Famous Ghosts in History

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Whereas science denies the existence of Ghosts, they are acknowledged as souls of departed people or animals. They are said to exist in an invisible, transparent form or in a translucent, even opaque and lifelike form. Some people believe in that a ghost is a disembodied soul of a dead person or animal. Others think that a ghost is a positive or negative residual energy from a dead person or animal. A few consider that souls and ghosts appear as birds, while it is widely believed that a ghost is an exact replica of the living person or animal. It has been a very common tradition among tribal societies to pacify the ghosts of their ancestors by offering different gifts or to sacrifice animals to mollify them.

1. The Ghost of the seven Gables

The Ghost of the seven Gables
Seven Gables

Famous American writer, Nathanial Hawthorne’s books include Scarlet Letter, and are recommended for study by students of English Literature. His family name was spelled ‘Hathorne’ but in his desire to dissociate himself from it he added a ‘w’ to differentiate. He was born in Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, Salem, Massachusetts which is now popularly known as ‘The House of the Seven Gabbles.’ Many of his ancestors were judges and were involved in the hangings during the notorious Salem Witchcraft Trials in 1692. A woman sentenced to death cursed Nathaniel’s family. Inexplicable, paranormal events are still occurring in the mansion to this day. Some events have been photographed.

2. The Brown Lady

The Brown Lady
The Brown Lady

The Brown Lady also known as the Lady of Raynham Hall is a famous ghost in history that haunts Raynham Hall in Norfolk. An image of the ghost was captured by a photographer of Country Life Magazine. The ghost is known as the Brown Lady because she is said to wear a brown dress when she appears. It is generally regarded that the ghost is the sister of the hot tempered Robert Walpole. It is said that upon realizing that she had committed adultery with Lord Wharton, Robert Walpole locked her in a room. Some others opine that Dorothy was entrapped by the Countess of Wharton. She remained in her room until she died of small pox.

3. Ghosts of S.S. Watertown

Ghosts of S.S. Watertown
Ghosts of S.S. Watertown

According to a house magazine of a shipping company, SS Watertown was on its voyage in the Pacific Ocean in December 1924. Two friends, Seaman James Courtney and Michael Meehan were on duty cleaning the cargo tank. During their work, they inhaled gas fumes and were suffocated to death before help could reach them. As is the custom, the next day, on December 24, 1924, their bodies were committed to the sea. At dusk the following day, people saw the heads of the deceased seamen on board and then floating in the sea. The phenomenon was often repeated. The scene was photographed and the film was handed over to the captain who had it developed upon arriving at the port. The photograph showed exactly what the crew had seen and narrated.

4. Abe Lincoln and others

Abe Lincoln
Abe Lincoln

It is said that Abe Lincoln is believed in supernatural. Many residents of The White House, including First Ladies Abigail Adams and Dolly Madison, have heard knocks or footsteps in corridors. Perhaps Abe was aware of his assassination before it occurred. On April 14, 1865, the date of the assassination, John Wilkes Booth told his cabinet that Abe Lincoln had retold a dream. He said, ‘In the dream I was awakened by a faint moaning coming from somewhere nearby. I stood and began hunting the noise, finally finding my way to east room, where men and women were shrouded in funeral shawls. I saw a coffin on a Dias, and soldiers at either end. A captain stood nearby, and I addressed him, ‘Who is dead in the white house’ say I. ‘The President’ is the answer, ‘He was killed by an assassin. ‘In the coffin was a corpse in funeral vestments, but the face was obscured.’

5. The Tombstone Ghosts

The Tombstone Ghosts

Tombstone is an old mining town of Arizona and known for being an attraction spot for ghost hunters. They say that it is difficult to die there on account of the presence of the creatures from some other world. It is assumed that the ghosts are the people from Bird Cage Theatre. The place had seen many fights and murderous events. The ghosts were the residual energies or souls of the assassins or assassinated people, many of them being the renowned cowboys of their time like Virgil Earp and Marshall Fred White. These people were said to have been hanged, shot or died of some painful disease.

6. The Ghost of King Birendra

The Ghost of King Birendra
King Birendra

Nepalese King Birendra, who surrendered to the democratic uprising in the country, was assassinated along with nine other royal family members. The king’s Brother, Gyanedra, took over the monarchy but was deposed by the masses. To banish the haunting ghost of Assassinated King a ceremony was held in Nepal. A Brahman, sybmbollically representing the assassinated king, acquired some of his possessions, meals prepared for the occasion and along with the ashes of king he rode on an elephant which was driven out by the Nepalese masses to banish the king’s ghost.

7. The Hammersmith Ghost

The Hammersmith Ghost
The Hammersmith Ghost

Hammersmith is an English locality. In End 1803, many people claimed that they had seen a ghost. Many of those witnesses also claimed to have been attacked by him. It was believed that the ghost was a restless soul of a suicidal person. On January 3, 1804, a 29 years old  armed excise officer, Franancis Smith, mistook Thomas Millwood, a plasterer on work wearing white clothes, for the ghost and shot him dead. The court found Franancis Smith guilty of murder and sentenced him to death.

8. The Gurdon Light

The Gurdon Light
The Gurdon Light

Arkansas is a small railroad town situated at approximately 85 miles to the south of Little Rock. The area has become a tourist attraction due to an unusual but verifiable phenomenon known as ‘The Gourdon Light.’ People say that strange jumping and floating lights appear on the railroad tracks almost daily and can always be seen at Halloween. People from the popular TV show, ‘Unsolved Mysteries,’ visited the spot in 1990. Some have tried to catch these lights but they always vanish before being touched. It is said that the ghost may be a person run down and killed under a train on its track. The lights appear like distant lanterns.

9. Ghosts of Borley Rectory

Borley Rectory
Borley Rectory

Borley Rectory is a house located near the Stour River in Essex, England. Since the year of its foundation in 1863 until its demolishing by burning in 1939, it remained a haunted house. Thousands of ghostly incidents during this period earned infamy for Borley Rectory. At times strange writings appeared on the walls. As well, people were seen walking in the backyard quite frequently. Harry Price was a famous investigator who assigned his subordinates to stay at the Borley Rectory for long periods of time while recording their observations. Based on these observations it was inferred the ghost was that of a nun whose job it was to ring the servant bells. These bells could be heard clearly although the cords of the bells had been  disconnected for years.

10. Bachelors Grove Cemetery Ghost

Bachelors Grove Cemetery Ghost
Bachelors Grove Cemetery Ghost

The Ghost Research Center (GRS), Chicago, states that during its research studies they have photographed a tombstone at Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery. The figure a transparent little girl sitting near a grave on a little raised surface and appearing like a statue. The cemetery is considered a haunted place due to the over 100 reports of ghosts seen there.


Ghosts may be superstition however, the belief in their existence by a vast number of people cannot be ignored. Ghosts are believed to exist in one form or another depending upon the cultures of their emergence. There seems to be a popular thought that souls of people killed in accidents, having prolonged diseases, being assassinated, committing suicide etc., remain restless and try to find peace in the wilderness, in ruins and in uninhabited residences or locations.


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