As viewers discovered in The Haunting of Hill House, sometimes ghost stories are more than just cheap scares. They can be tragic tales of love, loss, and betrayal.
Here are 5 true ghost stories that are sad, not scary.
Always keep fresh batteries in your smoke alarms, folks
The Green Lady, according to legend, was once a serving girl who lived and worked at Stirling Castle. When Mary, Queen of Scots was visiting the castle, the curtains in her room caught on fire while the queen lay sleeping.
The serving girl saved the queen… but at a terrible price. The girl died, but to this day, visitors to the Scottish castle insist that the she still patrols the halls for fires.
He just wanted one last picture with his friends
During World War I, it wasn’t exactly unusual to lose friends and comrades. It was less usual for them to show up in a photo taken two days after they died! That’s exactly what happened with Freddy Jackson, a young British airman who was killed in a propeller accident.
During Jackson’s funeral, the whole squadron took a photo. Somehow, Freddy showed up in the photo, just behind one of his friends.
Talk about Stranger Tides!
It’s supposed to be the happiest place on earth, but Disney World has its share of dark secrets. For example, there’s George–a ghost who haunts the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Legend has it that he was a construction worker who died while building the ride.
The House of Mouse insists that it’s all just a fairy tale. Park workers, however, make sure to say hello and goodbye to the ghost. According to former employees, the ride will malfunction if George feels ignored.
The real-life tragedy that inspired a book and movie
Grace Brown was working at the Gillette Skirt Factory when she fell in love with the owner’s son. Maybe Grace and Chester were happy for a while. But when Grace found out she was pregnant, their affair took a terrible turn.
Grace begged Chester to marry her. Instead, he murdered her. Although he was convicted and later executed, Grace reportedly still haunts the shores of the lake where she was murdered. Her story inspired Theodore Dreiser’s novel An American Tragedy and the movie A Place in the Sun starring Elizabeth Taylor.
The ghost who solved her own murder
Back at the turn of the last century, a woman named Zona Heaster Shue was found dead in Greenbriar, West Virginia. Her husband insisted on washing and dressing the body himself before the police arrived. His behavior seemed strange–but hey, the guy had just lost his wife. Case closed, right?
Zona wasn’t about to let her murderer go unpunished. She appeared to her mother in a dream, announcing that the husband had killed her. It turns out that not only did he strangle Zona, but she was the second of his wives to die under suspicious circumstances.