|Retellings of ghost stories, spooky tales, hauntings, and supernatural events. Scary ghost stories come from all over America.|
It was the sound of laughter and children’s voices that caught my attention. Curious, I materialized in my old bedroom and went out into the hallway to peer over the railing by the grand staircase. The voices had come from the Great Hall, where the house tours gathered. Yes, there were two children scampering about, to the distraction of their parents. An older boy and a tousled haired little toddler who reminded me of my own daughter at that age.
Oh, you hear the stories about how dangerous Ouija boards are, but hey—it’s just a game. Mary waited until midnight to begin our little game, and the four of us—Sarah, Jessie, me, and, Mary, started by asking all kinds of silly questions.
Army of the Dead
A laundress, newly moved to Charleston following the Civil War, found herself awakened at the stroke of twelve each night by the rumble of heavy wheels passing in the street. But she lived on a dead end street, and had no explanation for the noise.
Aunty Greenleaf and the White Deer
Aunty Greenleaf was a scrawny old woman with a wild thatch of gray hair and a crooked nose. She lived in a hut surrounded by pines just outside Brookhaven, and she sold herbal remedies to the folks in town. Mostly, people avoided her, except when someone got sick because it was said that Aunty Greenleaf was a witch. Her home remedies worked too well to be natural. Folks figured she had to have help from the devil or one of his familiars...
Axe Murder Hollow
Susan and Ned were driving through a wooded empty section of highway. Lightning flashed, thunder roared, the sky went dark in the torrential downpour. “We’d better stop.” Said Susan. Ned nodded his head in agreement. When he stepped on the brake, the car started to slide on the slick pavement. They went off the road and slid to a halt at the bottom of an incline.
Bear Lake Monster
If you travel to Bear Lake in Utah on a quiet day, you just might catch a glimpse of the Bear Lake Monster. The monster looks like a huge brown snake and is nearly 90 feet long. It has ears that stick out from the side of its skinny head and a mouth big enough to eat a man. According to some, it has small legs and it kind of scurries when it ventures out on land. But in the water - watch out!...
The Master of the plantation was a firm supporter of the Confederate President and had committed to send as much food as he could to the Southern army. Things were going well at first, until the Yankees began attacking the Master's supply lines. The Master suspected a traitor among his slaves, and soon discovered that the Yankee spy was a slave-woman named Big Liz.
When Felix Agnus put up the life-sized shrouded bronze statue of a grieving angel, seated on a pedestal, in the Agnus family plot in the Druid Ridge Cemetery, he had no idea what he had started. The statue was a rather eerie figure by day, frozen in a moment of grief and terrible pain. At night, the figure was almost unbelievably creepy; the shroud over its head obscuring the face until you were up close to it. There was a living air about the grieving angel, as if its arms could really reach out and grab you if you weren't careful.
Black Bartelmy's Ghost
Black Bartelmy was an evil, surly buccaneer who murdered his wife and children and went to sea with a band of pirates as nasty as he. He roamed the Atlantic coast, murdering and pillaging and laying waste to the countryside as he passed...
Black Dog of Hanging Hills
He smiled as he sipped at his coffee. It had been an excellent hike. He was glad his friend had recommended coming to the Hanging Hills in Connecticut; not the first place that had come to his mind when considering a vacation. But it was beautiful here. When his friend arrived tomorrow they would tackle some of the more challenging terrain.
Mad Henry was a hermit who lived alone in a decrepit mansion at the edge of town. Rumors were rife about the wild-eyed man. Some folks said that he was a magician who called upon the powers of darkness to wreck havoc upon his neighbors. Others called him a mad doctor who could restore life to foul corpses from the local cemetery. No respectable citizen in town had anything to do with Mad Henry
The nefarious pirate Blackbeard (who's real name was Edward Teach) was a tall man with a very long black beard that covered most of his face and extended down to his waist. He tied his beard up in pigtails adorned with black ribbons...
I found it extremely annoying that one of the bathrooms on my dorm was permanently closed. Especially since the cause was an urban legend. An urban legend, I tell you!
Many and many a year ago, two Micmac warriors from rival villages got into a terrible argument. Harsh words were exchanged, and then knives were pulled. The warriors battled back and forth on the banks of a small creek...
She lived deep in the forest in a tiny cottage and sold herbal remedies for a living. Folks living in the town nearby called her Bloody Mary, and said she was a witch. None dared cross the old crone for fear that their cows would go dry, their food-stores rot away before winter, their children take sick of fever, or any number of terrible things that an angry witch could do to her neighbors.
Bloody Mary Returns
My stepmother was vile. I guess most kids think that when their father remarries. But in this case, it was true. She only married Father because he was rich, and she hated children. There were three of us – me (Marie), my middle brother Richard and my youngest brother Charles. We were the price my stepmother Gerta paid for being rich. And we were all that stood between her and inheriting Father’s money when he died. So she took steps against us.
Bloody Mary Whales
Old Man Whales was an evil man who loved money more than anything in the world, except his wife. In his lust for wealth, he supplemented his farm income by catching runaway slaves who were escaping to freedom through Indiana. Whales would chain the ex-slaves up in his barn cellar until he could collect the reward on them. When he couldn't find slaves, he'd capture free men and sell them into slavery.
Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary
“Mary, Mary…” the half-heard whisper woke her in the darkness before dawn. Darkness. How appropriate. These days, it seemed as if her whole life was in darkness.
You know how they say some folks are lucky at cards and some are lucky at love? Well, that fit Bobby Hansen to a ‘T’. He was the best poker player in the county, but somehow he couldn’t find himself a bride. Oh, he proposed to several girls, and even got accepted by a few. But they always got cold feet a day or two before the wedding, and it was bye-bye Bobby.
She was sophisticated, poised, and cultured. In retrospect, this should have made them suspicious. A teacher like her should be presiding over a girl’s school in London or New York, not seeking a position in a small town in Georgia. But at the time, they were too delighted by her application to ask any questions.
Oksana lived in a small house on the edge of town with her father, her stepmother and her stepsister. Oksana's stepmother disliked Oksana, favoring her true daughter, Olena...
Dancing with the Devil
The girl hurried through her schoolwork as fast as she could. It was the night of the high school dance, along about 70 years ago in the town of Kingsville, Texas. The girl was so excited about the dance. She had bought a brand new, sparkly red dress for the dance. She knew she looked smashing in it. It was going to be the best evening of her life. Then her mother came in the house, looking pale and determined.
It is midnight. The streets of Cohoes grow silent as the citizens turn off their lights one by one and go to their well-earned rest. The night is dark, and the wind whispers softly, touching the trees and houses, rattling a window pane here and there...
Within an hour of my arrival at Fort Union, my new post, my best friend Johnny came to the barracks with a broad grin and a friendly clout on the shoulder. He'd hurried over as soon as he heard I had come, and we talked 'til sunset and beyond.
My granny was told as a child that Captain Kidd, knowing the law was on his trail, traveled up the Jersey coast looking for the perfect spot to bury his stolen booty. And he found it near a grove of gnarled, wind-swept pines on Sandy Hook. One moonless dark night, the Adventure Galley slid silently into harbor at Sandy Hook...
Devil on Washington Rock
The dream was so vivid, she didn't realize at first that it was a dream. The party was crowded, the guests cheerful, the food delicious. Then a rumor began to circulate among the guests. The Devil was coming to the party. The Devil was on the way.
There was something odd in the tone of the dispatcher’s voice when he called to tell me a person needed picking up at Bramlett Road late one summer night in 1947. I shuddered when I heard the name of the street. I did not want to go anywhere near that area, especially at midnight. But I drove a Yellow Cab, and it was my job to pick up a call when it came. So I swallowed and headed toward Bramlett Road and the slaughter yards.
Don't Sell My House
Life seemed perfect to Mark when the widower brought his new bride Lisa home to the lovely two-story cottage he had build for his deceased first wife Things were very happy for about a year, and Mark was ecstatic when he learned Lisa was expecting twins. The house was rather small for a double addition to the family, so Mark and Lisa put the cottage up for sale and started searching for a bigger house. That’s when the problems began.
My supervisor radioed me just after sunrise on a warm summer morning in 1929 to report another incident aboard the shipwrecked E.C. Waters out on Stevenson Island. “A bunch of drunks were boozing and brawling on the boat last night,” he said in a grumpy tone that clearly indicated his lack of morning coffee. I sighed. Again! I had no idea why so many summer visitors flocked to the wreck of the old steamboat on Stevenson Island, which lay partially submerged beside a sandy beach...
It was a cold winter and the snow was deep in the woods surrounding the logging camp near the Dungarvon River. But there was plenty of game to be found if you were a good hunter, so the men didn't go hungry. The camp cook was a jolly fellow, and quite rich for a logger. He kept his life savings in a money belt that he wore at all times...
After getting the lay of the land, so to speak, frontier man Bigfoot Wallace moved from Austin to San Antonio, which was considered the extreme edge of the frontier, to sign up as a Texas Ranger under Jack Hayes. In them days, Texas was as wild as the west could get. There was danger from the south from the Mexicans, danger to the wet and north from the wild frontier filled with Indians and desperados, and to the east the settlements still had problems with the Cherokee Nation...
I roam alone in the woods, listening to the enchanted children's voices calling to me. "Little girl, come and play," they sing over and over in my ears. Sometimes I hear them from the window of my room. They giggle and whisper words that I cannot make out. They sound like so much fun that I run outside my house as fast as I can to try to catch them. I plunge into the woods, calling back to the children, but no one answers. So I stand still as a mouse, trying to hear where they are hiding.
Express Train to Hell
For days, a ragged old man had hung around the Newark Central Station. The stationmaster kept running him off, but night after night he would return. He kept accosting people, shouting: "It's coming for me! It's coming!"...
There is a story told in Troy and Albany about a couple returning home from a trip to New England. They were driving home in a carriage, and were somewhere near Spiegletown when the light failed and they knew they would have to seek shelter for the night...
First Day of School
She was brand-new history teacher to the school and had been preparing her first lesson in her mind for weeks. This was her very first teaching job, and she wanted it to go well. The night before classes began, she couldn't eat and tossed and turned restlessly all night. Up early, she was in her new classroom, sweeping the floor, tidying the desks, and putting up welcome signs just after dawn.
My wife Jill and I were driving home from a friend's party late one evening in early May. It was a beautiful night with a full moon. We were laughing and discussing the party when the engine started to cough and the emergency light went on. We had just reached the railroad crossing where Villamain Road becomes Shane Road...
Ghost Pilots of Times Square
He had just graduated from Harvard University and was living in Manhattan. He loved the city and was beginning to feel at home on its streets. World War II was raging in Europe, and like all other good citizens, he followed the headlines daily and did his part for the boys overseas...
Ghost Ship of Captain Sandovate
When Captain Don Sandovate voyaged from Spain to the New World in search of treasure, he found gold in abundance. But among his crew there were many sailors who did not wish to share the new-found wealth with the monarchs of Spain...
I was a railway fireman back in those days, working on the CPR line in Alberta. I did a hard day's work and earned me a fair wage. I was young then, and my pretty little bride was just setting up housekeeping in the little cottage that was all we could afford. Life was good, and I thought everything would continue rolling along that way...
Ghost in the Alley
Rumors were rife about the alleyway behind the tavern. It was haunted, folks said. Haunted by the ghost of a young girl who had been found murdered in that self-same passage. People avoided the small street after dark, for the spirit was said to be a vengeful one. Of course, no one could name anyone whom the ghost had actually killed, but the tales were enough to keep people away from the alley at night.
Ghost in the Stacks
saw her out of the corner of my eye while I was studying in a remote corner of the second-level stacks in the library. She was pretty, with reddish hair and pensive, wide eyes in an intelligent face. I straightened up, patted my hair to make sure it was smooth, and took another look. She was gone...
Ghost of Pearl White
When I was a kid, my grandparent’s bought a huge old boarding house in Jersey City. It had once housed the actresses working for a big silent film studio across the street, but the film studio was long gone, and the boarding house was unused. My grandparents converted it into a 3-family home...
Ghost on the Tracks
The train rumbled around him as he adjusted the throttle. The night shift was always the toughest, in the engineer's mind. He had rumbled through Timpas a few minutes ago and was on his way to Thatcher. Not a bad stretch of road, and there was no better train in the entire Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.
Ghosts of Ringwood Manor
Ringwood Manor you say? A lovely old house. But no place, my child, to go on a dark night with no moon. Built in the 1700's, the original house was a collection of smaller buildings patched together to create a Manor. The current Manor House was built by Martin Ryerson in 1807...
Girl in White
He was sulking a little, standing at the sidelines while all the other men danced with their pretty partners. His girl had not come to the dance that night. Her mother was ill, and so his girl had remained at her side. A fine pious act, he thought sourly, but it left him at loose ends.
Goblin of Easton
There was once a monk at the mission who loved money and power more than he loved God. He would hear the confession of the good folk who attended the mission, and then would blackmail them into giving him gold and silver to keep their darkest secrets.
J. Dawson had two goals in life: to find a rich vein of gold and to find a bride. So far, he hadn’t had any luck either with the gold or the ladies. His smooth, eastern manners seemed rather sissy and irritating among the rough miners and rowdy residents of a wild western town. He’d courted the schoolteacher, the local farmers’ daughters, and even took to visiting a few of the other entertainers at the saloon. All to no avail.
He never paid much attention to the neighbors living on his city block until the day the pretty middle-aged widow moved in two doors down from him. She was plump and dark with sparkling eyes, and she always wore dark gloves on her hands, even indoors.
There once was a lighthouse keeper who had lived on St. Martin's Island with his children, whom he loved dearly. They were all alone there, for the mother had died long before. Wanting the best for his daughter and son, the keeper had insisted that they continue their education, and for this purpose had purchased a small dory for them, which they rowed across to the mainland each day to attend school.
Once there was an old woman who went out in the woods to dig up some roots to cook for dinner. She spotted something funny sticking out of the leaves and dug around until she uncovered a great big hairy toe. There was some good meat on that toe which would make a real tasty dinner, so the old woman put it in her basket and took it home.
The soft thud of following footsteps echoed behind him as he hurried through the snowflakes toward home. They kept pace with him, quickening when he quickened and slowing when he slowed. It was creepy. His flesh crawled at the sound and he sped up, cursing himself for walking home alone from the midnight Christmas Mass.
Come celebrate the spooky side of the holidays. Ghosts, Saint Nicholas, Der Belznickel and other characters haunt these stories that take place around the holidays. We've also included a couple of ghost stories from the African-American tradition for folks to read...
Something was going on. Jason felt it in his bones. Polly was too happy, too cheerful. No woman could be that upbeat and still be faithful to her husband. Jason sat down to a delicious, warm meal every night, and Polly sang to herself as she washed up. What kind of woman could be cheerful doing dishes? Try as he might, Jason never heard anything that hinted of a secret romance. It drove him crazy. Life was not this perfect.
Henry Hudson and the Catskill Gnomes
On September 3rd of 1609, Henry Hudson sailed the Half Moon into the mouth of the great New York river that later bore his name. The explorer and his crew journeyed north for several days, trading with the native residents and searching for the fabled northwest passage to the Orient. By the time he reached the area that would become present-day Albany, Hudson knew that he had not found the passage for which he sought. Reluctantly, he turned the Half Moon and sailed back down the river...
Hold Him, Tabb
Yep, I remember what it was like before the railroad came through these parts. I used to earn my living by carting supplies from town to town on horse-drawn wagons. Not easy work, no sir. Especially in winter. One cold December day, I was traveling with my buddy Tabb, when it began to snow. Gee wilikers, it was cold! We needed to find shelter quick, and I was delighted when I spotted an abandoned house.
I Know Moonrise
Mama told me I should never to walk along the marsh shortcut that led from our plantation to the town of Brunswick. She said it was dangerous and I’d get myself killed if I didn't listen to her. That didn't make any sense. The march shortcut was a wide, sandy path that my buddies used all the time when they went to the store in town. None of them ever got hurt. And at the age of thirteen, I was perfectly capable of taking care of myself.
I'm All Right
We knew right from the start that Johnny was going to be a soldier. Even as a child, all his concentration was on the military. So we weren't surprised when he joined the Marines right out of high school...
I'm Coming Down Now!
There was an abandoned house sitting in the middle of a fancy neighborhood in Calgary that nobody would go near. And I mean nobody! Now , my pal Albert was the agent in charge of selling that haunted house and he tried everything in his power to close a deal. But folks were too plumb scared to make an offer, even at rock-bottom prices.
A couple of Welsh miners came to Nevada to help mine the Comstock Load. They were quite a pair of tricksters, yes sir! It got so bad that no one would believe anything they said, 'cause if'n they did, the Welshman would make them look like a fool. But they were popular. The miners dearly loved a laugh after a hard day working in the mine...
After a long day of unlucky hunting, I found myself stuck in the middle of the marshlands for the night, without a flashlight or a lantern to guide my stumbling steps. So I settled beside a fallen log to rest until daylight. As I tossed and turned, I recalled the story my great-uncle told me about a ghost that haunted the marshlands.
Jack and the Devil
Jack was a nasty fellow who beat his wife and kids and was an all around bad chap. So the Devil came and hauled the poor fellow away with him. On their way to hell, Jack asked the Devil if he was thirsty, and ol' Lucifer said he was. So Jack somehow persuaded the Devil to turn himself into a coin so Jack could buy them both a drink from a handy tavern.
Joaquin Murietta: Bandit of the Goldfields
Joaquin Murietta and wife Rosita lived with his older brother Carlos in California. The three Mexican immigrants were living on a small, successful farm and the men were also working a claim near Hangtown. However, the other miners living nearby tried to run them off, telling them that it was illegal for Mexicans to pan for gold or hold a claim. The Murietta brother's ignored their threats and continued to live peacefully on their farm and work in the gold-fields.
Marie-Josephte Corriveau was a beautiful but ruthless woman. She married a good-looking man but soon grew bored with him. So late one evening, she stunned her husband with a blow to the head, then took a whip to his horse, which trampled him to death. The death was ruled an accident and La Corriveau was free to marry again.
Once there was a widow who wished to marry a rich nobleman. However, the nobleman did not want to raise another man's children and he dismissed her. The widow was determined to have the nobleman for her own, so the widow drowned her children to be free of them...
La Mala Hora
My friend Isabela called me one evening before dinner. She was sobbing as she told me that she and her husband Enrique were getting divorced. He had moved out of the house earlier that day and Isabela was distraught...
Lady in Lace
There is a ghost that walks along the Seventeen Mile Drive on foggy nights. She is called the Lady in Lace. People say she is the ghost of Dona Maria del Carmen Barreto, the woman who used to own much of the land on that stretch of the California coast, returned to keep watch over her land. Others disagree...
Lady in Red
We didn't believe in ghosts, so when the fellow checking us in warned us that our room on the sixth floor was haunted, we just laughed. There were a lot of crazy people out there who believed in ghosts and wanted to stay in a haunted hotel, but Marie and I weren't two of them. I'd chosen the Mizpah for our weekend getaway because I'd like the description of the hotel and it amenities, not because it had a phantom.
Lincoln Death Train
I'd been transferred to the Hudson Division of the New York Central system, and was working the rails on the main line between New York and Albany. I was on the late shift to start with, since I was a bit of a night owl. After six weeks of stomping the tracks and mending the rails, I was feeling right at home in my new job...
Llorona, Omen of Death
They say that the Llorona was once a poor young girl who loved a rich nobleman, and together they had three children. The girl wished to marry the nobleman, but he refused her. He told her that he might have considered marrying her if she had not born the three out-of-wedlock children, which he considered a disgrace...
They say that there once was a prospector wandering through the Yukon with his two dogs, searching for gold. One evening as it neared dusk, he found himself mired down in the muskeg - boggy country with water just underneath the surface of the semi-frozen ground and just above the permafrost...
Maco Ghost Light
There was once a railroad conductor named Joe Baldwin who was working for the newly rebuilt Atlantic Coast line. The year was 1867, and the railroad had expanded to include a small station in Maco, North Carolina. Joe was assigned to the very last car in the train, and he executed his conductor duties to the best of his abilities aboard his assigned car. Then one night, something went wrong. Terribly wrong.
Dr. John McLoughlin came to the Pacific Northwest with the Hudson Bay Company and fell in love with the area. After losing his job (he was fired for giving supplies to settlers), he bought land in the Willamette Valley and founded the town now known as Oregon City.
She was just another poor, bedraggled woman, struggling to feed her family. He saw them all the time, their faces careworn, and blank. The Depression had created hundreds of them. He was one of the lucky ones who still had his grocery and money coming in to feed his family...
Moll DeGrow was a wicked witch who once lived on Gully Road in what is now Newark, New Jersey. She took delight in the misery of others, and made things miserable for the folks living near her. If a neighbor slighted her, she would sour their milk. If anyone called her a witch, she made their dogs turn vicious. People were very cautious around Moll De Grow...
She climbed the sand dune swiftly, giggling nervously at her daring, as the soft mist of an early evening fog swirled around her. Around her, her friends were scrambling their way through the sand and long grass, heading steadily upward toward the haunted lighthouse on the summit.
Never Mind Them Watermelons
Well now, old Sam Gibb, he didn't believe in ghosts. Not one bit. Everyone in town knew the old log cabin back in the woods was haunted, but Sam Gibb just laughed whenever folks talked about it. Finally, the blacksmith dared Sam Gibb to spend the night in the haunted log cabin...
As a special treat, we decided to take the sunset cruise around lower Manhattan the Sunday before Labor Day. It was a silly thing to do – totally tourist – but sometimes playing tourist is fun, even for someone living and working daily in the shadow of the Big Apple.
Peggy and her boyfriend Tommy were driving down a lonely stretch of highway at dusk when a thunderstorm came crashing down on them. Tommy slowed the car and they crept their way past a formidable abandoned house. Plastered all over the fences and trees were NO TRESPASSING signs.
Elizabeth and James Wilson were Irish immigrants from Londonderry, Ireland. In 1720 they set sail for America. They had been granted some land in Londonderry, New Hampshire, and were hoping to start a new life there...
Ogopogo, the Lake Monster
His mind was full of dark thoughts and the demons spoke to him. His wild eyes and words frightened his people, and he became an outcast, shunned by all. One day in a fury of rage and pain, he attacked old Kan-He-Kan, a local wise man. The demon-possessed man killed the venerable sage on the shores of a beautiful lake near his home, and then ran away, afraid of what the people would do to him when they found out...
Olde Fort Mifflin
There is only one word for Fort Mifflin during a reenactment. LOUD! My ears were ringing as I hurried inside the ammunition mound, according to my assigned role. The mound muffled the sound of canons a little bit. But I still reckoned I'd be deaf all day tomorrow!
The Palatine gleamed in the sunlight as she set out with a full crew, a long list of passengers, and a hull full of merchandise for the American Colonies the winter of 1750-1751. Certainly, there was no indication that morning of the destiny fate had in store for her...
A couple were driving through Spokane, Washington one evening. They were hungry and tired and needed a break. Unfortunately, they were also broke. The wife went through her purse and the glove department and under the seats of the car, trying to drum up enough spare change to get them some kind of meal. She’d collect about eight dollars in quarters, dimes, nickels and a few dollar bills when her husband called her attention to a sign post reading: Steak and Eggs - $3.85. It was attached to a motel-diner combination in downtown Spokane.
Now when Colonel Howell of the British Army chanced to meet the daughter of the wealthy farmer Jarrett, who owned land near Valley Forge, he fell head-over-heels in love. Howell had a bit of a reputation as a womanizer, but it faded away after he met Ruth. The girl had a brother serving under Washington and none of her family liked the red coats, but so overwhelming was Howell's love for her that it conquered the reluctant maiden's heart...
Phantom Hiker of Grandfather Mountain
When the guys proposed we take a day-hike on Grandfather Mountain, I agreed with enthusiasm. Grandfather Mountain looms craggily over the scenery just a few miles from my hometown. It is 5,946 feet in elevation, has a mile-high swinging bridge, fantastic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the best day-hikes in the region. It was some place!
Phantom Lovers of Dismal Swamp
He couldn't believe it when she fell ill just a few short weeks before their marriage. His betrothed was beautiful, strong, and healthy, but she just faded away before his eyes. He held her in his arms as she gasped out her last breathe, and was inconsolable long after her body lay buried beside the Dismal Swamp...
Phantom Train Wreck
The passengers were grumpy and heavy-eyed as they boarded the train in Salisbury during the early morning of August 27, 1891. The train was headed to Asheville, and the riders settled into their seats and tried to catch a few more minutes of sleep...
Piece By Piece
There once was a crazy ghost over Poughkeepsie way that got folks so plumb scared that nobody would stay more than one night in its house. It was a nice old place, or was, until the ghost began making its presence known. It got so no one would enter the house, not even kids on a dare, and you know what they are like!...
She was always in the garden. Day after day after day. It drove him crazy. Supper never came when he wanted it and he had to go outside and kneel down in the dirt every dad-blame time he wanted to have a conversation with his wife. When he complained, she told him to get his own supper. Ha! She knew he couldn't boil water without burning it.
Dah-dah-dum-dum-BLAT! Charlie winced when his wife hit the wrong note on the piano for the thirty-second time that day. He knew it was the thirty-second time because he’d kept count as he went about his daily chores, cleaning the lighthouse, checking the supplies, mending the rowboat. Charlie blamed himself for his wife's latest obsession. He should never have taken Myrtle to attend the concert when that high-flutin’ concert pianist came to town...
In 1914, the Newfoundland sailed up to the Ice with a crew of 250 men. On March 30th, seventy-seven men went out on the Ice to kill seals. A mighty storm came up while the men were out, that lasted two days, and the men could not make it back to the ship...
Callahan was huddled in a cavern near the Pacific Ocean when the Feds closed in. There were still shreds of human flesh under his fingernails when the serial killer surrendered to the inevitable capture. They could put him behind bars, he vowed as they dragged him down the narrow path toward the waiting cars, but he would escape. And then they'd be sorry
Raw Head and Bloody Bones
Way back in the deep woods there lived a scrawny old woman who had a reputation for being the best conjuring woman in the Ozarks. With her bedraggled black-and-gray hair, funny eyes - one yellow and one green - and her crooked nose, Old Betty was not a pretty picture, but she was the best there was at fixing what ailed a man, and that was all that counted.
Red Dwarf of Detroit
The infamous Red Dwarf (Nain Rouge) of Detroit was reputed to be the foul offspring of the Stone God, who only appeared when there was to be trouble. The Red Dwarf was called "The Demon of the Strait" and its appearance heralded disaster. Cadillac, founder of Detroit, encountered the Nain Rouge while sitting on the bank of the Detroit River.
I don’t know what exactly draws me back to Sachs Bridge each time I visit Gettysburg. I just know that I feel compelled to drive there and take pictures. Of course, it is a beautiful spot - a covered bridge that was used by the Confederate Army to cross the creek when they withdrawl from Gettysburg . But after all, how many pictures can you take of the same place? Well, okay, if you’re a photographer, that’s a silly question! Hundreds in all weather, season, lighting… But really, I’m only an amateur, so why I personally felt compelled to record the bridge over and over was a mystery my boyfriend was obsessing about as he drove through the darkening countryside one evening in the late fall.
She worked in a box factory, and her salary was not large. She made just enough to cover the cost of food, shelter, and the clothes on her back. So when she received an invitation to a fancy-dress party from an old friend, she did not know what she should do. Here was her chance at last to shine a little, to experience how the other half lived, but she had no money to buy a dress, or even the material to make one.
The old storage sheds along the tracks were abandoned shortly after the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was built, and it wasn't long before the poor folk of the area moved in. The sheds provided shelter - of a sort - although the winter wind still pierced through every crevice, and the small fireplaces that the poor constructed did little to keep the cold at bay.
There is a tunnel under the old railroad tracks just to the west of the Queen Elizabeth Way in Niagara Falls. It is known locally as the Screaming Tunnel. A path wanders through the tunnel and then up to an empty field on the hill. But the field was not always empty.
A miner was on his way to Dos Cabezas, where here heard there was good prospecting, when he found himself lost and alone in the flats just north of the Dragoon Mountains. In the blistering sun of midday, his burro dropped dead from heatstroke and the prospector knew that he would shortly follow if he did not find shelter and something to drink.
Sifty Sifty San
There was once a beautiful old house right on the edge of a lake, surrounded by woods. But no one would live there because a spirit calling itself Sifty-Sifty-San drove everyone away.
Once in old New Amsterdam, there was a brave trumpeter named Anthony Van Corlaer who would blow his trumpet when Peter Stuyvesant wanted to call the people together...
She lurks below the surface of the lake near Presque Isle, her lithe form forever swimming through the weeds and the mire. Pale and green of skin, her yellow eyes shine luminously in the dark, and her thin long arms wrap themselves around the unwary, while foul-green pointed teeth sink into soft flesh and sharp nails at the end of long bony fingers stroke you into the deepest sleep there is. She is called by many names, but to sailors of Lake Erie, she is known as the Storm Hag.
I heard the neighbor's car running in the garage as I got into my car to drive to the grocery store. That seemed a bit odd, since it was summertime. Why would they need to warm it up? I shrugged the thought away and drove to the store. An hour later, I heard the car again as I unpacked the groceries from the trunk. I frowned. Maybe they'd just gotten back? I couldn't see anything because the garage door was closed.
Swept Over: Ghosts of the Lower Falls
Today the water drums of the Lower Falls in Yellowstone beat strongly, just as they did back in 1870 when the story which became a legend first took place. In those days, a group of five militia men and their Crow guide who decided to explore the little known Canyon of the Yellowstone. The explorers penetrate deep into the canyon region, keeping an eye out for signs of gold while they explored...
Two sisters were motoring through Cape Cod late one stormy night in the early 1900's when their car broke down in an unpopulated area. Seeing an old, neglected house nearby, they went to the door and tugged on the bell-pull. When no one answered, they looked through a nearby window whose shutter was banging in the bitter wind. The window was broken. Through the window, they could see a library. The dust lay heavy over everything...
That Pesky Fellow
A fisherman from Newfoundland was having difficulty finding someone to assist him. Help was scarce, and he couldn't find a soul to hire. Then one day he saw a handsome fellow in fancy city clothes walking along the docks. This was obviously not a man looking for work, but the fisherman still called out, half in jest: "Are ye looking for some work?" To his surprise, the city-man nodded and jumped into the boat.
The Barn Dance
As I drove down the seemingly endless dark road, I cursed my friends. “A quaint little bar in the middle of nowhere,” they said. Well they got that right, there was not one blessed sign of civilization anywhere to be seen. Just then, I caught a glimpse of a lighted barn on down the road. Civilization at last!
There once was an evil priest who did not fear God or man. His duties for the church included counting the offerings and ringing the bells to summon people to Mass. But his heart was filled with greed, and he began to take advantage of the good people of his parish. The priest stole money out of the offerings to keep for himself, and when he had filled a chest full of gold, he killed a man and buried him with the chest so the murdered man's ghost would guard it. Anyone who tried to dig for the treasure would be devoured by the skeleton of the murdered man.
The Black Cat's Message
I came home late one night after work and found my wife Ethel puttering about the kitchen with a big yellow cat at her heels. “And who is this?” I asked jovially. “This is our new cat,” said Ethel, giving me a hug and a kiss to welcome me home. “She just appeared at the kitchen door and wanted to come in. None of the neighbors know where she came from, so I guess she’s ours. It will be nice to have some company around the house.”
The Phelps place was an old, abandoned property with a monstrous, decrepit Victorian house that was supposed to be haunted. It should have been a good resting place for the local deer hunters, but they would not go near it. A few that tried came away before midnight with tales of ghostly thumping noises, gasps, moans, and a terrible wet bloodstain that appeared on the floor of the front porch and could not be wiped away.
The Bloody Mary Ritual
We were having a sleepover at my house that Saturday night. Me and my four best friends; Alex, Bianca, Sabrina, and Lacey. We made cookies and watched movies and did our hair and makeup. By midnight, we’d run out of planned activities. It was time to improvise. “Let’s try that Bloody Mary thing,” Lacey suggested.
The Blue Rocks
The story was told furtively, in lowered voices. Buried treasure. Near the blue rock. A long time ago, an unknown ship dropped anchor in the surf near Wasque Bluff. A small boat carrying a mysterious figure, six sailors, and a large box landed on the beach. The sailors dug a deep hole inland near the blue rock, and the box was lowered into it. As the sailors stepped back, their leader threw a small green package onto the box. With a huge crash and a flash of blinding green light, the hole disappeared!
The Brothers' Revenge
The blizzard was raging fiercely around them as the brothers stumbled down the long road. they were miles from any farm, and knew they had to seek shelter or freeze to death. So it was with gratitude that the two brothers spotted a saloon and pushed their way through the door.
The Cursing of Colonel Buck
Now Colonel Buck was not what you'd call the most virtuous man in town. No sir! He had an eye for the ladies, did Colonel Buck, and he would chase them 'til he got what he wanted. Then he would drop them like a hot brick...
The devil was in the Mississippi River that night. You could feel it with every eddy swirling against the helm of the boat. You could hear it in every jangle of the bell. You could see it in the dim light of the lantern as it tried to pierce the swirling fog...
The Devil and the Werewolves
Now there once was a man named Jean Dubroise who never did a lick of work, but his house and his barn and his crops were still the best in the whole land. This puzzled people, since Jean had no family and no hired men to help him. No one could figure out how he managed to have the best trapping lines in winter, and have fences and barns in perfect repair at all times with no one working his farm.
The Devil's Hole
When the new priest came to the poor parish, there was no house or church for him. A farmer took him in, while the men built him a small shack in which to live. The priest, a true saint with no false pride, was happy in his new parish. But the people wanted more for their priest, so they decided to build a church. The priest was pleased with their noble idea, but troubled because the work of hauling stone was back-breaking without a horse.
The Doctor and the Ghost
Little Simeon came running into the surgery. He bent over, winded, and gasped desperately several times before he could speak. "Doc. Doc! My paw got strychnine poison in his thumb. We amputated it right away, but the poison is still moving up his arm. You gotta come quick!"...
The medical student toppled into love as soon as he set eyes on Sheila, the beautiful new transfer student. She had masses of long black hair and eyelashes so long they got tangled in her curls when she leaned over her desk. The medical student had a withdrawn nature, though not by inclination. He’d learned the hard way that people avoided him when they heard about his insane father; locked away in an asylum.
The Figure in the Window
Late one evening the three of us were hanging out when Alec said he wanted to go up to Peapack to check out a house for sale. Once in the car, Alec said it was an old, run-down Italianate mansion with twenty-six fireplaces that used to be owned by nuns but had been abandoned. It sat on fifty acres of property, including beautifully terraced grounds. By this time, I was feeling a little nervous about the whole thing.
The Flying Canoe
Long ago, there were a number of lonely lumberjacks working in the center of a very large forest. They cut down mammoth trees and watched them crash into the thick snow in exactly the place where they said the trees would land. They would cut up the trees and haul them hither and thither. They worked hard, Mon Dieu, very hard indeed! But they were lonely for the women they had left behind.
The Ghost of Blacktail Canyon
There is a story the Colorado River guides sometimes tell about a haunted canyon deep inside the Grand Canyon National Park.
The Ghost that Followed Me Home
I have a fascination with genealogy, which is what started all the trouble. My next-door neighbor and I were fellow hobbyists, and we often supported each others search for long-lost ancestors. We would spend hours pouring over stacks of dusty country records, wandering through poison-ivy strewn graveyards, and getting lost on back lanes trying to find the homes of retirees who remembered what our forbearers were like way back when...
A young woman lay suffering on her deathbed, her stillborn baby lying against her chest. Her young husband crouched close, stricken with grief. His beautiful wife crooned a lullaby to her dead baby, her voice growing fainter as death drew near. Finally, she looked at her husband and asked him to bury her back East, beside her dead mother. Choked with grief, the young husband agreed...
It was a very hard time for the newly wed couple. The Depression had hit hard, and the young husband was desperately seeking a job to support his new wife, without success. She had no training herself, and all the entry-level jobs for which she might qualify were snatched up as soon as they opened.
Polly was the sweetest, prettiest girl in Goldsboro, yes sir. All the local boys were chasing her, and quite a number of the fellows from the surrounding countryside were too. All the girls were jealous of Polly ‘cause they didn’t have no sweethearts to take them to the local dances. They all wanted Polly to choose her man so things could go back to normal. But Polly was picky. None of the local boys suited her, and neither did the fellows from the back country.
The Headless Bride
Once there was a lovely young woman growing up in a wealthy shipping family in New York. In those days, wealthy young women were expected to make their debut in society and to marry a wealthy young man from a good family. But our young lady was a bit of a rebel. When she grew old enough to marry, she scorned the wealthy young society men in favor of an older man who was working as a servant in her house.
The Headless Horseman
One cold winter night, early in the New Year, a certain Dutchman left the tavern in Tarrytown and started walking to his home in the hollow nearby. His path led next to the old Sleepy Hollow cemetery where a headless Hessian soldier was buried. At midnight, the Dutchman came within site of the graveyard...
The Headless Sentry
A wealthy businessman who worked behind the political scenes both in Georgetown and Charleston owned a large plantation just outside Charleston. He often entertained business and political associates at the manor house, influential men who came from other colonies and abroad. When war broke out between America and England, the owner was reluctant to take sides, for his business was primarily supported by England...
Our friends Josh and Sandy were firm believers in ghosts and claimed to have seen the mysterious red-haired phantom that haunted Route 44. My wife and I were sitting with them at dinner one night, and we started kidding them about it.
The Jersey Devil and the Hat
I was putting the finishing touches on a nice big dinner - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie - when Charlie blew in the back door. He'd spent the day ice-fishing in the quarry, and I expected him to be in a jolly mood. But he stood there with his gray hair standing on end, his cheeks bright red with rage and his coat and pants covered with snow.
The Lady in the Veil
He had not expected to meet the woman of his dreams, but there she was strolling along in the moonlight beside the cemetery. Carlos quickened his pace until he was level with her, hoping for a glimpse of her face under her veil.
The Melt Shop
All the men working in the Melt Shop of the steel mill soon learned to be very careful around the furnace and the ladles full of molten steel. Every worker feared what would happen if the chains holding the ladles full of hot liquid ever broke while they passed overhead. Burning to death in molten steel might be a quick demise, but it would be agonizing.
The Old Bridge
Old Man McManor was the foulest-tempered fellow you ever did see; but he owned and operated the only sawmill over in Camden, so folks had to deal with him. Whenever anyone didn’t pay on time or crossed him, he’d take out his horsewhip and flail at them until they ran away cussing or broke down crying.
The Phantom Bellman
I gasped a bit as I wheeled my heavy bag toward the white-trimmed double doors leading to the hotel lobby. I was having some trouble adjusting to the altitude in Yellowstone after living my whole life at sea level. My husband Frank, on the other hand, took to the elevation as one mountain-born, much to my annoyance. He'd already dragged the rest of our luggage inside the hotel and was checking in at the front desk as I doddered my way into the lobby and collapsed in a chair near the fireplace.
The Shrouded Horseman
When the Civil War ended, Jeremiah Jones, found himself a free man. Eager to make a new life for himself, he made his way north to Milwaukee. For several years, he worked odd jobs until he earned enough money to buy himself a big white horse and a dray—a low, flatbed wagon without sides. Shortly thereafter, he was hired on as a drayman with the Phillip Best Brewing Company.
The boy had been out looking for work all day with no luck. When night fell, he was far from home. He decided to spend the night in an empty, rundown house. The minute he laid down he fell into a sound sleep. The boy was awakened quite suddenly by a thump on the roof. With a pounding heart, he sat up and lit a candle. A voice called out, “I’m falling down!”
The Skeleton's Lantern
We were on our way back to Yuma following a futile attempt to find Pegleg's lost gold mine out in the heat and dust of the desert. We stopped to make camp for the night between a rock and a hard place, and soon my friend Eddie was snoring loud enough to wake the dead. I drifted off myself, and started dreaming about the pretty girl I was engaged to marry...
The Wailing Woman
Once a Spanish soldier married a beautiful native woman and they had two children whom the soldier loved very much. However, the soldier came from a rich family. His parents and relations disapproved of his wife and threatened to disown him unless he married a Spanish woman...
The Wampus Cat
They say that the Wampus cat used to be a beautiful Indian woman. The men of her tribe were always going on hunting trips, but the women had to stay home. The Indian woman secretly followed her husband one day when he went hunting with the other men. She hid herself behind a rock, clutching the hide of a mountain cat around her, and spied on the men as they sat around their campfires telling sacred stories and doing magic...
The White Dog
A traveling salesman came to Goshen Hill for a few days, selling his wares from door to door. He was a friendly man with a warm grin and a joke for everyone. He was accompanied by a large white dog that rode on the wagon beside him; companion, friend, and guardian of his wares.
Tolling of the Bell
In the wee hours of Friday morning, October 7, 1859, when all the good residents of Charlottetown should still be sleeping in their beds, a deep bell tone was heard from the bell tower in St. James Church. The somber sound rang out over the rooftops, waking many with the unexpectedness of its doom-laden ring. Then a second toll rang slowly overhead, followed by a third...
Tommy Knockers are the spirits of departed miners that help miners find ore. They also knock on the walls of the mines right before a cave-in. When you hear a Tommy Knocker knocking, it's best to depart the area right quick. They have saved the life of many a miner who has been in a danger. Some folks say that the very first man to hear the sound is jinxed, but that is not always the case...
There once was a trapper who roamed the wilds of Labrador on a sleigh pulled by eight pure white Huskies. He was a tall man, dressed in layer upon layer of animal skins, who drove his team with a terrible ferocity across the frozen tundra...
Turnabout is Fairplay
Everyone laughed at jumpy Uncle Phil, who believed the world was largely populated with monsters and ghosts and spooks and witches and werewolves. But he was considered harmless, and no one much bothered about the poor fellow. Until one summer when a new family moved to town with two naughty sons.
We timed our visit to Pendleton to coincide with the Roundup, and managed to snag one of the very last hotel rooms in town. My husband was a big rodeo fan and was as excited as a little kid to be attending the famous Pendleton Roundup. I myself was looking forward to the rodeo, and very much enjoyed the Wild West feel of the town, but my biggest wish for this trip was to visit the famous, or should I say infamous, Pendleton Underground.
She was nervous when her husband said they were to stay in the abandoned house, for it contained the corpse of the hermit who once lived there, enshrined in a coffin in the loft. It was an old custom and one no longer popular among the Iroquois people, but the hermit had insisted upon it before his death. There was good hunting in this place, her man had declared, and so they moved in and she unpacked their few belongings in the front room, refusing to go up into the loft where the hermit’s body lay.
When the samurai warrior Kane first came to California from Tokyo, be brought his new wife, the beautiful Ishi. She was an ideal wife: gentle, attentive, and a wonderful cook. Kane was the envy of his new neighbors. But he was a proud man. When a wealthy family moved into the neighborhood, Kane cast his eye upon their lovely daughter, Aiko, and desired her...
Wait Until Emmet Comes
A preacher was riding to one of the churches on his circuit when darkness fell. It was about to storm, and the only house nearby was an old mansion which was reputed to be haunted. The preacher clutched his Bible and said: "The Lawd will take care o' me"...
There once was a beautiful girl engaged to a soldier who caught the eye of an evil woodsman who had sold his soul for the ability to turn himself into a wolf at will. He lay in wait for the girl when she was walking home one day and accosted her, begging her to elope with him. The maiden refused, spurning his love and crying out to her love to save her from his advances.
Where's My Liver
“Go straight to the store and don’t fool around,” his mother said sternly as she handed over the money. “Your father’s boss is coming to dinner tonight and we’re having his favorite meal of liver and onions. It’s important that we make a good impression, so get the best liver they’ve got.”
In hindsight, I suppose it wasn't a good idea to go ancestor-hunting in the local cemetery at dusk, but that's when my friends and I got the notion, so off we went as soon as we thought of it. My mother had told me we had kin in the cemetery, but I'd never visited there before. We got on our bikes and skimmed expertly through the tourists who thronged the streets of Key West in the winter. It was getting dark when we skidded to a halt and parked our bikes by the gate.
A Cree chief had a very beautiful daughter who was sought after by many brave warriors. There were two suitors who led the rivalry for her hand, a Cree chief from Lake Winnipegosis and a Sioux chief from Devil's Lake. The girl herself favored the Cree warrior, and when he brought a beautiful white horse from Mexico as a gift for her father, the man agreed to the marriage...
White House Ghosts
It is said that Lincoln's ghost haunts the White House. He appears in the room where the Lincoln bed is kept. Harry Truman once responded to a 3 o'clock knock on his door and found no one there. He attributed the knock to Lincoln...
In the early 1800s, the White Lady and her daughter were supposed to have lived on the land where the Durand Eastman Park -- part of Irondequoit and Rochester -- now stands. One day, the daughter disappeared. Convinced that the girl had been raped and murdered by a local farmer, the mother searched the marshy lands day after day, trying to discover where her child's body was buried...
They were not even close to the main camp when the sandstorm storm hit, blasting hot sand into their eyes, hair, and skin. The wind whirled above, around, and under the hasty shelter the two cowboys had set up, offering no protection at all. They took small sips of water every hour or so to relieve the dryness of their throats and to shift about to keep from being buried completely under the sand.
By the time he finished his daily tasks, the light was failing. But everything he needed to accomplish before he made the journey to visit his betrothed was complete. He was eager to see his love, so he set out immediately, in spite of the growing darkness. He would paddle his canoe through the night and be with his beloved come the dawn...
The storm lasted so long that they thought they would starve. Finally, when the wind and swirling snow had died away to just a memory, the father, who was a brave warrior, ventured outside. The next storm was already on the horizon, but if food was not found soon, the family would starve.
Winter ghost stories
Winter plays a major part in these ghost stories from the United States and Canada.
Wraith of the Creek
When he left his tribe to work with the white lumbermen, he changed his name to William Cloud, and the lumberjacks started calling him “Cloudy.” They liked to hear Cloudy tell the story of the wraith that lived in the creek that powered the local log chute. The wraith was an evil creature that desired nothing more than to wrap its long arms around humans or animals and pull them down into the water to drown.
Yancey was a quirky old-time pioneer, gold prospector and Civil War veteran —perhaps the last of that breed—who came to Yellowstone in the 1870s and built a hotel in “Yancey’s Hole”; current day Pleasant Valley near Roosevelt Lodge.
Jane wore a yellow ribbon around her neck everyday. And I mean everyday, rain or shine, whether it matched her outfit or not. It annoyed her best friend Johnny after awhile. He was her next door neighbor and had known Jane since she was three. When he was young, he had barely noticed the yellow ribbon, but now they were in high school together, it bothered him.
Yellowstone Ghost Tour – The Lower Loop
Start your ghostly Yellowstone journey with a walk around the boardwalk trails around Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin. Then visit the Old Faithful Inn. Grab a seat outside on the Mezzanine balcony, which is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a lost little boy, while you watch Old Faithful geyser erupt....
You Can't Get Out
One dark, windy night, the town drunk was meandering his way home after the bar closed. Somehow he got turned around and ended up walking through the churchyard instead of taking the road home...
About the Author: S.E. SchlosserS.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House. She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more