17 Notorious Ghosts And Their Intensely Horrific Origin Stories

While there is no shortage of ghost stories about spectral children or a wailing woman in white, this collection of ghosts with the scariest origin stories stands out as the creepiest of the bunch. What's more, these gruesome and macabre tales - especially the paranormal stories about children - are all the more frightening in that they are largely true.

It is said that ghosts are often created when a person's life ends in a state of extreme fear or pain - like ones from tales of plantation hauntings. If that's true, then it should come as no surprise that the events chronicled here led to hauntings. And while some iconic ghost tales are more interesting than terrifying, these are some of the scariest ghost stories you will ever come across.

Photo: Ackers72 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

  • Marion Parker's Spirit Wanders Her Childhood Home
    Photo: Unknown / Wikipedia / Fair use

    Marion Parker's Spirit Wanders Her Childhood Home

    The sad story of 12-year-old Marion Parker began when 19-year-old William Edward Hickman her from her Los Angeles, CA school in 1927. His intention was to ransom her back to her wealthy father, banker Perry Parker. Hickman sent a series of cryptic notes to the Parkers, demanding gold certificates in exchange for Marion. Despite Parker's attempts to get his daughter back safely, Hickman choked Marion and mutilated her body.

    Still intent on getting his ransom, Hickman doctored Marion's face so that she appeared to be alive. He put Marion's remains in the back seat of his car, covered it up to the neck with a blanket. Hickman then drove to the rendezvous and quickly made the handoff, but Parker soon discovered that what he had paid for was not his daughter, but her corpse.

    Hickman was eventually caught and convicted, hanging in 1928. According to some, however, Marion lingers on. Her presence has been reported multiple times at her childhood home at 1631 S. Wilton Place in Los Angeles

  • LaLaurie Mansion Is Haunted By The Victims Of A Notorious Serial Killer

    In 1832, Dr. Louis and Delphine LaLaurie were renowned socialites in New Orleans, LA. They surrounded themselves in finery and threw the most elegant social gatherings. However, the enslaved workforce that enabled this luxury was horribly mistreated, even by antebellum standards.

    In April 1834, a fire broke out in the kitchen and quickly spread through the house. When firefighters put out the blaze, they found the cook chained to the stove in the kitchen. In the attic, the firefighters found slaves tied up with spiked iron collars. According to other stories, some showed signs of grotesque torture as well.

    The LaLauries fled. As for the house, it changed hands many times over the years, but no one stayed very long. Today, footsteps and moans can supposedly still be heard echoing through 1140 Royal Street.

  • 'The Sultan' Prince Süleyman's Party Carries On After Death

    This story has many variations, but the most common one goes like this: Prince Süleyman's hedonism knew no bounds, earning him the nickname "Sultan." His abode at 716 Dauphine Street in New Orleans, LA gained the moniker "The Palace," and in the 1830s, raucous partying could be heard through the walls at all hours. The Turkish Süleyman claimed to be an actual sultan (or former sultan), which he used as justification for his harems, orgies, and generally lavish and unsavory lifestyle. 

    One morning, a neighbor noticed that "The Palace" was unusually quiet and that there was blood dripping from the gallery above. The police arrived to uncover a grisly, blood-soaked scene. Everyone was slaughtered. Reaching up from the dirt in the yard was a single hand - that of the "Sultan," who had been buried alive.

    At the time, police blamed the carnage on pirates, but it is more likely that the "Sultan" was actually the brother of real royalty, and he might have stolen quite a bit of his brother's money, too. He fled his own country, where he would have been executed, but eventually, his brother's men tracked him down and exacted a heavy price.

    In any case, the sounds of laughter and screaming can still sometimes be heard at 716 Dauphine Street, and some have seen the "Sultan" himself make an appearance.

  • The Moore Family Haunts The Villisca Ax Murder House

    On June 11, 1912, a brutal deed occurred in rural Villisca, IA. The Moore family was sleeping quietly when an unknown person raised an ax and killed Josiah Moore with one blow from the flat end of the blade. The same fate met Joe's wife, Sarah, all four of their children, and two visiting neighbor children.

    The culprit then covered the heads of the bodies with clothes, covered every mirror and piece of glass in a similar way, and washed the blood from their hands. After that, they took out a two-pound slab of uncooked bacon from the icebox, wrapped it in a towel, and laid it on the floor next to a short piece of key chain that did not belong to the Moores.

    The case has never been solved, but one theory links this case to several other ax-related occurrences that took place across the country during this period. The location is believed to still be haunted by the victims of that tragic night. Several ghost investigations have occurred at the house, all gathering compelling evidence that this haunting is real.

  • The Sausage Ghost Of New Orleans Wanted Revenge On Her Husband

    In the 1800s, Hans Mueller and his wife moved to New Orleans, LA from Germany and started a sausage factory. Their sausage was delicious, but in time their relationship turned sour. The husband found himself a younger mistress, but they couldn't truly be together until his wife was out of the picture.

    One night, the man closed shop and walked to the back room, where his wife was making sausage. He crept up behind her and choked her with a cord. As to what to do with the body, it wasn't long until customers noticed a decrease in the quality of the sausage. One customer found a bit of a gold ring in their sausage and - realizing that the wife had been missing for weeks - notified the police.

    The police found the man huddled in the corner of the room, screaming at the sausage grinder. He claimed that his wife's ghost had emerged from the grinder, bloodied and mangled, and was coming to get her revenge. He spent the rest of his days in a madhouse, but even there he could not find respite from the specter.

    To this day there are reports of a strange woman haunting the Old Hans Mueller Residence, where the nefarious sausage incident took place all those years ago.

  • Young Christine Darby Returns From The Grave As A Black-Eyed Child

    In 1967, now convicted child predator Raymond Morris targeted 7-year-old Christine Darby of Walsall, England. After assaulting her, Morris took her life and buried her in a ditch. Authorities later discovered her remains in Cannock Chase, which led to Morris's conviction. He was also believed to be connected with the disappearances of two more young girls whose bodies were found in the area.

    But that was not the end of Christine Darby. Since then, there have been reports of a black-eyed girl appearing in the Cannock Chase Countryside. It is believed that this spirit is the ghost of Christine, her eyes black from the blindfold she was wearing when her life ended.