Killer Ghosts

MrRING

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#1
Assuming my meaning of "ghost" to be the spirit of a former human who died, has there ever been a ghost who actually killed someone?

It's such a classic idea used in stories, but I was suprised to see that I couldn't think of a single killer ghost story proported to be true...
 
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Anonymous

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#2
All I can think of this late at night is the Bell Witch poltergeist case. That was supposed to have poisoned the father.
 

MrRING

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#3
The only thing about the Bell Witch is that it seems to fall into the realm of non-human spirit rather than a ghost of a human who lived before....
 

fluffle9

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#4
there was a story (ostensibly true) in a book i had as a child about a man being responsible for the death of another, who came back as an icky skeleton-ghost and killed the first guy. i can't remember the details though.

i guess the problem is that the optimum situation for a murder is when the prospective victim is alone, so that others can't help him, and if you are murdered by a ghost when you are alone who is going to tell the tale? :)
 
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Anonymous

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#5
It's tricky to say what counts as the spirit of a former human - identifying alleged ghosts is often speculative to say the least. Scotland has tales of grey pipers and grey ladies that herald the death of a member of a family, as have Ireland with their banshees, but whether these are ghosts of the dead is unclear. I remember a tale, allegedly true, by Elliott O'Donnell, about a bogel, a North of England/Scottish spirit that heralds death and, in the tale, actually pursued a man who later died. Of course, whether these apparitions cause death or predict it is open to debate. In Africa, and possibly India, I recall there are stories of people wasting away through believing they are haunted (due to a curse they have incurred).

In terms of a physical assault by a ghost or something of that nature, I don't recall any genuine stories, though I've read that many that there must surely be one. Then again, as fluffle says, if seeing a ghost is rare, then witnessing one murdering another person must be...well, LOTS rarer.
 

chockfullahate

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#6
i vaguely remember a story i read when i was young of a house in london somewhere, were someone was challenged to stay the night in a haunted house and was found dead in the morning.
 

James_H

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#7
Not a dead ghost as such, but in Sardinia (I think) there are certain people alleged to have the power to become animals in their dreams who herald or cause the death of others (they appear as what they are dreaming of). This rings bells of Astral Projecting, Shapeshifting or Living Ghosts.
 
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Anonymous

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#8
chockfullahate said:
i vaguely remember a story i read when i was young of a house in london somewhere, were someone was challenged to stay the night in a haunted house and was found dead in the morning.
BUGGER!! Yes. Oh bugger...I can't remember now.....is it above a printer's shop or something? It was an apartment over a shop, wasn't it? Two sailors or soldiers or otherwise macho guys agreed to take the dare. One jumped out the window and died afterwards. The other was found dead inside, twisted in agony with rictus sardonicus plastered across his face.

Oh bugger. I've got that address somewhere...

Bean Sidhe and Black Dogs etc generally foretell death, not actually cause it. At least, that's my understanding.

I've just remembered a story my Grandad used to relate. He worked in a mental hospital, which used to be a manor house. It was set in the middle of fields, surrounded by woodland, farm land, with a huge drive way, and a nearby lake. The story was that a woman would be driven up the drive at midnight, in a carriage of headless horses (I think headless, I might be gilding the lily there) and anyone who saw her would die within 3 days. Grandad never saw her, but he said there were times when it would go deathly cold and quiet at midnight, and you would hear what sounded like a carriage pulling up outside in the gravel drive. He also had some patients who claimed to have looked and seen her, who died within the three day limit. He said they always looked terrified.

So he reckoned it was better to be safe than sorry, and never looked outside when he heard the gravel crunching at midnight! :D
 
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Anonymous

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#9
I've got a reference here (unfortunately I didn't make a note of the source) to a Rev. Thomson, who was killed by a ghost he was attempting to exorcise in 1718... :eek:
 

CodenameThrow

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#10
Berkely Square was touched on in a story by MR James, can't remember which one - I think it may have been A School Story. Other supposedly "true" stories of "lethal" ghosts include the one about the creepy little dwarf Fanchon Moncare, and I seem to remember reading a book which purported to be only filled with true stories in which a cannibal victim took his GHASTLY REVENGE on the men who ate him (it was, to be honest, about as true as I am an orang utang but we're talking stories here, not hard facts). And the Croglin Grange beastie, of course. I can't remember whether or not it was supposed to have killed her, but it certainly had a go. Isn't there a ghost ship off the coast of Portsmouth that's supposed to bring doom to anyone who sees it? The cursed sarcophagus that was supposedly on board the Titanic? Franz Ferdinand's cursed car? Any curses, in fact, apart from those which have been proved to be mosquito bites or poisonous tomb air.

What about road ghosts that cause people to swerve into ditches? or water spirits that lure people to their deaths? Then there's the idea that paranormal forces were behind the deaths of the crew of the Ourang Medan. In the absence of any facts, we have to rely on the veracity of the story, or at least how true it sounds - it seems to me that an account of a ghost which walks into a room, points at a skirting board, tinkers with some cutlery and then vanishes is a bit less fanciful-sounding than one which kills people, and as a result they're the ones which tend to be more believable.
 

CodenameThrow

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#12
A dwarf who dressed up as a little girl (her real name was Ethel or something) and used to ferry precious stones all over the place. She ended up being stitched up by a love rival and went to prison where she hanged herself in her cell, the story is that she then went round to said rivals house (Magda something) and bludgeoned her to death with the head of the doll (hairs were found in the poor woman's mouth). Probably about as much basis in fact as the Mr Men books, but a good yarn nonetheless. It's got it all. Scary kids, evil dwarves, precious stones, a love triangle, doughty American c. 1900 cops who no doubt have red faces and handlebar moustaches and shout "Ah, flapjacks!" a lot, and a woman called Ada (the accomplice). Brill.
 

CodenameThrow

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#14
Only on yahoo groups (I googled "fanchon moncare"). There used to be a French site which it was on, but it told the story pretty much as I remember it verbatim from the book (except translated into French, obviously).
 

fluffle9

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#16
Throw said:
What about road ghosts that cause people to swerve into ditches?
there is supposed to be one on dartmoor, isn't there? something like a pair of hairy disembodied hands that grab the steering wheel.
 
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Anonymous

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#17
The Hairy Hands on Dartmoor. Yes. Freaked me out considerably as a child, that did! Especially the story of the couple in the caravan, when the woman was awoken by hands scratching against the window and door, trying to get in! :eek!!!!:
 

CodenameThrow

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#18
And a bus, I believe, which used to run people off the road. And that nun with the skeletal face who jumped up and grabbed the cab of the lorry on the Chippenham/Bath road.
 

MrRING

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#20
Most of these seem to be more spirits rather than ghosts... still, I managed to find a killer ghost story attributed to a specific death....

THE KILLER GHOST OF
EASTERN KENTUCKY

In 1938, stories of a "killer ghost" began to be told in eastern Kentucky. Even though no one ever saw this malevolent apparition, it was said to have caused five very similar and unexplained deaths.

In June of that year, a man named Carl Pruitt came home from work one night and found his wife in bed with another man. After her lover escaped by jumping out of a window, Pruitt strangled his wife with a small piece of chain. Immediately after, perhaps having just realized the depth of his madness, he committed suicide. He was buried in a separate cemetery from his wife.

A few weeks after he was buried, visitors to the cemetery began to notice the pattern of a chain that was slowly forming on Pruitt’s gravestone. The "chain" was caused by an unusual discoloration in the stone and slowly, it gained links until it formed the shape of a cross. At that point, it stopped growing. A number of local residents suggested that perhaps the supernaturally marked tombstone should be removed from the graveyard and destroyed, but officials scoffed and nothing was done about it.

A month or so after the chain stopped growing, a group of boys were riding their bicycles past the cemetery one afternoon. One of them, a boy named James Collins, decided to throw a few stones at Pruitt’s "cursed" gravestone, probably just to prove that he wasn’t afraid and had little use for spooky stories. Whatever the reason for his actions, the hurled rocks managed to chip several spots from the stone. As the young men started home, Collins’ bicycle suddenly began to pick up speed, to the point that he could no longer control it. It veered off the road and collided with a tree. Then, in some unexplained way, the sprocket chain tore loose and managed to wrap itself about the boy’s neck, strangling him. Rumors quickly spread about this remarkable occurrence, especially after an examination of the Pruitt tombstone revealed that no marks or chips marred the surface of it. The other boys knew what they had seen however and their breathless accounts only fueled speculation about a vengeful ghost.

James Collins’ mother was especially heartbroken over her son’s death. Less than a month after his accident, she went out to the cemetery and destroyed the Pruitt gravestone with a small hand axe. She pounded and hacked at the stone until it lay in dozens in pieces. The following day, she was hanging the family wash on the line. Ironically, the clothesline was made from small linked chain rather than the usual rope or wire. Somehow, she slipped and fell and her neck became entangled in the chain. She twisted and tried to get free, but it was no use and she strangled to death. The legends say that after she died, the Pruitt tombstone showed no signs of destruction!......


READ THE REST HERE
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#21
This came close:

Angry 'ghost' rips worker's arm off

June 30 2004 at 07:39AM

Hong Kong - A fire extinguisher sprung a leak and shot 12 storeys into the air, taking off a construction worker's arm in a freak accident that prompted his co-workers' prayers to appease angry spirits, local media reported on Wednesday.

The accident occurred in a building many believe is haunted after a fire eight years ago killed 40 people and injured 81.

Workers were demolishing the Garley Building to make way for a shopping mall when the sudden leak in the fire extinguisher propelled it into the air on Monday.

The 36-year-old man who lost his arm, identified only by the surname So, remained in hospital in a serious condition on Wednesday, government officials said.

Newspapers and television footage showed workers in safety helmets praying on Tuesday in front of a small altar full of incense and food amid the rubble at the demolition site.

Ghost-appeasing rituals, once common in traditional Chinese society, are rare in modern Hong Kong
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=79&art_id=qw1088573941866B252
 

Sarah_P

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#23
Helen said:
The Hairy Hands on Dartmoor. Yes. Freaked me out considerably as a child, that did! Especially the story of the couple in the caravan, when the woman was awoken by hands scratching against the window and door, trying to get in! :eek!!!!:
Don't forget the one where something started jerking a man's steering wheel against his will (when he was near Two Bridges, natch) and he recited the Lord's Prayer repeatedly till it stopped.

Heh, Hairy Hand was always my favourite local legend. (I grew up in Plympton). I've always been terrified every time I've been near that place. Some friends and I toyed with the idea of doing our own Blair Witch in the area, but we were all too damn scared when it came down to it :D

Wasn't it believed that it was a Monk's spirit, as it was near the Abbot's Way? I guess there were a lot of explanations.
 

SniperK2

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#24
There was a story - I'll have to try and find it now, too many books!! - about three sailors who were cast away on a boat, since they were starving two killed the third one and ate him. They were eventually rescued but allegedly the unquiet ghost of the eaten man ( and who can blame him!) persued his erstwhile companions and killed them.
 
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Anonymous

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#25
I thought it was the unquiet hands of some murderer/thief/rapist, wot 'ad 'ad 'is 'ands lopped off as punishment fer 'is unnatteral crimes, like. An' the 'ands 'aunted the area ever since, causing mayhem an' mischief, an' things wot men shouldn't 'ave wot of.

I believe they've been accused of yanking bike handlebars, car steering wheels, scrabbling against tents and/or caravans - all kinds of unpleasant behaviour. Terrifies me, anyway.
 

Sarah_P

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#26
Helen said:
I thought it was the unquiet hands of some murderer/thief/rapist, wot 'ad 'ad 'is 'ands lopped off as punishment fer 'is unnatteral crimes, like. An' the 'ands 'aunted the area ever since, causing mayhem an' mischief, an' things wot men shouldn't 'ave wot of.

I believe they've been accused of yanking bike handlebars, car steering wheels, scrabbling against tents and/or caravans - all kinds of unpleasant behaviour. Terrifies me, anyway.
Ah yes, I heard something like that too...there were a lot of local theories anyway. Some said it was the hands of Satan himself :D
 

CALGACUS03

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#27
I'm sure that I can remember reading about a ghost or spirit that is supposed to haunt the battlements of a cliff-top castle somewhere in the UK. My first inclination is to say "Dover", but having done a Google on Dover Castle I can't find any reference to such a spirit there.

Anyway; the ghost's modus operandi is to rush at people who are standing on the battlements of the castle, high above the cliffs, with the evident intention of startling them into stumbling backwards over the drop to their deaths.

ETA: Aha! Found it. It wasn't Dover Castle, but Scarborough Castle. The spirit is supposed to be that of Piers Gaveston. There's an article about it here.

Gaveston was beheaded in June 1312. It is, however, to Scarborough Castle that his headless specter chooses to return, and where it attempts to lure unsuspecting visitors over the battlements to an ignoble death."
It's not quite as I remember reading - definitely the account I read 30 or 40 many years ago had the ghost being much more 'pro-active' than merely seeking to "lure" people to their deaths.:D
 
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DrPaulLee

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#28
I did a search in my ghost locations for "lure" and "push" and found:

51.199915, -0.386965
Mill Pond
A female ghost is said to haunt this pond, where, according to legend, she lures young men to their doom.

53.383185, -1.463878
Ponds Forge Tram Stop
The ghost here is said to be a young man who tries (and succeeds, if reports are true) to push people in front of trams.

50.608880, -2o452779
The Cutter Hotel
An attractive blonde lady has been seen seated in the rear bar area but when staff go to serve her, she is no longer there. Not seen so regularly, an older woman has also been observed. She wears a shawl and her hair is in a bun, and is seen walking from the door behind the bar and into the street; she has also been seen smoking a clay pipe in the rear bar. In the cellar, barrels are moved around and gas taps are turned off. In addition, a previous landlord was nearly pushed out of a window!

Apart from Scarborough Castle, there isn't anything much in the way of "fatal" pushings, although one lady at Chilham Castle was pushed to the ground by the ...whatever... and she broke her ankle. Theres a similar story of a chef at a hotel who tried to take a picture of a ghost and was instead pushed down some stairs, breaking his leg. Mentions of actual injuries incurred are surprisingly rare.
 

Frideswide

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#30
53.383185, -1.463878
Ponds Forge Tram Stop
The ghost here is said to be a young man who tries (and succeeds, if reports are true) to push people in front of trams.
this is interesting... has the phenomenon been updated to buses?
 
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