Ghost Stories

There must be hundreds of good Ghost Stories and other spooky stories out there, suitable for telling around the campfire. Please send me your favorites and I'll include them here.

Table of Contents

The Lady with the Emerald Ring

I heard this one while visting a place in England the previous summer, and it scared the living day lights out of me, only to prevail that I had a good laugh when they were done with the tale.

A man's wife became deathly ill the night before Christmas in 1798, he called for the doctor but by the time the doctor had arrived his wife had died, or so it seemed. Her husband was so grief stricken that he shut himself up on his own and didn't attend the funeral the following day. The servants of the house carried the rich woman's body to the Vicar who in a drunken stupor held the ceremony quickly. The veil was drawn across her face, the stone lid lowered and the iron grille locked.

When later that night the Clergy man fell to sleep he remembered the beautiful emerald ring the woman had been laid with on her finger. Wanting riches for himself and fiquring no one would find out he went downstairs unlocked the lid open it and tried to pry off the ring, it wouldn't budge. He ran to his lab and brought back a file to cut off her finger with. He severed her finger and pulled the ring off, as he left he turned arond to pick up the iron lid, and screamed at the top of his lungs, dropped the ring and ran, the woman had awakened and was moaning and holding her severed finger towards him with a smile displayed evenly across her face.

He ran with all his might upstairs where he hung himself from the rafters of his home. If only he knew that the woman had only to thank him for she had not died after all but had gone into a coma and the cutting of her finger restored her circulation waking her from it.

Wearing nothing but her fine silk dress she walked back to the home and knocked on the door and rang the bell to no avail. The servants had all gone to sleep for it was late christmas eve. She felt an urge and lifted a heavy stone, threw it at her husband's window, and waited. He came to the window with a sorrowful look on his face, and suddenly to her surprise he yelled, "Go away. Why must you torture me so. Don't you know my wife has just died. Let me mourn and do not bother me agian."

With this he shut the window. He must not have realized it was his wife who had thrown the rock at him. She repeated this and he opened the window again, and she yelled to him, "I am no one but your so called dead wife. Now come down here and open this door, Henry Page, unless you'd like me to die a second time on our doorstep."

"You are a ghost then," he said to her.

She said, "No, for ghost's don't bleed. Now come down here before I catch my own death of cold."

The man with a joyous look on his face came down to meet his wife and took her inside where he called the doctor once more and told him the news. They both lived long lives and there first son was born the next year.

-- Thanks to Julia Dawn.

Step Drag

Here is another favorite story. Use names of DE's, Staff or Leaders to improve the story. Hope you like it.

IT WAS the hottest summer anyone could remember at Camp. It was between sessions: Three vans of older boy scouts had just left and the Cub Scouts were due in just two days. That left the Staff of five young camp staffers for a peaceful weekend.

Unknown to them, another bus - a gray prison bus - was winding along the road outside of the camp, transporting a single prisoner. The man was criminally insane, according to the tag on his prison uniform, and the two guards assigned to him believed it. He was very tall and strong, so his hands were manacled in huge handcuffs and his legs were hobbled close to each other with a chain. To keep him from running or kicking out at anyone, the Warden had added an old-fashioned ball and chain, which he'd found in a prison storeroom. That kind of thing hadn't been used since the 1920's. The chain was clamped to the maniac's right ankle, and the heavy iron ball was on the end of the four-foot chain.

The maniac was sitting quietly with his eyes closed, smiling that same simple smile he always smiled just to keep the guards wondering. Thinking that the maniac was asleep, the guards weren't being watchful enough. As the bus swerved on a tight mountain curve, one guard slid off the wooden bench and fell against the prisoner, who wasn't asleep at all. He quickly grabbed the guard by the neck with the short chain on his handcuffs.

While they struggled, the other guard got up and went after the maniac. The prisoner dropped the strangled guard and lunged at the other one. The guard tried to draw his pistol, but the maniac had picked up the iron ball and thrown it before the guard had so much as a chance.

The maniac found keys on the guard to remove the cuffs and the leg irons, but he could not find a key for the ball and chain. He picked up the iron ball again, smashed the wire glass window to the cab of the prison bus, and grabbed the driver by the throat. The bus swerved all over the road and finally crashed into the deep ditch beside the road, coming to rest against a large tree. The maniac was out!

Back at the Camp, the Staff had swum all afternoon and were now back in their tents on staff row, reading or listening to the radio. There wasn't a TV anywhere in the camp. The sun went down and the owls began to hoot scarily off in the distance. Suddenly someone screamed! Everyone came running out of their tents and met at the assembly ground.

Missy the swimming instructor was missing! The other four ran to her tent. The zipper was open and there was a pool of blood on the floor. The Staff gasped, then suddenly became very quiet.

"Ssshhh! whispered David. They all strained to listen. In the trees, somewhere nearby they could hear:

Step... Drag... step ... drag... step ... drag...

"Let split up and look for her!" said Tim. They all ran off in different directions into the dark woods. After a few minutes David yelled for everyone to come to him. It was hard to follow his voice in the underbrush; it was hard to believe that the woods in camp were so thick and impenetrable. Soon Tim and Chris found David staring up into a tree. There in the moonlight was Colin. He was hanging by his head in a fork of the tree branches; his neck must have broken.

Off to the south they could hear noises in the under-growth:

Step... Drag... step ... drag... step ... drag...

Tim climbed the tree and lowered the body to the others. The three of them carried the limp corpse back to the mess hall. Once inside, Tim hurried to lock all the doors with big wooden boards.

"You all stay here", he said, "and lock this door behind me. I've got to get to the office where the phone is."

The others objected, but Tim went out the front door and slipped off in the darkness. The others dropped the wooden bar back into its metal brackets, to prevent anyone from entering. After a few minutes the lights suddenly went out. The staff started to scream, but then they realized that whoever had cut the wires might not know where they were. The held their hands over their mouths and hid under the serving counter.

Suddenly, something rattled the front door. It must be the maniac! The Staff huddled together. Next they heard something outside the window just above them, something dragging along the ground, going:

Step... Drag... step ... drag... step ... drag...

The double doors rattled again. Tim whispered, "hey dudes, let me in!" The dragging sound was moving around the building going toward the back door. Tim gasped louder, "Let me in!"

David ran from the Counter to the door and lifted the bar. Tim darted into the mess hall like a scared cat.

Just as they got the double doors shut, the dragging sound came around to the front. Just as they dropped the wooden bar into its brackets, something huge and heavy hit the door, cracking the wood.

Tim and Chris ran across the room, tripping and stumbling over chairs in the dark.. The object hit the door again, and the wooden bar cracked with a loud noise. The two staffers looked under the serving counter. David wasn't there! They ran to the back door.

"The phone lines must have been cut whispered Tim. "The phone was dead". The heavy weight hit the front door again, breaking part of the door's upper half. Tim and Chris lifted the bar from the back door and swung it open. Another crash at the front door told then the doors were about to give. The two slipped into the tall pantry and closed the door.

Back in the mess hall, the double front doors gave way in a burst of splinters and broken boards. A deathly silence followed. The two staffers hardly dared to take a breath. Suddenly, they heard that sound out on the wooded floor:

Step... Drag... step ... drag... step ... drag...

The sound stopped right outside the pantry door. Chris gasped. Tim cupped his hand over his mouth and the two held their breath. Tim was afraid the thing outside could hear his heart beating.

Suddenly there was a terrible scream outside the pantry.

It was David! He had moved to another hiding place, leaving Tim and Chris on their own. Now the thing, whatever it was had found him. There was another scream and the sound of something going out the back door.

Then everything was quiet as a graveyard.

The two waited all night, hardly breathing. The sun began to come up; they could see light coming in through the cracks of the wooden pantry. A morning dove was calling softly in the woods.

Then they heard a sound. Someone was coming in the front door. Slow footsteps crossed the floor, along with the sound of something dragging along the boards.

The sound came closer to the pantry.

CLOSER.

Suddenly it stopped, right in front of the pantry door as if someone was waiting.

Chris could not stand it anymore. He screamed.

The Pantry door swung open, and there standing over them was a tall, muscular form, lit from behind. The man bent over.

He took off his wide-brimmed hat and show them his badge. "I'm the Sheriff", he said, dropping the heavy bag of weapons and bulletproof vest he had been dragging.

"THANK GOD YOU TWO ARE ALL RIGHT!"

-- Thanks to Merl Whitebook, Troop 1, Indian Nations Council, Tulsa, Okla USA

The Mystery of the Mice Tower

B.-P. Tells a Story
Lord Baden-Powell
The Leader, December 1978

In the December 1932 issue of "The Scouter" (U.K.), the Chief Scout, Lord Baden-Powell, varied from his usual Scouting message to write the following ghost story. In the United Kingdom, ghost stories are very much a tradition at Christmas, hence such well-known ghostly tales as Dickens "A Christmas Carol". Meant to be read aloud, by flickering firelight, to the accompaniment of roasting chestnuts and steaming mugs of cocoa, you might like to incorporate this tradition into your own Christmas meeting with, perhaps, your boys bringing along their own favourite ghostly yarns to read aloud in the shadowy semi-darkness.

Regarding our Scouts Camping Ground at Kandersteg in Switzerland, many Scouts have been there, and many more will go there, to all of whom the Mice Tower in the Camp Ground will be known. Since this is our Christmas Number, I venture to give a story of the Mice Tower in place of my usual homily on Scouting.

I was trying to make out the meaning of the words 'Gott behuete dieses Hus und all da Gehen in und us', which were carved upon the beam above me, in the living-room in the timber-built house of the cure in Kippel. I had, in the course of a hike through Switzerland, wandered into the Loetschen Valley, a quaint backwater of civilisation which, until the railway tunnel pierced the surrounding mountains, had been cut off from the rest of the world except for a pass of 10,000 feet which was impassable for five months of the year. So the inhabitants were themselves quaint and original in their ways and customs.

When I came into the agglomeration of ancient brown wooden houses which, with wonderful picturesqueness and awful smells, constituted the village, I was surprised to find no one about; the whole place seemed deserted. At last I hit on an aged priest coming out of the church, and in reply to my question where were the inhabitants, he pointed to a notice pinned on what proved to be the mayor's house. This directed the families named in the margin, one and all, to go this week haymaking on the high meadows on the mountain. The various people concerned were not mentioned by name but, as the custom was, were indicated by their family totem signs. The old priest proved himself an interesting informant on this and many other points connected with the life and history of the valley. Finally he kindly asked me into his house to have a cup of coffee.

When, in the course of our talk, I told him I had just come from the neighbouring valley of Kandersteg, he grew quite excited and told me he had only recently unearthed among the old church records a very interesting document relating to Kandersteg. It purported to be the statement of a dying man as taken down by a priest of that time, in the year 1638.

The place had derived its name from an unwelcome swarm of mice which infested it. So much was this the case that a haunch of beef which had been left in the tower one night was found next morning to have been entirely consumed by the mice. This suggested to the blood-thirsty tyrant the fiendish idea of hanging a victim in an extreme case in such a way that, when spread-eagled, one foot should remain on the ground. He argued that the mice would then attack the victim and gradually devour him from the foot upwards until death released him from his sufferings.

Another painful form of execution devised by Count Rollo was that of hanging his victim head downwards from a window in the tower until he died, and this punishment he had meted out on May 14th, 1631, to Johann Kostler. Young Albert Kostler, driven to fury by the death of his father, gathered together a number of young men of the valley, and they planned together to rid the community of this monster.

Unfortunately for them their plot was discovered before it was ripe, and Albert was waylaid by Rollo's myrmidons and carried off to the Mice Tower. It was after nightfall when he was brought in and Count Rollo was at supper with his companions. He joyously gave the word for the young man to be hanged forthwith head downwards from the window. Quickly the victim's feet were tied together with the end of a rope, which ran up over the end of a beam projecting out from the window, and he was slung out into the darkness to die a lingering death, while Rollo and his friends kept up a noisy carousal immediately above him.

For a few moments he hung like this while his executioners returned to their feast, and then with a sudden plunge he fell heavily to the ground. The rope had been partially gnawed through by the mice. Fortunately at that point the ground was covered by a thick growth of heath. For a few moments he lay practically stunned, but he was not materially hurt and, on coming to, he realised this, and having unfastened his bonds he made his way cautiously in the darkness out of the camp and into the rocky cliffs close by.

By good fortune he came across a small cave, into which he crept. He found that it receded a good way into the mountain-side, and he followed it up, crawling on his hands and knees, until he felt himself secure from pursuit. Here he lay down to rest by a small runnel of fresh water. Some time later--it may have been several hours--he was alarmed to hear voices of men evidently searching for him. This caused him to explore even deeper into the recesses of the mountain, till he found himself out of reach of any sounds. Haunted, however, by the fear of re-capture, he continued to creep on and explore farther into the tunnel-like cave, in the hope that he might find another exit.

How long he struggled on he never knew; in the total darkness it might have been hours, it might and probably was days and nights. In the end, starving, weak and utterly worn out, when he had given up all hope, and had resigned himself to dying in peace rather than at the hands of torturers, he suddenly saw a faint gleam of light. Dragging himself onwards, he eventually emerged into what he afterwards discovered was the Loetschen Valley. Here he was found, and succoured by friendly hands, and he finally made it his home.

Probably from fear that any report of his being still alive might leak out to the Kander Valley, he never confided to a soul his identity nor his story, until eventually, on his death-bed, he confessed it to the priest. He now lies in the third grave on the left as you enter the narrow churchyard overhanging the river valley at Kippel.

He asked me whether I had during my stay in the Kander Valley noticed, near the entrance to the tunnel, a small square tower. This, he said, was referred to in the document as "The Mice Tower". Certainly I had seen it, but had not paid it much attention on account of its insignificant appearance. But, muttering the old Swiss proverb "Little pigs nevertheless make good pork," he tottered off to the church to search the muniment chest for the paper. Meanwhile I waited, sipping my coffee and pondering on the inscription on the beam--"God protect this house and all who go in and out."

Presently he returned with the document and, deciphering with some difficulty the crabbed characters on the time-worn paper, he read to me the following grim story. I give merely the substance of it, omitting the lengthy if picturesque detail.

A note by the father-confessor explained it was the dying confession of a man who had come mysteriously to Kippel some years previously, and had established himself there as a recluse, living in a small hut high up on the mountain side. Being now about to meet his Maker, and no longer fearing the vengeance of man, he confessed that he was the only surviving son of Johann Kostler, a former well-to-do farmer in the valley of the Kander. (His chalet is still to be seen in Kandersteg today.)

While this man, Albert Kostler, was yet a young man, the notorious Count Rollo, known as "Rollo the Roisterer," was tyrant of the valley. The Count lived in the old castle of Tellesberg perched high upon a solitary crag commanding the valley. From this fastness with his band of armed retainers he exacted from the inhabitants all that he wanted from time to time in the shape of food or money or cattle, etc. When his demands were not met with the promptitude desired, he inflicted imprisonment or torture or even death on the wretched peasant; so that the whole valley was terrorised.

The scene of these cruelties was usually the Mice Tower at the head of the valley, where his victims went through a form of mock trial before being condemned to the punishment which he amused himself in devising. The upper room of this tower was also the scene of wild orgies and carousals on the part of himself and his boon companions.

Count Rollo had some iron staples let into the outer wall of the Mice Tower, to which his victim was triced up by the wrist and ankles in a spread-eagle position, and exposed naked for hours to the blazing sun in the summer and to the freezing wind in the winter. (These staples can still be seen on the walls of this harmless-looking building.)

My host, having read the confession to me, went on to say that tradition maintains that Count Rollo the Roisterer, after a life of cruelty and debaucheries, came to a bad end--as bad men do.

The story went that he was investigating the Blausee, or Blue Lake, which lies below his castle, when a sudden rise of the water from melting snow in the mountains forced him to try to cross the lake on a fallen tree. In doing so he slipped and his foot became entangled and held, as by a vice, among the branches. The water, rising gradually higher and higher, submerged him inch by inch; and though his screams attracted his followers they were unable to do anything to save him before he was finally submerged and drowned. My friend had not himself been to the Blausee, but he maintained that on particularly clear days Rollo's skeleton can still be seen among the trees at the bottom of that wonderful blue lake.

He also added that it is widely believed that between the hours of twelve and one in the morning, on September 13th every year, his ghost may be seen gliding round the Mice Tower, wringing his hands in an agony of remorse--or it may not.

Note. - The probability is that Count Rollo's Ghost will NOT be seen because there never was a Swiss proverb that "Little pigs nevertheless make good pork," nor was there an Albert Kostler, nor even a Count Rollow the Roisterer, though there IS the Mice Tower and the Blausee! So, I'm sorry, but the whole yarn is a fake. B.-P.

Skeleton Lady

This story begins not too long ago and not far away. Just to the north of here there is a country where it is Winter for 7 long moths of the year. Now this particular Winter had gone on much longer than usual and the people were beginning to run out of food and firewood. Inside one small house right out in the barren snowlands an old lady was beginning to get anxious. (Now you have to put on old lady and old man voices, get anxious and rub your hands a lot as if cold). "oh, my husband I am so cold and hungry. Look at me my hands are blue! I am going to die I am sure of it."

"Don't worry my darling, Winter will be over soon, we will have food again" But the old lady looked very ill and continued to get anxious. Eventually the old man agreed, "Very well my darling I will go and search for food. But before I go you must promise me one thing. You must not use the last two logs we have for the fire, we will need them to cook the food on when I return"

"Okay, okay I agree just go, please find food"

With that the old man went out in search of food.

Time passed and the old man did not return, the fire was beginning to get lower and lower.

"Where is he. I'm hungry! I'm freezing! I am sure I will die" (rub hands a lot) Then the old lady had an idea. "If I put just one of the logs on the fire he will be back soon and then we will still have one to cook the food with. Yes, yes that's what I'll do."

The old lady picked up one log and placed it on the fire. (act this out, as you place log on fire make whooshing sound). "Oh that's much better, I'm so warm, he'll be back with food soon". (smile a lot).

The old lady forgot how hungry she was as she sat close to the warm fire. But more time passed and still her husband did not return. It was beginning to get dusk outside and again the fire was getting lower and lower.

"Where is he? He must have found food and eaten it. I am going to be left here to freeze!" (lots of rubbing and groaning)

Then the old lady had another idea.

"He must be back soon. If I put the last log on the fire it will be hot and ready to cook on when he returns". With that the old lady put the last log on the fire. (make whooshing sound and cries of happiness)

But more time passed and the old man was not back. The last log began to burn lower and lower until all that was left was a tiny flicker. (complain a lot and move in close to imaginary fire).

The old lady got closer and closer to the fire. Then suddenly "Ouch" she burnt herself on it and began to bleed. She placed the finger in her mouth to lick it (make this action)

"MMMMh this tastes good." Then the old lady began to chew (make chewing action up hand). "Mmmm so good." And chew, up her arm, and around her body (act all this out - lots of chewing and mmhhing noises) until all that was left was a skeleton.

"Mmhh that was so good, I feel much better but I'm still hungry." Just at that moment she heard a rustling outside and the door opened. In came her husband with 2 rabbits in his hand (mime this).

"Look my wife I found foooo-----"

The old lady ran towards him and grabbed the rabbits (mime this). Mmmh these are good. MMhh MMhh (mine chewing rabbits) My husband I've just realized how meaty you are. Come here I want to eat you. I want Meat!"

With that the old man burst out the door and ran into the frozen wastelands as fast as he could. Behind him the old lady was running. "I want meat, I'm going to eat you." Luckily the old man could run fast and began to escape his wife. he ran further and further into the snow. In the distance was the sound of the old lady.

"I want meat. I'm going to eat you!" (each time you do this grab the arm of a member of the audience and fake chew it - you should be on your feet all the time now and miming the running actions.)

Suddenly the old man came to the edge of a huge gorge that went as far as he could see that way (look) and as far as he could see that way (look). There was no way across and coming closer was the sound of the old lady.

"I want meat. I'm going to eat you" (attack audience again)

Then the old man noticed a small wooden cottage. he ran to it and banged on the door. The door opened on a chain and a woman could be seen inside. "Yes. How can I help you."

"It's my wife. she's gone crazy she's going to eat me" (act very panicked) "Very well I will help you but first you must bring me a bucket of water." "What, she's going to eat me and you want water?"

"Yes"

"Okay, okay"

The old man searched around and found a bucket to get some water from the well. he took it to the woman who pulled out a ladle from her pocket and dipped it into the water. (mime all this out).

"AAhh yes. Very good. Now I will help you"

In the distance the sound of the skeleton lady was very close "I want meat. I'm going to eat you!" (attack audience)

The woman stood on the edge of the gorge and stamped her feet into the ground. Then she reached out and stretched (say this word long and slowly as you stretch out) to the other side and grabbed onto a tree. "Now you may cross."

The old man walked carefully across the lady's back (mime this) and reached the other side. Then the woman let go and PING went right back to the other side. She returned to her house.

Just then the skeleton lady arrived at the gorge. "I will get you my husband. I will eat you. I want Meat!"

She banged on the door of the house. "Yes. Can I help you?"

"You are too skinny to eat. You will help me cross the gorge."

"Very well I will help you but first you must bring me a drink of water."

"Help me now or I'll eat you anyway."

"Okay, Okay."

With that the woman stood on the side of the gorge and stamped her feet into the ground. She stretched across and grabbed onto the tree. The old woman began to run across.

"I want meat. I will eat you."

When she was halfway across the woman let go and PING went back to the start.

" I want meaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa......" (fade off and then crash to ground) CRASH

The skeleton lady fell to ground and shattered to a million pieces.

(Say next part of story very slowly and quietly)

Now I said that I said that this happened not too long ago and not too far away. It is said that there is a little bit of magic in each piece of the skeleton lady's bone and that one day they will join together and come in search of ....."MEAT" (jump and attack audience then end"


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