Perhaps the greatest horror story of the Western Front during World War I was the death surrounding the trenches. The stress, fear of dying, and the terrible and unsanitary conditions in the trenches affected the soldiers’ morale. The tales in the war zone perhaps reflected how the soldiers saw their current situation: their low morales brought the harbingers of doom, while their positive outlook created the story of divine beings saving men from death in No-Man’s land. Different stories sprung up, and here are some of those supernatural stories of World War I.

The Angels of Mons

According to the legend, the prayers uttered at Mons in Belgium were answered in the form of a ghostly apparition that descended from the heavens to protect the one who prayed.

On August 23, 1914, not even a month after World War I broke out, the British Expeditionary Force crossed the Channel when a large group of German invaders had just swept through most of Belgium. The British forces were caught in the muddy fields of Mons, exhausted, and could no longer resist the fresh German troops. They were surrounded and ready to be annihilated when someone said his prayer. It was answered by a ghostly host that stopped the Germans on track and scared the Germans and their horses.

Illustrated London News, Christmas number, The Ghostly Bowmen of Mons, fight the Germans from a drawing by A. Forestier. (After Amédée Forestier, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

On September 29, 1914, fantasy author Arthur Machen wrote a fictional story titled The Bowmen and published it in a London newspaper. His story was inspired by the rumors of divine intervention at Mons, sprinkled with his imagination. He told the late of a host of phantom archers from the 1415 Battle of Agincourt that appeared back to earth to save the Brits. What was interesting was the fact that people bought his story, with soldiers from the trenches confirming the tales of Mons angels. Even more interesting was in 1915, an officer told a curious phenomenon said to be witnessed by the Germans and the British when a cloud that protected the Tommies appeared and shielded them from enemies.