Graveyard Shift

The Most Unsettling Child Ghost Stories That Have Been Said to Exist 

Jacob Shelton
416.7k views 15 items

In every culture, there are stories of ghost children that haunt hotels or the ruins of ancient civilizations, forever doomed to repeat their final moments on this mortal coil. The most famous child ghosts have established a reputation of being helpful sprites who do their best to keep people from committing the sins that saw them lose their lives, but some of the creepy kids are famous for being harbingers of doom to any and all who see them.

Depending on where you stand on the idea of ghosts, they’re either spirits tasked with walking the earth for eternity, another dimension bleeding into our own, or just dumb stories meant to scare living children into behaving. But whatever your opinion, these stories of spooky children with dead eyes are sure to give you the creeps.

Much like Elm Street, every small town has their own ghost story about a creepy child. These pre-Internet tales of woe are interesting in their similarities, and they either show off the magnificent hive mind that humans have, or they prove that there are a lot of dead children walking around the planet. Judging from the spooky stories of ghost children that we’ve collected, you can’t go anywhere without running into a creepy kid with solemn black eyes and a penchant for disappearing into a vapory mist.

If you have a ghost story about a child that we didn’t cover, feel free to tell us about it in the comments – we’ve actually been trying to sleep less. 

The Ghostly Children of New Orleans
The Ghostly Children of ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Unsettling Child Ghost Stories That Have Been Said to Exist
Photo: David Paul Ohmer/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

New Orleans is basically Mecca for ghosts, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Big Easy is filthy with specters and spooks of the kiddie variety. In the French Quarter sits the Andrew Jackson Hotel. In the 19th century it was a boy's home, and even though there are varying stories of a fire that killed a group of children (researchers don't know when the fire would have occurred), plenty of people have had sightings of young ghosts (or old ghosts in young bodies) roaming the hallways and playing in their rooms. 

San Antonio's Railroad Children
San Antonio's Railroad C... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Unsettling Child Ghost Stories That Have Been Said to Exist
Photo:  CodeCondo/Pixabay/CC0 1.0

One of the biggest (if not the biggest) urban legends in Texas concerns a group of children who died in a train accident and whose souls are now forever connected to the particular track that they died on. Supposedly, if you park your car on the specific tracks and spread flour on the bumper, your car will be pushed safely off the tracks, and you'll find children's fingerprints on the back of your car. The linked story says the haunting occurs "just south of San Antonio," but  literally every town you visit with a set of tracks has a version of this story.  

The Sobbing Child of Little Moreton Hall
The Sobbing Child of Lit... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Unsettling Child Ghost Stories That Have Been Said to Exist
Photo:  petergaunt2/Pixabay/CC0 1.0

The only thing worse than a crying child is a crying child who's also a ghost. At Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire, England, stories of a child sobbing in the hall's chapel have kept many a visitor awake at night. As if we needed one more reason to stop going to church. 

Crybaby Bridge
Crybaby Bridge is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Unsettling Child Ghost Stories That Have Been Said to Exist
Photo: othompsonski/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

Can we all agree that nothing good can come from a place called "Crybaby Bridge?" There are a few Crybaby Bridges around the country, and they all have some kind of local legend about the sounds of a weeping child coming from them late at night. The most intense story comes from Alderson, OK, where a woman who was raped multiple times by her father would supposedly throw her unwanted infants off the bridge