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Halloween Stories

Posted by admin On May - 17 - 2011

Halloween Stories

No Halloween would be complete without storytelling.  Halloween storytelling in America has strong ties to folklore and tall tales.  The basic types of Halloween stories fall into three categories:  Ghost Stories, Urban Legends, and other scary tales.

Ghost Stories

The best-known Halloween ghost story is probably the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, where the angry ghost of the Headless Horseman ends up taking possession of the head of superstitious schoolmaster Ichabod Crane.  Other ghost stories take their inspiration from houses or other locations rumored to be haunted.  The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California is reported to be the most-haunted house in America.  Built by Sarah Winchester, the heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, Sarah believed that the spirits of people killed by Winchester rifles were determined to haunt her after the tragic deaths of her husband and daughter.  She was told by a medium that as long as she kept adding to her house with constant building projects, the ghosts would be kept at bay.  Eventually, this became a plan to confuse the ghosts, with stairways leading to nowhere, windows that looked onto walls, and many different combinations of the number 13.  Today, the Winchester House is open for daily tours, and an aura of mystery and haunting still lingers despite thousands of tourist visitors a year.

Urban Legends

The “Hook Man” is a classic urban legend told all across America.  A boy and girl are out late at night on “Lover’s Lane” with the radio on.  The radio warns them that an insane murderer has escaped from the local insane asylum, and that people should be on the lookout for a man with a hook instead of a hand.  The girl is scared and wants to go home right away, but the boy keeps on trying to kiss her.  Finally, she convinces him to leave, and furious, he races off from Lover’s Lane to her house.  Once they are there, she gets out of the car and starts screaming.  Stuck to the passenger’s side door handle is a bloody, disembodied hook.  Another famous urban legend is the story of “Bloody Mary.”  Bloody Mary was one of the poor young women who was falsely accused of being a witch during Colonial days.  She swore she wasn’t a witch and vowed to come back to take revenge on the daughters of those who killed her.  Bloody Mary’s vengeful spirit can be summoned by standing in the bathroom in front of a mirror with a single lit candle and repeating Bloody Mary’s name three times.  Most say that it is not wise to summon Bloody Mary.

Other Scary Tales

Stories of strange beings and spooky creatures are a natural fit for Halloween.  Cryptid or legendary creatures like Bigfoot or the Yeti inspire some tales.  Tales of giants, goblins and monsters are also scary.  Other legendary scary tales include Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the Wolfman who changes from a man to a monster on the night of the full moon.  Scary tales from the British isles include the vengeful spirit of the Banshee and the mysterious Loch Ness Monster.


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