White Lady of Worstead Church

In 1975, Diane and Peter Berthelot along with their 12-year-old son visited the Worstead Church in north Norfolk, U.K. Peter took a photo of his wife sitting and praying on one of the church benches, and when they reviewed the developed photos some months later, a friend of Mrs. Berthelot asked, “Who’s that sitting behind you, Di?”

The figure in the photo behind Mrs. Berthelot appears to be wearing light-colored, old-fashioned clothes and a bonnet.

The Berthelots returned to Worstead Church the next summer with the photo and showed it to Reverend Pettit, the church vicar. He explained to Diane the legend of the White Lady, of whom she had never heard. It is said that the ghost is a healer who appears when someone near is in need of healing. When she visited the church at the time of the photo, Diane was in ill health and was taking antibiotics.

Reports of the ghost date back well over 100 years. According to one story, on Christmas Eve of 1830, a man boasted a challenge to the White Lady. He said he would climb to the top of the church’s belfry and kiss her if she would appear. So up he went. When he failed to reappear after a time, friends went to search for him. They found him in the belfry, cowering in a corner, terrified. “I’ve seen her,” he told them, “I’ve seen her….” And then he died.

For a time, Mrs. Berthelot said she felt a calming tingling sensation whenever she looked at the photo, but that feeling has since subsided. Today, the church has been remodeled into a pub.

See more images of ghosts with spooky backstories at liveabout.com: Best Real Ghost Pictures Ever Taken.

Famous Witch: Mother Shipton

Mother Shipton was a feared and highly regarded English prophetess of the 16th century. Born to a mother who was also suspected to be a witch, Mother Shipton was described as hideously ugly and disfigured—so much so that the locals called her “Hag Face” and believed her father to be the Devil.

Despite her unfortunate appearance, she was said to have been England’s greatest clairvoyant and was often compared to her male contemporary Nostradamus. According to legend, she had predicted the Spanish Armada, the Great Plague of London, the Great Fire of London, the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, and some even speculate, the Internet: “around the world thoughts shall fly in the twinkling of an eye.”

Mother Shipton did not die by fire or sword like so many accused witches before and after her. Instead, she died a peaceful death and is said to have been buried on unholy ground on the outer edges of York around 1561.

Image from findagrave.com

You can visit Mother Shipton’s Cave in North Yorkshire, England.

Learn about four other real witches from history at Biography.com — Bewitched: 5 Real Witches in History.

The Addams Family Mansion

A 19th century Victorian home in Los Angeles’ West Adams District provided the basis for the Addams Family Mansion. The Addams house, located at 21 Chester Place, was built in 1888. Oddly enough, the actual house is only shown in the first episode of the first season and is visible during an opening exterior shot, and during the show’s intro reel. Unlike the Addams Mansion, the real house at 21 Chester Place only had two floors! To add the third floor and the gothic tower, the show’s production crew took a 30 x 40 inch photo of the house and had a painter create the missing details.

During its existence, the Victorian house went through a number of ownership changes, eventually winding up in the hands of Mount St. Mary’s College. The house has subsequently been demolished to make way for a recreational track.

Learn about more the real landmarks behind recognizable houses from pop culture at 5 Fictional Homes That Exist in Real Life.

Haunted Canada: The Screaming Tunnel, Niagara Falls, Canada

The Screaming Tunnel is a small limestone tunnel, running underneath what once was the Grand Trunk Railway lines (now the Canadian National Railways), located in the northwest corner of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

A local legend recounts that the tunnel is haunted by the ghost of a young girl, who after escaping a nearby burning farm building with her clothing ablaze, died within its walls. Several variants of the legend exist locally, one version has the girl set on fire by her enraged father after he loses custody of his children after a nasty divorce. Another tells of a young girl being raped inside the tunnel and her body burned to prevent any evidence from being found. All versions of these legends ends with the girl screams filling up the tunnel as she was burning to death.

Learn more about the Screaming Tunnel and how one version of the legend has become a rite of passage for local youths on Creepy Canada:

The information above about the Screaming Tunnel is from Wikipedia: Screaming Tunnel.

Haunted USA: Alcatraz Spectral Visitor

Teaching assistant Sheila Sillery-Walsh from Birmingham took the photo on her iPhone 5c when she visited the former prison in April while on holiday in San Francisco with her partner, Paul Rice.

The 48-year-old said: “Alcatraz Penitentiary is a must-see for any tourist. However as soon as we entered the prison, everything felt very eerie. I didn’t feel comfortable there.

“Whilst doing an audio-tour of the place, I casually stopped to take a snap of the empty visitation block window on my iPhone.”

The couple have tried to find out the identity of the ghostly woman in the photo by contacting staff at the Alcatraz site, but none of the old-timers could recognize the woman in the picture.

“I am so curious to know who she could be though – perhaps she was a female visitor of a prisoner who kept returning back. I would love to know why she’s shown herself in my photo.

“Weirdly when we were near that cell, a woman came on the audio tour who used to visit a prisoner. It makes you wonder.”

From DailyMail.com — The ghost of Alcatraz: Tourists spooked by photograph of young woman waiting in the notorious prison’s visitation block

Paranormal TV: The R.I.P. Files

I just finished watching season 1 of the ghost hunting show The R.I.P. Files on Prime Video and really enjoyed it. It includes many EVPs captured during creepy investigations. I particularly like that the locations they visit are accompanied by historical facts and stories, and they usually have a tour guide with them who shares stories of having encountered ghosts. I also like that, when a location does not have much ghost activity, they do another type of paranormal exercise like a seance. There are two more seasons on Prime that I look forward to watching all at once!

Haunted UK: Windsor Castle, Britain

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.