Ghosts on a Plane: 5 Tales of Haunted Aircraft

When most people think of haunted locations, they likely imagine dilapidated old houses, creepy woods, or historical buildings with tragic histories. However, ghosts often lurk in unexpected places, like a modern plane soaring 30,000 feet in the air. Here are five true tales of haunted aircraft. I found the stories on two large aviation forums. Have a nice flight!

One Last Flight Together

“The story goes that a flight attendant went downstairs to prepare the beds for everyone. As she opened the stair house door and looked in an elderly man was sitting on the stairs. When the crew member challenged the “pax” about why he was down in a restricted area he said “Oh sorry, I am traveling with my wife who is upstairs in seat X. She will be worried about me. Can you tell her I am OK?”

The man went upstairs and into the lav just opposite the stair house door. The crew member duly went to talk to the man’s wife who was astonished to hear the story as her husband was indeed traveling home with her but in a coffin in the hold!!

A description of the man was correct as witnessed by the flight attendant and the captain confirmed they were indeed carrying a body. The lav was checked for the man but it was empty!”

The Senior Flight Attendant

airplane“On one long night flight (on a nameless airline), with the cabin darkened and the curtains pulled tight across the galley, I saw a mysterious figure walk down the aisle. She had a pale, withered complexion with reddened, haunted eyes that peered unresponsively ahead. The lady did not acknowledge any of the passengers who spoke to her or tried to attract her attention.

At breakfast time, I asked the crew member serving me about this apparition. She shuddered and confided in me that the specter was know to the crew and called ‘a senior flight attendant.’”

Plane Spooky

“I work for a handling agent at Copenhagen airport. One of our customers, Sterling Airlines (NB), has an aircraft that is said to be haunted, a Boeing 737- 8Q8. She is known as “the yellow one.” The cleaning staff are especially scared of cleaning the yellow one at night. Some even refuse to go on board. Both staff and passengers have had experiences on board this aircraft. It is said that people have heard thumping noises on the roof (as if someone is walking on the roof), both in the air and on the ground. Some passengers have said “Ohhh no, not the yellow one” when they are at the gate about to board. I know a woman died on board that aircraft. Perhaps it’s her spirit?”

The Ghost of Eastern Airlines Flight 401

EA_401_CrashNote: Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 crashed in the Florida Everglades on December 29, 1972, killing 101 of the 176 people onboard. EA reportedly salvaged parts of the wrecked aircraft for use on other planes in its fleet, and passengers and crew members reported seeing the ghosts of captain Bob Loft and flight engineer Don Repo on outgoing flights. John G. Fuller’s 1976 book, The Ghost of Flight 401, explores the hauntings and inspired a made-for-TV movie by the same name.

“During one of those overnight shifts in the summer, Jessica (a no-nonsense crew member) said she had boarded an L-1011 and began cleaning the aircraft along with the crew to which she was assigned. Upon entering the lower galley area of the aircraft, she noticed immediately that it was cold to the point of being nearly frigid. She couldn’t figure out how in the world that could be considering this was Atlanta and in the middle of a summer night no less.

Jessica began cleaning the galley, as well as a cleaning of the ovens that she described in detail, though I don’t remember it in exacting specifics. Upon glancing into the reflection of one of the galley oven glass doors, she saw the reflection of a person behind her in uniform. She looked over her shoulder, didn’t see anyone, looked back into the glass, saw the reflection again, and, mildly paraphrasing, moved like lightning and bolted off to her crew lead.

Afraid the lead would think she was crazy, but not caring she asked him “What the hell was that???” “What the hell was what?” her lead asked. She told him what she had seen. “Oh yeah, that, you’ll see that from time to time.” Jessica was so dumbfounded from the response she got from her lead that she began asking around. She got the whole story on the 401 parts thereafter and said she never went into another L-1011’s galley because of that happening.”


rusty bolts plane“The sightings occurred on TWA also. TWA had received parts. An Eastern pilot was seen in the cockpit once by a TWA cockpit crew as they boarded a TWA L1011. Sitting at the engineer’s desk, he warned them about the number three engine, stood up, left the cockpit and promptly disappeared.

Another incident occurred on the L1011 in F/C. An Eastern pilot sitting next to a passenger magically disappeared as she was talking to him. The lady began screaming and was deplaned due to hysteria. (We joked that she had bored him to death.)

Both airplanes had parts from the crashed jet on them. There were plenty of unsubstantiated stories, so much so that TWA made sure every Eastern part was replaced. It made for very scary moments in the galley, alone on a L1011, at night.” 

Photos: morgueFile, Wikimedia

16 thoughts on “Ghosts on a Plane: 5 Tales of Haunted Aircraft

  1. Eastern Airline’s Flight 401 crashed while it was on a holding pattern over Everglades,the flight crews had put the aircraft on auto pilot & were focused their attention on landing gear lights on the instrument,they were trying to remove the faulty bulb & in the process somebody disengaged the auto pilot leading to crash,

  2. Interesting about the Sterling Airlines 737. I flew with them, on a 737, a few years ago and just before landing there was a most peculiar “thump”. I had never heard a noise like it on an aircraft before. The adjacent passenger, who said he was a very frequent flyer, said he had not either. A flight attendant looked most disturbed, not a concern that there was a mechanical fault but something else. It was not the landing gear which you always hear when coming in to land, just something very odd. The plane continued it’s descent and landed normally. Probably just co-incidence but it was a very weird experience.

  3. In 1989, our family flew to California for a vacation. My daughter had been ill with cancer the year before, and was still feeling the effects of the disease, but wanted to make one more trip to Knott’s Berry Farm and Sea World before checking into the hospital upon our return. The vacation itself was lovely, the weather was perfect, everything went like clockwork. We returned to Phoenix on the same aircraft we had flown to California on, but sat in different seats than on the outwardbound trip. Suddenly, my daughter, who had been suffering chills, got colder and colder. She had already slipped on a heavy sweatshirt purchased for just that purpose, and I wrapped a Mexican blanket we had gotten at Knott’s around her—but, she got steadily colder. The attendant brought a blanket, and helped me wrap my daughter up like a cocoon, but, it didn’t help. It seemed forever before we landed at Phoenix. It took several hours for her to warm up. What was odd was that the rest of us, my three granddaughters, my brother and myself, as well as the other passengers, were perfectly comfortable the whole trip!

    About three weeks later, my brother flew to Ontario, California on busness, taking the same plane. He sat across the aisle from the seats we had occupied, and witnessed the lady sitting in the same seat my daughter had, beg for blankets–more blankets, please! She was freezing, although her husband and son on either side of her were rather warm, and said so.

    The attendant recognized my brother, and quietly told him she was convinced there was something wrong with tha particular seat because anyone who sat there–man, woman or child–complained of being cold, but had no explanation.

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  7. I STILL get goosebumps when I think of the movie with Ernie Borgnine playing the dead pilot ghost in the Phantom of Flight 401. I was a little kid back then but it really freaked me out and I can still see those eyes and his ghostly visage in my mind…yikes! Great movie.

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