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News About Ghosts And Paranormal Phenomena

A Ghostly Octopus (3/5/16)
Recently discovered: The Casper octopus—which eerily resembles the cartoon ghost.

The Yuletide Monsters of Europe (12/29/15)
In Europe, Christmas and New Year customs contain some darker elements—including visits my mischievous, even frightening, goblins, elves, and monsters. Here’s a Roundup, curated from another blog.

Feeding Phantoms In Indonesia (9/5/15)
It’s Hungry Ghost Month in Indonesia. During this time each year, Indonesians of Chinese descent set out food and perform other earthly favors in order to appease the spirits of their departed ancestors as well as assorted other ghosts. Over the course of numerous migrations throughout the centuries, Chinese people have carried their strong belief in ghosts to all corners of southern and southeastern Asia.

Jailed New York City Psychics Admit That It’s All A Scam (8/30/15)
In this New York Times article, a number of imprisoned psychics and fortune tellers admit that their trade is entirely a scam.

Marrying The Dead (8/28/15)
In some countries, it’s legal to marry a dead person—or at least, the spirit of a dead person. And although marriage to someone who is no longer alive probably doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, it might surprise you to learn that there actually are some practical reasons for this odd custom.

The Most Haunted Places In Ireland (8/21/15)
Planning a ghost tour of Ireland? The Irish Mirror provides a good starting point with an interesting roundup of the country’s most haunted locations. And if you go, please let us know if you saw or heard anything uncanny. . . .

It’s Ghost Month In The Philippines (8/16/15)
Don’t swim, don’t pick up money in the street, and whatever you do, don’t wear red. It’s Ghost Month n the Philippines and other Asian country. Follow the link for a good explanation of what that all means.

Mysterious Wall Collapse At A Haunted Scottish Hospital (7/30/15)
So, a wall fell down in an abandoned hospital reputed to be one of the most haunted spots in Scotland. “Locals” apparently suspect ghosts as the culprits. And the place certainly does have a dark history, having housed emotionally disturbed children at one point. But, if a wall goes down in an old building . . . do you blame ghosts, or just lack of maintenance? We’re going with the non-supernatural explanation on this one—but, by all means, make your own judgement.

Somalia’s Haunted Tree (7/29/15)
In this godforsaken, parched region of strife-torn Somalia, hundreds of people have been executed by firing squads while tied to the leafless “death tree.” Understandably, the tree has gained a reputation for being cursed, and most people would like to see it disappear. But no one is brave enough to cut it down—and certainly, no one would ever seek its shade, no matter how hot and glaring the desert sun. . . .

Further Proof That Britain Is The World’s Most Haunted Country (7/27/15)
In another post on this website, we’ve offered proof that Britain is the world’s most haunted country, with many more people believing in ghosts than believe in God. Well, here’s some further evidence: according to a new poll, nearly a third of Brits claim to have seen or felt a ghost.

Nothing’s More Offensive To The Spirits Than A Naked Canadian (6/14/15)
Several Canadian tourists arrested for stripping off their clothes on a Borneo mountaintop have been blamed for angering ancient spirits into causing a fatal earthquake.

Swiss Scientists Produce ‘Haunted Feeling’ In Lab Subjects (4/30/15)
It’s almost ironic: Scientists in Switzerland set out to bring relief to people plagued by the frequent feeling of being observed or even touched by unseen spirits. But instead of finding an immediate solution to the disturbing problem—often the result of brain lesions or other neurological illnesses—the researchers managed to create an apparatus that produces the skin-crawling sensation of an unseen presence in people with a normal neurological profile. Far from being discouraged, however, the scientists say their experiments shed light on the brain-based basis for a lot of the paranormal experiences reported by otherwise mentally well-balanced people.

Child Ghost Haunts British Mansion (4/28/15)
A British billionaire claims that the halls of his palatial home are haunted by the spirit of a boy killed by a soldier in England’s Civil War. But, does blood really ooze through the floor . . . ?

Haunted Highway In New Jersey (4/27/15)
New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway boasts its very own ghost. Ever since the completion of the highway in 1955, sightings of the Garden State Phantom have been reported. The tall male wraith always appears at night around Exit 83 (Toms River) and waves his arms as he makes his way across the lanes of traffic.

Ghost Walks Through The Light (4/18/15)
A security camera in an English restaurant captured video of this interesting apparition as it moved around in front of a bright light. Hard to tell what it really was, but it certainly did look alive. . . .

Ohio Ghost Hunters Sent To Jail (3/17/15)
Would-be ghost busters: Even if you’re sure a building is haunted, it’s wise to get permission from the place’s flesh-and-blood owner before you investigate. Otherwise, you could end incarcerated.

Collecting Haunted Dolls (3/17/15)
The buying and selling of haunted dolls on eBay and other online sales venues is big business. And starting a collection isn’t cheap. . . .

Cinematic Spooks (3/17/15)
A website recently ranked the 54 creepiest movie ghosts.

Photobombed By A Ghost Baby (3/12/15)
This is fairly clear for a ghost photo: Members of an Australian family snapped some pictures of their group swimming in a river. Later on, they discovered that one of the snaps contained the image of someone who wasn’t really there—allegedly a little girl who drowned in the same river over a century ago. Make of it what you will. . . .

From The Wall Street Journal: Famous School For Psychics (3/3/15)
This college in England truly is an institution of higher learning: It teaches over 5,000 students per year how communicate with the spirits of the departed.

Maybe Something In The Air? (3/2/15)
Researchers at Clarkson University in upstate New York hypothesize that ghost sightings actually may be hallucinations brought on by mold spores, microbes, or other airborne contaminants. In order to test this idea, Clarkson students recently have been using a vacuum and air compressor system to take air samples at the Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, NY—the scene of some relatively recent apparitions. No word yet on the results—but stay tuned.

Ghosts Invade Muslim Girls’ School In Kenya (3/1/15)
The international online edition of a South African newspaper is reporting what appears to be a case of mass hysteria at a school for Muslim girls in Kenya. The school was closed early last week following reports by many of the girls that they were being attacked by ghosts in the school’s hallways.

Is Disneyland Haunted? (2/26/15)
Security cameras capture some interesting footage of a spectral figure moving through the famous theme park. We don’t know what to make of it.

Have A Haunted Spring Break (2/25/15)
Here are some vacation suggestions for American college students, their professors, or anyone else who would rather seek out a few ghostly chills than go bake on a beach. The list profiles 13 accessible site across the country where visitors can soak up a bit of haunted history—and perhaps even step into a cold spot or two. Road trip, anyone?

British Ghosts In India (2/23/15)
When the British colonialists finally pulled out of India, they left many of their ghosts behind. Here’s a roundup of hauntings resulting from the decay and dissolution of the Empire.

Black-Eyed Child Ghosts (2/22/15)
A rural area of England suffers from an on-and-off infestation of ghost children with deep, dark sockets where their eyes should be.

A New York Times Ghost Story (2/21/15)
An account from The New York Times about one man’s ghostly encounter in Thailand.

Ghosts At College (2/21/15)
A roundup of the five most haunted college campuses in the U.S.

Strangeness In India (2/18/15)
ABC News visits an Indian temple where husbands take their wives to have their demons and ghosts exorcised . . . for a fee, of course. And, yes, we do wish we wish we were joking.

Happy Chinese New Year! (2/17/15)
The International Business Times offers us the Top 10 Superstitions related to Chinese New Year.

Ghost Photo? You Be The Judge (2/16/15)
A British media outlet posted a photo of what “many people believe” is the ghost of a little girl peering out a window at an abandoned Liverpool orphanage. To be honest, we don’t see much there. And, when someone in the media say, “many” people, we always wonder just how many “many” is. Also, why are photos of purported ghosts always so indistinct. . . .

The Craft Of Telling A Good Ghost Story (2/15/15)
The Denver Post has some tips on how to tell a scary tale around a campfire—or to any group of kids.

The Ghosts Of Indonesia (2/13/15)
It wouldn’t seem that Indonesia would be a particularly haunted place. After all it is a muslim country, and compared to the people of other religions, muslims don’t tend to be preoccupied with ghosts. However, animism appears to mix more or less comfortably with Indonesian Islam in much the same way it coexists with Buddhism in Thailand. Here is a purported roundup (we can’t vouch for its veracity) of different types of Indonesian ghosts. To us, what stands out most is the number of ghosts connected to childbirth. . . .

Vacationing Journalist Hunts Ghosts In Hawaii (2/11/15)
A journalist for the Costa Rican Times decides to go ghost hunting in Hawaii. He turns up a number of legends with a decidedly tropical flavor.

Indian Movie Teaches That Ghosts Are Friendly (2/8/15)
A new movie released in India tells its audience that ghosts are all around us, always. But, not to worry: They are friendly, they’ve got our best interest at heart—and they even have a good sense of humor.

British Woman Says Ghosts Smell Like Seafood (2/5/15)
A minority of people who encounter ghosts say they experience them with senses other than sight. In fact, it is relatively common for people to report that they have heard or even felt a ghost. But to Laura Dickson, disembodied spirits make themselves known by the odor they emit. Specifically, whenever something bad is about to happen, Laura says friendly ghosts forewarn her by giving her a strong whiff of fish.

Paranormal Activity House Is Sold (2/4/15)
The California house that served as the set for the low-budget, high-grossing ghost film, Paranormal Activity, has sold for just under $750,000. The house was once owned by director Oren Peli. Peli used his own home to shoot the film as a cost saving measure. Although Peli did say he had some strange things happen to him when he lived in the house, the new owners apparently are unconcerned about the possibility of any real-life sequels.

A Campaign Against Ghosts In Thailand (2/2/15)
Thailand is a country in which almost everyone believes in ghosts. Many Thais even build and maintain small “spirit houses” for ghosts to live in. But one man says that superstition is holding Thailand back, and he’s conducting an online effort to exorcise the country.

The Ghosts Down Under (2/2/15)
A ghost tour of an old Tasmanian prison: ” . . . the skull . . . slides over the stone slab. This creates a horrendous grating sound that reverberates around the room. A chorus of screams rings out and people spring backwards, recoiling from the sound.”

Company Plans TO Market Pocket Ghost Detector (2/2/15)
Coming soon to a Best Buy near you: The world’s most compact ghost-detecting device. In fact, the pocket-portable machine made by a company called GhostArk is several instruments rolled into one, including a electromagnetic field detector, an audio recorder, and components that measure temperature and atmospheric pressure. We’re not really sure why any of these items would help you document contact with a ghost—unless, of course, the ghost actually spoke loudly enough for its voice to be recorded. Nonetheless, the ghost detector looks cool, and would doubtlessly make a good conversation piece. It is scheduled to hit the market by late spring, and will sell for around $200.

The Haunted Texas Hill Country (1/31/15)
This limestone ridge running through the Texas Hill Country—it’s called The Devil’s Backbone—is said to be haunted. Alleged sightings include the ghosts of confederate cavalry, and the region’s very own white lady.

Chilean Woman Hurled To The Floor By A Ghost (1/30/15)
A woman in Chile said she was upset after being thrown to the floor by a ghost as she entered her lawyer’s office. She said she felt someone grab her and throw her down. There is video; it is interesting, but inconclusive.

Oh, No. Slenderman Spotted in the English Midlands (1/25/15)
Slenderman certainly gets around. The tall, faceless, boogyman-like wraith who has wreaked so much grisly havoc in the U.S. allegedly has been spotted by several people in a Staffordshire (county) forest. He joins several other ghosts, including the Black-Eyed Child and the Pig-Man, who are said to roam the same national forest—let’s hope they all get along. In any case, paranormal investigators are looking into the sightings, so we’re sure there will be some more definitive information shortly.

Ghosts and Wartime Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Linked in the Ancient World (1/24/15)
Some of the symptoms of PTSD were observed in war-fighters more than 2,000 years ago. Combat veterans in the time of swords, spears, and shields reported being haunted by the ghosts of men they’d killed in battle.

A Caribbean Ghost Story (1/24/15)
A droll tale of ghosts inflicting themselves on a small town in Trinidad. The author remarks that, like the rest of us, Caribbean islanders had much more time for sharing ghost stories in the days before televisions and computers.

Sleep Paralysis and Ghosts (1/21/15)
This article originally published in LiveScience talks about how a phenomenon called sleep paralysis can cause people to have disturbing visions, including sightings of ghosts. People who actually believe in ghosts seem to experience these hallucinations much more intensely than people who don’t. . . .


Carscreugh Castle In England Is Said To Be Haunted By a White Lady. A Nearby Castle Is Said To Be Haunted By A White Pig.

The Ruins Of Carscreugh Castle In Scotland Are Said To Be Haunted By The Spirit Of A White Pig. But The Horses Are Real. Photo: David Baird

Which Country Has The Most Ghosts?

Britain, the nation that invented both the gothic ghost story and the eccentric pastime of ghost hunting, is the world’s most haunted country, with more ghosts per square mile than anywhere else on earth. This of course is not a provable assertion, but the Brits themselves are sure of it.

In the Introduction to his 2007 book, The Haunted: A Social History of Ghosts, writer and academic Owen Davies tells us that in the 1940’s a folklorist in Warwickshire “calculated that there was one ghost to the square mile in his district.” According to Davies, if we assume the same density of disembodied spirits throughout all of England, we’d come of up with a ghostly population of around 50,000. And of course Scotland’s lonely expanses—the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth—are no less haunted than England.

“There are more ghosts seen, reported, and accepted in the British Isles than anywhere else on earth,” declares noted British ghost hunter Peter Underwood in his 1971 book, A Gazetteer of British Ghosts. [click to continue…]


Illustration by Andy Paciorek

Our Fall Short Story Competition

It’s Halloween, which means that it’s time to announce (and publish) the Winner and two Honorable Mentions in the fall 2017 Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award contest. The winner received a $1,000 cash award, and the Honorable Mention and Second Honorable Mention received $250 and $100 respectively. All three were custom illustrated by British artist Andy Paciorek, and all are now available for your reading pleasure.

We will begin accepting submissions to our spring 2018 competition in mid February. But don’t forget that The Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition—for short-short stories of under a thousand words—begins in mid December. We’ll post an announcement on our home page in a few weeks. Meanwhile, click here for complete guidelines.



The winners of the fall, 2017 Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award are on their way. As aways, we’ll be revealing them, and publishing them, right here on Halloween, complete with custom artwork by British illustrator Andy Paciorek.

This time around, we received a record number of submissions—almost 200 in all. If you entered, regardless of whether you won, or didn’t win, thank you for your submission, and you’ll be hearing from us soon.