There isn’t a more appropriate time of year for sharing ghost stories than Halloween. Swapping ghastly tales of freight at slumber parties, around a bonfire or at a Halloween costume party helps get in the spirit of holiday. Whether made up on the spot or handed down through the generations, spooky stories are perfect for all ages around and on Halloween.
I’m Not Making This Up, I Swear
From all points around the globe, ghost stories emerge. Just like watching a horror movie that claims to be true, the most terrifying haunted tales are the ones that are supposed to be based on real events. This isn’t that far a stretch since all one has to do is turn on the television and pick from one of several shows where people are hunting down “actual” ghosts in haunted places.
Just even within the United States there are plenty of areas that boast a spirit world claim to fame of being the most haunted area, town, city or community. From these paranormal hot spots plenty of ghost stories emerge. So much in fact that many places now offer ghost walks where tourists or locals can take a guided stroll and hear some of the accounts of the ghostly activity.
There are countless books of ghost stories or hauntings specific to different regions. Pick a city, town or state and do a search for that location’s hauntings to have more home based ghost stories for Halloween time. New Hope, Pennsylvania, for example, has been labeled possibly the most haunted nook of America. Type in “haunted New Hope PA” and there are plenty of ways to find stories or ideas from around the area to create some that could sound true to guests huddled around at a Halloween party.
Tales, Folklore, Urban Legends and Myths
As previously mentioned, many spooky accounts come from another source or even from personal accounts of paranormal events. Many ghost stories though, are the result of folklore, urban legends, myths or even rumors. In these cases there is rarely ever a way to trace it down to the original storyteller other than someone’s claim that it really did happen to a friend’s sister’s ex-boyfriend.
Usually, with this type of tale, everyone has heard some version of it, with the names and minor details changed. A good example of an urban legend of this nature would be the story of “Bloody Mary.” The name often changes and, in fact, a similar idea was explored in the 1992 movie “Candyman” in which the lead female was researching urban legends. Also, the number of times it takes to say the name varies from 3 all the way up to 20, but the basic idea stays the same. After an explanation of how Mary died, and this is where stories can really vary or just be made up, the listening audience and story teller gather by a mirror in a room lit only by a single candle. By chanting the name together a certain number of times, Bloody Mary’s spirit will appear behind the humans in the mirror.
Why Ghost Stories Have Become So Popular
Ghost stories are obviously beloved because of their ability to raise those hairs on the back of necks, cause goose bumps and generally frighten even the most devoted skeptics. Tales of things that go bump in the night have also been created to give people explanation where no other reasoning seems to be. Humans are quite perplexed by and fascinated by death and what happens to souls on the other side. Haunting theories claim that a spirit may be trapped if there was a murder, suicide or otherwise overly traumatic death. The idea being the spirit has a difficult time moving on to final rest and become trapped in a spot where they either died or a place that was familiar or near and dear to them.
Any Halloween get together is sure to be a thriller if chilling tales of the paranormal are on the itinerary. The important part is to keep them age appropriate. It is also a wise idea to not make it the very last thing people leave the party with, so having a more upbeat event following the round of ghost stories is a kind way to enable guests to go home and actually be able to sleep through the night. Whether or not they choose to try summoning up Bloody Mary in front of their own bathroom mirror is their choice.