On March 11, 2011, a massive tsunami roared over the coast of Japan, destroying entire towns and claiming over 18,000 lives. While the horrific event is a distant memory for most, the survivors’ pain and grief is still very real, and so are their tales of the paranormal. In “Ghosts of the Tsunami,” recently published in London Review of Books, author Richard Lloyd Parry shares a few of the chilling tales to emerge from Japan’s tsunami-devastated regions.
Though ghost hunters flock to graveyards and crumbling old mansions, not all spirits haunt these traditional locales. In fact, many stories emerge from some of the least interesting places on Earth: parking lots. The Web is full of tales of haunted car parks and ghostly garages, including a few that made international headlines. Here are five of them.
Puckett’s Wrecker Services, Oklahoma City, OK
In 2002, Oklahoma City resident Tracy Martin died from injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. Eighteen days after her death, a staff member at Puckett’s Wrecker Services saw a transparent white figure floating on the business’s security monitor. The folks at Puckett’s say the figure was Tracy searching for her red truck, which the business had recently moved. The story made international headlines and was featured in an episode of My Ghost Story.
Meeting Street Parking Garage, Charleston, SC
Construction projects in downtown Charleston often turn up bones and old graves. However, when the city built a parking garage atop a Quaker graveyard, they also found a few spirits. Weird happenings at the garage include random cold spots, shadowy figures, and an odd amount of dead batteries. The garage is a common stop for Charleston ghost tour companies who claim spirits of the deceased enjoy following tourists to their car. Note: I used this garage several times when I lived in Charleston, and the only trouble I had was an oblivious motorist who backed into my car and drove off. Maybe a ghost made her do it?
Nationwide Arena Parking Garage, Columbus, OH
The Ohio State Penitentiary stood for 160 years before authorities tore it down to build a parking garage for the Nationwide Arena. Hundreds of people died at the old jail, including 322 inmates who perished in a 1930 fire. Now, weird events plague the modern garage, including strange orbs, the smell of smoke, unexplained screams, and the sound of phantom flames.
Greenwood Mall, Bowling Green, KY
According to local legend, a man parked his van at the Greenwood Mall parking lot and then died inside the vehicle. No one knew who the man was or where he came from. When police removed the van, it left behind a large grease stain that has yet to fade and is apparently impossible to remove. Now, shoppers who park their vehicle in the mystery man’s spot and leave it overnight will return to a man sprawled motionless in the passenger seat. If the startled vehicle owner phones the police, “the Sleeper” will be gone before authorities arrive. Folks also whisper about a murder that allegedly occurred in the lot, but like many ghost legends, the story is difficult to prove.
Unknown Parking Garage, Japan
This ghost video is popular among paranormal enthusiasts, but I don’t know much about it other than it came from Japan. Here’s a quote GhostStudy.com posted:
“I got this movie clip from my friend who works as a chief security guard at a Japanese company. He brought the tape over to show me something unusual. Afterwards, he converted it onto avi format with his computer. I don’t know if it’s a camera distortion or a real ghost, but it’s very interesting!”
Fake or not, I think the video is super creepy. Of course, Japan has the freakiest ghosts.
Don’t assume ghosts only haunt old buildings or dilapidated graveyards. After all, who knows what secrets lie buried beneath the concrete layers of your local parking lot.
Know of a haunted parking lot? Share your tip or story here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.