Graveyard Shift
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Ghost Stories And Creepy Legends From The Arctic Circle

Updated August 20, 2019 3.4k votes 944 voters 49k views12 items

List RulesVote up the stories that send an arctic chill up your spine.

The Arctic Circle is a frozen region in the northernmost part of the globe, spanning Canada, Greenland, Alaska, and various other icy lands. Like many desolate places, the Arctic has its share of ghost stories and haunted legends floating around the frigid, largely wild areas of its domain. It has long been a popular site for exploration, with early expeditions seeking to uncover the realm's many secrets and study the strange animals living within it.

Alas, with the exploration of such freezing, wild lands, comes the expiration of its visitors - and the basis for the creepy tales that emerge from it. According to some, spirits still hold court over specific locations, unleashing their power upon the unfortunate and uneducated who dare trespass upon their territory. From haunted hotels built on centuries-old land to ships facing misfortune at sea, more than a few lingering souls remain desperate to make their presence felt throughout the Arctic Circle.

  • Photo: Knud Johan Victor Rasmussen / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    A Man Was Taunted By A Spirit Who Looked Like His Cousin

    A man named William shared an encounter that transpired when he and a cousin chose to camp and fish near a lake said by elders to be filled with "bad spirits." After reaching the spot and setting up camp, the two men had a few drinks while sitting by their fire. All of a sudden, William's cousin lunged at him and attempted to start a fight. William fought him off but noticed the light of the fire illuminated the outline of two shadowy, raven-like wings on the cousin's back. 

    Throughout the night, the cousin's eyes remained completely black as he tried time and time again to harm William, even attempting to lure him into the lake to drown him. With the help of his dog - and with a defensive measure taught to him by his grandmother firmly in mind - William fought off the possessed cousin repeatedly. He called on all of his ancestors that shared his name to assist him in keeping the evil spirit within his cousin at bay, while his dog alerted him to incoming strikes and kept the man beside the blazing fire.

    When the sun rose, William ran back to his village. His cousin's wife asked what happened, as her husband had returned muttering about seeing something by the lake. A conversation with his mother led William to believe that a spirit known as Evil Raven inhabited his cousin's body. They determined his cousin's late father accidentally brought the spirit back with him after visiting another cursed location alone, leaving Evil Raven free to attach itself to the son after the father passed.

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    A Trapper Stumbled Upon An Eerie Ghost Town

    In November 1930, a Canadian reporter named Emmett E. Kelleher wrote a piece about a trapper named Joe Labelle who discovered a ghost town on Lake Angikuni. Hundreds of kilometers from civilization in Manitoba, Canada, Labelle stumbled upon the supposed village and found it empty of all human life - with only two starving Husky dogs in residence. Labelle claimed to see abandoned tents made of animal hides, seven dog cadavers, multiple warm coats, and other signs of previous tenants in the encampment. There was no trace of human remains, but Labelle said a traditional grave covered in stones was disturbed.

    Labelle wandered the area for an afternoon, noting that, while nothing showed signs of a fight, there was something in the air. After feeding two freshly caught fish to the dogs, Labelle returned to civilization to share his tale about the village - and his inkling that an evil spirit named Tornrark may have had a hand in its demise.

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  • 7

    A Robin Saved A Man From Being Mauled By Scarface, A Mythical Alaskan Bear

    A man named William shared tales of his strange encounters during hunting and fishing trips around Alaska. In order to get to his regular cave-side camping spot in a valley he frequented, William had to traverse a tricky path that bottlenecks down to about a 12-foot width. During one visit, he began his trek toward the bottleneck, as usual, when a robin suddenly began dropping sticks and rocks onto his head - as if to get William's attention. He eventually decided to follow the robin, which took him to a cliff that overlooked the path. After detecting the strong scent of scat, William realized a bear - one known to locals as Scarface - stood directly in the bottleneck area of the valley.

    Sporting a large scar over part of its face, the bear would have easily overpowered William and his .22 in such a narrow area. After saving William from such an unwinnable altercation, the robin disappeared, leading him to believe it was a guardian spirit protecting him.

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  • 8

    The Phantom Trapper Drives His Dogsled For Eternity

    Labrador, Canada, is the home of The Phantom Trapper, a specter cursed to drive a team of 14 "pure white huskies" across the barren landscapes of winter for all eternity. His real name unknown, the Trapper appears dressed from head to toe in furs and skins as he endlessly speeds his way through the afterlife. Legend has it that, in life, the Trapper sold toxic alcohol to the indigenous population and assaulted many women before meeting his end from natural causes. Since the Trapper evaded legal retribution during his life, he never paid for his acts - or asked for forgiveness.

    That lack of earthly punishment prompted his unending mission to assist those lost in the snow and guide them to safety - an eternal penance.

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