Graveyard Shift 17 Notorious Ghosts And Their Intensely Horrific Origin Stories  

Christopher Myers
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While there are 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 are all the more frightening in that they are largely true.

It is said that ghosts are often created when a person dies in a state of extreme fear or pain. If that's true, then it should come as no surprise that the events chronicled here led to hauntings. These are some of the scariest ghost stories you will ever come across. Truly, they are testaments to the notion that there are fates worse than death.

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


LaLaurie Mansion Is Haunted By... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 17 Notorious Ghosts And Their Intensely Horrific Origin Stories
Photo: Ben Beard/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

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

In April of 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... and that was the least of it. In the attic, the firefighters found a secret, barred door. Behind the door, they found a dozen slaves in a state of squalor. Some were chained to the walls, some trapped in cages, and others were strapped to makeshift operating tables. Strewn about the secret room were body parts, and human heads and organs were piled into buckets and jars.

Some of the slave women had their stomachs slit open and their entrails wrapped around their bodies. One woman had feces shoved into her mouth, which was then sewn shut. The men had their eyes gouged out, their fingernails ripped off, and their genitals mutilated. Some had long since died, and others writhed in agony, barely conscious.

The LaLauries fled, never to be seen again. The house was ransacked by an angry mob and lay vacant for years in a state of disrepair. It changed hands many times over the years, but no one stayed very long. Today, screams of pain can still be heard coming from 1140 Royal Street, and the apparitions of slaves have been reported walking on the balconies.

"The Sultan" Prince Suleyman's Unusual Tastes Got Him In Deep


"The Sultan" Prince Su... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 17 Notorious Ghosts And Their Intensely Horrific Origin Stories
Photo: Reading Tom/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

Prince Suleyman was a Turk whose hedonism knew no bounds, earning him the nickname "Sultan." His abode at 716 Dauphine Street in New Orleans gained the moniker "The Palace" and in the 1860s, raucous partying could be heard through the walls at all hours.

Suleyman claimed to be an actual sultan (or former sultan) of a non-specific Middle Eastern country, which he used as justification for his harems, orgies, and other unsavory behavior. The "Sultan" had a retinue of wives, family members, servants, and slaves, and it was rumored that his harem consisted not only of women but of young boys, as well.

One morning, a neighbor noticed that "The Palace" was unusually quiet... and there was blood dripping from the gallery above. The police arrived to uncover a grisly scene. Body parts were strewn about the house, which was soaked floor to ceiling with blood. Everyone was slaughtered: men, woman and children alike. 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 partying can still sometimes be heard at 716 Dauphine Street, and some have seen the "Sultan" himself make an appearance.

The Villisca Ax Murder House Is Exactly What It Sounds Like


The Villisca Ax Murder House I... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 17 Notorious Ghosts And Their Intensely Horrific Origin Stories
Photo: WindRanch/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

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

What's more, the murderer then proceeded to beat the heads of the bodies into a bloody pulp with his ax. He then covered the bloody heads with clothes, covered every mirror and piece of glass in a similar way, and washed the blood from his hands. After that, he 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 murders that occurred 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.

Little Marion Parker Did Not Survive Her Kidnapping


Little Marion Parker Did Not S... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 17 Notorious Ghosts And Their Intensely Horrific Origin Stories
Photo: via YouTube

The sad story of 12-year-old Marion Parker began when psychopath Edward Hickman kidnapped her in 1927. His intention was to ransom her back to her wealthy father, banker Perry Parker. But one night Marion wrote a letter to her father that caused Hickman to loose his temper. The letter read, "Dear Daddy and Mother, I wish I could come home. I think I’ll die if I have to be like this much longer..."

Hickman strangled Marion and then preceded to cut off her arms and legs with a razor blade. Still intent on getting his ransom, Hickman powdered Marion's face, combed her hair, and sewed open her eyelids. He put Marion's torso in the back seat of his car, covered it up to the neck with a blanket. Hickman drove to the rendezvous and quickly made the hand off with Perry. Perry soon discovered that what he had paid for was not his daughter, but her mutilated corpse.

Hickman was eventually caught and convicted of murder, meeting his end in 1928 at the end of a hangman's noose. Marion, however, lingers on. Her presence has been reported multiple times, still residing at her childhood home at 1631 S. Wilton Place in Los Angeles, California.