Graveyard Shift
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12 Real Ghosts That Are More Friendly Than Scary

Updated September 25, 2019 95.4k views12 items

When we think of ghost stories, we generally think of spooky, haunting, and terrifying tales told at night around a campfire. But not all ghosts are out for revenge and scares, and a few of them could even be called friendly ghosts. We're not talking about Casper here or anything, but the fact is that sometimes ghosts just want to be helpful. Maybe they want to be kind to children or even save lives. Either way, there are plenty of stories about ghosts that aren't terrifying at all.

Hauntings tend to consist of loud noises, strange shapes, moving objects, or even ghostly apparitions. What if, instead, you just noticed that your room was a little tidier? What if you were prevented from hurting yourself by an invisible force? If that kept happening to you, you might actually start enjoying having a ghostly roommate. 

Between ghosts that helped people and ghosts that are part of the family, there are a few stories that might leave you with a warm heart rather than cold chills. These are tales that you're welcome to read with the lights off, without fear.

  • Martha The Nurse Will Get You Through A Rough Night

    Photo: Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons / flickr / No known copyright restrictions

    The life of a nurse can be very hard, especially when you're new on the job. Fortunately for the nurse in this story, there was a veteran on staff to show her the ropes... sort of. 

    One night, while working in a hospital and completely overwhelmed with her new job, Ruby had an older nurse come warn her to check on room eight. When she did, she found the patient was in trouble, but was able to help her in time. This helpful nurse warned her several more times throughout the evening about other patients, and in turn the patients reported that they'd been checked on by another nurse.

    When Ruby asked her fellow nurses about this strange helpful woman, she found that there were stories of Martha, a nurse who helped recent nursing grads and who still made rounds on her patients thirty years after her own death. Alive or dead, anyone who helps out nurses when they're overwhelmed is definitely worth having around.

  • James L. Chaffin Refused To Let His Family Go Hungry

    Some people are so devoted to their families that their love carries over, even after death. James Lewis Chaffin had a nasty fall and died in 1921, leaving behind a wife and four sons. When it came time to read the will, the family found to their shock that everything was left to the third son, with nothing for the rest of them. That could have been the unfortunate end of it, if it wasn't for the appearance of a ghost a few years later, in 1925. 

    The ghost of James began to appear to one of his other sons, assuring him that the will was a fake. It turns out that he left everything to the family instead of just the one son. What followed was a sort of treasure hunt, leading from one clue to the next, until a new will was at last discovered, hidden in an old family bible. This will said that everything should be split between the four sons, as the ghost had foretold. 

  • The Gray Man Ghost Will Save You From A Hurricane

    Photo: tsbl2000 / flickr / CC-BY-ND 2.0

    With a name like The Gray Man, this spirit sounds pretty frightening. But in reality, he's probably the best kind of spirit to be haunted by, because he just might save your life. No one knows the identity of this South Carolina ghost, but they do know that he has good intentions, and that the results of his actions can be seen.

    There are so many stories of this legend that it's hard to pick just one, but the story seems to go down in a similar way each time. Right before a major storm, a serious problem in the coastal regions of South Carolina, the ghostly shape of a young man will appear, and warn residents that a hurricane is coming. He will tell them to leave, get to shelter, and has even been known to guard houses from serious damage. There are stories of homes remaining untouched when he visits them, even if all surrounding buildings are destroyed. 

  • Abraham Lincoln Sightings Are So Common That He's Called "The White House Ghost"

    Photo: Allen County Public Library

    One of America's most famous presidents is also one of our most famous ghosts. Though he's said to haunt Ford's Theater, where he was shot, Lincoln also supposedly haunts the White House to this day. Not only that, but he's been seen by some pretty famous people.

    Mary Todd Lincoln reported seeing and feeling his presence, and there is supposedly a photograph of him watching over her. More than that, Winston Churchill, Teddy Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many other White House staff have seen his ghost or felt him watching, and a few have even conversed with him.

    One tale describes an evening where British Prime Minister Winston Churchill took a long, hot bath while relaxing with a scotch and cigar. When he got out of the bath and walked to the adjoining bathroom, naked, he caught a glimpse of Lincoln's ghost standing by the fireplace."Good evening, Mr. President," Churchill reportedly said. "You seem to have me at a disadvantage." Lincoln smiled softly, as if laughing and disappeared. Churchill smiled in embarrassment.