Few things in this world are more terrifying and tragic than the ghosts of children. From stories of untimely deaths, to crybaby bridges and demons masquerading as children, nothing can be more haunting than to be faced with a ghostly specter in the form of a child. Below are seven of the most terrifying stories of children still trapped on Earth, yearning for attention, long after their time in this world has passed.
1. Dead Children’s Playground
A cemetery is the last place you’d expect to find a children’s playground, but that’s where you’ll find the aptly nicknamed ‘Dead Children’s Playground’ in Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, Alabama. Locals say that after the sun goes down the children who are buried nearby come out to play. Another legend tells of several child abductions that devastated the area in the 1960’s. Many of the bodies were discovered around the area where the playground now sits.
There have been numerous reports of paranormal phenomena witnessed at the playground. From the swings moving by themselves to the ghostly sounds of children’s laughter echoing from the area when there is no-one is there. So if you fancy trip to see if the legends are true, prepare to stay up late because it’s said that the paranormal activity is most intense between 10pm and 3am.
2. San Antonio’s Railroad Children
The film Stand By Me certainly taught us that railroad tracks can be deadly and often carry dark histories of their own. One such railroad in San Antonio, Texas was site of a fatal train wreck in the 1930s that involved a school bus full of children, at least according to local legend. The story goes that it was an unusually rainy day in Texas and a school bus became stalled on the train tracks as a result. The train driver had trouble seeing the bus until it was too late and, despite his best efforts to stall the train, collided with the bus. Ten children died in the accident and are said to still haunt the area.
According to local tradition, if you idle your car on the railroad tracks you’ll see several pairs of small handprints as they attempt to push your car out of the way to safety.
3. The Andrew Jackson Hotel
New Orleans has always been a magnet for stories of the paranormal. It’s only fitting with the city’s illustrious facades, dark history, and millions of citizens who have come and gone. And any place in the city associated with famous names in American history are likely to be a place of haunting. Enter the Andrew Jackson Hotel in the French Quarter. Long before it was a hotel, the building was a boarding school and courthouse that saw some dark decades.
It is the ghost of five boys who perished in a fire during the building’s time as a boarding school that haunt guests today. The boys are said to be heard playing in the courtyard, often waking guests up at night, and many have heard the echoes of a child’s laughter down the hallway. It seems they enjoy playing harmless pranks on those who stay at the hotel and offer a good fright for any resident unlucky enough to see them.
4. The Radiant Boy
In 1803, the Rector of Greystoke and his wife were invited to stay in Corby Castle in Cumberland, England, but left abruptly on the second day of their visit after the rector claimed to see a shimmering, glowing boy cloaked in gold in his bedroom. It’s said that it is very common for guests to see the “radiant boy” at night, who after being spotted disappears by floating away and up the chimney. In fact, he isn’t even the only ghost of his kind in the area. Cumberland and Northumberland are said to be peppered with sightings of glowing boys.
The area was a place of carnage and bloodshed when the Vikings conquered the area hundreds of years ago and, as such, traces were left on the land. The boys match similar stories in Germanic folklore and it is believed that these spirits traveled into the land with the Vikings when they settled there.
5. Old Stone House
The Old Stone House, despite its generic sounding name, is not generic at all when it comes to homes. It is located in Washington, DC, specifically in Georgetown, where it was built in 1765 several decades before the colonies became the United States. The house was originally constructed by the Layman family but it passed hands and owners several times over the centuries, many of which put additions or construction projects onto the house.
Of the many ghosts said to walk the halls, one is that of a young African-American boy whose laughter can be heard in the halls at night. And sometimes, if it’s a particularly dark night, the laughter of several other former inhabitants can be heard in the halls and bedrooms around the house.
6. Children at the Spy House
Port Monmouth, New Jersey is home to a house many have said holds spirits who refuse to leave the Earth behind for the afterlife. This home is said to be one of the most haunted in America, originally constructed as a tavern during colonial times and utilized by the British during the Revolutionary War. The story goes that American turncoats would often use the tavern as a place to meet with British officers and inform them of intel on the Union army.
There are plenty of stories about ghosts here, including some that say the famous pirate, Captain Morgan, hid treasure on the premises and still guards it after death. But many claim to hear the wailing of an infant child and see the specter of its mother as she desperately searches the house looking for her child.
7. Black-eyed children of Cannock Chase
This is possibly the most terrifying story on this list if only for the visuals alone. These “black-eyed children” are said to be found in many parts of the world and those who have seen them claim they’re not children at all but something far more evil. They resemble children between the ages of 5 and 12 with the exception that the entirety of their eyes has been doused out in black.
Since the early 1960s reports of black-eyed children have regularly been sighted in and around Cannock Chase, England. In 2015 it became national news when a group of paranormal investigators spotted and caught on camera an alleged black-eyed girl in a field near the area. While not much is known about who or what these children are and where they come from, what is known for certain is that witnesses who report encounters, often feel that the children were somehow supernatural and extremely dangerous though they could not explain why.
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