The best-known ghost story from ancient Egypt is known, simply, as A Ghost Story but sometimes referenced as Khonsemhab and the Ghost. The story dates from the late New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1570 – c.1069 BCE) and specifically the Ramesside Period (1186-1077 BCE).
An excerpt from W.K. Simpson’s The Literature of Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Stories, Instructions, Stelae, Autobiographies, and Poetry:
Then the High Priest of Amun Khonsemhab said to him: “Please tell me your name, your father’s name, and your mother’s name that I may offer to them and do for them all that has to be done for those in their position.” The august spirit then said to him: “Nebusemekh is my name, Ankhmen is my father’s name, and Tamshas is my mother’s name.”
Then the High Priest of Amun-Re, King of the Gods, Khonsemhab said to him; “Tell me what you want that I may have it done for you. And I shall have a sepulcher prepared anew for you and have a coffin of gold and zizyphus-wood made for you, and you shall [rest therein] and I shall have done for you all that is done for one who is in your position.”
The august spirit then said to him: “No one can be overheated who is exposed to wintry wind, hungry without food… It is not my desire to overflow like the inundation, not…not seeing my tomb… I would not reach it. There have been made to me promises…”
Now after [he] had finished speaking, the High Priest of Amun-Re, King of the Gods, Khonsemhab, sat down and wept beside him with a face full of tears. And he addressed the spirit, saying, “How badly you fare without eating or drinking, without growing old or becoming young. Without seeing sunlight or inhaling northerly breezes. Darkness is in your sight every day. You do not get up early to leave.”
Learn more about the origins of this ghost story and read the story’s full transcript at A Ghost Story of Ancient Egypt.
Wouldn’t want to be ya!
Windsor Castle is perhaps the most haunted of all the royal British residences, with as many as 25 ghosts reported. The ghost of Elizabeth I has been seen by several members of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II and her sister Margaret. Often seen in the library, her footsteps can be heard on the bare floorboards, before her striking presence appears. The ghost of George III has been witnessed, looking longingly out of the room beneath the library, where he was confined during his several periods of madness. Henry VIII is said to haunt the deanery cloisters, often heard hobbling around, the sound of his ulcerated leg thudding on the floor as he walks. On the grounds in Windsor Great Park, the ghost of Herne has been reported. He was a huntsman for King Richard III. If you see his ghost anywhere in the park beware, as legend has it that you’ll be struck by misfortune.
Read about other haunted royal British residences at Ghosts of the past: 5 haunted royal residences.
Baba Yaga is one of the most famous characters in Slavic mythology. The old crooked-nosed hag is as evil as she looks. She is both a force of nature and a cruel old woman who eats people who dwell into the deep forest. Her name comes from the Slavic word for grandmother “Baba.” The meaning of the word “Yaga” is not certain but some think it means “wicked.”
In some myths, Baba Yaga gives tasks to her victims and, depending on the successful completion of their mission, they are either eaten or rewarded. She is not only an evil villain but, in many cases, she could even help them, like in the Russian story of “Vasilisa the Beautiful,” where Baba Yaga gives Vasilisa tasks to accomplish in trade for help.
Read more about Baba Yaga at Baba Yaga – The Mythical Forest Witch from Slavic Folk Tales.