ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Spooky Stories From World War 1 and 2 - The Ghosts of War

Updated on November 13, 2018
Nell Rose profile image

WW1 and 2 were dark times in history. Its no wonder sometimes Ghosts or Spirits would appear to the fallen or wounded.

Ghosts of WW1 and WW2

Ghosts of WW1 an WW2
Ghosts of WW1 an WW2

Soldier Ghosts

Amongst the blood and terror lay friendship and brotherhood. The First World War was possibly the most horrifying time in history. But there in the fields of France and Belgium, something strange was happening.

The soldiers, under so much duress began to see things that didn't seem possible. In fact if they were mentioned back in Blighty (Britain) on a hot summers day they would have been laughed at.

But here in the killing fields of war, in the trenches, these ghostly apparitions and haunted spaces became, if not quite the norm, then pretty close.

Ghosts roamed no mans land. That stretch of ground between the two warring countries. Across trenches, barbed wire to catch soldiers unaware, and mud, some of these lost men didn't realise they were dead.

So they kept helping.

Of course it can never be proved now. But at the time? These young men knew what they saw and heard.

And it was amazing.

War Stories

world war 1 was he a spirit?
world war 1 was he a spirit?

the Spirit with Cold Hands - Private Rex Cook

One of the most chilling ghost encounters comes from the first world war at Mons France.

It concerns a Canadian soldier Private Rex Cook.

The story goes that on the day when the platoon of men were walking away from the lines after days of fighting, the lieutenant who was leading his men noticed one of them lagging behind. The officer went over to tend to the pale looking soldier and offered him some food.

The man took the food and as their hands touched the lieutenant noticed that the soldiers hands were icy cold.

After he returned to camp, the lieutenant couldn't find the 'ill pale man' and asked around the camp to see if they knew where he was. The lieutenant knew it was Private Rex, as he knew all the men by name. And the fact that they had shared the most appalling of times in the trenches.

The lieutenant was shocked to hear that Private Rex had been killed in action a few days earlier and the man he was asking had attended the funeral!

Did Private Rex not know he was dead?

A very chilling true tale!

WW11 Ghosts

My Brother woke me....

Dead soldiers saves brother
Dead soldiers saves brother

The Ghost with Warm Hands

A memoir written by Canadian Will Bird, a veteran, was written in 1968.

In it he states,

'I was sleeping in a dugout (trenches) when I was awakened by the ghost of my brother Steve, who had been killed two years before. He was holding my hands.'

He goes on to say,

'Steve grinned and released my hands before placing his warm hand over my mouth as I started to shout my happiness! Steve then said, 'Get your gear,' and then gestured for me to follow him.

We walked up onto the battlefield and suddenly he was gone. Disappeared completely! When I went back to the trench I saw to my horror that where I had been sleeping had been hit by a shell. It was completely wiped out. My brother had saved my life!'

An amazing true encounter that saved Will Birds life.

Freddy Jackson the most famous Ghost photo

Freddy comes back.

One of the most famous of real life ghost stories comes from 1919 just after the first world war had ended. This amazing photo shows Freddy Jackson standing with his Royal Air Force comrades in possibly one of the first RAF photos ever taken.

Nothing seems to be amiss apart from one dramatic twist.

Freddy had been killed two days before in a propeller accident!

Freddy's funeral had taken place the day before, so his face was still firmly imprinted on his friends minds.

When the photo was developed, the members of his Air Squadron all identified him straight away!

Freddy mustn't have known he had died and wanted to have his photo taken for posterity.

His face can be seen top row fourth from the left.

Amazing story. And sometimes there is no other explanation.

World War 1 Ghosts

Flying Ghosts

ghost world war 2 planes
ghost world war 2 planes

Phantom Fighter Planes.

At such a time when emotions were being played out so strongly, there were bound to be other sightings and spooky goings on.

Sightings of ghost planes were a common occurrence specially after the war had ended. Which is much more unusual because in times of peace there wasn't the stress of battle. Here's an extract from one account by a girl named Kelly who said she heard this from her father.

In the early 80's her father was working for a construction company. As it was a cloudy day he was glad when the sun came out, so he looked up to get some warmth on his face.

He suddenly spotted a group of old World war 2 planes flying in formation overhead. He noticed they were a mix of B-17's, B-24's and many others including US army air corps planes.

He could hear the sounds only slightly, but could see them heading out towards the sea. This went on for at least half an hour. Later when he discussed it with his co workers they said they never saw anything. And there wasn't an airshow!

Kelly said her dad was still distressed about it, and wondered if anyone else had seen it too.

Memories and ghosts
Memories and ghosts

Our World and the Next

If there is or was a reason for ghosts to come back, then war is possibly the main reason. All the fear, hope and disaster, emotions and grief can and must cause a rift in between this world and the next.

There are many ghost stories out there of the two world wars and some can be dismissed as fake caused by tiredness,fear and injury.

Others? Well judge for yourself.

More Ghostly Tales

The Ghost of Elizabeth Hoby

The Grey lady of Bisham Abbey near Marlow. She has been seen many times, even by my mother when she as stationed there at the end of the war!

The Haunted Hospital

I was born in the Canadian Red Cross Hospital. But soon afterwards it was closed down. But still there could be heard strange noises and banging doors, lights and strange sounds.

Ghosts of Marlow and High Wycombe

Real life spooks as told by me and the residents of Marlow and High Wycombe!

Ghost Soldiers

Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission
Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission

For anyone who loves real life heroes then this is for you. I was given this from a friend who thought I would like it, as she knew I liked war stories. This blew me away! The real life amazing story of American troops and their mission to rescue American and British troops from a prison camp.

Bravery and honor countered by the intense evil of the enemy. Brave escapes and horrible captures. I could not put this down! So well written I read every word in just two sittings.

© 2018 Nell Rose


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      6 weeks ago from England

      Thanks so much Viryabo, glad you liked it.

    • viryabo profile image


      6 weeks ago

      Thank you for this article Nell. I have always had an interest in the mysterious and sometimes wonder if I am a reincarnation.

      Stories about ghosts equally fascinates me.

      Nice read.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      9 months ago from England

      Thanks so much Dale, nell

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      9 months ago from The High Seas

      GREAT article. Had me right from the very start. Bravo.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      9 months ago from England

      Thanks Lawrence, in these circumstances its not surprising they see ghosts, thanks as always.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      These were fascinating, I've personally experienced something similar, though I tend not to talk too much about it as no one really believes what you're telling them.

      Guardian Angels do exist, and at times they can take on a form we recognise.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Thanks Peggy, yes very spooky! whatever they were they definitely helped the men, which was great!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      10 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Those are certainly some interesting stories and must have been really mind-boggling for the men who experienced those ghostly apparitions in person.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Thanks Eric, they saw things we will never know, and I am glad about that. thanks to them we are here.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Really hair raising tails. On these phenomenons I just ask "Why not".

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Thanks Zulma, yes it must have been terrible, thanks for reading.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      11 months ago from United Kingdom

      A fascinating read, Nell. None of this surprises me. That much death, despair and terror are bound to resonate in other dimensions. Perhaps enough to draws spirits through.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Thanks as always Chitrangada, I am so glad you liked it.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      11 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for sharing these interesting stories. Your articles always have that nostalgic feeling attached to them and this one is no different.

      What beautiful and rare pictures!

      Thanks for sharing this well written and thought provoking article!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      LOL! you could phone me anytime you'd like! that would be great Paula! and don't have nightmares!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      11 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Nell.......You share so many of this type of "thriller'/ spooky stories, It's clear you're very much into the paranormal. This one gave me super goosebumps, girlfriend! Probably not my smartest choice just before bed! I'd never heard of these WWI tales, so you've really piqued my interest. Lucky for you I don't have your phone number because if I have nightmares, I'd call you and wake you up!! Nah....just kidding. Another great article by you, Nell. Peace, Paula

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Thanks Flourish, good to see you!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      11 months ago from USA

      Very entertaining! I’m open that maybe it’s true. Very haunting stuff!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Thanks Linda, glad you liked them, nell

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      11 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing these interesting stories, Nell. They are certainly thought provoking!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Thanks Shauna, you know me, I love my ghostly stuff! lol!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      11 months ago from Central Florida

      Spooky stuff, Nell! Especially the story of the soldier being saved by his deceased brother. I'll have to check out some of the other links you provide. This topic (ghostly encounters in general) has always interested me.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Hi Mike, I haven't heard of that play? and I would love to hear about your ghost experiences.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Hi Mary, thanks for reading. Yes I grew up with ghost stories too.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      How about this: when I die, I'll let you know if ghosts are for real? Deal? lol Until then, I'll keep an open mind.

    • Readmikenow profile image


      11 months ago

      This made me think of a play by Irwin Shaw called "Bury the Dead." It's an excellent play. It's about a group of soldiers who are dead but refuse to be buried. They all give their reasons why they shouldn't be dead. It's pretty good. I have had ghost experiences. I'll leave it at that. I enjoyed reading this article and found it very interesting.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Thanks so much Tim, yes I do believe that time slips are one answer, but when your dead brother tells you to move, you darn well move! LOL!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Thanks Pamela, glad you liked it. Ghosts always fascinate me, whether war ones or even modern.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Thanks John, yes these ghost stories always made me fascinated. Specially the photo.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Thanks Jackie, for some reason the amazon ads were taken off! so I added a new one, lol!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      11 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Nell, we also have heard many stories of ghosts from WW2. I have not experience myself but when we were children, we loved to hear the stories over and over again. Maybe, one day, we will understand all these.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Hi Dora, thanks for reading. Yes strange things definitely happened, but we will never really know.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      11 months ago from U.S.A.

      Thanks, Nell,

      This was really a great article. I think Rex spooked me the most, but seeing your brother out in the middle of a war zone, that's a very scary situation.

      F. Jackson showing up on that photo would have made me never want anything to do with combat again.

      I like the fact that you mentioned these appearances are probably related to "time slips." You are probably right.

      Loved the videos, too.

      Much respect and admiration.

      You always expand my awareness and consideration of possibilities with your well written, well researched, and thought provoking articles, Nell.


    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      11 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Nell,These ghost stories are creepy for sure. This was such an interesting article. Really liked it!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      11 months ago from Queensland Australia

      what an enthralling article, Nell. I had never before heard about the Ghosts of WWII but I had seen the Freddy Jackson photo and story from WWI. I enjoyed this immensely.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      11 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow, I think I coul love some of these books, had no idea they existed! I am sure there are always those who like to push a good ghost story but I imagine there could be these spirits lost and searching the grounds where they lay dead.

      Great spooky writing as usual Nell!

      Still keeping my eye on the new parents to be. So exciting.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      11 months ago from The Caribbean

      I have no personal reason to believe in ghosts, but I've listened to many ghost stories, and yours are very intriguing. "Did Private Rex not know he was dead?" Really funny! What can we say about the one in the photograph?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)