Back in the late 1980s, I was stationed at McChord Air Force Base up in Washington. It’s located outside of Tacoma and near Fort Lewis Army Base, though both of those bases are combined into one instillation now. I was newly married at the time to my high school sweetheart, and had only been in the service for about two years. Back in those days, and I imagine even still today, the wilderness surrounded much of the compound. Both the Army and the Air Force used it for their training and most of the roads going to and from the posts had woods on either side. These aren’t just normal woods either, but very thick, deep, heavy woods you find in that area of the country. So, naturally, when driving on those back roads it could get kind of spooky. Being a truck driver, I often times had to travel back and forth from the Army base and the Air Force base by myself to deliver electronics and got use to how dark and creepy it could be. But my new wife did not often go out that way, and the few times she did, she was not a fan of being out there at night. She always felt like she would get lost if she was driving alone.
Naturally, the two of us found ourselves driving from McChord to Lewis one night in early November. I don’t remember specifically why we were going from one to the other at night, but I think it had something to do with her needing a specific spice for a recipe that the Commissary on McChord did not have. At the time, there was a lot of construction going on at the various different gates at Lewis, and when we reached the main gate, the MP told us that we would have to go to one of the other entry points in order to get on post if we did not feel like waiting a long time to get past the work zone. He sent us to the complete other side of the base, which was going to take a little bit longer than we had initially wanted to spend out that night. But, not having many options other than waiting, we decided that we would just go ahead and try the other gate.
There had been a light rain for most of the evening, but just as we had turned the car around to head down the side road towards the other gate, it really started to pick up and pour. I was driving an early ‘80s SUV that handled well in the rain, so it was no big deal in that aspect. The only downside was that the heater did not work that great, so the windows would fog up and take a while to clear up. It was chilly out and the two of us just wanted to get on post and out of the truck. I remember that as we drove, the rain picked up even more and it was getting harder to see even with my brights on. It was not long after the rain picked up that we saw her for the first time.
My wife noticed her first; she appeared to be a slim girl in a light colored nightgown or dress that was sticking to her body from the moisture. The girl was walking down the opposite side of the road, towards traffic, as we came up behind her. I slowed down, with the encouragement of my wife, to check on the girl and see if she needed any help. It did not seem out of place at first as to why she was walking out on the middle of nowhere back road in the first place. It was not until afterwards that I remembered never seeing any cars broken down from the direction she had been walking from. The closer we got to her, the easier to see that she was soaked from head to toe and looked very pale and cold. She also did not seem to even notice us pulling up behind her; or at least, she did not really seem to care that we were. Finally, I pulled up beside her and she stopped walking just as I did. I was rolling my window down right as my wife latched on to my arm and screamed in my ear.
I turned to my wife and asked her what the heck was wrong and she continued to scream and told me to step on the gas and get out of there quickly. I was confused as to why she would be saying that, as it was her idea to stop and offer help in the first place. With my window now fully down, and rain leaking down the side of the door, I turned back towards the girl on the road to see what was causing my wife to freak out so bad. That is when I finally noticed what had caused my wife to panic; the girl had no face. And I don’t mean that she was injured and missing her face. No, she had no face at all. It was like someone came by and smoothed off her features. She looked like how a mannequin at a store would look.
I did not stick around to find out what her issues were, as I slammed my foot down on the gas pedal and drove off as quickly as I could, which took longer than I had hoped thanks to the wet road. My wife was turned around in her seat and looking out towards where we had stopped. But instead of calming down the further we drove, she was getting more and more panicked. I asked her why she was still screaming and she said “The ghost is still behind us! It’s like we haven’t gone anywhere!” I didn’t understand what she meant at first, and adjusted my rearview mirror so that I could see behind us. In the taillights of my truck, as we were going down the road at about 30 MPH, was the image of the faceless girl in the rain. She looked like she was standing right behind the car as we were driving, but her legs were not moving at all. I started to freak out a little bit myself at that point.
But, not much further down the road, the girl’s image disappeared from the mirror and we eventually made it to the other gate unharmed. The two of us probably looked like ghosts ourselves by the time we pulled up to the MP checkpoint. I rolled my window back down, and the first thing the guy on duty says is “Sorry, the gate is closed to regular traffic; you’ll have to go back to the main gate and wait out the construction if you want to get on post.” I couldn’t believe it, not only did we drive all that way, but now we had to go back down the same road that had the ghost girl on it! I even said something to the MP about a ghost down the road and how we didn’t want to go back, but he just sort of acted like he didn’t want to know about it either and said sorry. I don’t blame him though, since he had to be out there by himself. I wouldn’t have wanted to hear about it either.
Reluctantly, my wife and I started back down the road towards the main gate. The rain actually started to let up some and it was easier to see. The two of us had our eyes peeled for the ghost girl, but before we knew it, we had returned to the front gate. We saw no signs of the faceless girl and weren’t really hoping that we did. The rest of the time I spent at McChord, I avoided going down that road and wouldn’t talk to anyone about the ghost we saw that night, not even each other. It was something that we both tried to pretend never happened. Though, I sometimes wonder who the girl was and why she was missing her face.