An American Ghost In London – Bushy Park, Richmond

Paranormal Activity Reported at Former US Military Base.

During the Second World War, undissolvable bonds were forged between the English speaking nations of the world. The United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand unified in a common cause and have remained inextricably linked ever since.

Throughout the long, bloody conflict, London and the south of England naturally became the hub of allied military operations in Europe. Hundreds of thousand of servicemen from across the globe congregated there, combining in an effort to prevent the fall of England and to plan the liberation of Europe.

General Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, was cautious about locating the US military headquarters in central London, due to the heavy bombing regularly experienced in the capital. He was not willing to run the risk of his top military personnel getting caught up in the carnage of the blitz, so opted to move into Bushy Park on the outskirts of city instead. It was here that Camp Griffiss was founded in 1942.

Camp Griffiss remained in use after the allied victory in 1945, remaining a home-from-home for American servicemen until it was finally decommissioned and demolished in 1963. To commemorate the sacrifice of the soldiers who were stationed in Bushy Park, several memorials were constructed in their memory. However, it seems that these memorials are not the only traces of Camp Griffiss to remain.

Twenty-years after the camp was decommissioned, Bushy Park had returned to nature and had become a popular spot for dog walkers. In 1976, a father and son were out with their Labrador when they reached a large clearing. As they made their way across the grassland, they suddenly found themselves surrounded by noise. They described the experience as being like walking into a crowded party, hearing laughter, cheering and the noise of clinking glasses. Upping their pace, they were soon away from the ghostly din and everything fell quiet again.

Nine years later, a similar occurrence was reported in the local press. A group of joggers in Bushy Park had been spooked when they found themselves caught in the middle of a cacophony of unexplainable noise. The joggers included a prominent businessman, James Blythe, who was certain that in the midst of the bizarre, paranormal drone, he could hear the faint, wispy tones of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Interestingly, the occurrence was reported to have taken place on 10th May, two days after the 40th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe.

So is it possible that our American cousins stayed on in Bushy Park for a little while longer than we first realised? Could there be a group of American military ghosts haunting Richmond? Or are the paranormal experiences described above simply a trick of time, causing the emotional energy of the past to ripple into the future? It is well known that hauntings are particularly prevalent in locations that have previously experienced something horrific, traumatic or catastrophic. Perhaps it is the case that great outpourings of relief or happiness can also leave an indelible mark on the fabric of reality. Perhaps Victory in Europe was so warmly received that a little part of the the soldiers who celebrated it, remained forever in location at Bushy Park, in a perpetual cycle of jubilation. Whatever the answer, it is nice to think that there are happy ghosts out there as well, forever merry, forever victorious.

Read about the Mystery of Circle Line, London.


2 Replies to “An American Ghost In London – Bushy Park, Richmond”

  1. I’ve walked in Bushy park all my life and have never come across anything like this. I remember the soldiers camp and visited it as a child so its not the past for me its in my real memory. If I want to hear them I can. They had a military band and great ice cream …I can close my eyes and see it all …They don’t haunt me and they don’t haunt the park.They were joyful and brave and used to parade on chestnut avenue and play lovely music for us all.The locals would all come with their families . Could that be what your joggers heard? I think there may be such a thing as the veil being lifted between us and heaven in certain places and times. There may be “thin places” where heaven is strongly present for a moment in our time. This may be one of them……its not anything paranormal or from the dark side in my opinion. It just heaven telling us they are safely home and waiting for us to join them. They would not want to scare us .The soldiers I remember were kind to children and that is what they fought for. The family was all to them and maybe that is what they are trying to tell us to value in our current confusions.

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