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Top 5 spooky fire stories for Halloween

Unexplained handprints, opening doors, voices and encounters plague the firefighters in these haunted fire stations


Lore has it that Fire Station No. 3 is haunted by several spirits.

Photo/Fort Lauderdale Fire Dept

Just in time for Halloween, here are some creepy firefighting stories for you to enjoy!

1. The ghost at Butte County Fire Station 55 in Bangor, Calif.

Firefighters at this historical firehouse claim this place is haunted. Some attribute it to the “sagging walls” and “passing wind” creating the illusion of the ghost, but many people who have been there for years say there is definitely a ghost inhabiting the station.

Station 55 is an old decrepit combo of buildings that go all the way back to the Gold Rush, and have been remodeled into one building as the current fire station, according to Phantoms and Monsters.

Crew members say they have all encountered the ghost, who reportedly doesn’t like it when some doors of the station are closed.

“All of the people (at the station) have experienced it one time or another. It just happens. You just work with it,” Captain Scott McLean said. He’s been at the station for almost 10 years.

Captain McLean said that things are often moved unexplainably, and the ghost would even pull engines’ ignition wires on a regular basis. Even the station dog that used to be there would be freaked out by the believed apparition.

Not much is known about the ghost – if it’s a boy or a girl, a child or an adult, but many believe in it, even initial non-believers.

Firefighter Anthony Brown was one such non-believer who was sleeping at the station when he suddenly felt “pinned down” by something. He tried calling out for help, but wasn’t able to.

“Then I felt this blast of wind for 20 or 30 seconds, and then it passed. I was able to get up … and turned on every light possible,” he said.

Others have had similar experiences with the “ghost.”

Some speculate the ghost is a past city mayor or sheriff, or a woman who may have been involved in one of their murders.

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2. The handprint of Frank Leavy

Firefighter Frank Leavy reported to work at Chicago Fire Department Engine Co. 107, Truck Co. 12 for his daily routine of cleaning.

Chicago Hauntings says that the story started out on Good Friday, 1924, and the typically jovial Leavy seemed out of touch and distant. His fellow firefighters didn’t know what was wrong.

The husband and father of two went on with his duties, cleaning and listening to the telegraph when they heard of a four-alarm fire. Their station was too far away to respond, yet Leavy felt worried.

He put his hand against the window he was cleaning and made a grim prophecy: “This is the last day on the fire department.”

No one really knew what to say but were interrupted when they were called to respond to the four-alarm. The other stations closer to the blaze were already overwhelmed by another fire.

The firefighters arrived at the burning building, going into the building to fight the blaze. With no breathing apparatus, they had to crawl back and forth to the window to get air.

Crews fought the fire for half an hour, with no progress. Suddenly their commanders started yelling at them to evacuate, but it was too late.

Eight bodies were found, one of them Leavy’s. His chest was crushed by the wreckage, but his body intact.

When firefighters returned to the station, they noticed that Leavy’s handprint was still there.

Despite repeated attempts to clean off the handprint, no one could, not even window cleaners who used harsh chemicals.

A coroner came by and compared a finger print from Leavy to the handprint.

A complete match.

On the anniversary of Leavy’s death, 20 years later, a paperboy accidentally broke the window while delivering the newspaper, making it impossible to confirm how or why the print stayed for so long.

Some say a chemical produced by Leavy’s pancreas caused the print to stay that long, but no one knows for sure.


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3. Ghost stories of Fire Station 3

In the video below, hear stories of from firefighters of the supposedly haunted Fort Lauderdale Fire Station, also known as Historic Fire Station #3.

Lore has it that the station is haunted by several spirits, one of which is supposedly Firefighter Robert Leeland Knight who died two days after Christmas in 1940 on his second week at the station.

Firefighters at the station say they can hear voices through the intercom system or feel cold breezes on the back of their necks.

Some also say spirits from the nearby Indian burial ground or victims of lynchings that occurred near the firehouse.

4. Sunshine Fire Station in Australia

In 1974, Firefighter John Laverick was working with his crew at the Sunshine Fire Station. While going through drills, when the doors to the engine bay opened as if someone was coming in.

The firefighters decided to cut the drills short after that, according to Castle of Spirits. Crews had long-heard mysterious footsteps walking all around the firehouse, but this was the first time a door had opened all on its own.

A firefighter was in the firehouse alone when he saw the same doors open and slam shut again. He went out to investigate, but found no one. He then got a call on the intercom, but when he got no response back, he went to where the call was coming from, and no one was there. He claimed he was completely alone there.

Another firefighter, Charlie McDonald said he was on duty at the station when an unbearably heavy weight pushed him down and pinned his arms to his side. He said the pain was so intense that he thought he was having a heart attack.

Suddenly, the weight lifted and he could breathe again.

Crews there theorize the mysterious presence is that of a firefighter who hung himself at the station during WWII.

The station has since been given to private owners, stopping all operation in 1987. The current owners though, still report hearing unexplained footsteps, odd human-shaped shadows with no one to cast it, and other strange noises.


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5. A Boyd County, Ky., fire station

Investigators from Huntington Paranormal checked out this approximately 25-year-old firehouse, where firefighters reported hearing children’s’ voices and banging when no children were present.

Firefighters also said they heard the sound of someone scraping their boot on the drainage grate, and one even said he was pushed by something invisible.

Other crew members say they have seen an apparition of a firefighter in a blue uniform sitting in one of the fire trucks.

Investigators reported feeling someone touch their elbows, others felt a sensation on their faces. All unexplained experiences took place in the bay, where the apparatus are parked. Several of the investigators also said they heard a woman’s voice.

While using devices to capture “electronic voice phenomenon” and asking for any spirits to give a sign of their presence, they heard a knocking.

Investigators, after going through their recordings found that they had captured a male voice and a child’s voice, who both seemed to respond when other firefighters asked questions aimed at the supposed spirits.

You can listen to them here:

This article, originally posted on Oct. 26, 2015, has been updated.