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Ghostly encounters on Dobbins
Building 452, an HV-AC Utilities facility on Dobbins Air Reserve Base, is rumored to be haunted. Built in the 1960’s the building was originally used for base housing. In 2000, the building was re-opened for air-conditioning, heating and utilities instruction. “Even when there's no wind, I hear sounds like somebody is whaling or whistling in here,” said Master Sgt. Marc Mood, Dobbins utilities instructor. “I hear it all the time.” (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christina Bozeman)
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Ghostly encounters on Dobbins

Posted 10/14/2011   Updated 10/14/2011 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Christina Bozeman
94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

10/14/2011 - DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- Sounds of squealing, screeches, howls and garbled voices are nothing new to Master Sgt. Jeff Welch's ears. He's worked in HV-AC Utilities building 452 for more than 10 years.

Where Welch, a Water Fuel System Maintenance supervisor/instructor here on Dobbins Air Reserve Base, works and teaches heating, air conditioning and utilities classes, unusual noises and activities literally come with the territory. In building 452, there seems to be a student that never leaves and is eager to be heard and noticed.

Before building 452 was classrooms and offices, it was used for base housing. To the best of Welch's knowledge and from research, the house was built in the 1960's. Classes started being taught in the old house in 2000.

The structure of the house is original and remains untouched and in one substantial way. When Welch appears to be working in the building alone, he isn't. A ghost that he has dubbed the "haint" roams the hallways of the house. A haint is a southern term for spirit or a ghost, which is knowledge Welch gained from his grandmother.

After a few weeks of working in the building, he noticed thenoises and strange occurrences.

"It's a constant," Welch said. "You never know what will trigger it."

It's believed that the ghost is a child that died in the house. It's rumored that the child died while in great pain; whether the pain was from disease or inflicted upon by another force remains a mystery.

"When it's very quiet and still, you can hear it best," Welch revealed. "Some of the growls are long and low."

Besides the usual screeching and disembodied voices, the ghost likes to do a little redecorating at night when everyone is gone. There are many instances where Welch recounts he would come into work and find his paperwork, pens and pencils strewn over his desk--not in the neat, ordered stacks where he'd left them the previous evening.

"There are times when the doors will be opened and the chairs turned around," explained Welch. "Even the blinds will be drawn all the way up on occasion, and they are always kept down."

On one account, a former co-worker thought he heard Welch calling to him, "Come back," but with only the two of them in the office, it was not Welch who spoke the words.

The hallway of the house is where the haint roams most. Welch says his office will be the usual 72 degrees or so, while, on occasion, the portion of the hallway right outside of his office will be much chillier. "As soon as you cross the threshold, the temperature is drastically different," reports Welch.

"We're utilities, so we know about A/C and the ducts in the house." Master Sgt. Marc Mood, Utilites Instructor, has been working in the same office as Welch for two and a half years. Mood, who doesn't believe in ghosts or the supernatural, has also heard strange noises.

"Even when there is no wind, I hear sounds like somebody is whaling or whistling," Mood said. "I hear it all the time."

While it could just be the wind, it's believed that there is more to 452 than being an old drafty house. But with Welch's credible accounts, how can all the instances be dismissed?

The building's history is uncertain and despite the believers or naysayers, one constant remains. Something or someone is there and trying to communicate.

"It took some time for the comfort level to rise" Welch professed. "I'm not a person that's skeptical, and I do believe that there are spirits out here still."

10/14/2011 3:08:54 PM ET
We may need to have the Chaplains hold a prayer meeting in that house and contact the haint. I've heard the old house west of Lockheed plant that was the old Officers Club until about 30 yrs ago was haunted also.
Vince Curry, Dobbins
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