There is just something about tales of things that go bump in the night that make them appealing to readers who love to send shivers up their own spines. Since cultures from all over the world believe in ghosts, it is no surprise that these spirits from beyond feature in so many tales. Some of these tales are also ancient, dating as far back as the Old Testament and Homer’s Odyssey. Due to the popularity of ghost stories, there are many compilations available that are filled with tales of their terror. However, if you are looking for some spine tinglers that can be read just before bedtime, don’t miss out on the following five free Ghost Stories.
by Arnold Bennett
Don’t let the “Modern Fantasy” in the title fool you, The Ghost was first published in 1907 by the English author, Enoch Arnold Bennett. Nonetheless, it is the gripping tale of Carl Foster, a man who tries to make his fortune in London after becoming a doctor. While tending to the injuries of a famous tenor, Carl meets and falls in love with the lead soprano. However, things soon take on a darker twist when Carl begins experiencing strange occurrences and noticing a malignant presence everywhere.
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Fans of Frances Hodgson Burnett might be surprised to learn that this author of beloved children’s literature, such as The Secret Garden also wrote In The Closed Room, which is a ghost story. It was first published in 1904, and stars a young girl who longs for some peace and quiet around her. Her wish is granted when her parents become caretakers of a very spacious villa. While the girl explores the villa, she discovered a closed room on the top floor and eventually even finds another girl to play with. Fans of ghost stories will know where the tale is leading, but it remains an enjoyable read with a classic ghost story feel.
by Inez Haynes Irwin
Author Inez Haynes Irwin wrote a wealth of books during her lifetime, including non-fiction, short stories and nov-els. Her ghost story, Out of the Air, was published in 1921 and features an American aviator named David Lindsay. After returning from World War 2, David begins to write a biography about a novelist named Lutetia Murray and even goes as far as buying her old house. The story also features a young woman named Susannah Ayers, who is on the run from some fraudsters. The paths of both these characters eventually cross, thanks to events set in motion by someone long dead.
by Charles Willing Beale
Anyone looking for a ghost story that doesn’t just stick to the same time worn traditions will appreciate The Ghost of Guir House by Charles Willing Beale. The story opens with Paul Henley, a man from New York, receiving an invitation to a colonial house in rural Virginia. Despite the fact that the invitation wasn’t actually meant for him, Paul is sufficiently intrigued to make the trip, but what he discovers is not at all what he expected. While this tale features an old house with plenty of secrets, many readers consider this story from 1897 to be ahead of its time.
by Washington Irving
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a tale that has been retold and re-imagined many times since it was first published in 1820. However, even those who have seen the myriad of film and television variations of the story will enjoy the original short story by Washington Irving. The tale of Ichabod Crane, the superstitious schoolmaster, and his en-counter with the ghost of a headless Hessian trooper is still as chilling today as it was all those years ago. The story is also short enough that it can easily be finished before bed on a dark and stormy night.