There's something inherently chilling about old orphanages. Maybe it's the fact that scary orphanage stories abound - after all, the buildings are associated with heartbroken and lonely children. And not all of these tales concern the living. Plenty of real life ghost stories feature orphanages filled with restless and vengeful spirits.
These scary orphanage ghost stories all take place at actual haunted orphanages or abandoned orphanage sites around the world. These creepy stories aren't just campfire fodder, but are based off of real life tragedies that actually occurred at these places. You can even visit these locations, if you're in the mood for a firsthand ghostly encounter. Just be warned - you never know what might come home with you.
According to Ohio legend, Gore Orphanage in Vermillion burned down in the 1800s. Rumor has it that the fire was started by a disgruntled employee, or by the owner himself to collect insurance money. None of the children survived the fire.
The site has since been razed and abandoned. But visitors to the area claim that you can see ghosts of the orphan children frolicking about the woods. Others report smelling burning flesh and hearing the screams of children, and even finding tiny hand prints on their parked cars.
The Holy Family Orphanage in Marquette, MI, opened in 1915. While it was initially meant to be a whites-only orphanage, the first occupants were 60 Native American children. These children weren't all orphans - some had been taken from their mothers in an effort to assimilate them into white culture. Rumors of abuse were common. One story says that a young girl who had disobeyed orders and stayed out in the cold perished of pneumonia. Her body was put on display as a warning to the other children that they had better behave.
The Holy Family Orphanage closed in 1965, and visitors report hearing moaning children and sighting ghosts on the property.
St. Mary's Orphanage housed children in Galveston Island, TX. That is, until a hurricane wiped out nearly all of the orphans. In 1900, the "Great Storm" descended upon the island. As the orphanage began to flood, the Sisters working there tied the children to them with rope as they sought higher and higher ground. Eventually, the roof collapsed, trapping them inside and slaying 90 orphans and 10 Sisters. Their bodies were discovered still tied together by the rope.
Today, the site is home to a Wal-Mart. Employees report toys going missing and hearing kids' phantom laughter missing toys. One employee was certain they heard a child calling for her mother, but upon a store-wide search, no one was found.
Raleigh's Crybaby Lane was once the spot of a Roman Catholic orphanage. When a fire broke out in the dormitory in 1958, it gutted the building and slayed many of the orphans. All that remains is a patch of grass and the cornerstone of the original building.
Months after the fire, neighbors continued to complain to the city about the strong smell of smoke. People walking through the field felt as though they were being suffocated. And, creepiest of all, they heard the cries and screams of the orphan children. Because of this, the surrounding houses have now been abandoned.