When conjuring up stories of ghostly legends and paranormal encounters, the Christmas season isn't usually what comes to mind. With its tree-filled windows and light-strewn rooftops, Christmas is typically admired as a time for being with loved ones, giving heartfelt gifts, and snuggling up next to a warm fire with some hot cocoa. But what happens when something goes bump in the night and it isn't Santa Claus?
Christmas ghost stories are far more common than many people might expect. In fact, sharing ghost stories from years past was once a Christmas Eve tradition. So before you unwrap any presents, let these scary ghost stories help get you into the Christmas spirit.
The Legend Of The Mistletoe Bride Haunts England's Bramshill House
The legend of the Mistletoe Bride has been retold for centuries and has taken many forms. While the story's true origin is difficult to determine, many have come to believe its roots are in the disappearance of Lord Lovell's bride at the Bramshill House in Hampshire, England.
Allegedly, Lord Lovell was preparing to wed a young woman related to Sir John Cope, the owner of Bramshill House. This was around Christmastime, so mistletoe hung throughout the mansion, inspiring the wedding party to play a game. The young bride-to-be would hide somewhere in the mansion, the groomsmen would all seek her out, and whoever found her first would get to kiss her. So the bride went to hide, and the wedding party sought to find her. However, the minutes turned to hours, and they still could not find her. Eventually, the game turned terribly serious, as no matter where they looked, she remained missing.
Not until 50 years later did Lord Lovell, still seeking answers to his bride's disappearance, happen upon a secret closet in an upstairs room of the Bramshill House. Inside, he found a wooden chest sealed shut with a lock. Upon opening the chest, he found the nearly unrecognizable remains of his bride.Is this a chilling tale?
The Brown Lady Ot Raynham Hall Wanders The Passages Every Christmas
The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall has perplexed visitors and paranormal investigators for hundreds of years. Back in the 1700s, owner Charles Townshend married a young woman named Dorothy Walpole. While they lived happily together for some time in Raynham Hall, Townshend soon became paranoid that his new wife was being unfaithful to him. Eventually driving himself mad with jealousy, he decided to hide Dorothy away in the hall, telling all of their friends and family that she had tragically passed.
Dorothy was forced to stay inside the mansion, allowed only to wander through its halls. Not long after, she perished, never having left Raynham Hall after her husband imprisoned her. Ever since her passing, people have witnessed the image of a woman in a tattered brown dress wandering through the halls, and some of these reported encounters are truly horrifying. One visitor, unaware of the Brown Lady's legend, approached a woman in the hall, only to have her look at him "with a glowing face... but where her eyes should have been, there were only empty sockets."
Years later, after numerous other reported sightings, a photographer from Country Life magazine visited Raynham Hall to document it for an article. After snapping a photograph of the central stairwell, he saw within the image a hazy silhouette that many believe is none other than Dorothy Walpole, the Brown Lady.Is this a chilling tale?
Anne Boleyn Is Said To Return To Her Childhood Home Every Christmas Eve
Hever Castle, which is nestled deep in the British countryside of Kent, was once home to the Boleyn family. Anne Boleyn , the most well-known member of the family, lived the early part of her life there before she married King Henry VIII. Within a few short years of her marriage, however, Anne was targeted by dissent and gossip within the castle, accusing her of everything from witchcraft to adultery. Eventually, her husband formally accused her of these charges, and she was ultimately executed.
Whether she suffers from heartbreak or homesickness, Anne Boleyn's spirit is said to haunt the halls of her childhood home, Hever Castle. However, she allegedly only appears on one day of the year: Christmas Eve. Rumors persist that "her somber specter is seen drifting silently over the picturesque bridge that spans the River Eden, in the grounds of the home where she knew much happiness."Is this a chilling tale?
A Ghost Supposedly Disrupted A Christmas Party At Alcatraz
Alcatraz, the isolated penitentiary located in the middle of California's San Francisco Bay, closed down in 1963, but tales of those who were once held on the island continue to haunt generations of onlookers and visitors. Often referred to as "the Rock," Alcatraz has gained a reputation for unexplainable and shocking ghost encounters, and one of the most notable was recounted during Christmas.
Back in the 1940s, while the facility was still in operation, the warden at the time, Warden Johnston, decided to throw a small Christmas party at his boarding house on the island.
During the gathering, a few of the guards began retelling the story of a phantom figure who appeared before them "wearing a gray suit, brimmed cap, and sporting mutton-chop sideburns." All the guards could do was stare at the ghostly figure in shock, and before they had a chance to move, "the room suddenly turned very cold and the fire in the Ben Franklin stove was extinguished." And just as suddenly as he had appeared, the phantom man vanished.Is this a chilling tale?