It can be hard out there for a lady, and sometimes that doesn’t end with death. While some of these spooky tales of female specters might make you fear women, most of these stories of wandering sister spirits are rooted in sad lives, traumatic deaths, and terrible loss.
We should all treat women with respect, if only to keep them from coming for us after they pass on…
Dating back to the 1700s, this story tells of a French noblewoman sent to Canada to join a convent, but lost her head along the way…literally. This was done either by an overzealous furrier or pair of killer treasure seeking sailors. They say her ghost now wanders the forest of Canada’s French Fort Cove searching for her detached head.
The world’s first flapper girl died at the young age of 25. She accidentally consumed the mercury bichloride intended as a topical treatment for her husband’s syphilis. She supposedly haunts the New Amsterdam Theater in New York City, often claimed to be flirting with men before disappearing. Her story is so ingrained in the theater that stagehands have a superstitious ritual of saying “Goodbye, Olive,” before leaving for the night.
Tales of a ghostly grey woman circulated around much of the U.K. The name even pops up in the Harry Potter series. Most recently, an image of the supposed specter was captured at Dudley Castle in England.
Lady Dorothy Walpole lived a tormented life with an ill-tempered husband. When he discovered she was having an affair, the husband locked her away in their home where she eventually died of smallpox. Visitors to the home claimed to see her ghost roaming. One even claimed to have captured her in a photograph as she descended the staircase in 1936. (Although many claim this photo was faked.)
Jenny was a poor woman living in a shack near the railroad in a West Virginia town. While warming herself by the fire one evening, she caught the skirt of her dress on fire and was unable to extinguish the flames. She then ran screaming down the tracks, where she was hit by a train. She supposedly reappears as a ball of fire on each anniversary of her death.
Like so many of King Henry VIII’s wives, Anne’s life ended by beheading when she was unable to produce a male heir. Beginning right after her death in 1536, many people have claimed to see her ghost roaming the Tower of London.
This Tennessee tourist attraction is named for the family said to have been tortured by the ghostly remains of a woman named Kate Batts. In life, Batts and John Bell Sr. argued over land disputes, but after she died, she apparently wasn’t done with him. The family claimed their children were attacked in the night by unseen hands, and the ghost then poisoned John, only to be heard singing drinking songs at his funeral.
Considered one of America’s first serial killers, Lalaurie ran from an angry mob when a fire in her home uncovered several tortured slaves hidden away behind a locked door. She managed to escape to Paris, France, but many believe her spirit is doomed to linger over the lands of her former home. Claims include seeing her specter hovering over babies and children, often holding a whip.
This prolific legend states that when you stand in the dark in front of a mirror, holding only one lit candle, and chant “bloody Mary” three times, her ghostly face will appear. Its origins remain unverified, but some theories include the ghost of a woman tried for witchcraft in Salem, the ghost of Queen Mary I as punishment for persecuting Protestants, or an anonymous victim of a vicious murder.
At the Moss Beach Distillery Café in California, they claim to be visited by a ghost in a blue dress dating back to the Prohibition era. She was supposedly a married woman that was murdered while walking along the beach with her lover, a piano player at the cafe. Employees and visitors have since claimed to see her searching for her lost lover, levitating items, and making mysterious phone calls.
The name of this urban legend means “slit-mouthed woman” in Japanese. The story began circulating in the 1970s of a ghostly woman whose face was sliced from ear to ear. According to the legend, she would wait until she had a child alone to remove her surgical mask and ask if they found her to be beautiful. If they said no, they were killed; if they said yes, she would make them look like her.
This spooky statue once sat above the graves of General Felix Angus and his wife in Maryland’s Druid Ridge Cemetery. Several legends of nightly hauntings, spirit sightings, or possible glowing eyes led many to break into the grave and test the rumors. She was since moved to the Dolly Madison House in Washington, DC.
It might be a good idea to buy a present for your girlfriend on the way home from the office today. If you don’t, then that mistake may haunt you for the rest of your life (or at least the relationship).