The Most Famous Ghost Stories that Have Ever Been Told

The belief in ghosts has been a part of every culture around the world. Most of the world is drawn to or enamored with things that we cannot explain, legends and lure. And ghosts are really the epitome of that. In fact, it goes without saying, but many ghost stories have inspired novels, movies, and television series. A vast majority of the world are drawn to paranormal events for a terrifying experience because we love getting scared. Fortunately, those who believe say that ghosts are everywhere, and there are thousands of stories about them. So, here are some of the most famous ghost stories that have ever been told.

The Flying Dutchman


Most people are probably familiar with The Flying Dutchman because of its appearance in “The Pirates of the Caribbean.” It was also drawn and mocked in “Spongebob Squarepants”. Aside from that, the story of this ghost ship has several versions. Either way, The Flying Dutchman is believed to be haunting the seas.

According to lore, Van der Decken, the captain of The Flying Dutchman, refused to go to a safe port while traveling the Cape of Good Hope during a storm. All his passengers and crew begged him to go to a safe place. Instead, the Dutch captain challenged God to take down his ship. Afterward, the merchant ship and its passengers were cursed to never find a port again.

Many people who have traveled on the ocean have reported seeing The Flying Dutchman. One, in particular, is a 1923 report stating its appearance on the coast of South Africa. The people who saw the ghost ship described it as a “strange light” or “hazy image.” Additionally, it was also reported that seeing The Flying Dutchman signifies doom and bad luck.

Bloody Mary

Model: Malorie Mackey / Photo Credit: / Makeup by Tatjana

One of the most famous ghost stories that has ever been told is about the ghost of a woman named Bloody Mary. Many of you are probably aware of her story because many schoolchildren play a game to summon her ghost.

People have speculated that Bloody Mary was based on a real person. For some, they believed that the malevolent spirit was the ghost of Mary I of England, who burned around 300 religious dissenters during her reign. Some also think that Mary was the Hungarian countess in the 17th century who allegedly killed and bathed in the blood of over 650 women throughout her life to stay youthful. Lastly, some also believe that Blood Mary was Mary Worth, a woman who murdered the slaves trying to escape the American South.

According to the lore, you will be able to see Bloody Mary by going into a bathroom (or any room with a mirror) late at night. Afterward, you have to shut off the lights and stand in front of a mirror. Then, her ghost will appear after you say her name three times.

For years, many students have narrated their experiences of summoning the ghost of Bloody Mary. Most of their stories are filled with terror (and likely unreal).

The Bell Witch

The Bell Witch is the last on this list of the most famous ghost stories that have ever been told. In fact, this tale is a classic ghost story for Americans.

According to a story, the paranormal events allegedly occurred from 1817 to 1821 at John Bell’s farm in Tennessee. As the story goes, the event started when Bell tried to shoot a strange creature; however, it suddenly disappeared. After several weeks, John Bell’s family started hearing terrifying sounds from a ghost that was tormenting them. One day, the spirit also attacked Betsy, one of Bell’s daughters. These paranormal events were reported to last for several years.

Some people believe that the Bell Witch story was the real tale of the Bell family. However, many think that it was only a ghost story because of the lack of evidence.

Maria is a contributor who is passionate about health, fitness, travel, and beauty. During her free time, she tries to discover the beauty hidden in the chaos of today's fast-paced way of life. With a background in health and medicine, she hopes to inspire you to start living a fun, active, and adventurous lifestyle through her writing.

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