Is that a shadow on the wall, or the image of a disturbed ghost that roams the halls of your home?
Real ghost stories are all around us, and every day, people share their paranormal experiences. From weird and unexplainable to borderline demonic, there have been countless tales of restless spirits and evil-doers making their presence known from another plane of existence. Let’s take a closer look at some of the world’s most famous ghosts.
The Queen Mary Ship
The Queen Mary is one of the most talked about hauntings in the world. A colossal ship, the Queen Mary was bigger and faster than the Titanic.
Today, it sits in Long Beach Harbor, and guests can step aboard to tour the ship or spend the night – if they dare.
The ship made its maiden voyage in 1936 and for years, played host to the world’s most rich and famous people, including Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Sir Winston Churchill, and George and Ira Gershwin.
All was going well for the Queen Mary until World War II broke out. Luxury travel ceased, the ship was then transformed into a troopship. She held up to 5,500 passengers, and by the time the war had ended, she had carried over 800,000 troops and traveled over half a million miles. Queen Mary has seen her fair share of trials and tribulations – and she’s attracted her fair share of ghosts, too.
Over the last 60 years, it’s estimated that the ship has seen more than 49 reported deaths. No doubt the ship has also been through the terrors of war. The Queen Mary is believed to be one of the most haunted places in the world, and over 150 known spirits are said to lurk on the ship.
The ship’s engine room is said to be the epicenter of paranormal activity, and sits 50 feet below sea level. The ship’s famous “Door 13” crushed at least two men to death throughout the ship’s history. The most recent death was in 1966 when the door crushed an 18-year old man. That man, dressed in overalls, is often seen walking the Shaft Alley before disappearing at Door 13.
Some other haunted areas of the ship include:
- The second and first class pool rooms
- The Queen’s Salon
- First class staterooms
Guests not only see ghosts, but hear them too. People report knocking sounds, the slamming of doors and high pitched screams. Some will feel cold spots in rooms, or strange smells reminiscent of times past.
Annabelle Real Doll
Have you seen The Conjuring? This horror flick topped the box office in 2013, but the story isn’t the working of a pro Hollywood writer. It’s based on a true story; one that Annabelle Real Doll is very much a part of.
The story became famous after Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated the claims that a seemingly harmless Raggedy Ann doll was inhabited by an “inhuman spirit”. The story (or nightmare) began in 1970. A 28-year-old woman received a Raggedy Ann doll as a gift from her mother. Things started to get strange as she noticed the doll changing positions on the bed. Sometimes the doll would be on its side; other times, its legs crossed.
As the days passed, the woman and her roommate started finding little pieces of parchment paper scattered throughout the house. On those pieces of paper were scribblings of eerie messages, like “Help me. Help us.” The strange thing is – the two didn’t have any parchment paper in the house.
The woman would sometimes find the doll in different rooms of the house. At times, it appeared to be bleeding.
One day, a male friend was napping in the home and woke up to the doll staring at him. He began feeling as if he was being strangled. Later, they found scratch wounds all over his upper body.
Not knowing where else to turn, the two roommates held a séance and hired a medium. That’s when they were introduced to Annabelle Higgins, a 7-year- old girl who lived and died on the property before it was turned into apartments.
According to the medium, the little girl felt comforted by the two women. She wanted to stay with them and to be loved by them. The roommates gave Annabelle approval to continue inhabiting the doll, but things soon took a turn for the worse.
Ed and Lorraine Warren took an interest in the case, and concluded that the doll was being inhabited by an inhuman presence. According to the Warrens, the spirit didn’t want to inhabit the doll; it was looking for a human host.
The Warrens removed the doll from the home, and Ed told his wife to avoid the highways on the trip home. He was right to warn her as the doll had to be sprinkled with holy water several times just to calm it down.
The Warrens did not recommend performing an exorcism, as this would have required the help of a Catholic priest. However, during the séance, the real owner of the doll, Carolyn Perron, was temporarily possessed. Her daughter Andrea secretly witnessed the frightening event and said she heard her mother speaking in a language she’s never heard before, and in a voice that wasn’t her own. At some point, her chair levitated, and Carolyn was thrown across the room.
The real Annabelle Doll is now kept locked up tight inside of a glass case in the Warrens’ occult museum in Connecticut. Warning signs are posted all over the case, asking visitors not to touch the glass or open it by any means.
One visitor made the mistake of taunting the doll and was thrown out of the museum. He died on a motorcycle crash on the way home. The doll is also said to have tormented the souls of many people who have encountered it. On three separate occasions, people who taunted the doll’s abilities were killed in accidents on the way home from the museum.
Lorraine Warren says that of all the things in her occult museum, the Annabelle doll is the one thing she’d be most afraid of. She regularly has a priest come by the museum to perform a binding spell and keep Annabelle’s spirit locked up tight. Lorraine also stated that it would irresponsible of her to release the doll back into the world. She’s said on numerous occasions that destroying the vessel (doll) wouldn’t destroy the spirit.
With the rag doll locked up in a glass case, Lorraine can keep tabs on the spirit and knows where it resides.
Doris Bither – The Real Entity
The case of Doris Bither is one of the strangest in paranormal history, and according to some, one of the biggest. Others believe that it’s a mere case of a poltergeist outbreak, while others say it’s a full-fledged haunting.
Doris is a single mother and was living in California with her four children when unexplainable events started happening. Doris came into contact with Dr. Barry Taff and Kerry Gaynor after she overhead them talking about the paranormal in a local bookstore. The two came out to Doris’s home, thinking this would be another routine call. But they would never forget what they saw. Even a limitless mind could not be prepared for what came next.
Doris claimed that there were 4 entities haunting the home – all males. And at times, the spirits would beat her and rape her. Dr. Taff found claims of “spectral rape” hard to believe until he saw the bruises on her inner thighs. Her sons also shared their accounts of their mother being pushed, shoved and thrown across the room. These beings would attack Doris whenever, and wherever they felt like.
According to reports, Doris’s childhood was a troubled one. She suffered abuse from both of her parents, and she was also involved in abusive relationships with men. She was a known alcoholic, and would often come home intoxicated. Her intoxication was almost like a light bulb, attracting the entities the moment she walked through the door.
Dr. Taff and Gaynor both reported severe negativity from Doris and her eldest sons. Tensions were often high, and Doris did not have a healthy relationship with her sons. Reports of Doris’s experience being the work of poltergeists is stemmed from the negative energy her and her sons put out as well as her abusive past. It’s believed she either attracted the energy, or created it psychosomatically.
To record the events that Doris described, Dr. Taff returned to her home with a large crew. They brought along high speed cameras, and all crammed into Doris’s tiny room. To ramp up activity, the team had Doris provoke or conjure the spirits. Doris began swearing and yelling at the entities. As she began yelling, a green mist appeared in the corner and lights began appearing in the room. In seconds, the team witnessed what looked like a man’s torso appearing out of the mist. No facial details could be recognized, but the team could tell that the entity was male.
Despite having high-speed cameras, none of this activity was caught on film.
However, the team did manage to capture one stunning image of Doris sitting on the bed with an arc of light over her head. What makes the image so intriguing is the fact that the arc is round despite it being so close to the corners of the room. When the eldest son played music that spoke of devil worshipping, the activity appeared to intensify.
The team continued to investigate the home for two and a half months. Over time, the activities diminished. The team noticed that if Doris would come up sober, the entities would often not manifest.
Eventually, Doris would leave her home in Culver City, CA. It’s not known if she ever got help for her alcoholism. She moved to Texas, and then back to Torrance and Lawndale, CA. Doris stated that the entities followed the family wherever they went, which added to the poltergeist theory. Doris even claimed that she got pregnant from one of the entities, but medical tests showed she was not pregnant and could have been suffering from either a hysterical or ectopic pregnancy.
Doris hadn’t been heard from since the late 80s and 90s. She passed away in 1995 from pulmonary arrest.
Sorrel Weed House
In Savannah, Georgia sits a home that’s rumored to be haunted by ghosts. It’s one of the paranormal hotspots in Georgia, and it was built back in 1837 by Frances Sorrel, a wealthy plantation owner.
From the outside, the home has the southern charm that people associate with the state, but inside lurks something more sinister.
The Sorrel Weed House is the largest home in Savannah. It’s been featured in several TV programs because of its haunted past.
The home was designed by the famous architect Charles Cluskey. Francis Sorrel, the home’s original owner, was from the West Indies and married shortly after moving to the United States. He wed a young Lucinda Moxley that was a 17-year-old who was from an incredibly wealthy family. Lucinda died just five years into the marriage in 1827. Two years later, Francis would marry again. This time, he wed his dead wife’s younger sister, Matilda, who was just 23 years old.
Francis’s shipping business grew exponentially in 1829, and he quickly became one of the city’s wealthiest men. But Francis was far from perfect. He had an ongoing affair with a female slave named Molly. Reportedly, he went as far as having a living quarters built for her just above the carriage house, so they could enjoy their private moments together. However, the two were discovered by Matilda one night. Angered by her husband’s betrayal, Matilda committed suicide by jumping off the second story balcony of the home. Just a few weeks later, Molly was found hanging from a noose in the carriage house.
This is the tale that guides tell guests when they tour the haunted Savannah home, but is it true? Some argue yes, while others say it’s implausible because of a conflicting timeline.
People who visit the home often speak of hearing noises of war, including marching bands. Some will hear people talking, laughing and playing music although there is no one in the room.
Are Ghosts Real?
Haunted stories like those listed above are terrifying and chilling. Even if you’re a skeptic, these tales leave you wondering if ghosts truly are real. While science can’t say for sure if these spectral entities exist (The Nephilim are a classic example), just one encounter with the paranormal is more than enough to make you a believer.