The Back Watch

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Before I start, you need to know that I’ve been in the military for 12 years. I have seen my fare share of creepy shit. Most of the buildings and ships are down right haunted as fuck.  I have been seeing ghost on and off since I was a kid, well more when I was a kid, not as much now, thank fuck.

This story takes place miles off the coast of South America. We were on deployment, so I’m not going to say what ship I was on, or when this took place. Now the ship that I was on wasn’t a stranger to ghost stories, and most my shipmates would gossip about their own, encounters. I didn’t believe it, at first. Cause even though I saw shit when I was young, it never bother me, and most of the stories were repeats from other ships.

Before I get into my encounter, left me put something in perspective for you, so you can understand what makes these, encounters, more creepy and unnerving then it would be on land. You’re on a ship, in the middle of the ocean, with no place to run, hide, or escape. You are trapped in a metal tin can, with nothing but the dark waters as your, “escape”.

So a ship works on watches, basically shift work. I’m not going to get to much into that, because it will take too lone. Just know, I was on the mids watch, or what we call the back watch. I was standing on the back of the ship, life boy sentry, (I think that explains itself). I was 20 minutes into my shift, it was quite, the sounds form props wash and the ocean wavs were lulling me into a relaxing state.  I was leaning on the bullworks(railing, but it’s fully inclosed), watching the stars and just thinking about life.

Somewhere in my trance like state, I felt unnerved, cold and just genially creeped out. I don’t  know why, but my body went right into fright or flight. I turned around and froze. There standing by the hatch leading into the ship, was a shadow. It was shaped like a man, but it was distorted. And no, it wasn’t because it was dark. There was red lighting back there, because where I stood, doubled as the smoking area.

At that time of nigh and knowing how other department run the shifts, no one should have been back there. That and, I didn’t hear the hatch open. It’s not a quiet entrance way, it’s heavy metal door, banging on metal.

I stared at it, I couldn’t move, my heart was racing. I took a step back, my foot hitting the bullworks. I was trapped. Freaking out, panic nearly had me over the side.

This shadow man, or whatever it was, didn’t move. We were in a stand off, and if that thing charged at me, I would meet a watery end. For what felt like a life time, the thing shift, like it was raising a hand. My heart stopped, my vision when black; I was going to die. But, the thing, slid, not walked, slip being a big rope reel. That reel was huge, and held our housers (lines use to secure the ship to the jetty).

I was still frozen, it was sound of a wave crashing that snapped me out of it. I took a breath that I didn’t know I was holding and, forced myself away from the railing. I don’t know what possessed me, but I quickly went to the houser reel. To this day I don’t know why I did it, but I freaking look behind it. There, was, nothing. I remember pulling away, backing away until I was back agents the railing. My eyes stayed the reel, heart pounding and fear like I’ve never felt before chocking me. The sense of being watch  suffocated me, and again, I was trapped.

I stayed like that until my relief showed up. I quickly turned over my gear to him and practically ran towards the hatch leading into the ship, into the light. I wish that was the end of it. But over the years I was on the ship, I seen that shadow in different parts of the ship. One night as I slept alone in the mess (sleeping quarters) I awoke. My heart was racing, fear had me shaking. Through my curtain I saw it, that thing, that shadow man. I surpassed a scream and closed my eyes, and just chanted. Go away, go away, go away!

Seconds, minutes passed and I opened my eyes. It was gone. I curled into a ball, in my small bunk, still shaking. I didn’t get back to sleep, and that wasn’t the only time it happened, nor was I the only one to seen… it.

That ship is now decommissioned, and I hope the shadow man went down with it.

There are things out there. This is but one, encounter. The ocean is a dangerous place……

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