Ghosts span the globe, haunting every corner. You can't travel anywhere and not find a tale about a misty spectral that died tragically. Here are 13 ghosts from around the globe to keep you up at night.
1 Slit-Mouthed Woman
Usually seen wearing a mask over her lower jaw, this famous Japanese ghost targets children. Upon meeting a child, she removes the mask and reveals a sliced-up mouth. She then asks the child if they think she is beautiful. Say no, and she stabs the child. Say yes, and she slits their mouth just like hers. It’s a no win situation!
2 Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn was one of Henry VIII’s many wives. The king divorced and beheaded her for not giving him a male heir. A bit of an overreaction in my opinion! Anne’s ghost is said to haunt the Tower of London. She does have her head. She is said to frighten passersby as she wanders the halls. On occasion she is seen in other historic buildings. Seeking justice perhaps?
3 La Llorona
La Llorona (Spanish for The Crying Woman) is always crying when you see her. Her tears are because she killed her children by drowning in a fit of rage because the man she loved would not have her. When he spurned her again, she realized the horrible thing she had done, so she subjected herself to the same fate as her children and drowned herself. Condemned to wander the world in perpetual grief, she is seen soaking wet, in all white, and crying. Some say she snatches young children as she walks, mistaking them for her own.
4 Kate Batts, the Bell Witch
The year was 1817 and a man named John Bell and his family began experiences ghostly happenings in their Tennessee home. The terrifying activity was thought to be the cause of a witch named Kate Batts, but in reality, the daughter, Betsy, was the one most likely causing the activity. Despite that, the Bell Witch lives on and has been inspiration in many stories, including The Blair Witch Project.
5 Dolley Madison
There have been many stories of ghosts in the White House. One such tale is that of First Lady Dolley Madison. She was known for her grace and charm, and she played a role in making the White House a social epicenter. After her death, it is said another First Lady attempted to dig up her beloved rose gardens. Dolley was having none of that and her ghost showed up to frighten the gardeners away. To this day, the roses are still there and blooming.
6 The Gray Man
The Gray Man is a ghost of Pawleys Island in South Carolina. Sometimes he is described as having no legs along with no face. Whenever a hurricane or other sever is storm is about to hit and you see him, you will be protected from the storm. The story of his death is he was a guy traveling from Charleston to see a young lady. His horse got sucked into the mud of South Carolina’s marshes. Since then, he’s seen roaming the coastline, looking for love, and helping people avoid weather disasters.
7 Cottage City Poltergeist
You may not know the name Cottage City Poltergeist, but you are familiar with it as it was the inspiration behind William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist. A real-life case from 1949, it centered around a 13-year-old-boy from Cottage City, Maryland. Shaking beds, weird noises, and sheets pulled off the mattress were just a few of the weird occurrences that happened after the boy played with an Ouija board. The boy was moved to a hospital in Saint Louis, where an exorcism was performed, and curing the boy.
8 Abraham Lincoln
Since Lincoln’s death in 1865, his ghost has popped up in many different locations. He is most commonly spotted in the White House, including the Lincoln Bedroom. Numerous heads of states has be shocked by Abe, including the queen of the Netherlands. She opened a door to find Honest Abe standing there. It gave her such a scare she fainted!
9 The Buruburu Ghost
A Japanese ghost that feeds on fear, the Buruburu gets its name from the sound you make when you shiver. It is created whenever someone acts like a coward, who it clings to by the collar of their shirt and lightly tickling the back of their neck. This causes a shiver to roll down the spine and goosebumps. The Buruburu feeds on the fear.
10 The Greenbrier Ghost
Zona Heaster married a drifter in the late 1800s who killed her. At first, her death was attributed to natural causes after her husband, Shue, scared the doctor away. An autopsy was preformed and the truth reveal because Zona’s mother, Mary Jane claimed to have seen the ghost of her daughter. She said Zona’s ghost told her Shue had broken her neck and proved it by turning her ghostly head completely around! During the trial, the prosecutor tried to keep Zona’s ghost a secret but the defense asked about it in an attempt to undermine Mary Jane’s credibility. This strategy backfired and Shue went to jail. Zona’s ghost was never seen again.
11 The Madonna of Bachelor's Grove
If you want to ensure you have a ghostly encounter then the place to visit is Bachelor’s Grove. Many report seeing featureless orbs, blogs of ectoplasm, as well as a spectral farmer and his horse. Other notable ghosts are a black dog and a ghost with two heads! The most famous ghost is call Madonna. On nights of the full moon, she can be seen wandering the graveyard and carrying a baby. On occasion, she is seen in full daylight.
12 & 13: The Girls In The Bathroom
I don’t know what it is about Japan and bathrooms, but their ghosts seem to love them. In one tale, if you go into the girls bathroom on the third floor and walk to the third stall you will find a little girl with a bob haircut. Her name is Hanako-san and she wants to play. Or drag you to Hell. We’re not sure. Depending on what part of Japan you live in, she may have a bloody hand to grab you with or be a lizard that devours you.
Hanako-san has become a fixture of Japanese urban folklore for over 70 years, but she is not the only schoolgirl haunting Japan’s bathrooms. Another young girl named Kashima Reiki was said to be cut in half by a train. Now, her disfigured spirit inhabits bathrooms, asking any who enter the stall where her legs are. If she doesn’t like your answer, she will rip your legs off! Answer wisely.
(Source, Source, Source, Source)
Which ghost was your favorite? Will you think twice about going to the bathroom in Japan?
1. Charlie No-Face is looking for you
It was in the early 1900s when a Pennsylvania boy named Ray Robinson was electrocuted by a trolley wire and resulted in lifelong disfigurement. That led to him being ostracized, and the stories about his disfigurement grew more preposterous with each telling.
Today, people in western Pennsylvania insist that Charlie No-Face (how Ray became Charlie is a mystery) is a radioactive, glowing green figure who haunts an abandoned freight tunnel. The truth, sadly, is he as the victims of an unfortunate childhood accident.
2. Croc from Batman is real
In the early 1900s, wealthy New Yorkers would bring baby alligators from Florida to the Big Apple as pets. When those pets grew too big and weren’t as cute as they wanted, they supposedly flushed them down the toilet. The truth in this tale come from a New York Times report of a group of teenagers who witnessed a gator crawling out of the Bronx River.
3. Wanted: Dead Children for government science!
After World War II and the US dropping the world’s first atomic bomb, there was a rush of testing. scientists wanted to determine the effects of nuclear radiation of human flesh. A series of tests known as “Project Sunshine” used the bodies of deceased children—specifically, stillborn babies. It’s believed that the parents were probably not told how their children’s bodies were being experimented on!
4. This water tastes funny
It was the year 2013 and guests at a Los Angeles hotel were complaining about a terrible smell whenever they showered—as well as taste when they tried to brush their teeth. Management went up to the roof to check the water tank and found the body of a 21 year old woman floating inside. Elisa Lam had been estimated to have been in the tank for two weeks.
5. The Bogeyman is gonna get you!
“Cropsey” was a Bogeyman in Staten Island who would drag children from their beds while a bloody ax was nestled in the crook of his arm. The legend surrounding him can most likely be traced back to a man named Andre Rand. He worked as a janitor at Willowbrook State school and was suspected of kidnapping multiple children. Officially, he was found guilty of kidnapping two.
6. The house at the bottom of the lake
It is confirmed that a house rests in the murky depths of Connecticut’s Gardner Lake. Supposedly, the house sank when a family attempted to move it across the frozen lake in the middle of a 19th century winter. Where this story gets eerie, is to this day, fishermen report hearing musical notes gurgling up to the lake’s surface. They say it sounds like a piano.
7. The Woman in Black spotted haunting the South
2014, a woman dressed in black from head to toe, complete with a trailing black veil and billowing black robes, was spotted walking the highways of the South. Rumors mounts to what she could possibly up to. The truth turned out to be mundane. She was a US Army Veteran on a self imposed pilgrimage having to do with her faith and religion.
8. It’s not really a dead body, is it?
In 1976, at The Pike Amusement Zone in Long Beach, CA, a mummy prop was discovered to be the real body of Elmer McCurdy, a bank and train robber in the early 20th century. What’s even more bizarre is before his body wound up at the amusement zone, it was a staple of the traveling and sideshow circuit for more than five decades. His remains were finally sent to their final resting place in 1977 at Summit View Cemetery in Gunthrie, OK.
9. Aliens are real...ly dead
Everyone knows about Area 51. Are aliens real? Is the government hiding them from us? Maybe, maybe not, but there is a real mass burial ground related to aliens—more specifically E.T. and his 1982 video game, E.T. The Extraterrestrial. The video game is rumored to be the worst game ever made, and was so widely hated, that Atari buried every copy of unsold games in the sands of a New Mexico landfill.
10. Sit, Dog Boy. Good, Dog Boy
An Arkansas-based urban legend tells of a dog man roaming around the town of Quitman is actually an embellishment of the true tale of Gerald Bettis. In 1981, his father was found dead. Bettis then kept his mother imprisoned in the house until adult protective services placed her in protective custody. His mother testified against him in court and he went to prison, where he died.
People claim Gerald’s spirit still haunts the house he grew up in and where his father died. In a variation of the legend, his ghost walks on all fours and is shaggy like a dog.
11. Video games will kill you
In 1981, a video game called Polybius was released at an arcade in Portland, Oregon. The game was designed by the government to be a psychological experiment. It functioned like a drug, and it gave its players seizures and nightmares. Government officials would come in and extract information about the players through the arcade machine.
Polybuis may not exist, but there was a game, titled Tempest, that did cause epileptic reactions and motion sickness among players when it was released in 1981.
12. The Alice Killings
The Alice Killings is a new and famous urban legend in Japan. It revolves around a series of killings between 1999 and 2005 where the victims only connection to each other was a single playing card found on the body with the name "Alice" written in the victim's blood.
While this urban legend isn't true in Japan, it is in Spain where a serial killer identified his murders with playing cards. He was caught in 2003 and sentenced to 142 years in prison.
13. The city beneath your feet
Conspiracy theories abound about a subterranean city beneath Denver International Airport (despite many being debunked.) But did you know there is an American city that has its own underground city? Beneath the streets of Las Vegas homeless people live in the city’s flood channels. It wasn’t a grand conspiracy theory, but more an effort on the tourist industry to maintain the city’s “appeal” that forced the homeless underground.
I hope you enjoyed learning about the truths hidden in 13 urban legends. What legends are your favorites? Do you know the nugget of truth inside?
(Sources: 30 Urban Legends, Creepy Urban Legends)
May 26th is Dracula Day, and seeing how I love anything with vampires, this is the perfect excuse for me to look up thirteen facts about bloodsuckers to share with you. (source and source)
PS: I made a video to go with this post if you want to check that out.
March 2nd was Dr. Seuss' birthday and given how influential he has been in pretty much everyone's life, I decided to share 13 facts about him and his books. (source one, source two, source three.)
The history of the Ouija board is interesting. It started as an innocent toy. Now, people use it seriously, trying to contact spirits. There are tons of tales of hauntings from people using the board. Are they true? I have no clue, but I love to read about them and get a nice shiver down my spine.
Here are 13 facts that may make you rethink playing with an Ouija Board.
So, anyone want to play? Have you played with an Ouija board? Had an unexplained experience with one? Or is it all in our heads and done with unconscious movements that tell us what we want to hear? (If you liked this post, you can get early access to it and exclusive flash fiction over on my Patreon.)
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