Graveyard Shift

Eerie And Disturbing Ghost Stories From Orphanages 

Elle Tharp
Updated December 29, 2019 5k votes 1k voters 46.9k views 16 items

List Rules Vote up the most chilling tales of ghostly orphanages.

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.

The Smell Of Smoke Still Lingers At Crybaby Lane
The Smell Of Smoke Still... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Eerie And Disturbing Ghost Stories From Orphanages
Photo:  NC Paranormal Research/Facebook

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.

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Children Who Fatally Burned Linger At Gore Orphanage
Children Who Fatally Bur... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Eerie And Disturbing Ghost Stories From Orphanages
Photo:  JoshH21/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

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An Evil Headmaster Haunts The Fairmount Children's Home
An Evil Headmaster Haunt... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Eerie And Disturbing Ghost Stories From Orphanages
Photo:  honeybbanne/Instagram

A privately owned orphanage known as The Fairmount Children's Home opened in Alliance, OH, in the 1870s. Unfortunately, the headmaster of the orphanage was said to be a cruel man who tortured and even slayed the children who lived there. That is, until one night in 1944. According to legend, the children rose up against the headmaster and hanged him from a pipe in the basement.

The headmaster supposedly began to haunt the orphanage, looming over children's beds and appearing as a shadowy figure in the back of class photos. The orphanage eventually shut down and was abandoned in the 1990s before it mysteriously burned down.

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A Ghost Can Be Heard Taking Its Own Life At An Old Boy's Home
A Ghost Can Be Heard Tak... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Eerie And Disturbing Ghost Stories From Orphanages
Photo:  MARELBU/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

The Guthrie Boy's Home in Oklahoma opened its doors sometime in the early 1920s. According to legend, one employee of the orphanage took his own life in the bell tower. Another employee, a nurse maid, abused many of the boys and slayed several.

The building was closed in 1978 with the emergence of the foster care system. Today, visitors to the Guthrie Boy's Home claim to hear footsteps in the bell tower, bells ringing, and even gasping. The ghosts of the boys can be heard screaming late at night and the spirit of the nurse maid supposedly lurks in the main entryway.

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