Let me start this horrific collaboration of haunting children with the one ghost story I have personally experienced...
This happened one summer during college when I was sleeping at my mom's house. It was about 4 am and my mom was getting ready for work. I rustled awake and heard the shower run and her key in the door as she left. I rolled over and snuggled back towards slumber.
Just as I was fading into sleep, I heard a man's voice directly in my ear. The man whispered, "There's a little girl at the door."
My eyes bolted open. Now, I am addicted to horror movies and novels. I know how this plays out. I should have just ran from the house and set the building ablaze, never to sleep another minute there again, but I sat there, frozen in fear. I couldn't move or breathe.
Then, I heard a scratch at the door to the bedroom.
No one was home besides me. I was the only person in the building. Had I imagined this? I had to have imagined this, I thought as cold sweat dripped down my spine.
The scratch happened again. Skrrrreeeeeek. Skreeeeekkkk.
I wanted to vomit.
I sat and weighed my options. Do I open the door? Jump from the window? Smother myself with a pillow?
No, I did what every single idiot in the movies does -- I opened the door.
When I finally opened my eyes in front of the doorway, I saw the little girl.
My mom's little Boston Terrier.
So, apparently, my mom had a ghost that loved her little girl dog named Baby. At least he was a friendly ghost, right? RIGHT?!
Without further ado, here are 15 of the most terrifying tales of children ghosts that for sure will keep you up tonight. Read at your own discretion.
15 Ghost Boy Appears In Backseat On Road He Died On
What would you do if you're just innocently taking selfies on a road trip and capture a ghoulish child from yesteryear in your backdrop? Me? Drive over a bridge, probably.
But, seriously, 13-year old Harper Kurtz was on her way to a beauty pageant with her mother, Melissa, when she decided to take some pictures during the road trip. However, when Melissa looked at the pictures after the trip, she saw an additional passenger in their vehicle, of the ghost variety.
There was the distinct face of a little boy in the backseat of one of Harper's photos. Horrified, Melissa started doing research on the road they were driving on when the photo was taken.
Turns out, the photo was taken on the anniversary of the death of a little boy who died during a car accident on that very stretch of road.
Ghost analysts looked at the photos and had no explanation -- they did say it appears the ghost was reaching for Harper's seat belt to warn her to wear it.
"Ghosts such as the boy are prone to remain earthbound when the soul is literally ripped or thrown from the body in an accident," Greg Pocha, who is director of parapsychology, afterlife and paranormal studies at Eidolon Project Canada, said. "Chances are that he does not know that he has died. And chances are good that he will haunt this part of the highway forever."
14 Dad "Hits" Ghost Boy On Bike
Growing up in rural Wisconsin, I know the absolute shock that jolts through your body when you think you hit a deer in the middle of the night. It's desolate, the road lulling you into a daze and then wham you are zapped into a bloody nightmare. However, for one man, it wasn't a deer he thought he hit, but a child...a ghost child.
Reddit user OrangeT3 told the story of his father-in-law's late night experience with a ghost while driving with his mom.
"Grandma and I were driving on County Road 14[?] at around 10 o'clock at night [...] I was passing through an intersection, when suddenly we both screamed and I slammed on the brakes. I didn't feel any impact, but we both immediately got out of the car and looked around. Grandma's crying hysterically and keeps asking, 'Did you hit him?'" OrangeT3 wrote, "There was a boy on a bike, no older than 10-years-old, who came out of nowhere and rode right in the front of the car. We were positive that we just T-boned this kid at 50~ MPH."
But, when his father-in-law and grandma got out to search for a body, there was nothing to be found. Once things settled down, the father-in-law realized there wasn't an actual impact, but it felt like the two drove through the bicycling boy.
Not taking his father-in-law's word for it, OrangeT3 went to the place where the "accident" allegedly took place and was terrified by what he saw.
"For some reason I decided to go back to that intersection," OrangeT3 wrote. "As soon as I got there, my heart stopped. I noticed a white cross staked into the ground beside a property fence, about 20 feet from where I thought I hit that kid."
13 The Ghosts Who Leave Their Prints Behind
One of Texas's most bone-chilling haunted areas is the San Antonio railroad tracks.
Legend has it a bus-full of 10 schoolchildren were stranded on the tracks when their bus stalled. Not having enough time to exit the vehicle, the children were all killed by an on-coming train.
Now, those same children help push stalled vehicles out of the way of oncoming trains. Don't believe it? You'll see little hand prints on your bumper after you slide out of danger in case you want to have a terror-induced heart attack.
Even if you park your car on the tracks and put it in neutral, the ghosts will push your vehicle uphill out of the way. As in, the vehicle isn't just rolling from gravity -- it is being pushed by spirit children.
If you're really feeling adventurous, you can even sprinkle baby powder on your bumper before summoning the dead children in order to get a plethora of tiny ghost hand prints as evidence.
12 Discarded Babies Can Be Heard Crying At Night
Crybaby Bridge in Alderson, Oklahoma has a name fit for a horror movie and a story almost too scary to read.
If you travel along this single-lane ironwork bridge, located in a town of just over 200 people, you might hear the faint cries of babies. Many travelers of the area have sworn they hear the wails of infants by the bridge, but can't ever find the source of the sound.
Not only have people heard babies crying, some have seen a glowing woman walking on water just below the bridge.
But, why would a bunch of babies and a woman be haunting a bridge? Legend has it in the 1940's a woman was repeatedly raped by her father and impregnated. Instead of keeping the incest babies, she tossed the each over that very bridge to their imminent deaths.
11 The Radiant Boy Brings Great Gifts And Great Pain
As if run-of-the-mill ghost children weren't enough to make you weep in terror, have you ever heard of "radiant" ghost children? They are next level terror that come with a hefty price tag.
Radiant ghost children are glowing, naked ghosts of children who were murdered by their mothers. If you have the bittersweet luck of seeing a radiant ghost, be warned, the siting will bring you ill-fortune and, ultimately, a violent death.
That is what can be said for Captain Robert Stewart who was traveling Ireland in the late 18th century when he got caught in a terrible storm. He sought shelter in a mansion that was full of other patrons seeking shelter. Having nowhere to sleep, the butler put Stewart in a small, dank room and the butler started a roaring fire in the fireplace.
Stewart awoke in the night to a vibrant light which he thought was the fire, but the fire was merely smoldering at that point. Then, he saw the glowing light of a naked boy spirit.
When Stewart brought this apparition up to the mansion owner, the owner asked the butler where he put Stewart to sleep.
"Well, sir," the butler replied, "you know every place was full -- the gentlemen were lying on the floor three or four in a room -- so I gave him the Boy's Room; but I lit a blazing fire to keep him from coming out."
With the radiant boy viewing, Stewart got his bit of good fortune, becoming Lord Castlereagh, second Marquis of Londonderry, however, feeling he was losing his mind, he ended up slitting his own throat with a pen knife.
10 Two Ghost Children Scare The Pants Off Paranormal Team
With a name like Pen-Y-Lan Hall, it comes as no surprise to me that this decades-old mansion is haunted with more than one child that loves to terrify visitors.
The ghosts names are Eleanor and Daniel and they made several contacts with a paranormal team who came to see what the buzz was about at the Hall. The researchers may have left in one piece, but they left seething with terror. Watch the below video to see their insane experiences.
In the images above, you can also see pictures of the children captured outside the building.
Rumor has it the children aren't the only ghosts in the building. Many visitors are too disturbed to travel the Hall alone and one child even was saved from drowning on the property by a mysterious ghostly presence that vanished as soon as the child was safe.
9 Ghost Children Wander Halls Of Lunatic Asylum
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is a gigantic, overbearing building that gives you the heebie jeebies just looking at it -- but what's the most terrifying are the little things inside. Like, ghost children. Specifically one of their spiritual residents, a small ghost girl named Lily.
It is said Lily wanders the abandoned halls looking for a playmate. She makes her presence known by playing with toys that have been left out for her. You know, toys left behind for a terrifying ghost girl -- sounds like a place I want to visit.
Lily was a little girl who spent most of her young life in the asylum. She was discarded there as an infant and roamed the halls the rest of her life -- eventually dying of pneumonia at age 9.
Lily may be the most popular ghost of the lunatic asylum, but she is not alone. Many ghost children wander the halls, some even following children home from the asylum.
8 Spirit Children Play In Graveyard Playground
Drost Park in Huntsville, Alabama has the kind of nickname that makes you want to pack your bags up and move there as soon as possible. The locals call the spot Dead Children's Playground. So, like totally a place to bring your kids.
The park is haunted, but I'm not sure what one would expect since this hangout is located smack-dab in the middle of a 100 hundred acre cemetery.
Maple Hill Cemetery is Alabama's largest cemetery and was founded back in 1822. Many paranormal investigators have trekked through the enormous cemetery, but Dead Children's Playground is the hotspot of activity where the dead children go to play.
In the 1960s, children all around Hunstville were being abducted -- their bodies discovered all around Dead Children's Playground and their spirits are said to be the ones playing on the slides and swings and singing nursery rhymes after dark.
7 Ghost Girl Walks On Water
On December 4, 1888 two boaters discovered the body of May Hawes in Birmingham, Alabama floating on East Lake.
May was the 8-year old daughter of a railroad engineer and the coroner determined she was murdered. Turns out, May's dad was the murderer and also killed his wife and other daughter in an attempt to ditch his family and marry a new woman who had no idea about his first family.
Now, May can be seen as a glowing spirit on the shores of East Lake and even walking on the water, ominously calling out for her lost mother and sister.
Residents have gotten so used to seeing May, even watching her pet the geese on shore that they bring her flowers and toss them in the water -- according to most, her favorite flowers are carnations.
6 Dead Girl From Statue Plays In Cemetery All Day
If you're wondering what the ghost girl looks like that haunts Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia you won't have to look far -- they have a statue up in the ghoul's honor.
Her name is "Little Gracie" and she was born in 1883 and her entire life was spent as the center of attention at her family's hotel. Being such a local celebrity, meant her eventual death from pneumonia rocketed through the town in the saddest ways.
Her father had the statue created in the cemetery in her honor, but the family moved across the country after her death, leaving the little girl all alone in death.
Many say they see this sad little girl in a white dress frolicking around the square, playing games alone. Tourists come from miles away to visit the girl and leave her toys on her headstone so she doesn't feel all alone.
5 Boy Murderer Haunts Crime Scene
Shoe Factory Road in Chicago boasts one of the creepiest child ghost stories in history. The road is home to not just a little ghost -- but the ghost of a boy who murdered his parents with a knife.
Paranormal investigators have witnessed a little boy sitting on the front stoop of a crumbling home sharpening a knife.
He is associated with the Teet's family murder -- a couple who were allegedly slain by their young song. However, history seems a little blurred around this story.
Regardless, the little boy can be seen wandering the streets of the suburbs, knife in hand, awaiting his next victim to be slain.
4 Child's Soul Inhabits Terrifying Doll
It's one thing to see a child ghost, it's a whole 'nother burn-your-house-down nightmare to have that child's soul inhabit a terrifying doll.
That was the case for one Jezebel reader who's mother had a Shirley Temple doll that's eyes followed her around the room -- but that wasn't the end of it.
"Anyway, my cousin is playing with the doll one day, when my aunt comes in and finds the doll TALKING to my cousin. So, she promptly freaks the heck out, and takes the doll away. My uncle buried it, in pieces, as it continued to laugh up a storm," the reader told Jezebel.
Yeah, we are going to go with a big hell-to-the-no on this nightmare of a horror story. When the reader asked her aunt about the doll later, the aunt was mum on the subject.
"I asked my aunt about it (against my mom's wishes), and she simply said, 'I don't want to talk about it.'" the reader wrote.
3 Sleepaway Camp Ghost Girl Roams The Cabins
Going to sleepaway camp is scary enough. You're surrounded by people you barely know, in a strange, musty, cobwebby cabin and the noises keep waking you through the night. Add the ghost of a little girl and you're set up for a lifetime of therapy.
A Jezebel user said that was just the case when she awoke one night during a girls' church camp getaway in high school and noticed a "new" camper.
"I sat up, looked over, and saw a girl standing over her bed and right by where she was sleeping," the user wrote. "At first, I thought it was just a girl who stayed in another room at first, but once I looked more closely, it wasn't. I was definitely wide awake and laid back down as I watched her walk around the bed."
But, it wasn't just a tour of the cabin the ghoul girl was after, she made the night even more terrifying when she noticed she was being watched.
"Even in darkness, you can still see somewhat of a reflection in a mirror, but not this one, it was completely black. No reflection. The girl noticed that I was looking at her — she turned around and made the nastiest, snarliest face at me. I still remember the slits of her eyes giving me that evil glare," the user wrote.
2 Ghost Child Torments Girl Throughout Her Life
Sometimes ghost are creepy, sometimes evil, sometimes, they just want someone to play with. That was the case for one woman who had a child ghost in her house that was continuously pulling pranks on her.
This Jezebel user knew her ghost was a child after an incident in the shower that creeped her our immensely. She had just taken off her jeans and set baby powder on the counter. While showering, the powder spilled on her jeans. When she got out of the shower, there were prints on her pants.
"However, when I looked more closely at the prints, I couldn't convince myself of anything; they were significantly smaller than mine, almost like a child's," the user wrote.
There were instances of blankets being pulled off of her while she slept, computers keying from across the room, cats screaming when the ominous presence made its way into her bedroom. But the bathroom child footprints will live as her scariest moment with the child ghost.
1 Woman Lives With Ghost Girl For Four Years
For one woman, seeing a little ghost girl wasn't just something of nightmares, but something of everyday life. Along with the terrifying spirit of a child frozen in the year 1905 came cupboards opening, doors slamming and all around terror for the four years this woman lived with the ghost girl.
The woman told Jezebel her ghost girl was always in her bathroom.
"Every time I walked past my bathroom door (which was constantly since it was right outside my bedroom) I saw a little girl with blond curled hair and a rose-colored dress. She just stood there, staring, looking like a photograph from 1905. I started keeping the door closed so I could walk by without seeing her, but she was always there when I opened it. Once I stepped in past her, I couldn't see her anymore but I could feel her there.," the user wrote.
The woman lived there as a teen, and eventually moved away. However, she went back in her early adulthood to retrieve items left behind. She arrived with a friend who seemed very uncomfortable during their visit. When he went to the bathroom, he saw the ghost and the little girl gave her guest an eerie message.
"All of a sudden he went dead still, looked me in the eye, and very solemnly said "She's not happy. With you. You left, and you weren't supposed to". We threw whatever we could grab in two trips in my car (after I walked him to another bathroom and waited outside the door) and got the fuck out at top speed," the user wrote.
Sources: Daily Mail, Reddit, Legends of America, Haunted Oklahoma, Oocities, Daily Mail, America's Most Haunted, Week In Weird, Ghosts And Ghouls, Discover Historic America Tours, Daily Herald, The Malay Mail Online, Jezebel,