I don’t believe in ghosts, but…



One of my writer friends posted a true ghost story of her own for Halloween so I thought I’d apologise for my long (inadvertent) absence by doing the same thing.

She presents her story very simply and leaves it to her readers to decide whether or not there is or was anything supernatural going on.https://louiselyonsauthor.com/2016/10/30/creepy-halloween-true-story/

My own story is similar in that I know there are all kinds of subconscious effects that might well have influenced what I am about to tell you. I am not a believer in any kind of afterlife but I do think there are a lot of unexplained things in the world. One day, some of them will be better understood.

A few years ago we went on a long trip that took us from Harwich in UK to Hamburg in Germany and then along the Baltic coast into Poland until we reached the eastern border. We alternated between camping and staying in small hotels or B&Bs. At the border we turned inland and decided to visit the Wolf’s Lair, Hitler’s military headquarters on the ‘eastern front’ where he planned a lot of his campaigns. At the time, I knew very little about it, being more familiar with Berchtesgaden in Bavaria and the V1 and V2 launch complexes in northern France.

We found ourselves booking to stay on the campsite inside the complex. This meant we got the campsite ‘free’ as part of our ticket and could explore the site before the main tourist influx in the morning, both of which benefits appealed. However, once we had registered, the gates were locked and we were stuck with the bar etc. they provided. We could have walked out of the site but the car was effectively imprisoned overnight. The nearest village was quite a distance and of course we had no idea whether it would be worth the walk. It wasn’t a particularly good campsite (inadequate hot water) but we settled down after eating at the bar. Poor food but we didn’t starve. I still knew nothing about the place other than the fact that it existed.

During the night I awoke several times, aroused by noise. I am virtually certain I was actually awake and not dreaming, though I have no such certainties about the actual source of the noise. There were two types of noise. One was very loud barking by a group of dogs – large breeds judging by the pitch of the sound. The other was the noise of trains, arriving, slowing, stopping, and then leaving. Neither sound was accompanied by anything else – no ‘visuals’ and nothing to suggest any kind of story. Nor did I hear any kind of conversation.

In the morning, I complained about the dogs and we realised that there were none on the site and that the nearest farm was too far away for me to have heard their dogs so clearly under any kind of weather conditions. As we walked around the site I saw rail tracks and thought fleetingly that they might explain the trains. But they were overgrown with grass and ended at the border of the complex. There were no railways in use anywhere near the site.

I read about the site and how it was used later, both on the way round through the explanations at each of the ruins, and in booklets we bought and were given. Yes, there were guard dogs, and yes, there were trains. I suppose I might have thought of both in advance but neither were things I would necessarily have associated with headquarters of this kind. Most of my reading had suggested Hitler’s staff travelled by car and that guards would have been soldiers. It was only when we learnt how massive the headquarters was that I realised that the dogs and trains made sense. And that only happened when we toured the complex after a broken night’s sleep.

A nice finishing touch to the experience was seeing and hearing a (very live) raven sitting on a tree opposite the ruins of Hitler’s bunker. He seemed to be expressing an avian opinion of the entire thing.

You can see photos and information about the site here: http://www.thirdreichruins.com/wolfschanze.htm

We took a lot of photographs (including one of the raven) but at the time did not have digital cameras. Rather than trying to find old albums and scanning in pictures I have merely used and photoshopped one of my more recent photographs of summer trees. My abiding memory of the site is of trees encroaching, softening, and eventually hiding all evidence of this ‘wolf’s lair’.

Ghost noises? I have no idea! I just know I heard them.

6 thoughts on “I don’t believe in ghosts, but…

  1. Fascinating story and totally believable. I have been to Berchtesgaden and into the bunkers (believe it or not while on my honeymoon in 1999). I didn’t hear anything spooky, or see anything, but I did find the experience extremely chilling, and felt as if I was being watched. Glad you posted this, very interesting read šŸ™‚

    • I was ‘inspired’ by your story to tell mine! I meant to crosspost it to FB, and still do, but my first version here had a typo and when I tried to post on FB the typo turned up even after I’d edited….. so I deleted it and will try again later. I have the same feelings about Berchtesgaden – like you, nothing spooky but the place is chilling. Same with the Wizernes bunker in France which has been turned into a fantastic museum.

  2. That was interesting. I don’t see why there can’t be echoes of the past that are picked up by sensitive individuals. There is certainly much in this world that can’t be explained by logic or science;)

    • Yes, I suspect very dramatic or intense events leave some kind of echo. I don’t really think of it as supernatural – just something natural that we haven’t quite understood yet!

  3. My inner cynic says the management are playing recordings of trains, dogs etc over a tannoy during the night to provide a Wartime Experience for their guests!! But if not, that’s truly creepy and certainly something to make one think…

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