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Your Scariest Ghost?


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 27, 2004
I mean when you hear Ghost, what is your worst nightmare?
People don't seem to really get scared of ghosts anymore. Its almost as if ghosts are "out".
However, ghost come in so many different shapes and sizes, they are not just white cloth things with chains.
There are the still little girls on top of staircases, with dark holes where her eyes should be, or the dark shadow that shouldn't be there. Sometimes they moan, shriek or sing, other times they whisper talk backwards or not at all...
Not all have a human form.
They can be illuminated little balls of light in your bedroom or just mists clinging on your ceiling.
Or maybe the recently deceased relative sitting at the end of your bed is more your nightmare?
Anyway, what is the encounter that would s**t you up most?

My own:
It would definetly be a human shaped ghost creeping along the floor towards my bed. Brrrrrrrrr :shock:
I'm a chicken...everything about them scares me. :) At our old house, just the feeling that something is there that you can't see was enough to unnerve me sometimes. I think though I'd rather see a full apparition than just shadows. Shadows can be scarey. :)
I've seen two ghosts and both of them scared the holy crap out of me at the time, although retrospectively I've wished I'd been braver, especially as one was my grandmother. The other was in a cemetery late at night which is guaranteed to creep one out.

Sadly, I am super-cowardly.

The scariest ghost I can imagine would be have to be skeletal though - that's what used to terrify me most when I was small. With a malevolent grin naturally. And physically tangible enough to be able to make a lie of the statement 'ghosts can't hurt you.' That would do it for me.
One of those boneless things that crop up now and again and move their limbs in impossible ways. Shades of M.R. James, 'Oh Whistle..' Deeply unpleasant.
The "lack-of-eyes" ghost certainly ranks up there.

But as I've posted in the "What Scares You" thread:
a disembodied head appearing in the window and
trying to speak is perhaps the worst nightmare of all! :shock:

This (allegedly) happened to a friend of mine. Admittedly at the time he was a rigger working in rock and roll and not unfamiliar with nasally installed stimulants, which combined with a stressful job, very long hours and a suicidal lifestyle could throw doubt on the origins of anything strange he might witness. Still, he genuinely believes he saw this and it’s exactly the kind of happening I wouldn’t want happening to me.

He was working in a venue in Birmingham - not a rock and roll venue but a traditional theatre - so probably the Alex or the Hippodrome. In the early hours of the morning while de-rigging some front-of-house speaker positions he glanced into the box opposite the one he was working in and did a very rapid double-take. He describes seeing a woman dressed in black with a very pale face holding a baby in one arm. She was staring directly at him with an air of extreme hostility and malevolence and as he registered what he thought he was seeing she gradually raised her free arm and pointed across the empty auditorium directly at him and started to laugh. There was no sound but he says he could tell from her facial expression that this was what she was doing.

He genuinely believes this happened. I know people who were working with him at the time who, although they didn't witness the thing, admit to having become extremely nervous because of the obvious fear he exuded. One guy describes him as virtually throwing himself onto the stage from overhead in order to get away from what he thought he'd seen.

Why so scary? Well, for me it’s the fact that although this was very late at night / early in the morning there would have been plenty of people around and lots of noise, so not your traditional atmosphere for ghostly happenings. Then there’s the presence of the baby which always adds a bit of a frisson, probably because children are supposed to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from dead. But mostly I think it’s the way the thing appears to consciously pick him out - this is no “recording”, this is something interacting with things around it.

Very probably the result of too much whisky and cocaine but of all the stories I’ve been told by those who claim to have experienced them this is the one I really wouldn’t have wanted to go through.
TVgeek said:
The "lack-of-eyes" ghost certainly ranks up there.

Talking of theatres - front of house at the Liverpool Empire is supposed to have one of them.
Damn you all! I am the only one left in the office and have just had to go and turn all the lights on!

Worst for me has always been seeing something at the window. The hooded apparition is prob the worst i could imagine seeing. The Newby Church ghost picture has always freaked me out.

Prob a post-Ringu thing but the little girl thing is a freakfest too.

Also I have to drive home from my girlfriend's every night through creepy woods and always fear seeing someone/thing. Worst of those probably being an old style pram in the middle of the road or just someone standing motionless in the road.

Another is something I read on here once about a horse with a human's face stamping on a car's bonnet and letting out an unearthly howl. far from likely but scary.

The rearview mirror is also a no-go zone for my eyes when driving at night. I have been known to pull my jacket up over my head and round my face so I can only see straight ahead at times of severe night driving fear. OK for me but probably incredibly scary for anyone who sees me driving past! That fear hasn't been helped by finding the programme from someone's funeral jammed down the back of the glove-box of my new car. Deceased former owner!?!?!

Clown's are another one. Jeez anything is scary if you thibnk about it too much!
I also find the story I asked about a long time ago here particularly unpleasant and not one I'd like to experience myself. Give me a good old bump in the night any day - but not that cheers.
I think the scariest thing for me would be anything which doesn't fit the normal ghost/crypto pattern, so a shadow person, stick man (!!!!!) or any apparition which could be described as a "thing" (like this) would do my head in far more than your basic "lady in white"-type ghostie.
Leaferne said:
I think the scariest thing for me would be anything which doesn't fit the normal ghost/crypto pattern, so a shadow person, stick man (!!!!!) or any apparition which could be described as a "thing" (like this) would do my head in far more than your basic "lady in white"-type ghostie.
I'm the same way. In my mind, there's something extremely disturbing about being confronted by a "What the hell is that!?" -type apparition as opposed to your ordinary, garden-variety ghost. There's an "It Happened To Me" type story I read somewhere on the web, about a kid who's parents would force her to go into the basement to retrieve preserves, and supposedly more often than not, she would see a big black"thing" with a slit for a mouth, cat eyes & long arms materialize in a corner, and slowly inch toward her with a gutteral laugh. Screw the jellies - I'm moving!
I've always found stories of ghost ladies or ghostly little girls scarier than stories involving male ghosts. Especially when they launch an unexpected tickle attack on you: http://www.castleofspirits.com/lady2.html

Also the idea of things that mock and laugh at you (silently or not) is pretty disturbing.

I wouldn't want to meet anything that resembled Leaferne's avatar either.
I read a story once about someone who was staying in an unfamiliar house and woke up to see an old lady bending over their face. Thing was, there was a wall in the way, so half the woman's body must have been in the wall...

So old lady ghosts bending over you in the night through a wall... that's my scariest ghost.

bit too specific? :D
Ghosts appearing in mirrors!!

I have an absolute deep seated fear of looking in my bathroom mirror when I am washing my face or brushing my teeth. I always expect to see a woman with long, wavy dark hair standing just behind me when I resurface from the sink. If I am the only one awake at night then I don't even look at the mirror and just go to bed with toothpaste smeared across my chin.

My father once saw an old woman standing behind him in his bathroom mirror and got such a shock that as he spun round he lost his balance and almost fell over. I think him telling me this and too many horror films has damaged my mind.
I remember reading about a ghost in a book called "Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain" many years ago. It was a ghost of a woman, wearing one of those old fashioned bonnets. I think that it supposedly haunts a lane somewhere in Norfolk. People walking along the lane would see the woman walking in front of them and would think that while she was oddly dressed, she was just another pedestrian. However, just as they would be about to pass her, she would suddenly spin around and they would see that there was no head inside the bonnet. At this point, the ghost would pull open the basket she was carrying, to display the head inside, that would leap out of the basket at the terrified witness and pursue them down the lane. :shock:
Since I last read this story about thirty years ago, it obviously made a big impression on me. There was a drawing accompanying the story in the book and together they completely terrified me.
I think that it was the fact that the apparition appeared during daylight and seemed normal until it actually turned on the witness with seeming malevolence that freaked me out so much.
CALGACUS03 said:
I remember reading about a ghost in a book called "Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain" many years ago. It was a ghost of a woman, wearing one of those old fashioned bonnets. I think that it supposedly haunts a lane somewhere in Norfolk.

Probably the Readers Digest book of that title which is well worth the few quid it'll cost you if you bump into it in a second hand bookshop - there is indeed an illustration accompanying the story. Some great artwork in it - a few by Eric Fraser who did a lot of fantastic woodcuts, or what look like woodcuts.

The story comes from the Longridge area of Lancashire - although I suppose there's no reason that a similar story might not be native to Norfolk.
Probably *the* most frightening thing about ghosts is the fact there's no-one on this earth (of whom I'm aware, anyway) who can help you. When push comes to shove, you're on your own with it. All the celebrity-ghost-hunters and their gadgets count for nothing, really. Ditto the clergy.

At least with poltergeist activity, there's tangible evidence, or repeat performance, or witnesses, quite often.

But with ghost-encounters, you have no 'proof'. And despite so many claiming interest or even belief in ghosts, there's a concerted attempt to convince you that what you 'thought' you experienced was the result of .... take your pick.

So there you are, frightened sick and alone with your experience. The memory doesn't go away, any more than do memories of other shocking experiences. Those who witness a robbery or accident are provided counselling these days. Imagine the outcry if they were told they'd merely imagined or dreamt that accident or robbery -- or worse; that they'd claimed to witness the accident/robbery because they were mentally disturbed or highly suggestible.

It's as if society has made a pact to acknowledge the existence of ghosts and other disturbing phenomena by paying lip service to their existence within movies, books, etc. --- all the while taking it just that bit (or a lot) too far over the top, as if to say: ' Wink, wink -- this is just entertainment you know'.

I've seen only a few ghosts, and they didn't have a clanking chain or skeleton or basketed-head between them. They were full colour, three dimensional, ordinary looking. If you saw them on a bus, you'd have no idea they were other than alive. Only the circumstances of their appearance (impossible) gave them away .. and the fact two of them had legs that faded away below the knee.

But the one that scared me profoundly wasn't a ghost. It appeared behind me in my locked house the night after I'd been coerced into assisting at an exorcism. It was very tall -- either because it was just tall, or because it may have been hovering some way above the floor. It was cloaked and hooded; possibly because it intended to satisfy the stereotype, or maybe that's the way my mind interpreted it. It spoke, in an authoritative, powerful manner. It was used to being obeyed. It's message was direct: ' You got rid of the rest of them. Now you have me to deal with'.

It scared the daylights out of me. I left my body and saw it from two places at once; from above and behind it and from where my physical body actually was. That was it; a short and sweet message from something I had clearly displeased by assisting with the exorcism. If it said any more, I have no memory of it. I'm sort of surprised my brain and heart took the strain they did without frying, so if the thing said more, it's buried deep in the vault and it can damn well stay there.

The exorcist was author Lyall Watson's brother. He'd assured me he knew exactly what he was doing. He refused to listen to my repeated warnings and concern; smiled at my ignorance, told me not to worry or concern myself with matters beyond my ken. I knew the exorcism had gone wrong; expressed my concern for his welfare. Again, he told me not to worry my simple head about it. So like a simpleton, I tried to convince myself that he was right and I was a dodo. And then the cloaked thing appeared and not so much threatened as assured me I had a lot to worry about.

When I was able, I phoned Watson. He was nonplussed and said the cloaked thing was caused by my religious convictions. Meaning my childish, ignorant, unenlightened, unsophisticated, good-bad, God-Devil, pleb attitudes and beliefs at that stage in my life. Then he let me know I was interrupting his evening, so goodnight.

Watson dismissed me and went on with his life. The Church was useless.

Some time later, Watson featured in a newspaper article. He was suffering kidney-cancer. A healer by profession, he was successfully curing himself and other cancer sufferers.

After his recovery, he totally turned his back on healing and his other deeply esoteric pursuits. Why? Had the cloaked-thing paid him a visit too, after it left my place?

Having no esoteric, healing talents in my portfolio, I have had no option other than to keep on keeping on; just your standard little woman who's been threatened with retaliation by a tall, cloaked figure because I stupidly allowed myself to be persuaded into doing the 'right and brave' thing of assisting in an exorcism for the good of the subject.

I'm not sure when I will 'have to deal with' the powerful, cloaked thing. It's not something to look forward to, although I tell myself it was a long time ago, and maybe the cloaked-thing has by now realised I wasn't the instigator of the exorcism or anything -- just a nitwit in the corner.

But it's certainly a cautionary tale for those who're avid watchers of the recent spate of tv ghost-watch type programmes and who may imagine they'd really like to experience this sort of thing first hand.

If Andrew Watson is lurking out there, I'd appreciate a bit of an explanation, if it's not too much trouble ... and a bit of a clue as to what the cloaked-thing was and meant, as well as some help in dealing with it.

So yes, they're all bloody frightening; ordinary ghosts, the alleged eye-less, slitheries, shadowy, skeletal, basket-weilding and all the rest. Best left to those who actually are able to handle it; although who ARE they? Not the clergy, not the 'experts', not the scientists, not the psychologists, not the 'professionals', not the celebrities. WHO then, when we get right down to it? Not me, that's for sure. And probably not you, either.
again6 raises some interesting points (though darkly, I must agree). The few inexplicable events that have happened to me have left wondering what the **** they meant. One was a disappearing picture that 'magically' re-appeared on the day my mother died, another was a small group that seemed to be warning me away from a disused church in which I'd just found 'black magic' artifacts only to completely vanish-you couldn't make it up- and various utterly mundane but apparently supernatural interventions. None of them had a clear message and after the proliferating hypothesis stage, you just put them down to experience and move on. Not very literal the dead/sprites/demons, are they?
The one thing that freaks me out the most is seeing someone I know to be dead, watching me from a distance. They don't move, they just stand far away enough so that you're sure it's them, simply watching. Then you'd either turn away or look at someone to see if they've seen it too, and they're gone when you look back. I must admit I've never experienced this, but the idea of it and the possibility that it might happen scares the bejesus out of me.

I just hope it never happens, cos I might drop dead from fright. :(
If it's any comfort, again6, it's entirely possible that the cloaked figure was Trickster jacking with you, and you'll never have to deal with this threat at all.

Since I habitually believe everything I'm told while I'm being told it, people regularly tell me about their weird encounters, and I've got multiple examples of supernatural threats that were never carried out. One co-worker had a teenage encounter with a fiery floating devil face that intoned "YOU ARE MINE!" before it vanished. She was obviously freaking while she told this to me, so I said: "And yet, it doesn't have you. You're stronger than it." She relaxed and said: "That's true. I never saw it again."

I don't know whether there are demons or evil spirits or any of that in this universe. I do know that a lot of things only have power over us to the extent that we permit them to - ideas, politicians, social rules, and bizarre phenomena alike. Your strategy of "keeping on keeping on" is undoubtely the wisest you could undertake. This isn't like a medical condition or structural hazard against which you can take sensible precautions. It's more like a jackass driver on the freeway - something to look out for in your peripheral vision, but nothing to make yourself nervous worrying about. (This from the person who has to have two routes to get anywhere if she's driving because she sometimes is too afraid of being the jackass driver to get onto the highway.)
I can cope with the seeing things and the sensing something is there, but it's when you feel a cold hand on your arm or shoulder that I freak!
PeniG said:
If it's any comfort, again6, it's entirely possible that the cloaked figure was Trickster jacking with you, and you'll never have to deal with this threat at all.

Since I habitually believe everything I'm told while I'm being told it, people regularly tell me about their weird encounters, and I've got multiple examples of supernatural threats that were never carried out.

When I was in my mid-20's, I was told by a spirit that a friend of mine was channelling that I would die by the time I turned 36. My 36th birthday was in December 2000. Although I didn't really take it seriously at the time, the memory of this stuck with me, and I have to admit I was a little relieved when nothing happened. My friend at the time indicated that a lot of spirits he came into contact with liked to mess with people, for reasons of their own.

As far as what kind of ghost scares me, I'm torn between shadow-men and an old hag sitting on my chest. There was a documentary called "The Entity", which I believe has been discussed on this board & the way the old hag was depicted in it scared the crap out of me!
Bobzilla12 said:
As far as what kind of ghost scares me, I'm torn between shadow-men and an old hag sitting on my chest. There was a documentary called "The Entity", which I believe has been discussed on this board & the way the old hag was depicted in it scared the crap out of me!

I don't understand what's so scary about shadow people, what is it about them that makes people's skin crawl?
Am I ? Gee. That description made me laugh. If you could see me, you'd laugh too. I'm probably as close as you'd get to the love child that would result from a mating of Glenda Jackson and Edina Monsoon.

Anyway, seeing as I seem to have killed this thread stone dead, I may as well add to the damage while I wait for an Ebay auction.

I worry a bit about all the wide-eyed involvement and interest in 'dark' subjects these days, when the reality is, no-one really has much of a clue about who/what or where we are .. or about the experiences many of us have. Scientists speak of hyperspace, string theory, holograms. Mediums and clairvoyants often tend to speak of the after-physical-death state as if it's similar to a big garden party. There's talk of spirit guides and ghosts and good and evil spirits. Then there are the hobgoblins and aliens, tulpas and golems. Christianity weighs in with angels and demons.

Spontaneous experience of any or all of these does change you. The change may be subtle or profound. Nothing is ever the same afterwards, just as it isn't for the man who learns his son is not his biological child, or the person who learns as an adult that he/she was adopted. Life goes on, but it's a bit like living in a house in which one of the walls was suddenly ripped away one day while you were sitting in the kitchen eating your cornflakes.

There are army cadets who spit and polish and drill and dream of and glorify battle. And there are soldiers who've wiped the remains of someone's face from their boots. Some women are delivered of a child via ceasarian section in a five-star private clinic and there are women who crouch in bombed out ruins and give birth to armless, eyeless things while bullets fly over their heads. Some priests spend their entire working lives in picture postcard villages with duck ponds and nil crime rates and other priests spend their days carting two day old bread to wretched creatures living in cardboard boxes under railway bridges. Some people experience the appearance of their much loved dead grandmother, complete with scent of violets and some people are confronted by cloaked entities who shoot from the hip. Luck of the toss.

I never believed in sheet-draped 'woo-woo' ghosts, which may be why I've never encountered any. I was a full-on, outdoor action type kid; never bored, always trying to do ten things at once; always found just about everyone and everything to be interesting. I enjoyed drawing and reading as much as I enjoyed adventure and exploring. Ghosts held no interest for me and the idea of a dead 'thing' (spirit, ghost, whatever) jumping from around a corner dressed in a sheet was too ridiculous to be entertained. I still have no idea why anyone would look for a ghost in a graveyard; it makes as much sense as claiming people would hang around a used-car yard, just because they left their old car there before driving away in a new one.

Don't know if I'm 'dark' any more than I know if I'm offended to be described as such. I've had my lighter paranormal (for want of a better term) moments. But, once the wall has fallen away, you're left with no alternative but to accept that wall's gone. At the moment, there are millions of people who believe the after-death state consists of wearing super-white fluffy wings whilst sitting on a cloud, playing a harp. Millions of others believe that after they die, they'll spend eternity copulating with 77 virgins. Others believe they'll be reincarnated and will do it all over again. Some believe death just means you sink into a dreamless sleep forever. Those who've experienced non-living entities are compelled to view things differently, just like the soldier who wiped the blood and guts from his boots. Because what people are experiencing does not conform with any of the popular 'when you die' scenarios.

People are experiencing stick-men and shadow-men and three dimensional dead people who suddenly appear in the middle of the road or in toilets and corridors. Where are their wings and harps? Why are they still hanging around, instead of being reincarnated or instead of seeing how many virgins they can fit into a paradisical day? Who are these stick creatures? Why do ghosts hitch lifts or haunt their old bedrooms?

I can understand the interest in the paranormal; I'm interested in it too. But I think caution is to be advised. People are plunging into occult and ghost hunting activities with the same happy go lucky attitudes as those who go on a pub crawl. For most, the only ghostly activity they'll experience will be wishful thinking or created by the ghost-hunt organisers. But for a few, the wall will come down and they should be aware that it can never really be rebuilt. Afterwards, they'll have to learn to live without a safety-net. Or, more correctly, they'll have to learn to accept that the afterlife appears to have no safety-net. Once you've seen a ghost, you're confronted with the reality; 'there but for the grace of god, go I '.

In the meantime, until we die and learn what on earth's going on, it's we the living who appear to be disadvantaged in all this. We haven't a clue what's going on around us. And our 'experts' are so clueless, they don't even acknowledge that it's going on !

So here we are, like blind, deaf and dumb things groping around in a massive metropolis peopled by stick and shadow things, by disembodied and dismembered things, by creatures of all shapes and sizes and origins, all of them able to see us, have sport with us, deceive and mislead us. Some of them seem to guide and help us. Some of them seem determined to scare the life out of us. And ALL of them are too wily and elusive for us to be able to prove, or even say with certainty, actually exist.

At the moment, the same person, within the same day, may be called upon by the police to provide a witness statement, after which the police may say: ' Thanks very much. You're very observant. You've provided us a great deal of valuable information' ... and, two hours later, someone may snap at that same observant person: ' Oh look, ghosts don't exist. It's all in your mind. You're highly suggestible, imagined it all, were probably sexually molested as a child, your amaglydia's broken, you're emotionally unstable and cannot be relied upon, p*ss off, you're full of shite'. So, we're each of us on our own with our experiences if they're of a certain type.

I'll be the first to post in here if the day comes when a non-threatening, non-scary ghost/entity appears before me and assures me that my after-life is going to be a pale pinky-lilac, classical music, angels and cream-cakes heaven of safety, love and goldilocks palaces. That's what I used to think it would be. I'm a reasonably nice person. Why wouldn't I have a nice eternity? But in the meantime, I'm faced with what I believe I experienced, which was a scary cloaked thing that was angry with me. I'd like to get it sorted but have no idea how to do that and so have to face the fact I might be in for less than a bed of roses, somewhere along the line, and yes, that is pretty dark, although I still hum happy tunes most of the time.
Very intelligent and interesting post. Sorry about the reply(!)
Sorry about the massive post. I thought I'd killed the thread with my disturbing other post, so lost perspective and posted to the void .... only to just now discover all your posts. They weren't there an hour ago. Feel like an idiot now.

Peni especially, thanks so much for that reassurance. You've expressed a lot of what I feel ... most of the time.

The experience I detailed in my initial post happened about 20 years ago and for most of that time, I've held to the view that --- if I allow it --- the cloaked thing's threat could operate similar to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The sensible thing to do, I reasoned, was to discount the cloaked thing and put myself in the hands of a higher power, as always.

It's only recently it's begun to play on my mind a bit. Probably age. And I'm not the bravest person in the world, especially in this sort of situation.

So thank you Peni, and other posters who took the time to reassure and cite examples. It's done a lot to ease my mind and put things back in perspective.
HelzAngel said:
I don't understand what's so scary about shadow people, what is it about them that makes people's skin crawl?

Interesting question, in that when I first read it, I was at a loss to explain why they give me the creeps!

After a bit of thought, I would venture to say it has to do with the absence of light; ie. they appear to be composed of darkness. Although a normal shadow is the outline of something that is blocking a light source, they appear to just exist independently of any light source. Possibly the lack of facial features plays a role as well. I think I personally would be less afraid of something that has human features.

For the record, I have never seen a ghost; I have seen things move by themselves, I have heard voices, I have felt like I wasn't alone, but I have never seen a human-shaped apparition.
It's the shadowmen for me. There's just something completely terrifying about them. Probably due to the fact when I was a child I often had nightmares about everything being consumed in a massive tide of blackness...

I think what's the scariest thing about shadowmen is that they really are just solid shadows. 'Normal' ghosts, ie ones that appear solid, or ones that look human, still look natural- just an average person doing something strange like floating a few feet off the floor or slipping through walls. Shadowmen however are completely unnatural; definatly not something of this world. It just ignites some kind of instinctive terror in you...

And what's worse, remember the IHTM letter a guy wrote into FT179, where he had an encounter with a shadowman whilst driving down a road? That road is right near me, and I often drive down it myself. It's not the most pleasent thing in the world when you're heading down there in the pitch black, trying not to remember what happened there...:shock:
HelzAngel said:
Bobzilla12 said:
As far as what kind of ghost scares me, I'm torn between shadow-men and an old hag sitting on my chest. There was a documentary called "The Entity", which I believe has been discussed on this board & the way the old hag was depicted in it scared the crap out of me!

I don't understand what's so scary about shadow people, what is it about them that makes people's skin crawl?

They're scary because, maybe they're not ghost, but something ever more out of reach? I mean, with a ghost, you can ususaly tell it was a human. After all, it has a humanoid shape, with sometime human feature. As for orbs and fogs of lights, they're far from threatening. But as for a stickmen... beside the shape, they are completly and utterly inhuman, alien.