Do you believe in the paranormal? Have you ever experienced something so strange that you simply cannot explain? The realm of the supernatural world has always inspired questions about things such as ghosts, spirits, and even demons and monsters. These things have been pondered upon by human beings perhaps since the dawn of time itself.
Whether or not you believe in ghosts, these stories that have happened sometime in the past will give you the creeps.
The Bell Witch
The basis for the Bell Witch Haunting and fictional Blair Witch Project, the Bell Witch is believed to have haunted the Tennessee home of the Bells in the early 1800s. The angry spirit pulled the sheets off of the sleeping Bell children, whispered hymns in their ears, and slapped every family member. The ghost tormented one of the Bell daughters and her fiance until their engagement was broken off. Today, people still report evidence of the ghost around the property’s farmhouse.
This successful dry goods merchant hired a maid, Molly, to help take care of his mansion in the 1880s. Joseph and Molly began a love affair that ended when Joseph’s wife caught them in bed. Soon after, Molly discovered she was pregnant and hung herself from the third floor chandelier. Joseph then took his family to Europe but eventually returned to the house and killed himself on the ground floor. Today, the property, now a restaurant, is said to be haunted by the ghosts of the star-crossed lovers. In death, as in life, Molly is confined to the servants quarters upstairs while Joseph haunts the first floor.
The daughter of famous duelist Aaron Burr boarded the Patriot, a New York-bound schooner in September of 1812 and was never heard from again. Among the possible explanations: the ship sank and she drowned; pirates killed everyone on board; Theodosia survived the voyage but chose to disown her family and the father who had killed Alexander Hamilton. Theodosia’s spirit has reportedly never left the beaches of the Outer Banks where she was last seen alive, walking on the sand, a mournful figure in white.
In the final years of the Civil War, Reverend Sketoe was accused by his fellow Alabamians of being a traitor to the Confederacy. Though Sketoe denied these accusations, an angry mob strung him up near the Choctawhatchee River. The branch on which the mob hung the rope was weak and Sketoe was able to keep his toes on the ground; then someone decided to dig a hole at Sketoe’s feet, which eventually killed Sketoe. To this day, the hole remains near the Choctawhatchee River despite numerous attempts to fill it in.
Mickey The Sailor
The Ear Inn is one of New York’s oldest continually operating bars still in operation. It is also home to Mickey, the ghost of a sailor who lived above the bar in the 1950s and died outside of the bar when he was struck by a car. The frisky spirit is now said to pinch the rears of waitresses and female patrons. He is also known to drain cell-phone batteries and light fires — sometimes in the fireplace, other times not. An unexplained fire that nearly engulfed the building in 1996 is said to be his doing.
In the French Quarter of New Orleans, a beautiful, four-storied, balconied house was the 1808 home of Prince Suleyman — a.k.a. the Sultan — who loved opium, kept a harem of slave women and boys, and regularly tortured his captives. One night, unknown perpetrators who found the Sultan to be objectionable broke into his house, killed his family, and buried him alive in the courtyard. Now, people report hearing loud music and smelling incense emanating from the house where the Sultan continues his strange parties in the afterlife.
Toni Jo Henry
In 1942, prostitute-turned-killer Toni Jo Henry became Louisiana’s first woman to die in the electric chair. After breaking her husband, Harold “Arkie” Burks, out of jail, the two hitched a ride with a passing car driven by Joseph P. Calloway. Toni Jo ordered Calloway out of the car at gunpoint, made him to undress and say his prayers, then shot him once in the head. Today she is said to haunt the Calcasieu Courthouse. Workers report hearing her screams, feeling her presence, and smelling her burning hair.
Some accounts claim that Elizabeth Pratt of Ft. Mifflin, PA, was a sergeant’s wife who lost her infant son and young daughter to yellow fever (a distraught Pratt succumbed to the disease shortly after and died screaming). Other tales cast Pratt as the wife of an officer who refused to let her daughter marry an enlisted man; the two women fought and the daughter died of yellow fever before they could reconcile. In remorse, Pratt screamed and hanged herself off the balcony of the officer’s quarters. Today, the sound of her screams is so chilling that neighbors call the police, thinking that a murder is taking place at the fort.
Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater has one employee that may never clock out. On February 5, 1967, lonely and depressed teenager Richard Miller shot himself in the parking lot of a Sears. Apparently, one of the few bright spots in his life had been his work as an usher at the Guthrie; he was buried in his theater blazer. Until it was torn down in 2006, those working in the theater reported seeing Miller pacing up and down aisle 18, on the catwalks, and in the Queen’s Box.
Chloe at the Myrtles Plantation
Louisiana’s Myrtles Plantation counts at least twelve ghosts as permanent residents, the most infamous of which is Chloe, a slave owned by Clark and Sara Woodruff. It is said that Chloe was caught listening to the Woodruffs through a keyholes and had her ear lopped off. (She also may have been forced into being Clark’s mistress.) In revenge, Chloe baked a birthday cake poisoned with extract of oleander leaves, which killed Sara and her two daughters. Chloe was found guilty and hanged. Now, she wears a green turban and roams the plantation, rearranging furniture and stealing tourists’ earrings.
Hitchhiking is a dangerous mode of transportation, but not if you’re already dead. On a stretch of road near Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, Illinois, an attractive blond-haired, blue-eyed young woman can sometimes be seen with her thumb in the wind, trying to snag a ride. When a kindhearted driver pulls over to pick her up she asks to be taken to the cemetery. When you get there, she vanishes.
The wife of the our fourth President, James Madison, was known for being the last to leave a party — something that carried over to her death, in which she apparently refuses to leave the White House. When Woodrow Wilson’s second wife Edith attempted to re-plant Dolley’s rose garden, Dolley’s ghost appeared and instructed the gardeners to stop at once. Today, Dolley still watches over her garden and is occasionally seen walking the hallways of the Executive Mansion.
A New Orleans Voodoo priestess in the mid-1800s, Laveau was feared for her powerful magic in life and continues to command awe after death. Her tomb is considered to be one of the most haunted places in New Orleans. Her ghost grants favors to those who knock three times on her crypt but demands payment for her services in the form of corn, alcohol, flowers, or cult statues.
The ghost of a young woman haunts the picturesque, beachside Hotel del Coronado in California. In 1892, Kate Morgan was found dead with a bullet in her head and a gun in her hand, but the bullet did not match the gun. Today, hotel guests and employees report seeing the ghost of the young lady. Evidence of her hauntings can be found in books that have been turned around and toilets that flush themselves.
“The Greenbrier Ghost” is Zona Shue, a West Virginian woman murdered by her cruel and abusive husband, Erasmus Stribbling Trout Shue, in 1897. By feigning sadness and covering up Zona’s bruised and broken neck with a stiff-collared dress, Erasmus was not suspected by anyone except Zona’s mother, who, after receiving three ghostly visitations, appealed to a local prosecutor. The case was reopened and Erasmus was found guilty. It was the first time in American legal history that a ghost story contributed to the verdict.
If any of these stories sent chills up your spine, share it with others below.