Floating off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina is an old World War II battleship that has been a site for paranormal activity since the early days of its service. Sitting at just over 728 feet long, this monster of a war ship is now a popular museum for visitors from all over the world.
The USS North Carolina was one of the most feared and powerful ships on the water during the second World War. Ships that have no crew are known as “ghost ships”, but the USS North Carolina takes this to the extreme with reports of ghastly paranormal encounters and frightening occurrences. Let’s dive a little deeper into the brief history of this ship and the soldiers who reportedly never left.
In October of 1937, the keel was laid for the USS North Carolina at the New York Navy Yard. She was commissioned in April of 1941, making her the first battleship constructed in 16 years. The USS North Carolina, along with 10 other battleships, joined the American fleet in the early stages of World War II.
This ship participated in every single naval offensive on the Pacific front and steamed over 300,000 miles during her lifespan. The crew of the USS North Carolina consisted of 144 officers and 2,195 enlisted men. Despite this, only 10 men lost their lives aboard the ships and only 67 were wounded. There were many close calls during the war, the most famous of which being a Japanese torpedo slamming into the hull, but the USS North Carolina was never sunk.
The ship was decommissioned in June of 1947 and became a part of the inactive reserve fleet for 14 years. She was going to be scrapped until a campaign by citizens of North Carolina saved the battleship. The USS North Carolina was then moved to Wilmington in 1961 and has not moved since.
World War II was a devastating time for people around the world and the loss of life was unprecedented. Even though the USS North Carolina did not suffer many casualties, it is unsurprising that spirits still roam the empty corridors of this vessel.
Walking up to this ship is intimidating enough, given its size, but stepping foot alone into the freezing corridors can put any visitor on edge. While there don’t seem to be any violent spirits aboard, many have reported similar encounters that show some soldiers never left this ship.
The Young Blond-Haired Man
By far, the most common spirit reported is that of a young blond-haired man. Supposedly, he will appear at random parts of the ship and even try to interact with those around him. He is not a violent spirit, but it seems that he loves a good jump scare.
A night watchman aboard the USS North Carolina reported years ago that he was going about his duties on the ship and ensuring there were no trespassers when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He whipped around but saw nothing. When he heard footsteps from another direction, he quickly turned his flashlight to the area and screamed as the light passed through the ghostly apparition of a stark blonde sailor.
His story is validated by the many visitors that have reported seeing the same spirit who often disappears shortly after being seen. He’s been known to try to communicate with people to no avail. What he could possibly be trying to say, though, is a mystery.
A Ghost Crew That Never Quit
Aboard the USS North Carolina, it is not uncommon to see shadowy figures in the corner of your eye and hear banging noises throughout the ship. There are theories that these spirits are not aware they are deceased, so they have never quit their duties aboard the ship. This results in reports of doors opening and closing, whistling, and lights turning on and off.
Some previous paranormal experiments were conducted via EVP sessions and spirits were questioned about who the current United States president is. Supposedly, the named Roosevelt can be distinctly heard on some of these recordings.
Whoever these spirits may be, it seems as if they are unable to rest and forever trapped in the time period when they died.
Faces in the Portholes
Visitors have reported exiting the ship after a tour being conducted and looking back to see a ghostly face peering out at them through a porthole on the ship. When inquiring as to who remains on the ship, the answer is always the same: there is no one left aboard.
Some have even reported seeing faces peering out from the portholes of locked doors on the ship while on their tour, which disappear upon a second glance.
The Washroom Sailor
When the Japanese torpedo struck the side of the USS North Carolina, records from the ship show that a soldier died in the washroom of the battleship. It seems that he remains trapped in this location, as the washroom is one of the eerier parts of the ship that can sometimes make visitors uncomfortable.
Footsteps can be heard and reports of a cold feeling washing over everybody in the room are relatively common. Objects have also been thrown and people claim to have felt the sensation of being touched. Given the tragic and sudden death of the sailor within the washroom, it would come as no shock to anyone if his spirit remains on the USS North Carolina.
Considering the history of this battleship, as well as the paranormal encounters, there is no doubt that the USS North Carolina is one of the most haunted places in the state and perhaps the country. Whether it be the untimely death of a soldier or an entire crew still manning their stations, this vessel has no shortage of spirits lingering about. If you’re brave enough to visit the site, check out our schedule and attempt to communicate with the sailors aboard this battleship yourself.