Ghost Trains Around The World (Including Lincoln's Funeral Train)
Legends of ghosts from around the world include a wide variety of spectral phenomena, from ladies in white gowns to phantom hitchhikers to even the spirits of animals like dogs or pigs or what-have-you. But whether poltergeist or vengeful spirit or electronic voice phenomenon, most hauntings involve the spirit of a living being (with the exception of things like Japanese tsukumogami , which is a whole other kettle of fish). The phenomenon of ghost trains, however, is one where the ghost isn't a person, it's a ... well, it's a train.
In many ghost train stories, the phantom locomotives are echoes of tragic railway accidents , or they're mysterious engines that carry unsuspecting passengers off into parts unknown. While the term "ghost train" is used to refer to real-life trains that run along the lines without passengers to keep the track clear, the trains in these stories are thought to be actual, literal ghosts (though sometimes they're both). Here are the stories of a few of the most famous ghost trains, plus some haunted tracks and stations for a bit of variety.
Stockholm, Sweden's Silverpilen ("The Silver Arrow") is one of the most famous ghost trains in the world, and an example where the train of legend absolutely did exist. Silverpilen was one of a handful of experimental unpainted aluminum trains tested out on Stockholm's metro line in the 1960s to see if these more cheaply produced trains could save the transit system money. The eerie look of its unadorned exterior and its slightly altered design were disagreeable to passengers, and the fact that the strange silver train seemed to turn up at random meant that legends soon grew up around it. Before long, the people of Stockholm would tell stories that if you got on Silverpilen, it would never stop, and you would be doomed to ride it for eternity. Or it only stops once a year and its passengers are the souls of the dead.
By the 1970s, the story of Silverpilen got combined with ghost stories surrounding an unused train station called Kymlinge, where it was said that only the dead got off the train. Kymlinge then became Silverpilen's home station, where it picked up and dropped off the dead. Silverpilen was decommissioned in the 1990s, though a couple of its cars are still in use on other trains. Nevertheless, stories of sightings of a ghostly silver train are still common among the people of Stockholm.
St. Louis Light of Saskatchewan
Perhaps the best-known spectral locomotive in Canada is the St. Louis Ghost Train, also known as the St. Louis Light, a phenomenon from just north of St. Louis, Saskatchewan, that is very familiar to locals. For generations, walking out along the track and watching for the ghost light has been a common pastime for St. Louis teenagers. Those who claim to have witnessed this phenomenon say that a white light appears along the railroad track, sometimes accompanied by a red light that moves and circles around the white light, barreling through the night air before disappearing when it reaches the bush line.
One variant of the legend that has arisen around this eerie light is that in the 1920s a conductor was inspecting this stretch of tracks, only to be decapitated by a passing train. Presumably, the apparition is some kind of residual energy from that tragic event.
Unfortunately, record-keeping doesn't go far enough back to confirm the story of the beheaded conductor, so we may never know how much truth there is to that legend. Additionally, the land where the railroad once ran is now private property, and the tracks are long gone. Despite that, thrillseekers say the light can still be seen where the track used to be. Skeptics say the light isn't a phantom train, just car headlights from a nearby road, but for now, the mystery remains.
Ghost train of Iredell County
While many stories of ghost trains arise strictly from the realms of legend and speculation, the phantom train of Iredell County in North Carolina starts with a real-life tragedy. In August of 1821, a train just west of the town of Statesville fell into the ravine under Bostian Bridge after derailing from the 60-foot-high trestle. The train was pulling six cars, including several passenger cars, and while there were survivors who managed to escape the wreckage at the bottom of the bridge, the train disaster ultimately took the lives of 23 people, making it one of the deadliest train wrecks in the history of North Carolina.
According to legend, 50 years to the day after that fateful crash, a car stalled out in viewing distance of the crash site. The driver went to find help, leaving his wife to watch the car. When the clock ticked to the exact time of the wreck, the wife saw a ghostly echo of the derailment right before her eyes, including the shrieks of the dying as the train splashed into the creek below.
In a tragic echo of this story that is all too real, a ghost hunter lost his life in 2010 on the disaster's anniversary while trying to see the phantom train. He was hit and killed while saving his girlfriend from a very real oncoming train.
Madrid's haunted metro
It's not only the trains themselves that appear as phantoms in railway lore. Many large cities have sprawling metro lines that stretch like spider webs under the city streets. With that many miles of often dark or poorly lit underground tunnels, it's only natural that some urban legends would pop up about these train lines and the various stations and stops that dot the transit map. Madrid, for example, has the seventh-biggest metro line in the world, and according to Midnight Trains , those 183 miles of track are jam-packed with ghosts.
One of the most famous is the station at Tirso de Molina, where people say they can hear the cries and groans of the dead from under the platforms. Allegedly, construction workers uncovered the bodies of several monks from an old monastery that had stood on the spot and hastily reburied the bones under the platforms rather than giving them a proper rest. The same station is a setting for a tale where a woman found herself accompanied by three ghostly passengers in the car with her. The Santiago Bernabéu station used to be known as Lima station, and legend says the reason is that people were known to get lost in its tunnels and emerge across the globe in Lima, Peru. But don't worry: there's a phantom train, too, which carries the souls of the damned along the city's line 5 to the realm of the dead.
[Featured image by Currybet via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 2.0 ]
Arizona Shadow Train
Folklorist S. E. Schlosser records a legend from Arizona in which an old prospector finds himself lost with no water out in the desert flats while searching for a claim, ultimately passing out from the heat and sun. He wakes up an unknown amount of time later to the hissing sound of a steam train chugging through the torrid air. The miner is confused, as he is far from any town, but then he remembers hearing stories when he was young of a shadow train that rushes through the desert with no track like a black smear across the cloudless sky. As the black train speeds toward where he lies, too weak to move despite the engine's warning whistles, the miner realizes these stories were no legend. The train stops inches from his head, and the conductor and a passenger carry him on board just before he passes out again.
He reawakens in a sheriff's office in a town he doesn't know, being offered water by a lawman who says he found the miner lying almost dead five miles out of town. When he asks if the train had left him there, the confused sheriff tells him that there's no train that runs through that area. To this day, people claim they see the shadow train screaming through the midday sun out in the desert, still running without a track.
Republic Ghost Train
Another phantom train inspired by a very real historic tragedy is the Republic Ghost Train in Seneca County, Ohio. In January 1887, a passenger train carrying 65 people aboard collided in the dark of night with a stalled freight train near the small town of Republic. The train had been traveling at 60 miles per hour, so by the time the engineer saw the stopped train on the tracks ahead of him, it was too late to stop. The engineer jumped from the train and the two engines smashed into each other with a deafening crash. Several of the passenger cars collapsed into each other, including the smoker car, where a fire started that soon killed at least 15 people. The overall number of deaths from the crash is unknown, but it was likely as many as 22 people. Fortunately, the passengers in the sleeper cars survived because someone managed to uncouple them from the other cars and push them away from the burning wreckage.
Since that time, locals have repeated the legend that on some nights you can look down the track and see the ghost train, an echo of the 1887 disaster, barreling down the tracks. Its lights will flash throughout Seneca County when the spectral locomotive passes by the cemetery where the victims of the disaster who were never identified are buried (pictured, via the Seneca County Historical Society Facebook page).
Ghost train of Tay Rail Bridge
The Tay Rail Bridge was completed in 1877 after six years of construction to cross the Firth of Tay, an estuary in eastern Scotland where the River Tay empties between the cities of Perth and Dundee. The bridge served to connect the railway between Dundee and Fife in the northeast. Like in many stories of ghost trains, the Tay Bridge is remembered for a deadly railway disaster.
Just two years after the completion of the bridge, disaster struck in what became one of the worst train accidents in Scottish history. A train carrying 75 passengers was crossing the firth when a storm struck, causing the middle section of the bridge to collapse. The crew and passengers were all plunged into the cold winter waters below, leaving no survivors and nearly half the bodies never found.
A second bridge was opened right next to the ruins of the old one a few years later that is still being used to this day. The ruined pillars of the old line can still be seen rising out of the water next to the new bridge. Likewise, it is said that on the anniversary of the disaster, a ghost train appears floating where the old track once stood. The ghostly train repeats its disastrous plummet into the waters, with the screaming voices of the spirits of the dead passengers audible the whole way down.
Virginia's Cohoke Light
King William County in Virginia is home to a mysterious ghost train phenomenon known as the Cohoke Light, so called because the apparition is generally spotted at the railroad crossing on Mt. Olive Cohoke Road. As with other ghost train phenomena, witnesses claim to have seen an otherwise unexplained light coming down the tracks, swinging back and forth, sometimes obscured by the treeline. Historians say that sightings of the Cohoke Light date back to at least the 1950s, which unfortunately works against the legendary claims that the ghost train has its origins in the 19th century.
There are two main explanations for the appearance of the shining light on the tracks in King William County: The first is very similar to stories of the St. Louis Light, saying that a railway worker was decapitated in an accident 100+ years ago, and the light is his lantern swaying as he searches for his lost head. The second says that it's the lamp of a Confederate train carrying wounded soldiers that never reached its destination because it was ambushed by Union troops. Unfortunately, neither of these stories is supported (and in fact, both are contradicted) by the historical record, which only has relatively minor accidents occurring at that crossing, like a derailment with one injury and a single automobile collision. Additionally, any Confederate train carrying wounded soldiers would have been headed in the other direction.
Phantom Train of Medicine Hat
Most tales of ghost trains involve individuals on foot or in a car witnessing a spectral locomotive speeding past them or even away from them. But the best-known legend of the Phantom Train of Medicine Hat, Alberta, involves a near collision with another train. According to the story related by workers from the Canadian Pacific Railway, in 1908 a train headed east rounded a bend only to find itself face-to-face with an oncoming train headed west. Even though it was too late to brake, there was no crash, as the oncoming train veered off into the empty air, with ghostly crew members waving to the living crew as they flew into the ether.
Fearing that this vision was a premonition of his death, Bob Twohey, the engineer, went to visit a fortune teller who told him that indeed he was soon to die (some versions say he learned this before seeing the phantom train). Hoping to avoid his fate, Twohey refused to drive that same train on that same route again. Another engineer took over the route and also saw the phantom train. On July 8, 1908, that same engineer took that same train on the same route despite the ghostly warning. This time when the train rounded that same bend and encountered an onrushing train, it wasn't a phantom. It was a very real passenger train, driven by Bob Twohey. Every man who had seen the phantom train died on impact.
Express train to Hell
Another story collected by S.E. Schlosser is a haunted train tale set in Newark, New Jersey, at the central station in that city. The tale focuses on the stationmaster, who is trying to calm down what appears to be an old vagabond running about his station and wailing. When the stationmaster talks to him, the old man claims that the Express Train to Hell is coming for him because he once killed a man who had cheated him at cards. The stationmaster, perhaps reasonably, assumes the old man is unwell and tries to shake off the troubling sound of his pleas for help.
Just before midnight, however, the sound of a steam train chugging through the night air approaches, sounding as if it has no intention of stopping. The stationmaster is confused, as the next train isn't scheduled until after midnight. Despite the loud sound of the engine, the scream of the whistle, and the rushing wind of a passing train, the stationmaster doesn't see anything traveling through the station. As he tries to pull the old man away from the tracks and to safety, the old man gives one terrible final wail and vanishes from the stationmaster's grip without a trace. It turns out the Express Train to Hell had in fact come for him, and it came dead-on midnight.
Lincoln's funeral train
Probably the most famous ghost train of them all is Abraham Lincoln 's funeral train, sightings of which have been reported many times around the route of the historic funeral train near the anniversary of Lincoln's death. In April 1865, following the assassination of the president, his body was taken by rail from Washington, D.C., to Lincoln's hometown of Springfield, Illinois, via New York City so that Americans along the way could mourn him. Ever since, on or around the anniversary of that initial rail journey, people have claimed to have witnessed a spectral echo of the funeral train between New York and Springfield.
While many ghost trains are described as simple lights or dark smudges, witnesses of Lincoln's funeral train have reported a number of spooky details. People claim that they can see inside the train an entire rail crew made up of skeletons, including a band playing silent dirges for the lost president. In the back half of the train is a flatcar that carries Lincoln's coffin, encircled by skeletons in Union Army coats. As the train passes, all clocks and watches stop until it has disappeared, usually leaving them six minutes slow. Others say the train pulls along with it darkness, cold, and clouds. The train has been sighted all over New York State, including in Grand Central Station, which hadn't even been built yet at the time of Lincoln's funeral.
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Ghost Train Stories Around the World: Real or Legend?
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Phantom locomotives have been spotted in multiple countries over the years.
Though not a prerequisite, ghost trains tend to be associated with tragedy and disaster, as the following examples show.
Tay Bridge Phantom
“The Bridge is down, “the Bridge is down,” in words of terror spread ; The train is gone, its living freight Are numbered with the dead.
On the night of December 28th, 1879, 80 mph winds ripped apart the enclosed midportion of the Old Tay Bridge as a train carrying 75 souls crossed the section. Everyone on board died in a tragedy ultimately attributed to poor bridge design. After inquiries and safety revaluations the bridge was rebuilt and remains upright to this day.
On the anniversary of the disaster it’s said the doomed train reappears on the bridge. Witnesses report hearing screams as the apparition tumbles into the waters below before fading away entirely.
Pittsfield Ghost Train
Employees and patrons of John Quirk’s Bridge Diner in Pittsfield, Massachusetts were startled to see a steam train rumbling past their windows full speed not once but on two separate occasions.
For one, it was 1958 and steam trains hadn’t been in operation for decades. Furthermore, the tracks running alongside the diner were not part of an active rail line.
It’s believed these two events may be associated with an 1893 train wreck which occurred 30 miles to the east in the town of Chester in which 15 passengers were killed.
The train was traveling from Chicago to Boston and Pittsfield had been the only stop. Why the apparitions occurred twice in one year and never again is a mystery.
Ghost Train of Bostian Bridge
Another bridgerelated train wreck of the late 19thcentury, the Bostian Bridge incident was the worst trainrelated disaster in North Carolina history when it occurred in 1891. 23 people died in the derailment attributed to excessive speed, wherein the train was said to go completely airborne before crashing into the trees below.
Legends persisted for years regarding the train’s ghostly reappearance on the anniversary of the disaster. In 2010 a young man was struck and killed by an actual train while on the hunt for the phantom locomotive. How did he not hear it or see it coming?
Silverpilen (Silver Arrow)
The subway tunnels of Stockholm, Sweden are home to a particular metro train dubbed “Silverpilen” due to its unique aluminum exterior (all the other trains are green.) Mass transit riders only occasionally catch glimpses of the train, if ever, giving rise to numerous urban legends.
One such legend affirms the train can only be seen after midnight, whizzing by platforms without anyone at the controls, and consequently cannot be ridden. Another myth connected to Silverpilen is that those who get on it are never seen again.
The St. Louis Light
Saskatchewan is a prairie and boreal province in Western Canada, the middle of the three prairie provinces. This may explain why there’s been so much attention paid to the socalled St.
Louis Ghost Train, or the St. Louis Light, which is said to run along an old rail route outside the village of St. Louis. The phenomenon was featured on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries,and is said to either be an unidentified ghost train or the lantern light of a lost signalman said to have frozen to death in his search to find home.
Two Saskatchewan high schoolers, however, decided to investigate the St. Louis Light as a science project. Their awardwinning conclusion, later duplicated, was that the headlights of cars on a nearby highway were the cause of the bizarre event.
Lincoln’s Funeral Train
Abraham Lincoln, after a life stretching from a log cabin to the White House, became the first US President to be assassinated. It was decided by Lincoln’s family and the powers that be to bury the murdered commanderinchief in his adopted hometown of Springfield, Illinois, rather than in the nation’s capital. The result was a massively orchestrated funeral procession by train throughout much of the northern United States.
On the anniversary of Lincoln’s death it’s said a phantom funeral train is seen running the route originally taken by the dead president’s locomotive. Clocks and watches in towns along the way are said to stop cold as the train passes by.
The world is covered in rails. The overwhelming majority are unmarked by disaster, while some are said to host the manifestation of crashed trains and other remnants of past tragedy. Whether the delusions of bored locals or true spectral phenonomen, reports of ghost trains are found all across the globe.
By Taylor Leonard, source: theghostdiaries.com
Jake Carter is a journalist and a most prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and unexplained since childhood.
He is not afraid to challenge the official narratives and expose the cover-ups and lies that keep us in the dark. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of anomalien.com, a website he created in 2013.
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The Silverpilen metro train in Stockholm is well-known. It’s nothing more than an inspection train that’s run through the system every night.
The Bostian Bridge incident has an eerie connection to a 2015 train crash in Philadelphia. In both crashes carriages were flung off the tracks (although there was no ravine in Philadelphia) and both were attributed to excessive speed.
The name of the driver of the Philadelphia train? Bostian.
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Terrifying ghost trains spotted around the world
Posted: August 25, 2023 | Last updated: January 7, 2024
Ghost trains may sound like something out of horror movies, but the truth is that there are many reports of sightings. Some of these are urban legends , but many are based on real-life events, several of which are quite tragic.
From moving lights to the screams of wounded victims, in this gallery we delve into the world of ghost trains and bring you the scariest stories. Click on if you dare!
Silverpilen (or "The Silver Arrow" in English) is the nickname of a Stockholm Metro train. It's the most popular ghost train in Sweden, and one of the most famous in the world.
The Silverpilen was one of the aluminum trains tested in Stockholm in the 1960s. The train would end up in Kymlinge station, which was supposedly haunted; a place where dead passengers would be picked up and dropped off.
The train was decommissioned in the 1990s, but some cars are still in use. Sightings of a ghostly silver train are still reported to this day. Legend has it that if you get on the Silverpilen, it will never stop.
St. Louis ghost train
The St. Louis ghost train, also known as the St. Louis Light, is a paranormal phenomenon reported near St. Louis, Saskatchewan, in Canada.
Both a white and a red light have been reported moving along the railroad track. Legend has it that a conductor was decapitated by a passing train there in the 1920s.
Bostian Bridge ghost train
The ghost train of Iredell County in North Carolina has a real tragedy to back it up. On August 27, 1891, a railway accident on the Bostian Bridge killed 23 people.
And if that wasn't enough, in 2010, 119 years later, on the exact same day of the accident, a person was killed by a train on the bridge.
The sounds of the tragic accident have been reported throughout the years, including the moaning of the wounded passengers.
Republic ghost train
The Republic ghost train is also based on a real-life tragedy. In 1887, a passenger train carrying 65 people collided with a stalled freight train near Republic, Seneca County, in Ohio.
It is estimated that around 22 people died in the horrific accident. At least 15 of them died in a fire that broke out following the collision.
For years, locals have reported seeing the light of the ghost train as well as hearing the sounds of the accident.
Chamberí ghost station
In Madrid, Spain, there is an old Metro station that is reportedly haunted. We're talking about Chamberí station.
The eerie station has been closed since 1966, but trains still pass through one of the eight stations on Madrid Metro's first line. The station was used as a shelter during the Spanish Civil War. In 2008 it was turned into a museum.
Madrid Metro line is haunted with many other ghosts. The Tirso de Molina station is also said to be haunted, as it was built over an old monastery. The bones of the monks are said to be buried under the platforms. As for ghost trains, there is one reportedly running in the city's line 5.
Arizona shadow train
Legend has it that an old prospector got lost in the desert flats without water and passed out from the heat. The man then woke up to the sound of a steam train.
The shadow train rushed through the desert with no track towards him. The train stopped and the conductor and a passenger carried him onboard. The man passed out again.
He then woke up in a sheriff's office in an unknown town. The man asked the sheriff if the train had left him there, but the sheriff assured him that no trains passed through the area, and that he had found him lying a few miles out of town.
Tay Rail Bridge ghost train
The first Tay Rail Bridge crossed the Firth of Tay in Scotland and connected Dundee and Wormit in Fife.
On December 28, 1879, a violent storm made the bridge collapse just as a passenger train passed over it. There were no known survivors, and many bodies were never found.
It is said that on the anniversary of the disaster, a ghost train can be seen floating, and that the screaming of the victims can be heard.
The Cohoke Light is a phenomenon reported in King William County in Virginia. A light is said to appear at the railroad crossing on Mt. Olive Cohoke Road.
One story says that the light is the lantern of a decapitated railway worker, who's looking for his head.
The other explanation for the mysterious light is that it's the lamp of a Confederate train, which was carrying wounded soldiers when it was ambushed by Union soldiers.
Phantom train of Medicine Hat
The story of the phantom train of Medicine Hat, in Alberta, Canada, goes back to 1908.
The story goes that a train was about to collide with another one, when it suddenly vanished just before the crash. Bob Twohey, the train engineer, believed it to be a premonition of his death, so he refused to drive the same train on the same route.
On July 8, 1908, J. Nicholson, a new engineer, took over the route, and saw an incoming train on the exact same spot. Except this time, it wasn't a ghost train—it was a passenger train driven by Bob Twohey. Both engineers, Twohey and Nicholson, died on impact.
Express train to hell
A stationmaster was trying to calm down an old vagabond in a train station in Newark, New Jersey, who said that the Express train to hell was coming for him because he killed a man.
Then, just before midnight, the sound of a train could be heard approaching. There were no scheduled trains. The stationmaster pulled the man away from the tracks, but while the train could be heard and the wind felt, it could not be seen. The old man then vanished.
The Lincoln funeral train
President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865. Shortly after his death, a train with the president's body departed from Washington, D.C., so that people from all over the country could mourn his death.
Numerous sightings of the train have been reported over the years, especially on or around the anniversary of Lincoln's death.
The reports vary, with some people claiming to see a light, others saying they can see the coffin inside the train, and some even said that their watches stopped while the train passed by.
Sources: (Grunge) (Mysteries of Canada) (American Folklore) (Midnight Trains) (Atlas Obscura) (Ghosts of Albany) (NCpedia)
See also: The most haunted hotels around the world
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The 10 haunted ghost trains in the U.S. for a spooky adventure
Let someone conduct you to a scary experience (or maybe just a silly one) on a haunted ghost train excursion.
A night train carries a very particular allure, and a haunted ghost train even more. Staring out the window, wondering if you’re going to see another entity in the reflection with you, passing through lonesome, dark stretches of forest or meadow...we love a ghost train! Maybe there’s a zombie out there trying to board when the train slows down; maybe an ax murderer is working his way forward from the caboose. Who knows? All we know is that it’s deliciously scary and we’re totally “on board” with it. Now that it’s October, the time of year is upon us when we have to buy our tickets (these excursions often sell out) and dress up to join the other passengers on the ride that may—scratch that, will —end in terror.
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Best haunted ghost trains in the U.S.
1. Eerie Express | Chattanooga, TN
The Tennessee Valley Railroad sends this vintage train down the tracks across four bridges and through the Missionary Ridge Tunnel. Passengers disembark at the Funhouse Station and enter a funhouse area of 20 rooms of “old time” gentle thrills (no jump scares, and it’s not a haunted house), storytelling and games like blacklight mini golf. The experience is an hour and a half and kids go home with a treat bag and a mini pumpkin.
2. Skeleton Starlight | Jamestown, CA
This seasonal ride via the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park and the California State Railroad Museum Foundation is a Saturday night excursion staffed by a “skeleton crew.” For nearly an hour, you’ll ride along the old Sierra Railway lines to an eerie western ghost town, where witches meet the train with delicious Halloween treats. A steam locomotive usually pulls this train, but because of scheduled maintenance in 2023, it’ll be pulled by a diesel locomotive. The ticket includes admission to the state park.
3. Haunted Ghost Train of Old Ely | Ely, NV
Look out for demons, ghosts, and goblins—the Nevada Northern Railway is putting you on the train to go check out the paranormal for youself. It’s a little frightening and a little corny, but a hundred percent fun. You’ll go through tunnels (already scary!) and witness UFOs, headless horsemen, hitchhiking ghosts, creepy campfires, and a ghastly ghost town on your way toward the old Ruth Mine. Over 100 volunteers participate in this epic experience!
4. Scary Train | Kirby, FL
This ride takes place at the Kirby Family Farm and involves a lot of extras. First, you’ll climb onto an 1800s locomotive and hear scary tales as you pass “mysterious boxcars,” the circus train and the Florida wilderness. All the while, watch out for the Florida Skunk Ape, Bigfoot’s cousin. While the ride has mild intensity, it’s not recommended for small children (there are loud noises, strobe lights, fog machine, gunfire and even...live reptiles). Hardy adults can also experience scarier attractions—five of them—on the farm grounds, such as walking through the Clown Woods. Shudder!
5. No Hope After Dark | New Hope, PA
You’ll ride with the New Hope Railroad to a festival with a haunted maze populated by live actors. There’ll be music performances and food trucks. The event lasts about 1.5 hours, and the train will be pulled by either an antique 1925 Baldwin steam locomotive or a vintage diesel locomotive. There’s also a shorter, less intense Trick or Treat train for smaller guests who will be charmed by the tales of Spookley the Square Pumpkin (cue the nightmares!) and trick or treating around the platform.
6. Halloween Limited | Fish Camp, CA
The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad makes an entire night of this experience, starting at 4pm with gold panning and trick or treating, a picnic dinner at 5pm and the train departing at 5:45pm. You’ll ride into the forest where you’ll hear spooky storytelling in the Lewis Creek Amphitheater, then return to the start by 7:30pm. You can upscale the eerieness by choosing the Fright Class service with complimentary drinks and table service for the dinner, and going to the caboose for a scary tale and riding in the dome while scanning the night for frightening entities out the window.
7. Fright Train | Santa Fe, NM
Operated by the Sky Railway, your ride includes a seat in an enclosed train car, champagne, and live entertainment with a DJ (with the opportunity to purchase additional snacks and beverages). On this raucous ride, you’ll learn how scary the desert can be after dark and maybe participate in the costume contest. Drink up with Halloween-themed cocktails! The excursion is about two hours.
8. Ghost Train | Blowing Rock, NC
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Steven Saine (@steven_saine_railfan_prod)
On this Tweetsie Railroad excursion, admission includes the ride and trick-or-treating, a haunted house, the Tweetsie Palace Spooktacular, a Creepy Carnival, the Boneyard, and the Freaky Forest. The Ghost Train has an amazing skeleton face with red glowing eyes on its front—it’s Thomas the Tank Engine gone demonic. Performers make the ride fun and maybe a little scary.
9. Track or Treat | Sacramento, CA
This low-key 45 minute ride from the California State Railroad Museum is billed as “delightful, not frightful” and is for smaller riders. The diesel locomotive is operated by a skeleton crew (of course) and the "ghosts with the most" provide a fun party for passengers; bring a bag for track or treating. On the platform before or after the ride, there are games and photo ops. Each weekend in October has a different theme like “movie mayhem” or “classic Halloween”—make sure to wear a costume!
10. Headless Horseman Halloween Train | Yacolt, WA
Three Chelatchie Prairie Railroad diesel trains leave each day for this harrowing ride, which involves seeing the galloping headless horseman outside your window. Wear a costume to increase the fun, and make sure to get a photo with the altered Hessian afterward! This special ride only takes place during the last weekend of October.
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The Legend—and Truth—of Silverpilen, Stockholm's Spooky Ghost Train
By abnorman | oct 16, 2018.
Public transportation is a marvel of modern technology and a boon to city life. But if you’ve ever stood on a subway platform for a half an hour, you know there are caveats. For the people of Stockholm, you can add “haunted” and “will teleport you to another dimension” to the list of potential train complaints.
The Swedish legend of Silverpilen (or "Silver Arrow") goes back to the 1960s , when the Stockholm Metro purchased eight trains made out of aluminum. The material was standard enough for the time, but most Stockholm Metro cars were painted green. The transit authorities decided to leave these bare, which made them stand out from the rest of the cars. That wasn't the only thing that made the trains seem unusual: the interiors were laid out a little differently, and were missing the usual graffiti and advertisements. Soon, a legend was born: for Stockholm's commuters, any component of public infrastructure so pure—so unblemished—must have been a ghost.
Of course, any good ghost train needs a ghost train station. According to legend, the train’s destination was an equally unsettling, totally abandoned station known as Kymlinge. In Stockholm there’s a saying that loosely translates to: "Only the dead get off at Kymlinge." As the corresponding story goes, once you board the Silver Arrow, you never get off. Not because you get murdered, but because the train gets stuck in some kind of time loop and rides on for eternity.
In another version of the legend, the train does stop eventually, but only once a year. At that point, all the passengers have been on the train for so long that they appear to be among the undead, and are unleashed on the city in some kind of scenario out of The Walking Dead .
The truth of Silverpilen, and Kymlinge, is perhaps more interesting: The city of Stockholm was running the stripped-down train as a test. If the public didn't seem bothered by the bare-bones trains, the local transportation agency figured they would be free to construct a cheaper fleet.
But the people of Sweden thought the Silver Arrow—a nickname that seems to have popped up soon after the trains were introduced—looked derelict, and frankly downright dystopian. The creepiness factor was such that even if the train was running and relatively empty compared to a grimy, old, familiar green train, Stockholm locals avoided it. So while the metro used the trains as backups during rush hour for several decades, they were never very popular.
As for Kymlinge, construction on the station began just a few years after the so-called Silver Arrow started running. It was never finished, because the expected demand for the station, tied to a nearby redevelopment project, never arrived. The bare look of the station must have reminded people of Silverpilen—or people just figured if you come across an abandoned, half-finished subway station, and you already have a creepy ghost train, you’re going to pair them up.
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What’s so wonderful about the story of Silverpilen is that, unlike many urban legends, all the major pieces are real: there really is a silver train and a never-finished abandoned subway station. In fact, the cars of the Silver Arrow train weren’t decommissioned until the 1990s. Despite the fact that the train hasn’t been seen on the tracks for generations, the legend has been passed down, and younger generations of Swedes still whisper about its ghostly presence.
And there's still at least one place the out-of-service cars can be seen: at the Stockholm Police Academy. They’re used to train rookie cops on how to deal with in-process crimes on metro trains—though we're guessing that training does not include ghostbusting.
A version of this piece originally appeared on the Let Me Google That podcast.
Is Luna Park From 'Exposed: The Ghost Train Fire' Still Open Today? What To Know
It's actually based off of a New York amusement park.
A coronial inquest was unable to find the cause of the fire at the time of the incident , and an investigation into its cause was reopened in 2021, according to The Sydney Morning Herald .
Despite the tragedy, Luna Park remains operative, and you can still visit the park today. Below, everything to know about the Australian amusement park.
Is Luna Park still open?
Watch 'exposed: the ghost train fire' on netflix now.
Yes, two of the four original Luna Parks remain open today, according to Perth Now . There is one in Sydney (where the Ghost Train fire took place), and one in Melbourne .
The Sydney location was temporarily closed after the 1979 fire. In 1982, the park reopened with a mix of "new and reconditioned rides," per the Luna Park website. In 1988, the park closed again due to an unsuccessful redevelopment project.
Then, in the 1990s, the park came under new management after closing temporarily again in 1996. It closed one more time in January 2021 for a major renovation, but remains operative today.
The park even hosts events and allows bulk ticket-buying for parties or corporate functions.
Can I visit Luna Park?
Yes, if you ever find yourself in Australia, you can visit Luna Park between Friday and Monday. The park operates between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, and between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday, according to the park website . The park is closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
The Ghost Train no longer exists at the Sydney location, according to the park's website , but there is one at the Melbourne location .
How much does it cost to get into Luna Park?
Tickets for admission into the park in Sydney run between $34 for children 13 and under, and up to $75 for those 14 and older. Ticket prices range based on what day you choose to go to the park, and how far in advance you purchase tickets.
For example, a ticket for someone 14 or older this Saturday is $70, but only $65 for next Saturday. At the Melbourne location, tickets range from $20 for children under 4 years old, to $45 for ages five and up.
Luna Park is based off of a Coney Island park.
If you're not heading to the Southern Hemisphere anytime soon, you can visit the original Luna Park in Coney Island. According to Perth Now, the Australian parks are based off the Luna Park in Coney Island, which originally opened in 1903, the New York Times reported.
The New York-based amusement park also closed due to a fire-related incident in 1944, according to the New York Times , and did not reopen until 2010, when it took over the premises of Coney Island's Astroland, according to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation . The park operates for limited hours during the holiday season, according to its website .
You can learn more about Luna Park in Exposed: The Ghost Train Fire on Netflix now.
Olivia Evans (she/her) is an editorial assistant at Women’s Health . Her work has previously appeared in The Cut and Teen Vogue . She loves covering topics where culture and wellness intersect. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, running, and watching rom-coms.
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As you step aboard the old locomotive on a bright summer day here in Ely, Nevada, it’s easy to be smitten. Big, black Engine 93 shines in the sun next to the historical stone depot. Under a brilliant blue desert sky, the steam engine chugs in neutral as the engineer busies himself in the cab and a conductor assists passengers up the steps for this afternoon’s excursion.
Soon, the whistle blows, the big wheels start to turn, black smoke pours out of the stack, and we’re off! But the chance to spend a memorable day riding a historic railroad is a small part of what the Ghost Train is all about. The Nevada Northern Railway, as this place is officially known, is an entire railroad operation run almost exclusively by volunteers.
Walking into the railyard is like stepping into a time capsule from 1938. The Nevada Northern’s engine house, where locomotives were once maintained, stands virtually deserted and quiet, towering over the once bustling railyard. As you step across the silent railroad tracks and into the cavernous building, it’s as if the mechanics, welders, and others who kept the trains running here have just stepped out for lunch, where vintage machinery, cranes, workbenches, and tools fill this airplane-hanger-sized room. There are shelves well stocked with large and heavy nuts, bolts, and a variety of other equipment, along with the socket wrenches, screwdrivers, and assorted tools of the railroad trade. It’s arguably the best-preserved historic railroad in the US.
While it may be eerily quiet here at times, the Nevada Northern is actually alive and well. Its century-old steam engines, Engine 93 and Engine 40, plus a pair of vintage diesels, make regular passenger excursion runs out of the Ely depot during the summer and on special occasions. And a small crew of full-time mechanics still works inside the big engine shop, where they keep the old locomotives operating as good as new. “It’s probably in better shape than when they used it all the time,” says welder Gary North of Engine 40. “It has a lot better oils and lubes.”
When it rolled out of Philadelphia’s Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1910, Engine 40 was the space shuttle of its day. North appreciates the expertise with which it was crafted. “It’s real interesting,” he says of the antique workmanship. “When you tear into them and find out how they built them, their measurements were right on.”
With gold decals that stand out against its black paint, the steam engine has the look of a well-restored classic car. But it takes a lot of work to keep it going. About three hours of maintenance is required for every hour the engine chugs down the track—and not because of its advanced age. “That’s just how it was built,” reveals head mechanic Hank Stewart. “The technology is very primitive compared to today.”
Primitive but still effective—and appreciated by those who work on it today. “It’s enduring technology,” smiles retired United Airlines pilot and train engineer Dale Olsen, as he oils up Engine 93 in preparation for its afternoon run. “It still works very well.”
Olsen is among the many volunteers the Nevada Northern relies upon to keep this so-called “operating museum” up and running. He drives six hours to this remote desert community, located about 250 miles north of Las Vegas, and stays in a hotel to run the train. “Just for the enjoyment of it,” he explains, with a look of satisfaction. “Not everybody gets to do this. I’m old enough to remember the last of the steam trains. I never dreamed that I would even get to ride on a steam engine, let alone be able to run one,” he laughs.
If you’ve ever dreamed of sitting in the driver’s seat of an old-time steam engine, this is the rare place that can make your dream come true. While there is a small paid staff, dozens of volunteers like Olsen do everything it takes to make the trains go, from selling tickets to serving as conductor, brakeman, fireman, and, yes, even engineer. “People who are interested in our heritage and our history can actually come out and volunteer here at the railroad, work their way up, and be one of our steam engineers,” says executive director Mark Bassett.
But becoming an engineer doesn’t happen overnight. “At the minimum,” Bassett clarifies, “We’re looking at a thousand hours.” You can shortcut that process through the Nevada Northern’s Engineer Experience Program. Simply put, if you meet the requirements, you can pay to run the steam engine, the diesel, or both. There are a number of different opportunities, with prices ranging from about $600 to $3,000.
It is an eye-opening experience to sit up front in the engine cab with the engineer and the fireman and see what it takes to run a coal-fired steam engine. It’s hot, hard, dirty, physical work—especially for the fireman, who spends a round trip of just fifteen miles shoveling a ton and a half of coal into the scorching-hot firebox, the blazing furnace that heats the water to create the steam that makes the engine go. It’s essentially a giant boiler on wheels.
Both the engineer and the fireman spend a lot of time before and after the trip lugging around a big, old-fashioned oilcan, lubricating some two hundred oil and grease points on the engine. And when the train is rolling down the track, they have to be on their toes. The crew keeps a sharp eye on gauges, cranking on knobs and blowing the warning whistle, all while making sure the coal fire keeps the water pressure at the right level to keep the train chugging down the track.
It’s a challenge Olsen enjoys. “There’s a science and an art to it,” he explains. “Every trip’s a little bit different.” Angie Cracraft was doing the heavy lifting as the firewoman, shoveling all that coal on the run I took with Dale. One of the few full-time staffers at the railroad, the young woman enjoys her work, concurring with Olsen. “Never the same thing,” she says of her job.
That’s because the staff here wears so many different hats. John Henry McDonnell, who first came to the Nevada Northern as a sixteen-year-old high-school intern, is a good example of this. Just six years later, he can handle almost any job here, and he’s still learning. “I work in the shop. I do track work. I do train service,” the cheerful young man says. “I’m an engineer, a fireman, a brakeman … I’m certified to run both the diesel and steam locomotives.”
It’s fascinating to walk with him through the old buildings around the railyard. The huge structures contain a variety of historic equipment and vintage rail cars. There’s a giant, century-old snowplow to clear the tracks, a mail car, a passenger car dating from the 1870s, and Caboose Number 3. “We bring that out a couple times a year,” McDonnell says of the caboose. “That’s pretty cool, ‘cause there’s old orders from when it was it still running for the railroad.” We climb up into the bright yellow caboose, and he pulls an aging clipboard off a hook that contains a switch list from when this caboose was still running for Northern Nevada.
Tracks were first built in 1905 by railroad pioneer and mine owner Mark Requa to haul ore from what would become the giant Kennecott Copper Mine. During its heyday, thirty-two passenger trains, sixty ore trains, and a couple of freight trains left the Ely Depot—now on the National Register of Historic Places—every day. “Hundreds of people worked here. Thousands of people took the trains. This was the steam-powered Internet of its day,” says Bassett. “Now it’s pretty quiet. We run maybe one train a day. We’re essentially a ghost of our past.” Hence how the steam train came to be known as the Ghost Train.
But the director firmly believes this well-preserved operation, with its complete depot, railyard, shops, tools, and tracks, is much more than just a tourist attraction. “I think the railroad tells the story of America that we’re losing: the story of can-do-ism,” he shares. “Mark Requa had a dream: to build the railroad and develop the copper mine—and he did it! This is what we’re losing as a society. We’re not going out and doing things, building things, conquering things.”
That is not the case inside that big engine house, where McDonnell and his coworkers do what it takes every day to keep the trains running. Just firing up those old steam engines is a major project. It takes four hours to heat up enough water in the engine’s giant boiler to create enough pressure to get those big wheels rolling. But there’s no place this young man would rather be. “I got pretty lucky,” he grins. “There aren’t too many places that run steam locomotives. And there are even fewer that will pay you to do it.”
Without young people like McDonnell and Cracraft, willing to work hard and get their hands dirty, this most unique part of the past wouldn’t have much of a future. “The biggest challenge we have as a museum is that if we don’t pass the knowledge down to the next generation, this stuff won’t run again,” points out Bassett. “We’re teaching our kids that everything is done with the click of a mouse. And that’s not true. Someone has to get their hands dirty. And they have to be taught.”
That mission goes on at the Nevada Northern. The internship program that recruited McDonnell continues to this day. Hopefully, his generation will continue to be intrigued by the old steam engine technology that was cutting edge a century ago and keep the Ghost Train, and all that it represents, chugging down the tracks on bright summer days for years to come.
For more info, visit www.nnry.com .
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'ghost train' hunter killed by train in north carolina.
- "Ghost train" hunter killed by train near Statesville, North Carolina
- Group was on Bostian Bridge, site of 1891 tragedy
- Legends sprang up after 30 people killed in wreck
Read more about this story from CNN affiliates WSOC and WCNC .
(CNN) -- The facts: On August 27, 1891, a passenger train jumped the tracks on a tall bridge near Statesville, North Carolina, sending seven rail cars below and about 30 people to their deaths.
The legend: On the wreck's anniversary, the sounds of screeching wheels, screaming passengers and a horrific crash might still be heard. You might also see a uniformed man with a gold watch.
Shortly before 3 a.m. Friday, on the 119th anniversary of the Bostian Bridge train tragedy and at about the same time, between 10 and 12 ghost hunters were on that approximately 300-foot long span.
They were hoping to hear the sounds of the crash, and perhaps see something.
Instead, a real Norfolk-Southern train -- three engines and one car -- turned the corner as it headed east to Statesville, about 35 miles north of Charlotte, authorities said.
The terrified "amateur ghost watchers" ran away, back toward Statesville, trying to cover the nearly 150 feet to safety, said Iredell County Sheriff's Office Capt. Darren Campbell.
All but two made it.
Christopher Kaiser, 29, of Charlotte, was struck and killed, said Campbell.
A woman who witnesses say Kaiser pushed to safety fell about 30 to 40 feet from the trestle and was injured. Her name and condition were not known Friday night. She was being treated at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
"There was no way out, said Campbell. "They almost made it."
The engineer of the train, which was traveling at its customary 35 to 40 mph, hit the horn and "stopped as fast as he could," Campbell said.
Campbell, 38, is from the area and has heard all the stories, although he said he knows of no one who has ever seen or heard the "ghost train."
On the 50th anniversary of the Bostian Bridge incident, a woman said she witnessed it all again. In 1991, hawkers sold T-shirts and other memorabilia, and there were an estimated 150 people waiting for the train, according to the Charlotte Observer.
There are occasional reports of railroad crossing arms dropping without cause, Campbell said.
The ghost trip on the anniversary has become an annual tradition of sorts.
A woman who did not want to be identified, but who was part of the group of onlookers, told CNN affiliate WCNC, "We were there looking for what people say happened. You hear the train wreck or hear people screaming. We were just watching."
Kaiser's mother said the family was too distraught to talk about the incident, WCNC said.
Campbell said most of the ghost hunters, who were from out of town, have been interviewed. Many fled because they were trespassing on railroad property, he said. Campbell said there were no patrols near the bridge early Friday.
Although the investigation is continuing, Campbell said the incident appears to be an accident.
At least two blogs that cover the phenomena, N.C. Ghost Guide and CreepyNC.com, detail the 1891 wreck's legend. While accounts vary somewhat, the man with the gold watch reportedly was first seen on the first anniversary.
According to CreepyNC.com, Hugh K. Linster was a baggage master for the Asheville-bound train that crashed into Third Creek that August of 1891.
"Hugh Linster never made it to retirement," the blog reads. "His body was found in the wreck having been killed immediately upon impact with a broken neck."
One year later, a group of people at the bridge said they saw a man in a railroad uniform, holding a watch.
He vanished before their eyes, legend has it.
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The Silver Arrow, a Story of a Real Life Ghost Train Haunting Stockholm Metro
- Post author: Abid M
- Post published: 17/04/2021
- Post category: Automobiles
- Post comments: 1 Comment
The story of Stockholm’s poltergeist locomotive begins in 1965. According to Christopher Sandahl , the director of Spårvägsmuseet , the Swedish Tramway Museum . That year, Stockholm Metro purchased eight unpainted aluminum train cars to add to its fleet. This bare aluminium train, which could be made more cheaply than the standard green ones already running on the metro, was mainly used as a test to see how it performed, the idea being that such trains could be a cost-effective option for the expanding urban transit system .
Hundreds of trains at the Metro were painted a stock green in the 1960’s , so when a silver train showed up on a line, it got people talking. Even before it became a ghost story , the train had earned the nickname Silverpilen (the Silver Arrow ) from the locals. According to Sandahl, the train wasn’t very popular among Stockholmers . The Stockholmer’s took offence at its raw look .
What made it different from the other trains?
The things that made the Silver Arrow different from the other trains were:
- It had a shiny silver interior
- The train cars were had a slightly different design than the standard Stochholm Metro trains
- The doors slid open on the outside of the train, allowing for a slightly expanded interior
- Inside were free from the usual ads and decorations on other trains. Unlike the generally shining and clean metro trains most commuters were used to, the insides of the silver train were a bit dirtier, bearing the marks of removed graffiti , and generally looking a bit more dystopian .
- All of this *contrast to the regular trains combined with Silverpilen’s unpredictable rarity at least from the point of view of the commuters created fertile ground for an urban legend to grow up around it.
A Basic Legend
Sandahl tells the basic legend saying that “if you got onboard the Silver Arrow you didn’t get taken to any station . You just traveled and traveled and traveled and never got out .” Swedish ethnologist and urban legend scholar, Bengt af Klintberg , who wrote about Silverpilen in his 1986 book , Råttan i pizzan (The Rat in the Pizza), adds some of the legend’s variants :
“It is only seen after midnight. It stops only once every year. The passengers in the train seem to be living dead, with expressionless, vacant looks. A very common detail is that a person who just wanted to travel to the next station remained seated for one week in the Silverpilen. Many girls dared not enter trains which they believed could be Silverpilen.”
Was written in the book, describing Silverpilen (Sliver Arrow) as something you don’t want to encounter . If you ever encounter Silverpilen, you have come to your demise .
Is it the end?
By the 1970’s the legend of Silverpilen was widespread, well-known, and growing . In the early part of the decade, the metro system was expanded, opening the new Blue Line in 1975. As part of this expansion, the Kymlinge station was built to service an area that was slated for an economic redevelopment. However this development never materialized. Without the expected demand for the station, the fully completed structure never opened to commuters . Soon this ghost station began accruing urban legends of its own , sparking a local saying: “Only the dead get off at Kymlinge.” Like Silverpilen, Kymlinge was blank and unadorned on the inside, without ads or signs, making it look pretty ghostly in contrast to the other bustling stations along the metro .
It was not long before the legends of Kymlinge and Silverpilen became intertwined, and the station came to be known as the home of Silverpilen , or the station where the ghost train picks up the dead . Just like Silverpilen, Kymlinge was very plainly real, but stories of the supernatural train made it even scarier … But, that was not the end of Silverpilen.
Silverpilen continued to be used in the Stockholm Metro until 1995 or 1996, when it was finally decommissioned, and the cars were split up . But the legend continued. “I’ve been working at the transport museum for 10 years,” Sandahl says, “and there are a lot of people who know [the legend]. All the Stockholmers know what Silverpilen is.” As Klintberg puts it, “[The Silverpilen cars] have been taken out of service. However, the rumor of a ghost train has survived them, you still hear it, especially among young people.”
In the future…
The ghost of Silverpilen lives on in the minds of metro riders , but the real train hasn’t completely disappeared either . According to Sandahl a couple of the cars survive around the country. Half of one of the trains was moved the Stockholm Police Academy, where it is used as a training setting to teach cadets how to police crime on the metro. (Assumedly not supernatural crime though, or else Silverpilen would likely be public enemy number one.) The only other car that is known to remain is located at the headquarters of Hägglunds, the Swedish company that built the train. Sandahl says it was preserved and at some point there was a cafeteria installed inside.
The stories of Silverpilen still haunt the tracks of the Stockholm Metro and Kymlinge still stands silent and mysterious. But there are still those who remember the truth behind the legends. “Have I seen Silverpilen? Sure.” Klintberg says, “I have been seated in the metallic trains innumerable times. But I am sorry to say, nothing strange ever happened.”
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16 very real ghost stories that'll chill you to the bone
Do you check under the bed for monsters before you go to sleep? Double check the closet to ensure the boogeyman isn't hiding inside? Are you afraid of...ghosts?
Then perhaps you should stop right now, because we're about to delve into the world of the paranormal — and these tales are not for the faint of heart.
Whether you believe ghosts are rea l or just made up for the movies , these ghost stories, as told by real people who experienced things they simply can't explain , are sure to give you pause — if not proof — that there's more than meets the eye when it comes to supernatural happenings.
To help curate our collection of spooky yarns, TODAY.com spoke to Derek Hayes, host of " Monsters Among Us ," a podcast in which callers share details of mysterious encounters.
According to Hayes, he receives hundreds of calls each week and submissions from across the globe. "But every once in a while, somebody will call in one of those personal stories. It's that personal connection for me that really brings it home," Hayes tells TODAY.com.
"And some of those are just terrifying ."
We've collected a sampling of those 'terrifying' stories right here, along with a handful of other scary ghost stories from a ghost hunter, as well as unexplained incidents told by a variety of ordinary people who claim they've experienced something extraordinary.
Whether you believe them or not is, of course, entirely up to you. But if you end up sleeping with the lights on tonight, don't say we didn't warn you.
The ‘grandmas’ in the cemetery
Jeff, a resident of Dayton, Ohio, was driving with his 3-year-old son, Miles, in the back seat, when they passed by a cemetery. It was a modest cemetery with only flowers and small plaques.
“It basically looks like a giant garden,” Jeff explains on “Monsters Among Us.”
According to Jeff, as they drove by, his toddler, who’d been happily singing, abruptly stopped, pointed to the cemetery and exclaimed, “Look at all those people!”
Jeff turned to look, but didn’t see a soul. Confused, he asked Miles what he was talking about. “All those people over there,” his son replied. “There sure are a lot of grandmas.”
As Jeff tells it, chills ran down his spine as he asked his son what the people were doing. “They’re all standing there, looking down at the grass,” Miles said.
Completely unsettled by the conversation, Jeff sped up and drove home. Later that same day, he says his young son was watching TV when he turned to Jeff and said, “You know … they weren’t alive.”
Thinking Miles was referring to the cartoon, Jeff asked what he meant. “Those people we saw ... they were all paused,” his son replied.
“I don’t know if my kid has the sixth sense,” Jeff says. “Or if he just has a wild imagination.”
The ghost of The Stanley Hotel
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, has been around for more than 100 years and was built as a posh getaway for the wealthy seeking solitude in the mountains.
As the years passed, however, occupancy declined and by the 1970s, the grand hotel had fallen into disrepair. It was around that time that famed author Stephen King spent the night there and was inspired to write the book “The Shining.”
The book and blockbuster film helped return the Stanley to its former glory. Now, guests come in droves to see the hotel that inspired one of the scariest horror movies of all time.
Given its history, it should come as no surprise that many visitors report strange happenings. Aware of the ghostly rumors, Texas resident Henry Yau booked a last-minute getaway in April of 2016 to “check it out.”
After arriving, Yau had dinner, then wandered around the Stanley to take photos. Stopping at the staircase, he waited for people to clear the area, then took a picture, thinking nothing of it.
Later that night, however, Yau fell seriously ill. “I felt really sick, I had the shivers, I was like, something’s really wrong,” he tells TODAY.com. His companion suggested he go to the emergency room, but Yau refused.
On the trip home, Yau began swiping through the photos he’d taken when he discovered what he said was a “really, really strange image” of someone standing on the stairs.
Except no one had been there.
The next day, he posted the photo on Instagram, half-joking that he’d captured a ghost — and the world took notice. Almost overnight, Yau found himself in the limelight with his ghost picture warranting attention from global media outlets and paranormal experts who wanted to examine the photo.
“Some experts say that there’s two ghosts, and other people said that the reason I got sick is because the ghost was trying to materialize, taking energy out of me,” he said. “There’s so many theories about this.”
And what does Yau think? “I have no idea,” he says with a laugh.
The ghost truck stop
On his way to get married, a military man and his best man set off on an 800-mile road trip from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to Lafayette, Indiana.
It's 1 a.m. on a cold January night in 2014 and the man tells "Monsters Among Us" that the weather is bad and temperatures are in "the negative double digits."
As the pair close in on Indianapolis, they discover they have no money to pay for gas to refuel the car and are about to run out.
"Growing up in the trucking industry with my dad, I decided to stop at a truck stop," the man explains. But because the main interstates were shut down due to the weather, they had get off the highway and search for a truckstop along the back roads instead.
"(We) found a smaller truck stop. It had one truck and it was just kind of strange. It was just a blacked out truck with a blacked out trailer. There was no real markings on it, nothing distinguishable," he says.
They went in, hoping a clerk or waitress would spot them a few dollars for gas enough to make it to Indianapolis, at which time they'd go to the bank, take out cash and pay back the loan.
Inside they found a tidy diner, occupied by a waitress, cook and a lone truck driver.
"I went inside, talked to this driver and he bought us a cup of coffee. We sat there and talked for about 30 minutes about what was going on and why we were headed, where we were and what we were doing. And he gave us 20 bucks for gas. I went outside, pumped our gas, came back in and I told him, 'Hey, I really appreciate it. I'll be back.'"
Making good on his word, the man got cash from the bank upon arriving in Indianapolis and returned to the diner.
"When we arrive at about 10 o’clock in the morning, it's boarded up," he says. "It looks like it’s been abandoned for years and the truck’s gone. But we had just been in there."
They pull in anyway and find a police officer parked in the lot. They explain what happened just hours before to which the cop chuckles and replies, "Oh, you met the ghost of three."
"So, two military members converse, had a cup of coffee with, interacted with, three people at a diner that had a fuel pump. I got $20 worth of gas," says the man. "When I came back, it been boarded up for, if I remember correctly, the cop said it had been boarded up for the last 25 years."
The hauntings at the Lizzie Borden House
On August 4, 1892, Andrew and his wife, Abby Borden, were found brutally murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts, home. Though murder wasn’t uncommon in the late 1800s, the fact that they were bludgeoned to death with an ax and the main suspect was their 32-year-old daughter, Lizzie Borden, certainly was.
The crime and trial that followed made headlines around the world. Lizzie was ultimately acquitted of murder, but she remains forever linked to the heinous killings, as does the home where the crime was committed.
Now a bed-and-breakfast and museum, the Borden home attracts history buffs and thrill-seekers who come to see for themselves if rumors that the house is haunted are, indeed, true.
“When I started working here, it was more of the history. I really didn’t care about the paranormal,” Suzanne St. John, a realtor and tour guide at the Lizzie Borden House, tells TODAY.com.
However, that all changed after St. John says she experienced a few unusual happenings of her own.
“Guests tell us they hear laughing and playing in the middle of the night, things get moved around,” she says. And St. John has experienced a few unusual things herself, saying that once she discovered toys scattered across a room that no one had been in.
St. John also talks of a picture that fell over and slid two feet across the floor without any plausible explanation, as well as a closet door that once opened on its own volition.
On the eve of the anniversary of Andrew and Abby’s murder, St. John says that she and two other tour guides at the house felt a sudden sharp, piercing pain in their left eyes — the same exact location of Andrew Borden’s fatal injuries.
Perhaps the most unsettling, however, is the story St. John tells of a tour guide at the Lizzie Borden house who asked her group to silence their cell phones before beginning the tour. Moments later, a guest’s cell phone rang. She looked up and said, “It’s my mom.”
The tour guide asked if she wanted to leave and take the call, to which the woman replied: “She died two years ago.”
The ghost of Captain Joseph White
Though Salem, Massachusetts is best known for its infamous witch trials, there have been plenty of other chilling stories throughout its 400-year history.
One of them is the tale of Captain Joseph White, a wealthy merchant who was found bludgeoned to death in his bed.
It was a crime motivated by money, according to Giovanni Alabiso, owner and tour guide at Salem Historical Tours, who says the 82-year-old merchant was allegedly targeted by greedy brothers hoping to get their hands on his will.
Brothers Joseph and Francis Knapp enlisted the help of Richard Crowninshield to help get the job done. “Late in the evening, when Captain White is asleep, Dick Crowninshield comes in, he goes upstairs to the second floor and takes a club and bashes the captain over the head and crushes his skull,” Alabiso tells TODAY.com.
The murder resulted in a scandalous trial and is said to be the inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” as well as the game “Clue.”
Whether it’s the brutal nature of the crime or revenge for the attempt to steal his money, the spirit of Captain Joseph White is said to still wander the halls of his former home. “People believe Captain White is roaming around that house, protecting whatever treasure he reportedly has,” Alabiso said.
Tourists take photos of the house, and despite being empty, many pictures reveal shadowy figures (both male and female) in the windows and on the landing of the Gardner-Pingree House.
Who are they? No one knows.
“It’s definitely, absolutely active,” Alabiso says.
The haunted ventriloquist doll
When Marty was a child back in the '90s, she tells "Monsters Among Us" that she was a fan of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy sidekick, Charlie McCarthy.
She says that when her father came across a ventriloquist doll as he wandered through a small magic shop located outside of Santa Rosa, California, he decided to buy it for her birthday.
While ringing up the sale, Marty says the cashier gave her father "weird vibes" and said to him: "You know when you put your hand inside the doll, he's going to come alive."
Laughing off the comment, he brought the dummy home to his daughter.
According to Marty, she was over the moon when he dad gave her the doll, saying: "I was so happy when I got that doll, I was obsessed."
But before long, strange things began happening. Though impossible because the doll's head was made of hard plastic, she says its expression would change, including his smile.
Worried something would happen to her precious dummy, Marty's family shut it away in a cupboard most nights. One night, she and her family were awakened by the "pitter patter" of steps in their living room. Thinking it was the dog or another family member, they went to look.
No one was there. Except for the doll, who was sitting on the couch.
"We remember specifically we always put it away because I loved that doll so much that I took care of it," Marty says on the podcast.
Other strange occurrences began happening. While Marty and her dad were away, her uncle was alone in the house. The uncle says he heard Marty's father calling his name from the living room, even though he wasn't home.
When he went to look? He found the doll, once again, sitting on the couch. And no one else.
"All of our family was pretty much scared of the doll," Marty says. "People would start hearing their names being called, and we would hear walking at night. So, we just decided we needed to get rid of it."
Being Mexican and religious, Marty says her parents wanted to burn the doll in case it was demonic. They put it on the grill and, according to Marty, it wouldn't burn. "This doll would not go up in flames, at all, whatsoever."
They tried cutting it up with a knife, but were unsuccessful. Finally, they threw it in the trash can. After the garbage was collected, Marty's dad went to retrieve the bin.
In it? The doll.
To rid themselves of the dummy, they dug a hole in the backyard, then filled it with cement.
Marty and family have long-since moved away, but she says they still think about the doll and the possibility that eventually "it finds one of us."
The imaginary 'friend'
Jacqueline from Oklahoma says that while her memories have faded over the years, she recalls having an imaginary friend when she was young.
Her grandparents, "Granny Junie" and "Pa Hank," lived in a small home with a quiet backyard. Jacqueline recalls visiting them as a child.
"I have very good memories of my Pa Hank," Jacqueline says on the podcast "Monsters Among Us."
"He would sit under the tree with me and tell me stories." The stories were often about his life and memories of prohibition, she says. "He was actually a very interesting character."
The only problem? Her grandfather died in 1981 — and Jacqueline was born in 1982.
"I don't think I ever realized that I was getting stories from a ghost," she says, adding that the rest of her family knew of his presence in the house. "My Granny Junie would never stay in the house on the anniversary of his death," she says. "He did die in the house."
Jacqueline also recalls hearing Pa Hank get up in the middle of the night when she was staying at the house. "It never occurred to me that these were memories of an entity," she said.
In hindsight, Jacqueline says that even though her childhood "imaginary friend" was actually her dead grandfather, it casts a different light because it was a relative and not a stranger.
"It never felt like ghosts, it felt like talking to my Pa Hank."
The kidnapping ghost
On "Monsters Among Us," a caller named Joe tells of moving to Georgia from California in the late 1990s. Soon after, he says his brother followed him to the Peach State and rented an old house built in the 1800s.
"It looked nice from the outside ... it did not feel good from the inside," Joe says during the podcast.
According to Joe, things seemed off from the moment he helped his brother move into the home. "I walked into the house and went, 'Oh, man.' The hair stood up on the back of my neck, and I just felt ill-at-ease, like this place isn't cool at all," he says.
Moments later, while carrying items into the bedroom, Joe says he heard whispering.
"A heated whispering, almost an argument, between two people that seemed to be hovering in the top of the ceiling area of the room," he adds.
Joe ran out of the room and asked his brother if he'd felt something off about the house, too. His brother had picked up on the vibe, but assured Joe that things would be alright.
"As long as you're good," Joe says he told his brother. "I'm not good, but I'm going to help you. I'm going home and I probably won't come back here."
And, sure enough, Joe's brother began experiencing unusual occurrences in the house.
The most alarming, however, was when Joe says his young niece was found wandering alone on a busy road with her hand up in the air.
Police and other agencies were called to investigate the incident and when asked, his brother's 4-year-old explained that she'd gone for a stroll with the "old lady that lives here."
"She just wanted to go for a walk, so we went for a walk."
Given that the front door was too heavy for a 4-year-old to open by herself, no one could understand how she was able to leave the house.
According to Joe, his niece said, "The old lady opened the door, then we petted the dog for a little bit, then went for a walk."
"She was so genuine and honest at 4 years old, that he couldn't call her liar," Joe says during the podcast.
Soon after, his brother moved and never returned.
The ghosts of Stone’s Public House
Considered one of the most haunted restaurants in America, Stone’s Public House in Ashland, Massachusetts, doesn’t have a ghost problem — it has a ghosts problem.
Janet Morazzini, a longtime resident of Ashland, is the bartender and manager of Stone's Public House, which was built by John Stone back in 1832.
According to Morazzini, even before she began working at the inn, she heard stories of the ghost of a young boy roaming the halls of the restaurant, which once served as an ad hoc hospital during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.
It makes sense, Morazzini tells TODAY.com. “That’s where they would quarantine all the sick people,” she explains. “Apparently, quite a few souls have passed just due to that.”
The inn is also the site for other untimely deaths, including that of a young girl who was struck and killed by a train while she played near the railroad tracks bordering the property.
According to Morazzini, a father and son visiting the inn stepped outside the restaurant to watch the trains. After coming back inside, Morazzini overheard the father reassuring his young son that there wasn't anyone else outside — despite the son insisting he'd seen a little girl sitting beside them.
“He’s like, ‘She was sitting right next to me. She was crying. You didn’t see the little girl?’ And the dad said, ‘There was nobody there, it was just me and you, buddy,'" Morazzini recalls.
Other ghosts are said to haunt the old inn, including that of proprietor, John Stone, who Morazzini says didn’t actually die there, but is believed to be “watching over” the place.
One night when Morazzini was alone at the inn, she says she heard footsteps walking directly above her on the second floor. “I was just like, there is no explanation for that whatsoever. I’m leaving," she tells TODAY.com.
Still, she doesn’t believe that the spirits have bad intentions. “I’ve never had that scary, hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-gotta-get-out-of-the-building feeling there."
The unexpected passenger
In the 1990s, Julie, a resident of Portland, Oregon, was driving out the city to meet with friends when she found herself in traffic. The 18-year-old soon discovered that the cause of the slowdown was due to a dreadful car crash and to her horror, as she passed the scene, she realized that someone had died.
A moment later, “there was a woman sitting in my passenger seat.” Julie says on “Monsters Among Us.”
Though she admits it sounds crazy, Julie reports seeing a woman dressed in work clothes seated next to her. And despite being in complete shock, the woman in the passenger seat was even more freaked out. “She looked like somebody who just suddenly ended up in somebody else’s car,” Julie says of the incident.
Panicked, the woman demanded to know how she got there and who Julie was. It was then that Julie noticed the woman had an unearthly quality about her and realized that whoever she’d passed on the side of the road was somehow in the car with her.
“'Ma’am, you need to calm down, my name is Julie and I’m here to help,’” she says she told the stranger. Julie later went on to explain to the woman that she’d been in a car accident and somehow ended up in her passenger seat. The woman was stricken.
At that exact minute, they passed a clearing in the trees. With some encouragement from Julie, the woman peacefully walked toward the sun, then disappeared.
In completely disbelief, Julie pulled over and convinced herself she’d imagined the whole thing. Several days later, however, a story came on the news about a trucker injured in a car accident.
“Before they finished, they threw a picture up of the woman that was in my car and explained that she had passed away in the accident,” Julie says during the podcast. “It was unbelievable, it was too much.”
The ghost in the choir loft
Alicia Diozzi, teacher, tour guide and owner of Salem Kids Tours , typically sticks to talking about Salem, Massachusetts' long and diverse history.
However, there’s one story she likes to share about a ghost that haunts First Church in Salem. The plot twist? Only children can see it.
“The little ones, maybe age 4 or 5, will ask about a ghostly presence that they see up in the choir loft in the main sanctuary of our church,” she tells TODAY.com.
According to Diozzi, kids often point to the same spot in the church and claim they see a woman there.
“The kids will say she’s in a long dress, long-sleeves, and that she sometimes can be heard singing with the choir," Diozzi says.
Tales of the choir ghost have been circulating since the 1960s, says Diozzi. And she might have dismissed them had her own son not pointed to loft 15 years ago and asked about "the lady who sings with the choir."
Was she chilled?
“Yes, definitely,” Diozzi says. “I feel like the main sanctuary at First Church has that feeling, you do kind of feel the presence of the past.”
It’s not a bad feeling she says, but rather a history or energy that’s comforting in a way.
The ghosts of 'Shawshank' penitentiary
The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio is widely known for being the location of the classic movie, "The Shawshank Redemption."
But the old penitentiary, which was shut down in 1990, also has a reputation for being haunted.
Home to some of the most hardened criminals, the maximum-security prison was once the site of murders, suicides and other violent encounters, according to Theresa Argie, author and paranormal investigator known as “ The Haunted Housewife ."
“(The reformatory) had this incredible vein of violence that ran through it almost from the beginning," Argie tells TODAY.com.
“You can imagine why a place like that would be haunted,” she says. “There’s something negative there, you can just feel it in your bones.”
And there are, in fact, plenty of ghost stories from the old prison.
“We ran into female spirits there, which I thought was incredibly interesting,” Argie said. One of them, she says, is likely the wife of a former warden who was accidentally shot and killed while pulling a box down from a closet shelf.
According to Argie, they've captured recordings of a woman crying and, on occasion, smelled rose perfume in the bedroom.
Another spirit that’s said to haunt the reformatory is a woman who sits in the prison chapel and cries. “When you approach this woman sitting in the pew, she disappears. Other people have seen her walking," Argie says.
Then there's the malevolent presence there, according to Argie. And with the help of a medium, she says she communicated with it.
“He would literally be cussing at me,” she recalled.
While their sessions with the angry ghost were unnerving, it wasn’t until he followed Argie’s partner home that they were truly terrified.
“One day, she saw him, through a reflection of her window, she saw this thing in the back, this shadow figure, and she knew it was him," Argie tells TODAY.com.
After seeking the help of a paranormal expert, Argie says that "we haven't seen him since."
The phantom ambulance lights
In the mid 1990s, Robert worked as paramedic in a small Texas town and tells the story of a "strange happening" that he and his partner experienced on a call one night.
After receiving a call for a female having chest pains, he and his partner climbed in the ambulance to make their way to the address.
"We took off Code 3, which means using our emergency lights and sirens," Robert recalls.
In the absence of GPS back then, Robert says that they relied on maps and mailbox numbers to guide them to the rural location.
"The address we were going to was a very rural one," says Robert. "So, there was no street lights and it was a very dark night, so it was very difficult to read the mailboxes."
As they searched for the correct driveway, Robert says he turned off the sirens. After determining they'd found it, they pulled in only to discover they were mistaken.
"So, we turned off the emergency lights as we backed up to the road and went up the correct driveway," he explains.
Upon arriving at the scene, the paramedics realized that they'd been at the exact same address the month prior for a male suffering from cardiac arrest.
"In typical medical black-humor fashion, we mentioned to each other that this was probably the wife who was now having a heart attack and was now going to go join her husband."
They jumped from the ambulance, bags in tow, and began treating the woman, who, fortunately, ended up being alright. Robert says he sent his partner to get the stretcher from the ambulance so they could take her to hospital for evaluation.
"When he returned, he had this strange questioning look on his face," according to Robert. The pair wheeled the patient out to the emergency vehicle and that's when Robert saw that the ambulance "had nearly every light it was equipped with turned on."
"Strobe lights, flood lights, some interior lights ... everything on."
After taking the patient to the hospital, Robert asked his partner why he'd turned on all the lights.
In fact, he reminded Robert that they'd shut them all off after going to the wrong address.
"Neither of us recall activating the emergency lights, strobes or flood lights when we arrived at the house. There was no real reason to do so, we'd already gotten there.
"In the end, we wrote it off as her dead husband letting her know that he was still there."
The ghost dog
Sarah, from Lancaster, Ohio, tells "Monsters Among Us" the story of her childhood dog, Cricket, who according to Sarah was a "pretty unhappy dog."
"She was super cranky, she only liked my grandma," Sarah says. "She didn't seem like she felt well."
Still, the family loved their dog and was devastated when the pup ran out into the road and was struck and killed by a passing car as they were preparing to leave on a family vacation.
"It was very sad, very upsetting, especially with me being a child. My grandmother was there, she loved Cricket and Cricket loved her. They had this special relationship that none of us had."
Despite the loss, the family had prepaid for their vacation, and not having a lot of money, decided to still go, leaving Cricket with an aunt who offered to take of the necessary details.
Upon arriving at the hotel where they were staying, Sarah says the family was "melancholy and sad" over the tragedy.
"We go to bed, and in the middle of the night, I'm not sure why I woke up, but I startled, woke up, sat up in bed, and looked down, and on the floor was Cricket, a full-body apparition, of her," says Sarah.
"She looked so happy, she looked like a different dog. She was jumping around. All that crankiness, all that unhappiness she had, was gone. It was like she was coming to tell me that she was OK. It was the clearest apparition. I've never seen an apparition again. It was the first and only time."
Sarah says she told her mother in the morning what she'd seen and her mom dismissed it as her middle-school brain just trying to make sense of the loss.
"I guess that's possible," says Sarah, "but to this day, I can still envision Cricket in that moment. I've never forgotten that image and it helped me feel better about what had happened because she seemed so happy and I do think she was visiting me that night."
The ghosts of Willoughby Coal
Built in the late 1800s, the Willoughby Coal building in Willoughby, Ohio, housed a variety of businesses in it's time, including a train depot, cheese factory and flour mill.
In 1912, it became the very prosperous Willoughby Coal, supplying coal to local residents before it was sold to Henry Windus and William “Don” Norris in the 1930s.
Over time, the relationship between the two owners grew contentious, according to Theresa Argie. “Henry Windus wanted to buy the business from Don Norris, but Don was unwilling to sell," the paranormal investigator tells TODAY.com
One morning, Norris allegedly told his wife he was going out for bread and to check on repairs being done on the Willoughby building.
He never returned.
Several hours later, his body was discovered in front of the door. “He was laying in a bloody heap,” Argie says.
Even though his death was ultimately ruled accidental, Argie says that Norris' family believed he'd been murdered. Though no one knows what really happened that morning, Argie believes his spirit still haunts the building.
“We have come in contact with him on many, many occasions,” she says and claims that others have reported seeing faces in the window and heard unexplained footsteps and other unusual occurrences at the building.
But Norris isn't alone.“We’ve probably got five or six resident spirits in the building."
The ghost nanny
Kip, a caller from New York state, talks of an old home that he and his wife purchased. Upon moving in, his wife invited her sister and newborn baby to come for a visit.
“The stayed in the downstairs bedroom and my wife was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom,” Kip explains on "Monsters Among Us," and says the first night their guests stayed, his wife overheard her sister talking to someone in the middle of the night.
The next morning, Kip’s wife asked who she’d been talking to and her sister replied, “I woke up in the middle of the night and there was an old lady standing over my baby and I had to tell her to get away.”
According to Kip, there were more unexplained incidents in the house including mysteriously moving lamps and a creepy occurrence with a fire alarm that went off while his wife was outside working in their garden.
“She immediately runs back into the house, figures out that it’s the smoke alarm in that same downstairs bedroom going off,” Kip says on the podcast. “When she opened the door, she said for a split second all she could see in the room was this white fog.”
Within moments, however, the white fog disappeared and the alarm shut off.
Convinced the house was haunted, Kip’s wife reached out to a neighbor to learn more about the property and discovered that the previous owner was a 90-year-old woman who tragically died in a house fire.
“Needless to say, we fixed up the house and got out of there as fast as we could and moved someplace else," says Kip.
Read on for more scares!
- Are witches real? What to know on fact or fiction
- Are werewolves real? The truth might surprise you
- Scary books to read, from classics to modern fiction
Sarah is a lifestyle and entertainment reporter for TODAY who covers holidays, celebrities and everything in between.