CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Pilot Magazine today click here

Haunted airfields in the UK: 5 terrifying locations

PUBLISHED: 13:19 12 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:20 12 October 2017

(c) HeinriBrink, Thinkstock

(c) HeinriBrink, Thinkstock

Heinri Brink

There are a few sights more unsettling than that of an abandoned airfield or a hangar after dark, places that were often subject to events of considerable historic trauma or sadness. Here are 5 of the UK’s most supernaturally active airfields.

RAF Metheringham, Lincolnshire

Dozens of reports have been made of a ghostly female figure stalking the area near this former WW2 bomber airfield in Lincolnshire. The spectre is believed to be the lingering spirit of Catherine Bystock, a 19-year-old member of the Women’s Auxillary Air Force who was courting a flight sergeant based at Metheringham.

The pair were due to be married yet their love would be cut short when Bystock was thrown from her lover’s sidecar and killed. Her apparition – still dressed in WAAF attire - appears at the spot where she died, sometimes flagging down passing motorists to aid the stricken pair. Be careful when you’re in the area at around 9:30pm, that’s when the ‘Metheringham Lass’ appears.

Grove Airfield, Oxfordshire

Although the runways are now largely overrun by agriculture, at its peak during WW2 both RAF and USAAF men were based at the site as squadrons primarily used the site as a base from where to launch reconnaissance missions.

Seen near the former chapel, a ghostly pilot wearing an oxygen mask is theorised to be either a fighter pilot who crashed and burned to death or a crewman from Wantage named Symons whose Lancaster went down nearby while his father watched from the ground. Voices with no apparent source have also been heard in a hangar where an American serviceman hanged himself years before.

IMGP0246

RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk

Located just south of Docking, the area was first used for military operations in WWI, at one point housing the Handley Page V/1500 bomber, the largest craft of its type at the time. The base was redeveloped for Coastal Command during WW2 and it’s believed three crewmen who crashed their Lockheed Hudson at the base now haunt its squash courts.

The men were frequent players of the racquet sport and numerous sources – including a Japanese TV crew filming a documentary - have reported hearing the sound of ball on string and wall or doors mysteriously closing. The noises of everyday airfield life and phantom aircraft overhead have also been noted, further adding to the station’s paranormal intrigue.

RAF Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire

This former heavy bomber station – once home to a Lancaster that held the record for most operational sorties over 974 hours of flight time – was notorious for its challenging conditions and some thick fog led to one of the first reported ghost stories at the location.

In 1945, Corporal Hilary got lost in thick fog while driving across the airfield. When he stopped, some crewmen appeared from the fog but completely ignored his request for directions before disappearing into the fog again. After the war, a family living in the control tower were regularly visited by an airman, heard unusual morse code tappings and even saw a phantom Lancaster take off outside.

Lydons Crew 1943/44

RAF Alconbury, Cambridgeshire

Despite this base still being active – the current USAAF occupants will leave in the coming years however - there is no shortage of supernatural goings on. Many stationed at the base have reported seeing an unearthly creature – potentially a werewolf – prowling the area and one witness was so spooked he locked himself in a cockpit and refused to come out.

A tale from the 1970s also tells of a pilot found unresponsive in the back of a phantom jet, with some saying that the man had been quite literally frightened to death. The whole area is rife with paranormal activity and the laughs of children killed in a nearby train crash in 1876 can be heard within Alconbury’s grounds – thank god there’s plenty of aircraft to make a quick escape from the area.

________________________________

Follow Pilot Mag on Facebook and Twitter

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Pilot visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Pilot staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Pilot account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Features

Thursday, October 12, 2017

There are a few sights more unsettling than that of an abandoned airfield or a hangar after dark, places that were often subject to events of considerable historic trauma or sadness. Here are 5 of the UK’s most supernaturally active airfields.

Read more
Friday, October 6, 2017

Motoring journalist, RV builder and pilot Colin Goodwin relishes the chance to fly the Folland Gnat, former RAF trainer and first Red Arrows’ mount. Photos from Keith Wilson

Read more
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Keep your diary clear, these aviation events will have your October sorted.

Read more
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Annual Flying Legends Air Display at Duxford provides outstanding flying nostalgia and two remarkable incidents to P-51 Mustangs. Words and photos by Peter R March

Read more
Friday, September 8, 2017

Familiar to ATC members, the Venture certainly teaches basic training and airmanship skills but is stuck somewhere between glider and aeroplane. Words Dave Unwin Photos Keith Wilson

Read more
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

One of the first racing drivers to fly himself to meetings in his own aircraft, Ron Flockhart raced at the top level in sports cars and Formula One before a growing interest in long distance record flights led to high adventure and stark tragedy. By Neil Follett & Nick Stroud

Read more
Friday, July 28, 2017

This family-owned licensed airfield has a strong Rolls-Royce connection – and it shows

Read more
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

If you like to get away from it all and enjoy stunning scenery, this is about as far as you can get from anywhere

Read more
Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Near Leighton Buzzard there’s an airfield that deserves to be more widely known

Read more
Thursday, June 22, 2017

The juvenile bad boy from Wales who became an upright citizen, teaching himself to fly along the way…

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read


Subscribe or buy Pilot Magazine