Spectral Sheep and a Ghastly Goat

Today begins the Chinese Year of the Sheep—or the Goat—there seems to be some controversy about the precise animal, but be reassured that I am on the job and have you covered with stories of spooky sheep and a ghastly goat. Let’s start with the goat story, covered in these pages previously, but one of my favorites. […]

A Minister Tests His Dead Wife’s Spirit

One Sunday morning in 1919, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, founder and President of Temple University, stood before his congregation in the pulpit of the Philadelphia Baptist Temple and dropped a bombshell–revealing that his dead wife had visited him repeatedly.

The Mysterious Mirror of Maine

On 7 June 1903, Adelia A. Warren, Mrs. Robert Warren, of Bowdoinham, Maine, died, age 48, leaving behind a bereft husband and two sons: 28-year-old Randall S. and 33-year-old Edwin W. Just six months later, it was reported that Mrs. Warren, a Spiritualist, had returned to try to communicate with the family through a mirror.

Encore: Mistresses of the Dark: The Women in Black

The final chapter in my book The Ghost Wore Black: Ghastly Tales from the Past tells of a little-known 19th-century panic over those mistresses of the dark, The Women in Black. They were the female equivalent of Spring-heeled Jack, without the flames and (sometimes) the leaping, and they terrified communities across the United States from roughly 1865 to 1915.

The Ghost With One Hand

The folktale “The Golden Arm,” is a classic ghost story long told at sleepovers and around the campfire. It is paralleled in this ghost story linked with an Ohio River steamship disaster. Steam packets United States and America collided in the Ohio River December 4, 1868, two miles above Warsaw, Kentucky.

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