We’ve actually been telling ghost stories for thousands of years. One of the oldest documented ghost stories was found on pieces of broken pottery, dating back over 12,000B.C. years, and we’re still telling scary stories today – albeit in different and more advanced forms. From the simple text-based story to the found footage videos we can see on Youtube, true ghost stories are the perfect way to give yourself a bit of a fright.
8. The 12,000B.C. Egyptian Ghost Story
Perhaps one of the oldest real-life ghost stories in documented history is this 12,000B.C. tale from Egypt that was found on some pieces of broken pottery. The story is of a ghost stuck in a tomb, who complains of being stuck in the darkness and never seeing the light, and we never quite learn why this man was doomed to eternal darkness. The ancient Egyptians were very spiritual and believed strongly in the afterlife, which goes some way into explaining the origins of the story.
7. The Skirrid Inn, Abergavenny
If you’re looking for ghost stories in the UK then this tale from Wales will be sure to fit the bill. The Skirrid Inn is well known as being one of the most haunted spots in the country and with good reason. Wales’s oldest inn has stood for over nine hundred years.
The first floor used to be used as a courthouse, and it’s thought that some of the 180 felons that were convicted there still regularly return today. A number of those felons were convicted to death by hanging, and if you visit the Skirrid Inn today, you’ll still see the noose hanging from a beam over the stairs.
6. Newsham Park Hospital, Liverpool
The Newsham Park Hospital in Liverpool is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a good British ghost story. In fact, it’s like something straight out of a horror movie plot. The Victorian building was first used as an orphanage but was converted into a mental hospital. Visit it today and it’ll still look like an abandoned hospital, complete with wheelchairs in corridors and bars across windows.
Screams have been heard in the dead of the night and nurses reported seeing apparitions and unexplained figures walking through the hospital whilst it was still open. Regular ghost hunting events occur at the hospital today, and many visitors report encountering small children during their visit.
Now, this is the kicker – there has never, ever been a children’s ward nor any children staying at the hospital, and many suspect these children are spirits simply playing at the hospital, “stuck” there, who may have died at the site when it was still operating as an orphanage. Learn more about the ghosts that haunt Newsham Park
5. The Ghost of the Pavilion Theatre
One of the most little-known yet most beloved ghost stories, in the UK is this tale from Bournemouth. The Pavilion Theatre is a small community theatre in the town, and back in the 1930s one of the then leading ladies in a play, unfortunately, lost her life during an accident on stage. Legend has it that she still walks the stage today, and can often be seen flitting through the curtains or walking through the shadows underneath the dark backstage corridors.
4. The Facebook Ghost
One of the very best real-life ghost stories we’ve ever come across was this creepy tale from a Reddit user. He shared with users on the site that he had started to get messages from an ex-girlfriend through Facebook. So far, so normal. The strange thing about the tale was that his ex-girlfriend had died two years previously. To begin with, he dismissed it as a prank. He thought it might just be a bug or something going wrong with the site until his ex-girlfriend Emily started to tag herself in photographs and statuses with him. When she finally sent her first message to him after Nathan, her boyfriend sent her a message saying he missed her, he was horrified. She said, “just let me walk.” Emily had actually died following a horrific car accident in which she had almost been severed in half, whereby one of her legs was amputated and found in the back of the vehicle. The case is still unexplained.
3. Purbeck, Dorset
Purbeck in Dorset is well known for spooky stories. If you’re searching for real ghost stories in the UK, you’re guaranteed to come across a tale or two from this area. Purbeck has been the home of many, many paranormal encounters, including UFO activity, strange and unexplained lights and residents have even reported time shift experiences, such as feeling like they are out of their body. Lady Bankes is also said to be seen walking through the castle grounds at Corfe with some frequency, a shadowy figure in robes, while Herman, a German military ghost is often seen at the Tank Museum in Bovington, sticking close to his beloved tank, the vehicle that he drove during WW2.
2. Elisa Lam
The death of Elisa Lam is still unexplained. She was found in a water tank, naked, with seemingly no way inside. The only way to the water tank was through a locked door and she was only found once guests at the hotel she was staying in complained about the quality of their water. Here’s why this is one of those horribly creepy true ghost stories: Elisa was staying at the Cecil Hotel in LA, notorious for suicides. A number of serial killers also stated at the hotel over the years, and it’s supposedly notorious for paranormal activity. Elisa was missing for around three weeks before she died, and before she went missing, she was seen on CCTV footage acting erratically in an elevator. She was stepping in and out of the elevator, waving her arms around, and looked like she was fighting or arguing with a completely unseen entity. Many people speculate that she was being chased by something and that she was hiding in the elevator from that entity. That CCTV footage was that last time that Elisa was seen alive.
1. Tatton Hall, Cheshire
Our favourite British ghost stories are those that scare even noted ghost hunter Yvette Fielding. She says that Tatton Hall in Cheshire is the spot that she thinks is the most haunted place in the UK, and she would not spend the night there alone. With footsteps heard throughout the day, but with no apparent source, the sounds of heavy shuffling noises through the corridors, and a sense of menacing and deep foreboding, it’s little surprise that the shadowy figures seen behind closed doors at Tatton Hall mean that many people have been so frightened by their visit that they never return.
Although ghost stories are often just that – a spooky tale to tell around a campfire, or a story to frighten your friends in the dead of the night, humans have had a deep belief in the supernatural and the spiritual for many thousands of years. We’ve long believed in many different forms of life after death and it’s little surprise that we’ve been telling ghost stories as a way to explain what happens after death as a way to comfort friends and family left behind.
As we’ve been telling these stories for so long, who is to say what is fact and what is fiction? If you want to continue your journey on this spooky path, learn what we believe are the 12 best ghost story books.