ByJess O'Kane, writer at
Big in Japan
Jess O'Kane

After we recently reported that an actual real-life Woman in Black is wandering around America scaring people, it seemed like the right time to look at the women throughout history who have given us the creeps.

And damn ladies, you scary.

The Woman in Black may have been pretty creepy, but as usual life proves to be stranger than fiction. Delve deep into history and you'll find that there are a lot of women scorned that would provide a great basis for a horror franchise.

Here's four ladies with a vengeance that Hollywood could make a buck from:

4) Julia Lowell

Who: Sexed up flapper girl + prostitute

Modern casting: Jennifer Lawrence

  Saucy and scary
Saucy and scary

Julia Lowell was a friendly local prostitute in Bisbee, Arizona in the 1920s. She used the rooms at the Cooper Queen Hotel in downtown Bisbee to service her clients.

The story goes that she fell madly in love with one particular man, who rejected poor Miss Lowell outright, leading her to kill herself at the tender age of 30.

The hotel still operates, and guests have reported seeing the ghost of Julia Lowell in a blue sapphire dress, wandering the hallways. Men have felt her playing with their feet or dancing provocatively in their rooms.

Even when she's dead, she's still got it.

(Source: Steel Cactus)

3) Lady Dorothy Walpole

Who: Unfortunate wife of a man nicknamed 'Turnip'

Modern casting: Helen McCrory

  Shady lady
Shady lady

Lady Dorothy Walpole was the sister of British Prime Minister Robert Walpole during the 17th Century.

In 1713 she was married to Charles Townshend, avid cultivator of turnips and an all-round bastard.

After he discovered she was having an affair with Lord Wharton, Townshend decided the correct course of action would be to imprison his wife in a room in Raynham Hall, Norfolk. She died there in 1726 of smallpox.

So-called 'The Brown Lady' because of the plain brown dress she wears, Walpole supposedly haunts Raynham Hall, and when in 1936 Country Life magazine came to photograph the house, they accidentally captured the picture above.

Creepy or what?

(Source: Museum of Hoaxes)

2) Zona Shue

Who: Murdered by her husband and returned to tell the tale

Modern casting: Rooney Mara

  Having the last laugh (sort of)
Having the last laugh (sort of)

Zona Shue, nicknamed the 'Greenbrier Ghost', was born in Greenbrier County, West Virginia in the late 19th Century.

Zona was married to a man by the equally excellent name of Erasmus Stribbling Trout Shue, and all was fine and dandy until she wound up dead one day in his cabin.

The verdict was initially called in as some kind of 'female sickness', but four weeks later Zona appeared in a dream to her mother and told her that her husband had broken her neck in a fit of rage.

The body was exhumed, and the neck was found to be broken. Erasmus Shue was successfully tried and hung for his crime in 1897.


(Source: Prairie Ghosts)

1) Scratching Fanny

Who: A girl called Fanny who supposedly haunted a house in - wait for it - Cock Lane

Modern casting: Helena Bonham Carter

Let's try to get through this without giggling like school girls. It involves a place called Cock Lane and a ghost nicknamed 'Scratching Fanny'.

Nope. Nothing to snigger about here.

The case of Scratching Fanny was huge in 18th Century London. The story goes that a man named William Kent started a relationship with Fanny, and moved with her into a house in Cock Lane owned by a man named Robert Parsons.

After Fanny's death from smallpox, Parsons claimed that Fanny began haunting the house, (which usually manifested as scratching sounds, hence the unfortunate name). He went on to claim that she told him that William Kent had poisoned her with arsenic.

Cue a proper scandal, as it unfolded that Parsons hated Kent for taking him to court over some money, and the whole ghost story was a total hoax. Bummer.

Still though, it produced one of the most memorable ghost monikers of all time, and one which surely deserves to be up in lights.

You go, Fanny.

(Source: Walks of London)


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