We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about a creepy ghost story or legend from their hometown. Here are their ~spookiest~ responses:
Warning: some graphic content ahead.
1. "The Black Cross or Wooden Cross Cemetery in Butler County, Pennsylvania, which is a mass grave of victims from the 1918 influenza pandemic that's notoriously haunted."
"Ironically, a while back, there was a show on Netflix about the next big pandemic and how it was coming (foreshadowing 2020), and the opening scene of the show was them going to the Black Cross to look at the grave site. A lot of people hear voices, and there's just a general heaviness to the spot."
2. "There is a street in Marshall, Texas called Stagecoach Road that is always dark, even in the daytime. It has no streetlights and is covered by overhanging trees. Abandoned houses are sprinkled along the sides, boarded up decades prior. It's a well-known haunt that many people refuse to travel down alone. Legend has it that if you drive halfway down the road, turn your engine and lights off, white hands will appear on your windows. Dozens of them from your windshield to your backseat. No other parts of a person will be visible, only the stark white palm pressed against the glass."
"I was never brave enough to try it myself, but I did have a friend in college who did, and while they didn't see any hands, they did hear what sounded like whispering, though they couldn't place where it was coming from. The group chose not to stay long and high-tailed it out of there. I don't know of any tragedies in the area, though the town has been around since the 1800s, so who knows? I wouldn't be caught dead down that road at night, even in the relative safety of a car."
3. "There are a couple of stories from Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, but the most famous is the Richmond Vampire. Supposedly, there is a vampire buried in the mausoleum of W. W. Pool. One story is that he was run out of England for being a vampire, but the most common legend comes from the tunnel collapse in the Church Hill neighborhood."
"The story goes that the building of the tunnel awakened an ancient evil and caused it to collapse on the workers. When rescue teams went in, they found a creature with jagged teeth crouching over the victims, and the men pursuing it chased it to Hollywood Cemetery where it took refuge in the mausoleum of W. W. Pool.
Hollywood Cemetery is actually really beautiful and is nice to walk through, especially in the fall, and has a great panoramic view of the city and the James River that runs through it. My sister and I always go take a walk through there every Halloween season and stop to visit the 'Richmond Vampire.'"
4. "Lehi Hospital in Lehi, Utah was haunted for a long time. When it was running, the crematorium had to cut bodies in half to put in the incinerator."
5. "The legend of the 'chained oak' from Alton, Staffordshire in the UK. Legend has it that in the 1830s, a poor woman asked the Earl of Shrewsbury for some money. The Earl was in his coach heading to the Alton Towers Estate. He refused the woman and told his driver to move on, so she put a curse on him. For every branch that fell off this magnificent oak, a member of the Earl's family would die. Later, a branch did fall off the tree, and a member of the Earl's family died."
"In response, the Earl of Shrewsbury immediately had chains wrapped around the branches to stop any more branches from falling off. You can even still see the tree with the remaining chains surrounding it today!"
6. "In rural southeastern North Carolina, there’s a story about what they call the Maco light. The story goes that a train conductor was in the caboose of a train at night when he spotted another train coming down the tracks toward them. So, he started signaling with his lantern to try and alert the engineers of the oncoming train. It didn’t work, and the trains collided, killing and beheading the signaling conductor."
"For years people who lived in the area reported seeing a ghostly, headless figure waving a bright lantern on the train tracks at night in the middle of the otherwise dark forest. Hundreds of people reported seeing it, and teenagers would go to the tracks to try to see the light. In recent years, the train tracks were removed, and the light hasn’t been seen as often, but people still talk about it."
7. "I live in Tok, Alaska; it's a small town about 90 miles from the Canadian border. Back in the '60s, when it got really cold here in the winter — I'm talking 50 to 60 below — people said they would see a woman in a leopard coat walking along the Alaska Highway."
"But when they stopped to give her a ride, she would apparently disappear. Some people say they saw her in their yard or peeking in their windows."
8. "The Light at Land's End is a popular legend in my hometown of Beaufort, South Carolina. Land's End is on St. Helena Island near Beaufort, and there have been numerous reports over the past several decades of a mysterious light that travels fast along the road and into the woods. The primary story is that it is the ghost of a beheaded Confederate soldier (there's an old fort nearby — Fort Fremont)."
"If you drive out there in the middle of the night and park alongside the deserted road, just wait. You might see the light."
9. "The White Lady of Wopsononock Mountain, aka the White Lady of the Buckhorn, is a big ghost story back home in central Pennsylvania. The basic gist of it is this couple was riding home on their wedding night, took a turn too fast, and both died. The white lady haunts the area in her wedding dress looking for her husband."
"I’ve never seen her, but everyone in the area knows about the legend, and many people have claimed to see her on nights of bad weather."
10. "When I was in the 2nd grade, we had a track outside the school, right up against a forest, and kids used to tell each other stories about 'the naked man.' Basically, he was rumored to be a serial killer who wore skin-colored latex clothes and lived in the forest."
"To this day, I have no idea what happened, but out of nowhere, for a week straight the police and FBI were on the school grounds with helicopters and K9 units searching that forest. They also had guards keeping watch over us during recess because the playground was next to the track that was next to the forest they were searching in.
Needless to say, after the FBI and police left the school, they shortened the track so it was no longer up against the forest, and kids were never allowed near the forest. Eventually, the naked man stories kind of died out."
11. "The Lemp Mansion in Benton Park, St. Louis, Missouri. The name Lemp is synonymous with both a beer brewing empire rivaling that of Anheuser-Busch and the ill-fated, tragedy-marked Lemp family who ran said empire. The mansion in particular is said to be haunted by a few members of the family who all died by suicide within its walls."
"It's currently open to the public as an inn that hosts murder mystery dinner theaters and tours (among other things), and visitors of the mansion and nearby brewery complex have reported feelings of being watched, and sometimes seeing ghostly figures in period clothing."
12. "Being from south Texas, you get a lot of scary stories, but this is the one that always creeped me out. The story goes that during a junior high school boys’ basketball game, one of our players had a medical emergency and died on the court. As far as I can remember, though, there has never been a date connected with this boy’s death or a name. But people say you can hear a basketball dribbling in that gym sometimes."
"There were a couple of times I could’ve sworn I heard a basketball dribble even though the doors were locked with a chain and padlock — there was no way anyone was in there! I hated practicing in that gym."
13. "In the old Texas town that I lived in, there were rumors of a ghost. Each school had a different name for him, and my middle school named him Jasper. The myth was if you held hands with two other people, said his name three times, and made the same wish, it would come true."
"My friends and I tested it and wished for no school the next day, and during the next period, the lights went out. After that, we completely believed he was real, and that the library was haunted by him. Also, one day, out of the blue, a bookshelf fell on the librarian, and she died. Freaky."
14. "It's said the ghost of Rhoda Derry still roams around on the premises of the Adams County Almshouse just north of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania."
"Her life was horrid. She was kept in the almshouse and apparently scratched her eyes out. It was said she was cursed by a witch. Eventually, she was rescued and died in Bartonville, Illinois where she was cared for by the progressive Dr. George Zeller."
15. "In Banner Elk, North Carolina, there is a college called Lees-McRae. It's a small college, but it has a nice library and dorm rooms. In one dorm room, though, in the women's part, there is supposedly a ghost named Emily Draughn. She was said to have died of tuberculosis inside Tate Hall, one of the halls of residence."
"On one occasion, a guy and his wife heard doors opening and closing. The husband says he heard what sounded like the football team charging through the hallways!"
16. "In Chapel Hill, Tennessee we have the Chapel Hill Light. Legend has it that a railroad worker died in an accident over 100 years ago, losing his head in the process. Now, on certain nights, if you hang out by the railroad tracks, you'll see an old lantern swinging side to side, coming at you — it’s the railroad worker looking for his lost head!"
17. "There is a grave in my hometown cemetery of a young lady who drowned in the Sandy River (in Maine) in the early 1800s. Long story short, her ghost can be seen walking the old railroad bed next to the Sandy River in Phillips and Strong, Maine. This has been repeatedly documented over the years with many sightings of a young lady dressed in white walking the riverside, giving her the name 'the white lady.'"
18. Finally, "I grew up in a small town along the Ohio River in West Virginia about 20 minutes from where the Mothman legend was born. When I went to college, the fastest way to my parents was a smaller country two-lane highway right through this area. One night, I decided rather late to head back to my parents' home for the weekend. I filled my car up with gas before leaving on the two-hour trip. But about halfway through the trip, I glanced down and saw my gas was nearly empty. Confused and also worried due to the rural area I was in and the late hour, I decided to take an exit that took me out of the way, but I knew had a gas station to be safe. I pulled into the gas station and looked down at my gas tank indicator to see it was somehow full again. As I looked up, I saw a shadow like a large bird flying over the gas station lights. No one was anywhere to be seen."
"Spooked, I drove off quickly to get back to the highway. My detour had taken me about 15 minutes. As I got back on the interstate, I saw a huge tractor-trailer overturned in the middle of the road. You could tell this was an accident that had just happened not long ago. With the nature of Mothman and his premonitions, I still always wonder if he had warned me to get off that road right then. Still gives me the creeps, and I never drove that road again at night."