‘Tis the season… to scare yourself to pieces! Though many people think ghost stories are just for kids and campfires, some are so scary they’ve withstood the test of time. These 10 ghost stories come from all different places and periods of time. Ready to scare your pants off? Start unbuttoning.
Number Ten: The Ghost of Ancient Egypt. This ghost story was discovered on four pieces of pottery in Luxor, Egypt. According to the text on the vases, a ghost speaks out about his life, saying that he was surrounded by darkness and was forgotten by everybody. The ghost continues on to complain about something that happened in the tomb where he was trapped, but it is unclear what exactly caused him to be there. Spooky!
Number Nine: The Ghost of Tu-Po. Tu-Po was the minister for Chinese Emperor Hsuan, but they did not get along. One day, after a disagreement, Hsuan demanded Tu-Po be killed; however, Hsuan was warned that Tu-Po would come back to haunt him. Three years after Tu-Po’s death, Hsuan was killed. He was shot by an arrow that came from an “apparition” resembling Tu-Po. Now there’s some karma in action.
Number Eight: The Ghost of Ancient Athens. This story comes from Roman senator Pliny the Younger, who died way back in 113 A.D. According to Pliny, there was a house in Athens that had a large room with a ghost who liked to rattle around at night. The “rattling” sounded like metal things clanging against each other, and the ghost resembled an old, slender man with a long beard. The house was eventually rented for a very cheap price, and the man who rented it confronted the ghost. The renter eventually had the spot in the room where he saw the ghost dug up, and what he found was quite shocking: the skeleton of a man in chains was in that very spot. The renter gave the man a proper burial, and the ghost was no more.
Number Seven: Damon. Damon was an attractive Greek Boy, but his life ended quite sadly in 120 A.D. A military officer reportedly came on to Damon, but Damon was not interested. Damon knew that something bad would happen to him if he didn’t take action, so he gathered a group of friends and killed the officer, along with several other soldiers. Though the city council where Damon lived condemned Damon and his friends to death, Damon had the council members killed first. Damon and his friends abandoned the town, but he eventually returned and was killed in a bathhouse shortly thereafter. People then began to experience strange phenomena while in the bathhouse, such as phantoms and bizarre noises. Still not scared? Let’s continue.
Number Six: Arabella Stuart. Arabella Stuart was the cousin of King James I, and she was a very defiant girl. Against the king’s wishes, Arabella got married, and she was sent to the Tower of London as punishment. According to the story, people who visit the Tower of London, which is now more than 900 years old and rumored to be haunted by many ghosts, still see Arabella wandering the halls, continuing to serve her punishment.
Number Five: The Ghost of Aokigahara Woods. At the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji is Aokigahara Woods. There must be something evil there, because over the past 20 years, numerous suicide victims have been found in these woods, and it now serves as a place for disturbed citizens to end their lives. The forest has such a dark pull on these people that officials had signs placed there that urge people not to commit suicide in the woods. Some people who have gone to the woods reportedly run into the ghosts of these suicide victims, and there are some who have even documented these run-ins on YouTube.
Number Four: The Exorcism of Roland Doe. This story occurred in 1949, when a boy referred to as “Roland Doe” underwent an exorcism. According to accounts, Roland had extraordinary powers, such as supernatural strength, fluency in languages he had never spoken before, and levitation powers. Though there is controversy surrounding whether or not any of this is real (many investigators posit Roland was simply a psychologically troubled child), this is the story that inspired the cult classic, 1973’s The Exorcist.
Number Three: The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall. This story refers to a picture a photographer took in Norfolk, U.K.’s Raynham Hall in 1936. The famous picture depicts a staircase with a white apparition floating on it. Though some experts believe the picture was a result of double exposure, there is a long history of haunting at Raynham Hall, and some people believe the “lady” in the photo is Lady Dorothy Townshend, who was the wife of the estate’s second viscount. She is believed to wander Raynham Hall dressed in brown to this day.
Number Two: The CCTV Ghost. Surrey, England is home to Hampton Court Palace. In 2003, a figure was spotted on a CCTV camera dressed in very old clothing and with a skeletal figure. The figure was nicknamed “Skeletor” and was spotted by several people that day – not just on camera.
Number One: The Amityville Haunting. Finally, our number one scariest ghost story is of the famous Amityville Haunting. In 1974, Ronald Defeo Jr. killed his mother, father and four of his children. The gun Defeo used did not have a silencer, and there was no sign of a struggle, which is extremely uncharacteristic of these kinds of murders. In 1975, a new family moved into the house, located in Amityville, New York. This family was only able to live there for less than a month before they were scared into leaving. According to reports, the family heard many voices, met a pig with red eyes named Jodie, saw inexplicable swarms of flies, and witnessed several pieces of furniture moving on their own. Recent owners of the home insist it’s not haunted, but we may never know for sure.