Happy Halloween lovelies! It’s that time to cuddle up with a spooky story or movie, dress crazy and eat far too much candy. We live in a fast-paced world, but we wanted to take a pause to celebrate with y’all today. And since our team lives around the world, we all wanted to share our favorite scary stories. Get ready for chills and thrills, because these stories are true, every word!
We used to live in a house in the Philippines that was known to have a woman who wore black, or as the Filipinos called them: the ‘black lady’ (mostly referring to the clothes she wore), that is often seen by those who have a 3rd eye, standing by the Mango Tree near our house’s fence.
One day, 11-year-old me was busy watching TV in the upstairs living room. Out of nowhere, I see a black figure gliding towards the bathroom (yes, gliding, like no footsteps). I didn’t freak or anything. I just assumed it was my mom going to the loo as we were the only two people in the house at that time. A few minutes later, my mom comes up the stairs to get into her room.
– queue freakout –
Ever wonder the origin of the jack-o’-lantern? Old Irish folklore tells of Stingy Jack, who got drunk with and later made a deal with the Devil. When Jack died after years of borrowed living, God decided he wasn’t fit for heaven. The Devil, meanwhile, kept his promise to never claim his soul for hell. So Jack roamed the earth with a single burning coal, which he put inside a turnip for a lantern. After, Jack was called “Jack of the Lantern. The Irish carved scary faces into beets, potatoes and turnips after to scare away Jack and other spirits.
I haven’t had many ‘spooky’ things happen to me. The only thing I can remember is strange sleep-paralysis induced hallucinations of Abraham Lincoln’s ghost roaming around my room, from when I was younger. I still can’t look at a picture of Old Abe without getting a little freaked out!
Did you know in the old days, they played fortune telling games on Halloween? Games like bobbing for apples were supposed to predict when and to whom you would marry. Since it was one of the biggest holidays of the year, mnay young people used the opportunity to find a partner. Puts a whole new spin to bobbing for apples, doesn’t it?
I live in a cabin in the woods. Well, sort of. More like a 100-year-old farmhouse on land that’s been in my family more than four generations. Like any old home, this place is riddled with stories and ghosts. At the far end of our property is a Native American burial ground. The Old San Antonio Road runs right behind our house, where hundreds of pioneers and legends like Davy Crockett and Sam Houston used to enter Texas before we were a country. We haven’t always lived on our family land. For years after my great-grandmother passed, a family of renters abused and tore up the place. When we finally kicked them out of the rent house, they had left threats and curses written on the walls. Sounds like a Southern Gothic novel, but it’s all true every word.
My childhood was spent with my family rebuilding this place. In the early years, conditions were so bad we basically camped inside the torn up farmhouse. We kept a burn pile near the old rent house. When night came we would sit around the fire, beneath a sea of stars and tell stories about the old folks and the lives they lived. One night, most everyone had gone to bed, save a few of us. The conversation fell to the crackling of the fire when from the abandoned rent house we heard a slow knock, knock. The few of us who were left outside stopped and looked at each other. We sort of laughed it off. Until the sound came again, from a different part of the house, knock, knock. My brother and one of his friends rose to investigate with a flashlight and a rifle (because this is East Texas.) I lingered behind while they entered the rent house. Almost the moment they entered the sound came again, louder, KNOCK, KNOCK. The guys stuck their heads up the attic and they found nothing. No animals, no drifter who had wandered in from the woods, looking for a place to sleep. Nothing.
That’s only one story, but I can’t walk past that rent house without feeling like someone is watching me to this day. There are places in the world like that, places that raise the hair at the back of your neck and send chills down your spine, places where bad people did bad things once, places best left alone.
Did you know, some early forms of trick-or-treating included men and boys parading from door to door begging for coins? Most of these people actually needed the money. The tradition was stopped in the 1930’s, but it re-appeared in the latter part of the century to keep kids from pulling Halloween pranks. 😉
So my eldest sister was studying at a university in the Philippines. Her uni looked like it was in the middle of the forest since it was filled with so much greenery. We had to go through this road that had large trees on the sides, and one night as we were driving home from our weekly visit to her dorm. It looked pitch dark save for the headlights from my mom’s car. It was Naj, my little brother, my mom, and my cousin in the car with us (at least that’s what I could remember). They were joking around saying how they say a White Lady in the middle of the road. “Let’s take a photo to see,” said my cousin. I was terrified of ghosts. I didn’t like to be scared or startled by all of these supernatural suspicious, but at the time I wanted to be brave and encouraged her to take the photo, despite my sweaty palms and beating chest.
*Snap* went the camera shutter of her old phone.
When we took a peek at the photo, I felt my face drain of blood. For what we saw in that photo, in the middle of a dark road surrounded by tall trees, was a white figure. And when we looked back up to the road, we saw nothing. I remember trying to find that white figure so I can really see it with my own eyes, at the same time was hoping I would see nothing.
Still feeling a bit brave I asked her to send me that photo and later that day, I made it my wallpaper on my old Nokia phone (don’t recall the model). Every time I would look at my phone, a chill would run up my spine but I wanted to be brave since we were living in a country with strong paranormal activity at the time. Eventually, I was too freaked out and began to hate the feeling of seeing that on my screen and knowing that there was something there that night, and we caught evidence.
I had no way of transferring that photo to a now compatible device and the photo of the White Lady was gone forever, but the image still remains in my mind. Clear and pixelated as ever with the Nokia phone resolution.
Ever wonder why we wear costumes on Halloween? Ancient Celtic tribes in France and Germany wore costumes during Samhain of animal heads and skins to connect with the dead. This practice (thankfully) evolved into the modern tradition of dressing up in scary costumes, to fool spirits into thinking we’re one of them.
When I was in high school and my parents were in India for some work, my best friend Sabah had come over so we could watch a movie together. We used to live in a villa that had a garden all around it. So outside my bedroom was a garden area as well, to which the access was from my brother’s room which was adjacent to my room. I had a window looking out to the garden. And when I say garden, I hope you’re not picturing a beautiful green landscaped beauty. It was just soil and mud and there was a date tree and a few plants there. This area also had an outside door access. So it was walled off from the outside, with a door in the corner and you could come into that door from the side of the house if you wanted to. My 70+ grandmother was the only other person in the house that night. This house anyways was spooky as we also had a terrace upstairs that had an outside access as well. My younger brother Arif would always say that he heard noises coming from upstairs at night. And a few times, he had said that he felt there was someone in the garden area outside his room.
So that night, after watching Bridget Jones’s Diary, my grandmother tells me and Sabah, “There’s someone in the garden outside. Check. There’s someone there. I heard a noise.” Now this was really scary because if the curtains are closed in my room, you can’t tell if anyone is in the garden area. And we were just two teenage girls at home, alone with my old grandma. My grandmother kept insisting that we open the curtains and see who’s there. Me and Sabah went into my room, looked at each other with fear in our eyes, and said, “Let’s do this. We have to.” We both each pulled a curtain aside. And….
There was nothing there. No one. No footsteps. Obviously, this was an old woman’s mind having hallucinations. (She used to have a lot of hallucinations, by the way. She was very old and her mind was like a flickering candle). But I’ll never forget the fear I felt in my heart when my dadima (Hindi word for grandma) asked us to check and the fear we girls felt as we stood ready to open the curtains.
Did you know the word witch comes from wicce, an Old English word meaning “wise woman?” These women were highly respected once upon a time and according to tradition, held one of their two biggest meetings on Halloween night.