Be honest; how many of you knew this was a thing? Well, given that cars have been known to be haunted, why not planes as well? This isn’t a phenomenon that we often hear about. I’ll be truthful and say that I only became familiar with these stories through an assignment from my day job. Come to find out, there are a lot of airplane ghost stories on the Internet, especially on pilot and flight attendant message boards. It’s fascinating to see how similar experiences happened on the same aircraft. Of course, I realize that many of these stories could be elaborate hoaxes. I’m more interested in the whole concept of “ghost culture” in our society and how we perceive ghost stories in different areas of life…planes included.
Here are some of my favorite encounters I found in my research. As you read, ponder this: How likely is it that planes can be haunted? Why or why not?
Demon on a Plane
Okay, I’m not convinced this was an actual case of possession by a demon. In December 2017, a woman caused an Air China plane to turn around and go back to Beijing. After the plane took off, the woman collapsed about 20 minutes into the flight. Given that she was unresponsive, the captain decided to turn the plane around. However, when the woman came to, she wasn’t very receptive to receiving any help. She declared that there were things “possessing” her body and she started thrashing and becoming emotionally unstable. It took six people to get her under control. What’s even more creepy is that the woman said that there were not only things possessing her body, but that they couldn’t be found with health checks.
Eastern Airlines Flight 401
This is probably one of the most famous ghost stories in relation to airplanes that I’ve read about. On December 29, 1972, Eastern Airlines Flight 401 went down in the Everglades and took 101 lives. The plane departed from New York City and was heading towards Miami. As the plane was preparing to land, the landing gear indicator light wasn’t on. It was later reported that the light had burnt out and the landing gear was down. However, the crew became so distracted by the reported malfunction that the plane crashed. Pilot Bob Loft, and flight engineer Donald Repo, were among the perished. After the crash, it was rumored that the functional parts that were left were used for parts on other planes. After that, there were over 20 reports of Loft and Repo being sighted. Repo was often seen warning the passengers that there was something wrong with the plane, while Loft was seen sitting next to passengers. While this could be an elaborate ghost story, one has to wonder if Repo and Loft were trying to make amends for their mistake in life.
How sore would you be if you were sent home from work, and then killed in a car accident on the way home? That’s what happened to a flight attendant who was working on an A320 aircraft that was run by the Constellation International Airlines. While she was doing her pre-flight check, she fell ill and called her boss. The flight attendant ended up being sent home. While she was driving back, she ended up getting killed in a car accident. After the accident, it seemed that her soul went back to the plane she was supposed to work on. Flight attendants and pilots reported hearing her whisper in their ears, screaming for help over the intercom, as well as causing mechanical issues on the plane. Not only is Casper still reporting for work, but she is also wreaking havoc. Could it be a revenge plot? The flight itself is known as the “Scairbus.”
The Yellow One
A Boeing 737-8Q8 belonging to Sterling Airlines has created quite a reputation for itself. Flight crew members, and even the cleaning crew don’t like to go on this plane at night. Why? There have been reports of footsteps being heard on the roof of the plane, even at over 30,000 feet in the air! There is nothing more unsettling than hearing footsteps above your head when you’re flying over the Atlantic Ocean. Supposedly, a woman died on the plane, and it is believed that her spirit never got off the plane.
I found two stories with striking similarities, which makes me think that this is purely myth. Or, for the hardcore believers out there, it could be evidence of similar phenomenon happening on airplanes. Both of these stories occurred on a Virgin Atlantic flight. In the first story, there was an old lady wandering around the plane and complaining that she was cold. The flight attendants found her and took her to the crew rest area to sleep. She gave them her name and they looked her up on the passenger manifest. They found her last name and went to the seat noted on the report. The flight attendants found a man, who was her son, and told them what happened. The man turned pale and said that his mother was indeed on the plane, but she was in a coffin in the cargo area. The man showed them a photo of his mother, and it was the same woman who was seen wandering the aisle. The old woman was never seen again.
In a similar story, there was an old man standing in the aisle of a plane by the cabin door. When the flight attendant asked him if he needed anything, he told her to tell his wife, “It’s okay.” The flight attendant got the wife’s name and went to the woman’s seat. After delivering the message, the wife showed the flight attendant a picture of the man. Once his identity was confirmed, the wife said that her husband recently passed, and his body was being transported on the plane.
A 747 aircraft belonging to South African Airways was used on the set of Casino Royale. The galley doors would open and close by themselves. During filming, crew members reported seeing a woman walking up and down the aisle at night. The lights would also turn on and off…and keep in mind this plane didn’t always have functional power while filming. Needless to say, crew members refused to stay on the plane overnight.
Senior Flight Attendant
What if you loved your job so much that you kept working even in the afterlife? While there is no specific flight mentioned, this story of a ghostly flight attendant is interesting. A flight attendant with red eyes and a spooky appearance was seen on a red-eye flight walking up and down the aisles. The passengers would try to stop her and ask her for help, but she would only look straight ahead and kept walking. Given that the woman must have been dressed like a flight attendant for people to ask her for help, one must wonder who this woman was. She had been seen on so many flights, that she was given the name, “Senior Flight Attendant.”