11 Best Scary Ghost Stories That Will Scare Your Socks Off
Enter if you dare.
Beware: These scary ghost stories are certainly not in the faint of heart. Even those who love horror movies and dive right into frightening books will get chills from these tales. You might actually live near one of these haunted spots, since the stories come from places all over the country. Or, after reading through this roundup, maybe you’ll be inspired to visit one of the spooky areas mentioned. If you live on the East coast, you’ll be especially interested in The Crying Lady in The Dakota, a famous apartment building located in New York City. John Lennon himself claims he saw the ghost roaming the halls of his residence.
For those living in the southern part of the United States, there are a handful of stories that originated there. Huggin’ Molly, a haunted figure in Abbeville, Alabama, reportedly chases—and embraces—people around the town. In Eureka Springs, Arkansas, there’s a property called the Crescent Hotel that’s allegedly haunted by a number of ghosts. (We likely won’t be booking our stay there anytime soon!) And in St. Francisville, Louisiana, a ghost named Chloe apparently haunts the Myrtles Plantation to this very day. Now, that’s just a preview of the terrifying tales listed here, but there’s plenty more to read. Scroll through these scary stories (preferably during the daytime!) to really get in the spirit this Halloween.
Birmingham, AL, was founded in 1871—five years after the Civil War—and with it, the need for tons of pig iron to fix America’s crumbling infrastructure. To satisfy the demand, Colonel James Withers Sloss started construction on Sloss Furnaces. A year later, the company opened its doors to hundreds of employees, according to its official website. Although working on blast furnaces was an advanced job, it was also dangerous. That danger was soon realized as many workers started being incinerated in the furnaces and falling to their deaths.
Conditions only worsened in the early 1900s after a cruel foreman, James “Slag” Wormwood, took a job at Sloss. According to Reader’s Digest, Wormwood took dangerous risks in order to increase production. As a result, nearly 50 employees died on-site and many were involved in terrible accidents during his tenure. Allegedly, in retaliation, his workers tossed him into the furnace in 1906.
You can still tour the grounds today, if you dare. While there, you might just hear the voice of “Slag” telling his employees to “get back to work” along with other paranormal occurrences. Sloss even hosts a fright night every year around Halloween that’s based heavily on the Slag story.
The Dakota, an apartment building in New York City, has been home to many rich and famous residents since it opened back in 1884. John Lennon and Yoko Ono moved into the building in 1973—and John was also assassinated outside the structure on December 8, 1980. Before his death, John claimed he saw a “crying lady ghost” roaming the halls. Then, after John died, Yoko, who still lives in the building, said she witnessed John’s ghost sitting at his piano. Yoko says John told her: “Don’t be afraid. I am still with you.”
If you’re a scary movie lover, you might actually know about the Bell Witch. The films An American Haunting and The Blair Witch Project are both based on the story. Way back in the early 1800s, a man named John Bell moved his family to an area in Tennessee called Red River, which is now known as Adams, Tennessee. After they had settled in the new home, some peculiar things started happening. The Bell family began hearing some bizarre nosies, including dogs barking, chains rattling, rats chewing, and a woman whispering. Soon, that woman became known as the Bell Witch, and many people believe she’s the ghost of a former neighbor of the Bell’s—Kate Batts. Batts and the Bells had a dispute over land and she had sworn vengeance on the Bell family before she died. Later on, Bell died from poisoning—and it’s rumored to be the work of the Bell Witch.
Spend the night in the haunted Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, which opened in 1886. (During construction, a worker named Michael was killed, and his ghost reportedly still haunts room 218). The hotel came under the ownership of known medical fraud Norman Baker in 1937, who fancied himself a doctor. He turned the hotel into the Baker Cancer Hospital, claiming to have the cure for the disease (he d >Ghost Hunters even has footage of something moving in the basement.
It’s best to stay home when the sun sets in Abbeville, Alabama, if you want to avo >
The Surrency clan began experiencing paranormal activities in present day Surrency, Georgia, in the 1870s. Family members reported witnessing objects soaring across rooms, hearing laughter and crying, and seeing red eyes staring into the house. Food was thrown from their plates, and utensils twisted into unusable shapes. The townspeople speculated that these occurrences were cries for help from spirits who thought the family would be able to save them. On the day the family decided to finally leave the house, a fire iron allegedly floated up and started hitting one of the sons on the head. No one was ever brave enough to live in the house again, and the building went up in flames in 1925.
For a taste of true haunting love, travel over this spooky bridge in Marianna, Florida, which has several ghost legends surrounding the structure, according to its official website. In the 1830s, Elizabeth Jane Croom Bellamy married local politician Dr. Samuel C. Bellamy. On their wedding night, her dress accidentally caught on fire, which covered the young bride in horrible burns. She initially survived, but eventually passed away. Elizabeth was buried along the banks of the Chipola River, and it was said that her love for her husband was so strong, she couldn’t rest. The deceased newlywed, dressed in white, can allegedly be seen wandering the banks from the vantage point of the bridge (which was built after she died). It’s said that she appears on fire either walking through the swamps or diving straight into the river, as if to douse the flames, or somberly walking along the side of the river.