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

Shakespeare sure hit the nail on the head when he wrote that hell "hath no fury like a woman scorned."

Throughout history, scorned, beaten, tortured and persecuted women have returned - some with better reason than others - to haunt the living. Now, centuries later, it's time to hear their stories.

Some of them are truly chilling, others are a little disgusting. Whatever the case, you can be sure that they pay testament to the fact that life truly is stranger than fiction.

Let's start with a recent ghost sighting at the famously haunted Dudley Castle, which scared one family witless:

The Grey Lady

Earlier this month, the Harper family were on a day out to Dudley castle when they took a pretty innocuous picture of a pretty view across the lawn. When Amy Harper zoomed in to get a better look, however, she noticed a strange figure in one of the doorways.

The Harpers suspect that the figure above is in fact The Grey Lady - the most famous spirit to haunt the castle. She's the ghost of Dorothy Beaumont, wife of Dudley Castle's Royalist second-in-command during the Civil Wars.

After her child died at only a few months old, Dorothy herself died of grief a few months later. Her dying wish to be buried with her child was ignored and she's said to haunt the castle searching for her lost baby. The Harpers are just one of hundreds of sightings of Dorothy Beaumont and her miserable plight.

(Source: Daily Mail)

The White Lady of Muncaster Castle

This sunny-looking places is Muncaster Castle, which happens to be one of the most haunted places in Europe. It's said that in the 1800s some local boys kidnapped a foul-mouthed girl called Mary Bragg and murdered her on the main road to the castle.

Now Muncaster's 'White Lady,' she reputedly haunts the grounds and visitors have reported experiencing a strange presence in the house. Overnight residents in some of the rooms have felt her touching their faces and scratching their skin.

(Source: Muncaster Castle)

Olive Thomas

The actress who starred in the film that coined the term "Flapper," Olive Thomas was an icon of the heady Jazz Age. But, like many of her contemporaries, she met a sticky end.

Thomas drank her husband's syphilis medication, supposedly accidentally, which caused her death five days later. She's said to haunt the New Amsterdam Theater in New York, where she used to perform as part of the Ziegfield Follies. It's tradition for stagehands to say "Goodnight, Olive" before leaving the theater.

(Source: Broadway Scene)

Delphine LaLaurie

Delphine LaLaurie received interest last year when it was reported that she was the inspiration behind Kathy Bates's horrid character in American Horror Story: Coven. But the reality is much worse.

LaLaurie was a New Orleans socialite and hostess who in 1843 suffered an awful fire in her home. When people came to help, however, they discovered a chamber full of slaves hung up by the neck and scarred with deep whipping wounds. LaLaurie was driven out of town for her crimes and died in Paris.

Today, she's said to haunt her New Orleans home and has been sighted holding a whip and sneering at children and babies. Nice.

(Source: Mental Floss)

Bloody Mary

Although this legend's link to the real-life Mary Queen of Scots is tenuous, sightings of this spook have historical precedent and happen all over the world.

The old story goes that if you stand in front of a mirror and say her name three times, a female apparition will appear to you. In some versions she's malevolent, in some friendly. But in many cases, she's reported to become abusive and even violent. In others, she appears covered in blood.

Theories around the origin of the story include the aforementioned link to Queen Mary I, and a link to one of the witches burnt in during the Salem witch trials.

(Source: Snopes)


This is a story so frightening it caused mass hysteria in the '70s in Japan; so much so that schools advised children to travel in large groups or to be escorted by adults.

The legend goes that Kuchisake-Onna was a woman who's face was horribly slit by her husband. Her ghost appears to children with a surgical mask on and asks them if she's pretty. If they say no, she stabs to death them with scissors. If they say yes, she mutilates their faces to look like her.

The story has inspired horror films and anime, but her ghost is still said appear to children in Japan today.

(Source: Mental Floss)


It's safe to say that most of these women probably suffered a terrible ordeal...but I think we can conclude that they definitely got their revenge!


Which female ghost story spooks you the most?


Latest from our Creators