoot'...wow!)

Jessica Penot said...

I'm not sure about that. One of my friends was in the Navy and slept on batteships with men and this rule made her angry. She said it was disrespectful to women who are in the Navy. They don't give any reason that makes sense. Especially, since single mothers who have scouts are completely excluded.

Mejis said...

I love old ships like these. I toured the USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC once. I got lost and ended up in the infirmary. I felt like I was being followed while I was in there even though I was alone.

Brenda Hooser said...

The "No Women" rule does seem odd. This is one I've not been to; and I wonder if it's as good as some of the others? I like the fact your son had a paranormal experience. Chidren are so wide open. Thanks for sharing with us!

Dexter said...

There is only one gender allowed to spend the night- it can be all men/boys OR all women/ girls...or that is my understanding. I have cub scouts and brownies and this is what we all understand to be the rule.

Anonymous said...

About 5 years ago I visited u.s.s. Alabama, and when I was on the second level I felt a shove from behind. Thinking it was someone rude I was ready to get mad..i turned around and there was no one even close to me.

William Shelton said...

Okay.. when I was 10 me and a fellow cub scout went below decks after everyone was packed up and left and my dad was wait for us up top we wanted to check it out once more before we left.. well it was quiet and we had takin about 5 - 10 steps when we got to the bottom and this.. ghostly music like old timey drinking song came on suddenly and we heard a bunch of voices although no one was with us.. I believe it could be paranormal or child hood imagination.. what do you think ?

William Shelton said...

Okay.. when I was 10 me and a fellow cub scout went below decks after everyone was packed up and left and my dad was wait for us up top we wanted to check it out once more before we left.. well it was quiet and we had takin about 5 - 10 steps when we got to the bottom and this.. ghostly music like old timey drinking song came on suddenly and we heard a bunch of voices although no one was with us.. I believe it could be paranormal or child hood imagination.. what do you think ?

William Shelton said...

Okay.. when I was 10 me and a fellow cub scout went below decks after everyone was packed up and left and my dad was wait for us up top we wanted to check it out once more before we left.. well it was quiet and we had takin about 5 - 10 steps when we got to the bottom and this.. ghostly music like old timey drinking song came on suddenly and we heard a bunch of voices although no one was with us.. I believe it could be paranormal or child hood imagination.. what do you think ?

Jessica Penot said...

It sounds like it was paranormal to me.

Emily Murr said...

I've always felt funny in the ship and the submarine drum. And my grandfathers name is engraved in the drum bc he was a sub veteran. this us try interesting.I can understand the no women after dark rule bc in wwii women didn't serve on the ship. I may be wrong but that's what I have always heard. they may be trying to protect people from entities??

Emily Murr said...

I've always felt funny in the ship and the submarine drum. And my grandfathers name is engraved in the drum bc he was a sub veteran. this us try interesting.I can understand the no women after dark rule bc in wwii women didn't serve on the ship. I may be wrong but that's what I have always heard. they may be trying to protect people from entities??

Emily Murr said...

I've always felt funny in the ship and the submarine drum. And my grandfathers name is engraved in the drum bc he was a sub veteran. this us try interesting.I can understand the no women after dark rule bc in wwii women didn't serve on the ship. I may be wrong but that's what I have always heard. they may be trying to protect people from entities??

Lisbeth Redden said...

If I remember correcly it isn't that it is that the don't allow women, so much as they don't allow COED overnight stays. They don't have the facililties. If the Girl Scouts wanted to stay it would be all girls no boys.

It is a amazing place to tour and we got some very interesting pictures on the USS Drum early the next day when I picked up the boys. Someday would like to figure out who our mysterious friend is and go back to try to debunk our own pictures.

Anonymous said...

You're just wrong about the ship and the "facts" you cite. I've worked on this ship for years at night, alone. This ship is NOT haunted.

Jessica Penot said...

Thanks to everyone for the coed information! I wish I had daughters. I would have been the one to spend the night if I had girls I guess.

Anonymous.. I love to hear people update and dispute facts. Feel free to post another comment with any facts you have from working there or information you might have about how the ghost stories started spreading in the absence of facts. Sometimes they begin with urban legends. I love disputes, but I love it even more when those who disagree give me real data to go with it. It makes the story that much better!

Anonymous said...

No one died on or in the Alabama and took no damage

Anonymous said...

I will post as anonymous too and I have worked aboard the ship 15 years. The ship is haunted...for a former crewmember to say that She isn't either never left the guard shack, never walked through the ship and/or always stayed in the quarterdeck security station. My guess it's all three.

First off, never believe any story about hauntings or visits to the engine room, there's nothing there. The "activity" takes place in a few areas:
1. Aft deck containing Brig and Laundry (maybe something to do with the Japanese pilot that committed suicide in the Brig?)
2. Wardroom (this was a triage station during the war and was put to use after the Mount #5 incident. The dead and wound were triaged there).
3. Sick Bay (over the years it has picked up the nickname, well the passage way, Hell's Highway due to the weird occurrences. Note that Matthew Trojan was the last to succumb to his injuries in the OR from the M#5 incident).
4. CPO Lounge (might have something to do with Wilbur Manning who went over the side in the North Atlantic).
5. Port Side Quarterdeck (guess our other anonymous poster must have been napping but there is something residual that roams...possibly from the worker who was killed when ship was being built in Norfolk).
6. Various passageways (our friend must have never heard the whistle???).

Wonder if poster knew of the 50+ bodies that were stored in the refers after a destroyer was hit and later sunk...

I could go on, and may visit again later to post more odd occurrences from all over...

Nick Cantone said...

thanks for the report on old history now I don't have to say my dog ate my report

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, thank you for sharing really interesting info!! My family any I just visited this awesome ship a few days ago. What an awesome place to work for 15 years!. I did get an eerie feeling in sick bay. I cannot wait to visit the ship again sometime.

Anonymous said...

I took the tour during the day time. I was allowed inside one of the deck guns, and i swear i say a moving light. I mightve been the orb mentioned. The light was in a restricted zone. I walked around the gun, the casing was sealed shut.

Lisa said...

Matthew Trojan was my Great Uncle. My Grandmother used to tell me stories of when they were kids. She also told me of the day her mother was notified of his death. I would love to know more if you have any information. I am in the Navy also.

Lisa said...

Matthew Trojan was my Great Uncle. My Grandmother used to tell me stories of when they were kids. She also told me of the day her mother was notified of his death. I would love to know more if you have any information. I am in the Navy also.

Anonymous said...

When I visited I heard a voice in the laundry. About laundry. And nobody was with me or around me at the moment.

Sheriff Shrapnel said...

They allow Girl Scouts on board. It's just no males and females on board after dark alone. It's to cut down on canoodling. She's a memorial, after all. The gun captain didn't lose his boots either, nor did they wear boots. The official report says only his lower extremities remained. Think knee down.

Sheriff Shrapnel said...

Your information is woefully incorrect. Case in point: only 5 men died in the mount 5 incident.

Sheriff Shrapnel said...

If you're interested I suggest you contact Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama. They're very willing and happy to talk to family members.

Sheriff Shrapnel said...

No one died as a result of enemy action and no damage was taken as a result of enemy action. Accidents are a different matter.

Anonymous said...

Hey all, not sure if someone ever mentioned any information about the coed issues, but from what a staff member explained to me, they used to allow both boys and girls to spend the night on the ship, but they had a "don't cross this line" kind of deal to keep them separated. One night they had an issue with a girl that kept crossing over to the guys' side, thus they opted to make it so that only guys can spend the night. Im not sure about the rules, especially current ones, regarding if they allow nights for girls to spend the night, but I am yet to hear of such occurring and I am confident the staffer was correct about how the whole coed issue came up. Hopefully this helps! It's always fun to visit this ship.

Billy Creswell said...

I am unsure about the paranormal activity onboard, but I do know that my grandfather, Melvin "Bubba" Creswell did his whole time in the US Navy on the ship. He said it was a very traumatic event the day the men got killed in the tourret. As far as being haunted, he said sometimes he got some eerie feelings while onboard. If my grandfather's ghost were to haunt anywhere, I'd pick here simply because he had some bad memories but also some good ones from reunions and friends.

Anonymous said...

My uncle was a plank owner on the Alabama and served in gun mount three. He described the events in detail to me and felt for certain that the haunting of the ship was related to the incident.

Princess Awsome said...

It was not a orb it was a lightning bug that was what it was look closely and u can tell (or it was a dust bunnie)