Tales From Qalat

Tales From The Grid Square

By Nick Orton


“I was deployed to Qalat, Afghanistan. I am 100% sure that the FOB I was on is haunted and seemed to be on another level of weird shit: Russian ghosts, Jinn, red-haired afghans that were tall as fuck (and villagers giving offerings to said red-haired dudes), and even huge three-foot camel spider that chased me from the showers (while I was butt ass naked and everyone laughed at my expense).


The first time I encountered the Russian ghosts, I believe they were warning me in a way. The day I saw the first one was when I was walking by our fueling station on FOB Sweeney. I heard someone say “hello” in Russian. I speak Russian so I figured it was someone fucking with me. But no one was there when I turned around. 


But what I did see behind me were footsteps pushing up clouds of that Afghan moon dust. Like someone was following me, but no one was there. But then I heard someone speak clearly in Russian “watch out.”


The next day we caught mortar fire from the Taliban. Luckily they were off, but as we were moving out to our positions I pointed out that the mountain near us had an oddly shaped mound on it. That’s when I saw what looked like Russians (at least what I thought from the uniforms I saw) standing next to the mound. I managed to snap a picture of them with my camera.  


The whole platoon thought I was crazy when I told them what I had seen! I was ordered to the COP where the CO took my camera. When I got it back, all the photos had been deleted. 


The next day we found an observation post the Russians had set up complete with arches and designations for mortars in a semi-circle. I found out Russians controlled the area during their war. I guess that the CO saw the pictures of the “ghosts” on the hilltop, which I think is the reason why we swept that area. As for the pictures, I think the CO didn’t want anyone getting afraid of our FOB.


There were other weird things that I experienced out there. Such as human screams at night and random flash floods that would happen the next day. During one such flood, an IED was randomly washed up at our front gate the next day in chest-deep water. We still don’t know how the IED could have been washed up and carried to our gate if it was buried. More so we couldn’t explain why it didn’t go off (and we’re lucky).


Then the ANA claimed there were red-headed “giant” tribes that lived in the area. You can see what I’m getting at. I asked some locals and our translators for more information because I’d never heard of such a thing. They were terrified of them and afraid to even talk about them in conversation.


Mysteriously, we had a six to eight-foot hole suddenly appear in the wall of our FOB at night. No one saw it happen or heard it happen, and there was no way someone could have used explosives to make that hole without us knowing. 


So we had to watch this hole until it was repaired. We kept an Mk19 on it at all times. When it was my night to stand watch on the hole, I saw what looked like glowing eyes peering at me from just outside the wall. I couldn’t make out anything, but I saw eyes staring back at me before they slipped off into the night. I called it in. The ANA was on patrol that night, but they apparently couldn’t be bothered to respond.”


  • Anonymous US Army Soldier

A Note From The Grid Square: 


Hello, Mission Essential Gear Company blog readers! 


Back again for our second entry for the MEG Blog, I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did. While the war in Afghanistan may be over, there can be no denying that it is a place deep in mystery and strangeness. 


If that story above intrigued you, you can read more like it in the book, “Tales From The Grid Square Volume I.” A collection of 240 such stories from across the branches of the US Armed Forces as well as foreign militaries available on Amazon as a paperback or on the Kindle App.


If you have a story that can be considered paranormal, strange, weird, and simply “not normal;” please reach out to me to share your story. I always keep the source anonymous, because I understand. You can directly message me on my Instagram account @Tales_From_The_Gridsquare or email me directly at: TalesFromTheGridsquare@gmail.com.