Here’s a roundup of 18th-century ghost stories that were shared amongst our ancestors. Stories of ghosts and the supernatural have excited and spooked humankind for centuries. Mysterious accounts of spirits, ghouls, ghosts, and creeps can be found as far back as Homer’s Odyssey and the Bible’s Old Testament alike.
The supernatural stories of today, like Slenderman, aren’t far off from the stuff that scared people like us many years ago.
Make sure to share your own stories and experiences in the comments! Now read on for a few haunted and historical tales from the 1700s.
12. The Cock Lane Ghost
This haunting attracted the London public’s attention in 1762. After a man’s wife died during childbirth, he later entered a relationship with her sister, Fanny. Knocking was heard throughout their Cock Lane residence over the years and long after they moved out; the story goes that his ex-wife’s ghost was the source. Many séances were held and a courtroom trial even took place as people failed to determine the source of the knocking.
11. A Phantom Raven
In the mid-1700s, villagers of West Drayton in England heard screams and knocking sounds coming from the town church. Residents also spotted a raven flying throughout the church and its vaults. When a group of men and boys were able to chase and smack down the raven, it hit the floor and immediately disappeared. The raven reportedly continued to fly around its usual spots.
10. The Headless Nun
The ghost of the Headless Nun was likely a French woman sent to Canada to join a convent in the 1700s. The woman’s life came to a tragic end when she was decapitated by unknown assailants. Her spirit wanders on a never-ending journey, looking for her missing head.
9. Black Dog
In 1751, a farmer turned down a beggar’s pleas for food; the woman said a sort of curse to him in reply. When the man and his cows fell ill, he came to believe that she was a witch. He and his neighbors chose their own course of action and mobbed the woman and her husband, forcing them into a pond where they drowned. A chimney sweeper involved in the killing was hanged and supposedly haunts the execution spot to this day. Witnesses describe his ghost as an immense black dog with eyes like balls of fire.
8. The Hinton Ampner Hauntings
Several families lived in England’s Hinton Ampner house over the years. William Henry Ricketts moved in with his family in the mid-18th century and soon experienced supernatural events. Doors and windows were slammed, footsteps were heard in the hallways, and more. Nobody was able to solve the mystery and a small skull was later discovered in a box underneath the first floor.