The original Celtic holiday of Samhain included spirits of the dead returning to walk among the living. Ghost stories have been a part of Halloween since the beginning.
Halloween ghost stories can be told around a bonfire, or in a darkened living room. It doesn’t matter where they are told, as long as the atmosphere is spooky and the stories are scary.
The most famous American ghost story told on Halloween is probably The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. The ghost in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the terrifying Headless Horseman. The Headless Horseman is the ghost of a German soldier from the Revolutionary War who had his head blown off by a cannonball. The Headless Horseman is always seen riding around the isolated glen of Sleepy Hollow at midnight, looking for his missing head, and in the story, he might – or might not – have replaced his missing head with the head of Ichabod Crane and left a Jack O’Lantern behind in its place.
Another classic ghost story is The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs. Mr. and Mrs. White and their son Herbert inherit a monkey’s paw from India, which is said to grant three wishes. Mrs. White wishes for money, and within a few days, her son Herbert dies in an accident at work and she receives the money. Overcome with grief, Mrs. Herbert wishes for her son to come back from the grave, although her husband thinks it’s a bad idea.
Soon, someone is knocking at their door. Knock. Knock. Knock. Mr. White identified his son’s body, which has been buried for over a week. He knows that whatever is knocking on the door will look and be so terrifying that he can’t let him in. At the last minute, Mr. White grabs the monkey’s paw and wishes the gruesome dead Herbert back to the grave.
Some ghosts are in every culture. The mysterious “Girl in White” appears in American ghost tales as a barefoot hitchhiking girl. Whoever stops to pick her up on a lonely country road hears a sad tale of how she was abandoned on her wedding night, and just wants to get home. But by the time the driver reaches the place the girl calls home, he finds an abandoned house, and when he turns to ask if it’s the right place, the girl has vanished. In Mexico, the “Girl in White” is a beautiful girl named Consuela who dances with an eager young man at a dance. The young man rushes to tell his friends about the beautiful girl he has danced with, and they tell him that he was dancing alone. When he returns to Consuela, she vanishes into mist and he realizes that he has been dancing with a ghost.
Edgar Allan Poe’s famous story The Tell-Tale Heart is always scary, especially to those who hear it for the first time. A poor young man moves in with an older man, who is very kind and generous, but whose appearance has been ruined by illness. The young man begins to fear and hate the old man’s ugly “vulture” eye. Every night for eight nights, the young man creeps in the old man’s bedroom with thoughts of murder, in order to get rid of the old man’s ugly, scary eye. Each time, he is stopped because the old man’s horrible eye is closed. On the eighth night, a beam of moonlight falls on the old man’s face, and the eye is open!
The young man smothers the old man, to silence his cries and his extremely loud beating heart, racing in terror. The young man buries the old man under the floorboards in the kitchen.
When police come to question the young man, he is pleasant and reasonable at first, answering all of their questions. As the officers stay, the young man hears a heart beating under the floorboards. It grows louder and louder until the young man can’t take it any longer and leaps up, confessing to the murder and asking how they can’t hear the old man’s heart beating as loudly as it is.
I’m looking for an old tale called the murder of Herbert Smear.
I had the book but my niece stole valuable items when she visited last March. She claimed she came to help me? Anymore help from her might have been right over a cliff. Anyways this book on clean children’s games at parties I had since I was 5 by a sitter in Washington state in 1967. It’s a Halloween tales done with guest blindfolded in a circle. As you tell a tale of poor Herbert’s fate as you pass his remains. His eyes are peeled grapes, hand a latex glove filled with wet sand, his windpipe matacotti noodles strung together, his spinal cord once gave courtly bow’s which is spools of threat strung together, his brain is oat meal in jello mold, his blood vessels red angel hair spaghetti noodles with fake blood, his ears 2 old dried apricots, his intestines is long latex balloons filled with wet sand and koolwhip and blood some green and yellow food coloring for puss effects, piece of rabbit fur skin palette for soft and silky was his hair. Chicken bones have been placed inside the hand with wet sand for boney effect in the glove.
The narratator sits with flashlight red cloth over their head for spooky effects and creepy music or sounds play in the background.
Has any one got the tale of Herbert smear?
Starts out saying: Listen my children and you shall her about the Murder of poor old Herbert Smear. It happened on a night like tonight so dark and drear. I have with me poor Herbert’s remains and now I give you Herbert’s brains, if only Herbert had been more wise, his head might still contain these eyes. And you hand people his eyes of peeled grapes. I just don’t remember the tale.
It could be called “The Murder of Herbert Smear”. I can’t find anything more about it, haven’t seen a hard copy or anything but the words:
The Murder of Herbert Smear
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
About the murder which happened here
Upon a night both dark and drear
To a poor old man called Herbert Smear.
I have with me the man’s remains
Of them, I pass you now his brains!
His eyes were blue, his skin was fair
And soft and silky was his hair.
(dried peaches and/or apricots)
As the murderer struck the blow unheard,
This windpipe forced out Smear’s last word.
(cooked large macaroni)
At night Smear used to shake and shiver
So now we pass to you his liver.
Herbert used to be warm and nestled;
Now we give you some empty cold blood vessels.
For he was a man who liked all things yummy.
Now we give you to examine his tummy.
The old man had a drinking buddy named Sidney.
All this drinking ruined the old man’s kidney.
The ghastly grin of death did wreath
The set of gleaming, pearly teeth.
(kernels of dried corn)
Slowly, Smear’s poor corpse grew cold.
I give you now his hand to hold.
(rubber glove stuffed with cold wet sand)
If only Smear had been more wise
His head might still contain his eyes.
Although they are dry and brittle now,
Smear’s backbone once made courtly bows.
(empty spools strung on cord)
This sound should melt a heart of stone:
The mournful rattle of Smear’s old bones.
(rattle of chains)
Now this is the end of our ghostly story.
We hope that you took it for all of its glory.