The story was recently posted on Reddit in a paranormal group.
“I was an infantryman during the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, my unit is 1/22 IN 4th ID.
We entered Baghdad and then occupied an airfield north of the city. Then we headed north on Highway One. Most of my unit remained in Tikrit (Saddam’s hometown), but my company continued north with the 66th Armored Regiment towards a huge enemy ammunition dump near Baiji.
We began to operate in the area, and then soon moved to the nearest airfield K2, and established a more permanent post.
There was an abandoned residential area at K2 airfield, not far from the end of the runway. This was the lodging for the Iraqi air force that operated the base, but they left before we arrived. What was strange is that it seems to have been abandoned long before our invasion. There were pots and pans in the sink, clothes hung from a rope, but everything was covered in a thick layer of dust. The marauders were there of course (they were everywhere at the time), but they took almost nothing from there.
My unit moved to the end of the airfield, to several bombed-out warehouses, and another company moved to the largest houses in an abandoned residential area that we began to call the “ghost town.” But they left there after about a week.
I asked one of the very tired-looking military men why they fled from there, because we all envied the fact that they lived in real houses (albeit abandoned, dilapidated), and not in bombed-out warehouses, like us, and I was curious to know the reason their soon moving.
He said that they could not sleep there because the doors of the apartments were opening and closing all night, and they also heard footsteps running back and forth along the corridors, and then, finally, they began to see children’s faces looking at them through the windows!
The US Army, of course, does not believe in ghosts, but you understand that in order to force their command to withdraw their entire company from the ghost town, some very tangible events had to happen that affected their combat readiness.
Their move meant that now our residence was the new perimeter of our point closest to the ghost town, so now every night we provided night security for our warehouse. Each of us had an hour shift, and the watch lasted all night. We had thermal sights and night vision, and we sat and scanned the desert looking for enemy activity.
During the shift, we all heard sounds, as if children were laughing and playing somewhere all night. It looks like there was a playground in the ghost town, but we checked it with our thermal imagers and it was always empty.
Pebbles were often thrown at us. We sat on watch, singly or in pairs, and heard laughter when something was throwing stones at us. Nothing fancy, but imagine seeing the stones bounce off your face, your helmet, your vest.
All this time we scanned with night vision equipment and never saw anyone. This happened night after night; we all talked about it with each other, nobody was happy with it, but we gradually got used to this state of affairs.
In 2004, our command changed, and upon learning of this strange situation, our new commander began to convince us: “There is no supernatural activity in this ghost town, only enemy activity.”
This was partly true, because from this direction we were several times attacked with sniper fire and RPGs. So he decided to organize a night patrol and ambush the ghost town every night.
We were already busy looking for weapons of mass destruction during the day, raiding Saddam’s Baathists at night. We had an 18-36 hour patrol, guarding convoys, more patrols, a show of force, ambushes, a lot of work! And now this too.
So we started doing these patrols. My squad made a new patrol several times, and when I walked through the ghost town it always seemed too dark. From the time of colonialism, an old British fort with firing ports and towers remained there. Sidewalk streets and pretty decent houses were all empty.
While patrolling, we could still hear children playing somewhere, but these sounds here seemed as faint and muffled as when we were guarding the perimeter. We climbed onto the roof, ambushed and just listened. Howling wind, children’s voices, and more.
We were patrolling a ghost town with a modified wedge one night. One of our soldiers suddenly exclaimed, “What the fuck!” And then shouted: “What the hell is this !!!” He aimed his weapon in the middle of our formation, then dropped his weapon and ran away.
He ran alone in the dark, unarmed in the middle of the battle zone, trying to get away from everyone. Those of us who looked where he pointed have seen it. Those of us who looked at the fleeing soldier heard this.
With us was a solid shadow, slightly human-like. Tall, with very long arms, thin legs and a very narrow torso. He turned his head back and forth, as if surprised to be found. He bent down and then jumped. He squatted down on the nearest mesh fence, still facing us, and turned his head to look at us.
Then his eyes quickly flashed red, and then he jumped off the fence and disappeared into the night. We caught up with the escaped soldier, our detachment was furious. He was scolded a little, as he completely lost his composure, screamed and cried.
This soldier was once a brave soldier. I personally saw him shoot the enemy at close range. We’ve all been through a lot and we were confident and competent. And what we saw that night was not the worst that we experienced in this war.
But the common enemy was clear to all of us, and this creature was not. This was by far the most disturbing thing I have ever seen as it seemed to have a goal of keeping up with us.
From that moment, when it was our turn to patrol the ghost town, our squad leader led us to the outskirts and we just sat in ambush. I’m sure we all appreciate it to this day. ”