Real Ghost Stories…Grab a Flashlight!

My friend Tui of Mental Mosaic has organized a Halloween-themed blog carnival:

True Spooks 2011: True Ghost Stories

Here is my contribution to the Halloween festivities — three, three, three true creepy stories for the price of one!


Boiling cauldron

Boiling cauldron

When I was a teenager, I used to joke with my family that there was a man living in my closet, which was really a cubby hole that ran the length of the top floor of the house on either side of the upstairs bedrooms. I used to hear strange noises, things shuffling, falling, just weird stuff that I was always a bit too afraid to investigate in the moment.

I really did think it was possible that someone could live in there, especially if he smuggled up food from the kitchen every now and again. Did I mention my grandmother was no longer so sensitive to small noises around the house after having as many as eight people living there at a time? Hell she might’ve even just thought it was the friend of a grandchild or something grabbing food if she saw him….

I didn’t go exploring in the cubby all that often anyway, and like any good storage space, blankets and pillows were part of the mess. The Man in the Closet would even have his choice of stuffed animals, so you know, it *was* possible that there was someone in there.

Well it was all a funny joke until one day my goddaughter, who was about two years old at the time, and I were up in my bedroom. She walked over to the cubby hole door and pulled it open, probably to get my old Barbies out or something.

With a loud bang, the door pulled back and slammed shut immediately (virtually impossible to occur on its own because of a really sticky door handle) and she was left standing there, staring at the closed door with an open mouth and wide eyes.

I grabbed her and ran downstairs (greeted by laughing family members, of course). She was too young to explain what happened, but I never did hear strange noises come out of there again.


Switching locations to southern Italy, I had been in my house for a few months, just about that time when you’re used to all the natural noises a five-hundred-year-old house makes.

Well one November night, I heard footsteps on my wooden stairs, slow and steady, and heading toward my bedroom which is on the bottom floor of the three-story house. The stairs are connected by iron rails, so someone walking on them creates a very peculiar noise–the stomp against the wood, but also a ting because of the iron. I turned on the light but didn’t see anything, and eventually (eventually!) went back to sleep.

When I woke up the next morning, I was greeted by the top of a coffin propped against the house in front of me. My elderly neighbor had passed away during the night, and he was already set up in his house for a couple days of viewing before he would be buried.

I heard the footsteps for two more nights and haven’t since.


This one is from a very good friend of mine here in the village who, trust me, isn’t one to normally believe in this kind of stuff, so I sure believe him.

When he was a teenager, he was hurrying to get home after a summer night out, and so was speeding up the winding road into the village on his motorino (like a Vespa). He saw a light flash before him on the otherwise pitch black night, and realized as he got closer that it was an old man holding an old-fashioned lantern standing right in his path.

He swerved at the last minute, but hit him anyway; his bike went one way and he went the other.

As he made his way back to the bike, he looked around for the man or the light or anything, but saw nothing. He thought that maybe the man had tumbled over the side of the road, panicked, and went home.

When he got up the next morning, he asked his grandmother about the news in the village, if anything had happened the night before, but there was nothing of interest.

Later, when he told others of his story, it turns out that plenty of people around here have seen that man with the lantern, lighting up the pitch black road for late travelers home–but no one knows who he is or why he hangs around.

Have any ghost stories you’d like to share?

44 Beans of Wisdom to “Real Ghost Stories…Grab a Flashlight!”
  1. Miss Scarlett

    WOW. Your “ghost story” about the haunted closet/cubby space gave me a little chill. I was always obsessed with the supernatural when I was little, getting stacks and stacks of library books about haunted houses, ghosts, and various other creepy things.

  2. Miss Mrs...a blog of everyday delights

    creepy creepy, love it!

  3. chris & erin

    thanks for the stories 🙂 It’s amazing you had a couple to share from personal experiences

  4. Karina

    OOOH, creepy! The second story, about the stairs, is really something! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to go back to sleep though!

  5. qualcosa di bello

    ooooo! i love spooky stories. too bad the sun is brightly shining at midday as i read them. maybe i’ll take another turn tonight when we begin our celebrations of carving & seed-roasting!

    there are internet problems in eastern NC too…so i feel your posting pain!

  6. Roam2Rome

    Ciao Bella! I was wondering where you’ve been! Now I see that it’s your good friend internet playing tricks on you again 🙂

    So, what wiiill you be doing for Halloween in Italy?

  7. sognatrice

    Miss Scarlett, color me obsessed as well 🙂

    Miss Mrs, glad you enjoyed!

    Erin, you’re telling me!

    Karina, yeah, from what I remember, it was definitely a rough night….

    Qualcosa, ugh on the internet issues! Let’s hope it holds up for NaBloPoMo!

    Roamer, I really don’t plan on doing much of anything special for Halloween, but if Telecom Italia cooperates, there will be a Halloween-themed recipe 🙂

  8. Stephanie

    Ooooooh, wonderfully, creepy Halloween stories!

    I’m so glad it will turn coooool tonight for all the little ghosties tomorrow night!

    Do they DO Halloween in Italy?

  9. alyndabear

    Creepy! I have no stories, and that is a good thing, as I am a big chicken.

  10. Maryann@FindingLaDolceVita
    10.30.2007 gave me goose bumps!

  11. Figs Olives Wine

    Oh yikes! So scary – all three.
    In our ancient walled garden in Scotland – and I mean ancient: the “new” village church has grooves in the stone walls where men sharpened their arrows before going off to fight in the crusades – there was a corner that my sister and I hated. We played in the garden for hours every day, but that one corner made us fidget and fuss when we were toddlers, and later as we got older, we just plain hated to go near it. I told my father I thought a fox lived there, but I knew that wasn’t the reason. When Dad starting building a studio behind our house (he’s a painter), he went and looked at the town records of the property out of interest. It turns out that corner of our garden had been a burial ground for executed criminals in the past.

  12. Anonymous

    Ok. Here’s mine :

    I was 8 when my father died. My sister is 10 years older then me, so she was 18. When my mother woke up in the morning and realized her husband had died in his sleep, she got out of the room and met my sister who also had woken up (very unusually early for her).

    According to what i’ve been told, the dialogue went like this :

    My mother – Dad’s dead.
    My sister – I know. I felt him passing through my room as he went away.

    Sometimes we still mention that conversation in my family, as an episode with some interesting implications.

    (btw, i used “dad” as english for the italian “papà”. I realize now it sounds a bit weird in that phrase. I feel as if I should title this story “night of the living dads” )


  13. Debbie Egizio

    Very spooky stories! I used to love to watch scary movies when I was a kid but not any more. I’m too chicken!

  14. Rebecca

    whew, that last one is especially wierd!

  15. sognatrice

    Stephanie, nope, nothing going on here for Halloween 🙁

    Alyndabear, you’re not looking hard enough….

    Maryann, hee hee. All part of my plan!

    Amanda, that is too creepy. Too too creepy. They say children and animals have a greater sensitivity to these things…glad you stopped playing there!

    Luigi, wow. That is some spooky stuff, and yes, I can imagine that it’s discussed often in the family. I didn’t even write about how I think my grandfather used to play with our lights after his death…I may just have to tell that one another day 😉 Oh, and “Night of the Living Dads” is too funny!

    Debbie, I *still* love scary movies if you want to come over and watch some 🙂

    Rebecca, yeah, I think if that had happened to me, it would’ve taken a long time for me to go driving around at night by myself again….

  16. Judith in Umbria

    I’ve always been more than willing to meet a spirit and never ever have. Every time I thought something strange was happening, it wasn’t. Maybe it’s because I don’t think of it as scary that it never happens?

    Have I locked myself forever from cool ghosty things by thinking they would be fascinating?

    Ergo, all spooky stuff you will ever hear from me are made up, except for everything about Martha, whom I knew, and whose stories I heard but never experienced. So was it real or not? She’s probably the reason it never sounds scary to me.

    There was a time when if something was really lost you could say, “Martha, I’ve lost this, can you please find it?” And shortly it would turn up in a place it simply could not be. Once it was the main set of household keys– missing for months. Right after I asked, they turned up in the leg pocket of my husband’s flight suit when I laundered it. I’d laundered it innumerable times in the interim, he swore he knew nothing about how they could have been there and had not put them there. But he pooh-poohed anything to do with Martha.

  17. sognatrice

    Judith, Martha sounds downright naughty! I’ve never heard of her–being brought up Catholic, we always prayed to St Anthony to find our missing things, and he doesn’t seem to put the stuff in weird places (although often in places that I’m sure I’ve looked in three times before)….

  18. PEA

    If I have nightmares tonight, I’m blaming YOU! lol Make sure you come over for my Halloween Bash:-) Happy Halloween! xo

  19. Blue Skelton

    Great Story! The first one was my favorite.

  20. Pinkie Denise

    Love scary ghost stories and this was a great one. Love it see you tonight
    under the spooky moon. Pinkie Denise

  21. Gypsy Mermaid

    Wow! SPOOOKY stories!! thanks for the great halloween party storys!!! Happy halloween!

  22. sognatrice

    Pea, thanks so much for stopping by–your party is awesome!

    Blue Skelton, glad you enjoyed 🙂

    PD, our spooky moon is just coming out now…meet you there 😉

    Gypsy Mermaid, hope you’re having a lovely Halloween as well, and thanks for stopping by 🙂

  23. A Novelist

    Happy Halloween! 🙂

  24. Felicia

    Oh, creepy stories! Happy Halloween 🙂

  25. Giulia

    Wow, I haven’t been this excited about reading spooky stories in a long time. Thanks for the chills! Of course, my brain will work over time tonight when I try to go to bed. I’ll be thinking of all the stories I have read and will probably be too afraid to close my eyes!

  26. rochambeau

    Happy Halloween Sognatrice!!I wanted to leave you a comment on your other post, but was unable. Just to say what makes me happy is the special kind of light, the long shadows in Autumn. Your stories are intriguing!

  27. sognatrice

    Novelist, Felicia, right back at ya!

    Giulia, I know! I’ve been really into reading all these stories too…kind of forgot how much I love them. We’ll see how well I sleep tonight though!

    Rochambeau, ah the autumn light…excellent observation 🙂

  28. Cre8Tiva

    scary…have we danced yet…hope you’re having a ghoulish day…blessings, rebecca

  29. Sandra Evertson

    Great CREEPY story!
    Happy Halloween!
    Sandra Evertson

  30. Sara

    Oh, I love these! Thank you so much!

    The house we live in now is haunted, but the ghosts are not troublesome. I believe some of them are two old ladies who lived out their lives here long ago, and I believe at least one of them is one of my cats who died here. I hear him jumping down from the dining table in the window to the wooden chair next to it all the time, just like he did when he was alive.

    The first night we lived here, I felt some of the people whose house this once was welcome me. It was a physical sensation which came rushing out of one of the closets as I went to bed, and felt very kind. I have often thanked them aloud and told them to please feel free to read any of my books that they like.

  31. Leslie

    I posted pics I took in a cemetery for this “party,” and I had terrible nightmares after my day there. So did Jack, who just followed me around. And I don’t usually dream.

  32. sognatrice

    Cre8tiva, so nice to see you here 🙂

    Sandra, glad you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by!

    Sara, that is so kind of you to offer your books, and I’m glad you have nice spirits.

    Leslie, I’ve always loved cemeteries–great idea. I’ll have to post some of the local cemetery here for next year…if not sooner…hmm….

  33. Judith in Umbria

    Sogna, Martha was a real girl, sister of my good friend, who had weird talents all her life. She was killed very young and that’s when she found things for you.

    I’ve just remembered that I did actually see something strange one day in person. She was visiting sis, I dropped in. Another friend came in really upset that a big button had come off her coatdress in the city and the buttons were THE feature of that dress. She’d have to find like 12 replacement buttons.
    Martha was sitting on the sofa. She squeaked, put her hand behind a throw pillow and pulled out THE button. “Is this what you need?” We all practically fainted.

  34. sognatrice

    Judith, OK now you’ve freaked me out. Good to know that ghost stories work even after Halloween is over….


  35. Laume

    Great ghost stories. The one about the “man in the cupboard” really got to me because I had a ghost/cupboard experience from my childhood as well.

  36. Paul-ene

    Happy Halloween a day later…….I’m visiting everyone’s party. So this takes time with so many GUESTS. Thanks for sharing your story with us party goers. Enjoyed it so much. Thanks!

  37. sognatrice

    Laume, glad you enjoyed, but sorry about your creepy story from childhood!

    Paul-ene, I’m still making my rounds too…just so many stops on this party 🙂

  38. Jo Anne Owens

    Love your story and your blog! I too have had many, many experiences since I was a child…yours gave me goosebumps!
    Thanks for sharing!

  39. sognatrice

    Thanks Jo Anne! I think some of us are just susceptible to these kinds of things…lucky us 😉

  40. 10.17.2011

    Thanks so much, Michelle, for joining in. I love your creepy tales! 🙂

    I must confess that reading all those ghost stories made me a little jumpy. I could tell because a stack of books fell over while I was reading through them, and I nearly jumped out of my seat.


    michelle Reply:

    Hahaha…that jumpiness is definitely part of the fun! Now I want to watch a scary movie too……

  41. marie concetta

    Love ghost stories. Thanks for posting. Here is a link to a few more:

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks! Love ghost stories!

  1. [...] Fabio presents Ghost Stories… Grab a Flashlight! posted at Bleeding Espresso. Michelle is an Ameri...



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