When it comes to the paranormal, many people tend to have a “believe it when I see it” stance. Their point of view is understandable. Before you believe in something, you’d first want to see some evidence. But when it comes to conclusive proof about the existence of ghosts and spirits, these 22 creepy photos and the true stories behind them are sure to change your mind. They’re so creepy and scary that they’re 100 percent guaranteed to send chills down your spine.
Turn on the lights, curl up in bed, and prepare yourself for these truly horrifying tales.
1. The Cooper Family Hanging Ghost
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The story behind this chilling picture goes back to the mid-1950s in a town in Texas. The Cooper family had just moved into their new home, which turned out to be an old house. They were so excited about their transfer that they took a picture to commemorate the event. It was only later when they realized that someone had joined in on their family picture—someone deemed to be of a paranormal quality. The picture seems like that of a normal family smiling for the camera, until your eyes veer off to the spooky figure on the left that can be seen hanging upside down from the ceiling. Other stories told about the photograph state that there really was a body falling down from the ceiling at the exact time the picture was taken, but those are also just unconfirmed stories. What’s certain, though, is that the picture and the faceless, upside-down body definitely does give one the creeps.
2. The Hospital Demon
This photo was provided by an unnamed nurse from video recordings captured by a surveillance camera at an unknown hospital. In the image, you can clearly see a dark, crouching figure on top of a patient’s body who was asleep in his bed. The dark figure was said by some to be that of a demon. The nurse noticed that it walked all over and around the body of the patient. His appearance proved to be ominous, for within a few hours after his appearance, the patient died. This is not the only story of demon-like figures skulking around a hospital, as there are many others like it. According to urban legend, demons lurk around places like hospitals because they’re lying in wait for the souls of dying patients that they can then drag to hell. As of now, there is no authentic proof of those other stories, and this image is the only one that can be said to be evidence of their existence.
3. The Amityville Ghost
The Amityville story is one that is known to many people as there have been many film adaptations made out of the story of the DeFeo family. The chilling tale started in the early morning hours of November 13, 1974, when Ronald DeFeo Jr., who was 23 years old at the time, took a shotgun and fatally shot his entire family consisting of his father, mother, two brothers, and sister, who were all sleeping at the time. Their bodies were found later on face down in their beds, with no clear signs of struggle. The neighbors also reported not hearing anything at the time of their deaths. Strangely enough, Ronald DeFeo claims that ghosts led him to do the dastardly deed of murdering his family and that his original intention was just to kill his father.
The DeFeo home on 112 Ocean Avenue was later sold and bought by a couple named George and Kathy Lutz. They had been told about the tragedy that had happened in the house by their realtor, but they were so in love with the property that they still bought the house despite its chilling history. What happened in the next 28 days is something that one could only see in horror films. There was the incident of the possessed suicidal dog and then the case of the half-headed demon that appeared on their wall. The Lutz family would also constantly see ghostly visions in the house. Finally reaching their breaking point after 28 days, they fled the house in a hurry and called in paranormal investigators to examine what was wrong with the house. All the investigators they hired all told the same experience of feeling a ghostly presence in the house. One of them even happened to capture the picture above, which shows a little boy peeking out of a bedroom. There were no children in the house at the time they took the picture.
The Amityville story is one of the most controversial paranormal stories of our time as some people claim it to be a hoax and yet there are some who believe in its legitimacy. Whatever is the truth behind it, it is clearly one of the most terrifying ghost stories of our time.
4. The Pickens County Courthouse Ghost
Horror enthusiasts refer to this ghost as the “Face in the Window,” and the picture proving its existence shows a mysterious face staring out of the Pickens County Courthouse located in Carrollton, Alabama. It is known as Alabama’s most popular ghostly figure, and its presence knows no time of day, as it can be seen both in the daytime and nighttime, just staring out of its window. The story behind the ghost revolves around a former slave by the name of Henry Wells, who was freed at the end of the Civil War. He was accused of setting fire to the courthouse and was arrested, but he escaped and was chased by a mob. He hid in the attic of the third courthouse, which was still under construction at the time. As the mob angrily searched for him, Wells peered out of a window. To his great misfortune, lightning struck the window at that instant and it scorched him dead. Another thing it did was to forever etch his staring face on the window. Up to this day, it is a commonly held belief in Alabama that the ghostly face of Henry Wells continues to watch the townspeople from the courthouse window.
5. The Ghost of Oak Grove, Kentucky
There are several versions of this story, and it is widely known as the “Ghost Bride.” Out of all the stories, only one is verified to be true, and it is that of the story of the unfortunate wife who was killed by her soldier husband by throwing her off the bridge into the water in the 1960s. There is another story going around that on certain nights, you can even see her decomposing body walking on or under the bridge. Another story also goes that if you happen to be on the bridge, it will not run unless you push it off the bridge or until the sun rises in the morning. Whether all of these stories are fact or fiction, you decide.
6. The Ghost at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky was a medical facility for tuberculosis patients in a time when the modern cure for the disease had not yet been discovered. As antibiotics had not yet been invented at the time, the hospital’s prescription for the patients was fresh air and sunshine, and so they spent most of their time in the facility’s solarium-like porch. But that was not all. The institution was also known for the unethical ways they resorted to treat their patients, some of which of were extremely dangerous to the point that only about 5 percent of patients survived the treatments. At one point, as many as 8,000 dead bodies were said to be thrown down a chute and then taken out of the building via an underground tunnel. Upon the invention of antibiotics, the sanatorium’s treatments were no longer needed and it closed down. But it is said that the spirits of the patients still roam its abandoned halls. One of its most famous ghost is that of Mary Lee, who was a nurse in the hospital who happened to contract the disease. She had committed suicide when she found she was pregnant by one of the doctors. Struck with shame at the fact that she was pregnant and unmarried, she hung herself from a light fixture in Room 502. The image in the picture above is that of the spirit of Mary Lee, who is said to be one of the ghosts roaming the halls of the abandoned sanatorium.
7. The SS Watertown Ghosts
The SS Watertown ghosts is another example of paranormal figures caught on camera. In December 1924, the SS Watertown was heading to Panama Canal from New York City. Two crewmen by the names of James Courtney and Michael Meehand had been assigned to clean out the cargo tank of the ship as it sailed through the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, they were poisoned by the gas fumes and died before anyone could help them. Their dead bodies were thrown afterward into the sea on December 4. On the following days, several members of the crew reported seeing visions of the faces of the two dead seamen around the ship, which greatly alarmed them. Once they arrived at New Orleans, the ship’s captain, Keith Tracy, reported the ghostly event to his superiors, who advised him to take photographs. On their next trip, Captain Tracy took 6 pictures. The first 5 images showed nothing, but on the sixth, there was the clear image of the dead seamen’s faces floating around nun the water.
8. The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall
The Brown Lady is said to be one of the most famous ghosts that have ever been caught on camera. This picture of her was taken in 1963 at Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England, and its authenticity has long been proved. The Brown Lady was so named because she appears in a brown brocaded dress, which was the popular fashion at the time of her life. The ghost is said to be Lady Dorothy Walpole, the wife of Charles Townshend, the Second Viscount and lord of Raynman Hall. It had been said that Lady Dorothy was the mistress of Lord Wharton before her marriage to Charles. She was then suspected of infidelity by her husband. Legend has it that her husband locked her away because of his extreme jealousy until her death. There are many stories about her ghostly sighting, but the most popular is that of Major Loftus, who was staying as a guest at Raynham Hall. He was retiring to bed one night when he noticed a lady in a brown dress on the staircase. He walked toward her when the apparition vanished. He saw her again the next night and approached her again, only to find that there were two hollow sockets where her eyes should have been.
9. The White Lady of Haigh Hall
The White Lady of Haigh Hall is said to be the spirit of Lady Mabel Bradshaigh, who lived in the early fourteenth century and who was married to Sir William Bradshaigh. In 1315, William hurriedly left the country after he had become involved in a rebellion against the Earl of Lancaster. Believing her husband to be dead because of a lack of communication, Lady Mabel remarried only for Sir William to come back out of hiding. He killed his wife’s new husband and resumed living at the manor with her. Inn 1333, he fought in a duel against another of his rivals and was killed. To show remorse for her bigamy, Lady Mabel walked for about six miles daily on her bare feet until her unhappy death. Legend has it that when you come across her, you must never look at her face or you will go insane.
10. The Cemetery Ghost Child
This picture was shot by a Mrs. Andrews while she was visiting her daughter’s grave at a local cemetery in Queensland, Australia sometime in the 1940s. Her daughter had died before she could reach the age of seventeen. While taking the picture of her daughter’s tombstone, she didn’t notice anything that was out of the usual. However, when she got the picture developed, it was then that she saw the ghostly figure of a young girl sitting on the grave. Mrs. Andrews could not recognize the ghost, and she didn’t think it was that of her daughter. When paranormal investigators examined the gravesite that Mrs. Andrews had visited, they discovered that the grave of Mrs. Andrews’ daughter was near the graves of two infant girls. The ghost in the picture is seen staring straight at the camera, so it appeared she was looking at Mrs. Andrews when she was taking the picture.
11.The Ghost of Freddy Jackson
Freddy Jackson was a military man who was serving as a mechanic for the Royal Air Force onboard the HMS Daedalus. He had been killed in a tragic accident when he walked into a spinning propeller blade one day. As was the military fashion, they held his funeral the next day. Two days later, his squadron assembled for a group photo. Later on, they noticed something eerie in the picture, which had been taken by RAF Officer Sir Victor Goddard. The recently deceased Freddy Jackson himself was with them in the picture. Officer Goddard showed it to his mates in the squadron, and they all agreed that the extra face in the picture was that of Jackson.
12. The Union Cemetery Ghost
Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut, is said to be the home of many ghostly figures and for this reason, it is considered as one of the scariest places in the US. Its most well-known ghost is the White Lady, and she is so named because she is often seen wearing a white nightgown and bonnet while sporting long dark hair. She frequently appears on the roadways near the cemetery, particularly on Routes 111 and 59, and she likes to suddenly appear in the middle of the road, where she is hit by oncoming cars. There was even one incident in 1993 when she was hit by a fireman who had distinctly heard a thud when he hit her. At the same time, the ghostly figure of a farmer in a straw hat appeared in the seat beside him. When he examined the vehicle, he was shocked to find out that there was a huge dent on it. The White Lady has been captured on camera lots of times and has even been recorded on film. In the image above, you can see the White Lady’s face alongside what looks like a stream of spooky energy.
13. Chloe’s Ghost at the Myrtle Plantation
The Myrtle Plantation located in St. Francisville, Louisiana, is known to harbor a multitude of ghosts. Some people even say there are at least twelve ghosts there, with the most famous one being a spirit called Chloe, who is often identified as wearing a green turban. During her lifetime, Chloe was a slave, and her masters were Mark and Sara Woodruff. She was punished for eavesdropping on her master Mark’s personal conversation by having one of her ears cut off. As a result, she had to wear a green turban to hide the disfigurement. She plotted her revenge against her master by baking a cake containing an extract of boiled oleander leaves, which are extremely poisonous, and letting him eat. But her scheme backfired when her mistress and her daughters ate the cake instead and died. She was hanged by her master’s other slaves and then disposed in the Mississippi River. Her ghostly figure still haunts the Myrtle Plantation to this day.
14. The Ghost of Whaley House, San Diego
The Whaley family house is full of spectral remnants of their former owners, who all died mysterious deaths. Since then, there have been many reported sightings of their spirits by visitors to the house. For instance, some of them claim to have seen a woman’s ghost in the garden, while there are others who said they saw the spirit of the master of the house, Thomas Whaley, in the parlour. They even saw the ghost of young Marion Reynolds, the great-granddaughter of Thomas Whaley, who died because she had accidentally ingested ant poison. She is often reported to be a playful ghost, who’s quite fond of grabbing the arms of visitors while they tour the house. There are even tales of a ghost dog, which frequently makes its presence known to little children. The picture above shows the ghost of Thomas Whaley apparently staring through a window of the Whaley house.
15. The Hidden Cowboy
When Ike Clanton donned a cowboy outfit and decided to get his picture taken at the Boothill Graveyard at the historic city of Tombstone, Arizona, he wasn’t expecting that another cowboy would be joining him in the picture—a ghostly one at that. When he examined the picture, he noticed that another figure who was also dressed in a cowboy outfit was in the background; Clanton was certain that that figure had not been there at the time he took the picture. He tried to reenact the photo by having another person stand in for the ghostly figure, but he realized that it was not physically possible to take that picture and not have it show the person’s legs. Clanton, who was an avowed skeptic of the paranormal, said that this picture definitely made him a believer.
16. The Ghost of Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery
The Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Chicago is another one of America’s most haunted cemeteries, and this was definitely proven by the Ghost Research Society (GRS) when they went to investigate the chilling stories about the small, abandoned cemetery on the boundaries of the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve near Midlothian, Illinois. The cemetery was the central spot of several strange phenomena, which included light orbs, unexplained sounds, and even apparitions. The GRS team trooped to the infamous cemetery on the night of August 10, 1991, and it was then that they found physical evidence of the ghostly phenomena happening in the cemetery. When they took pictures and developed them, they discovered that in one image, there was a vision of a lonely-looking woman wearing a white dress sitting on one of the tombstones. If you look at the image closely, you can see that the woman’s body is partially transparent and her dress seems to be of an outdated fashion.
17. The Solitary Soldier
This photo, taken during the American Civil War in a house that was undergoing renovation at the time, shows the ghostly image of a dead soldier walking up the stairs all serious and solemn. Back then it was a common practice among Confederate soldiers to sleep in the cellar. Perhaps it was the spirit of a dead soldier simply reliving his routine when he was still alive? We think so too.
18. The Tulip Staircase Ghost
This picture was taken by an old Canadian retired couple who were visitors to the Queen’s House of the National Maritime Museum located in Greenwich, England on June 19, 1966. It was a Sunday, and the couple was there because they had heard stories about the house being haunted. When he was standing near the famous Tulip Staircase, the husband took a picture of the majestic staircase. When he had it developed later on, he discovered three ghostly figures on the stairs, seemingly in pursuit of each other. Photographic experts examined the pictures and found no evidence of tampering. The wife herself also testified that there was no one or nothing on the stairs at the time her husband was taking the pictures. The stairs themselves were closed off to the visitors, and there was a rope and a “No Admittance” sign enclosing them. Aside from this encounter, there have been other ghostly sightings that were reported, like that of a pale-faced woman wiping off blood from the bottom step of the staircase. The woman was believed to be the spirit of a maid who lived 300 years ago and who fell to her death from the highest banister down to the foot of the stairs. There were also stories of creepy chanting by children who were nowhere to be found.
19. The Wedding Ghost
Photographer Neil Sandbach was at a professional gig, taking pictures of a wedding set in a barn in Hertfordshire, England. When he had the pictures developed, he was shocked to discover something clearly not human in one of the images. It showed a floating, glowing young boy dressed in white clothes, and he was staring right at Neil! He talked to the staff of the farm and asked about any encounters they had. They told him that they themselves had seen the boy ghost roaming around the farm and sometimes staring at them while hiding behind walls. But who the boy was and what his story was is something that’s still shrouded in mystery until now.
20. The Healer White Lady of Worstead Church
This picture was snapped by a certain Peter Berthelot who, along with his wife Diane and their young son, had visited the Worstead Church sometime in 1975. His wife was sitting and praying silently on one of the pews, and he decided to take a picture of her. When they had the pictures developed, they were shocked to find a white shadowy figure behind Diane. The figure seemed to be wearing old-fashioned clothes with a bonnet. When they returned to the church in the summer, they showed the photo to the vicar and inquired about the ghostly figure. Reverend Pettit, the vicar, told them about Healer White Lady of Worstead Church, who was known for making appearances near sick people. Upon hearing that, Diane remembered that at the time, she had feeling quite well and was taking strong antibiotics. But the story of the White Lady dates farther back than that, all the way to nearly two hundred years. In 1830, on Christmas Eve, a man called out the White Lady and boasted to his friends that he would climb up to the church belfry and kiss her if she appeared to him. His friends waited for him down in the church, but when he didn’t appear, they decided to look for him. They found him in the belfry, pale and trembling. The only words he said were “I’ve seen her…I’ve seen her…” only to die a few moments later.
21. The Ghost of the Old Lady and Her Bulldog
In the picture, a mother and son are happily posing outside the house they had just moved to in Chicago. Later on, they realized that someone else had photobombed their picture. If you look closely, you can see the image of an old lady and her pet dog in the door’s reflection. The family asserted that at the time the picture there was nobody in the house at all, and they didn’t have anyone older living with them. We think that perhaps it was the spirit of a former dead resident who just wanted to take a look at her new tenants.
22. The Backseat Driver
In 1959, a woman named Mable Chinnery, along with her husband, visited the grave of her dead mother. After taking pictures of the gravesite, she turned and took a picture of her husband who was sitting alone in the car. They got the film developed and got the shock of their lives: in the backseat of the car was none other than the image of her own mother, the one whose grave she had been visiting that day!