13 Ghost Stories to Give You Goosebumps

We don't recommend reading these spine-tingling tales before bed!

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Ghost stories - skeleton key
Photo: Kai Keisuke/Shutterstock

The Architect’s Key

There was once an ingenious man named Edward who was so wealthy he designed and built his own perfect house. He lived in it for many years until he eventually passed away. A new family soon came to live in the house, but whenever they went into the basement—where Edward’s personal study had been—they would get the feeling that someone was watching them. One day, the father of the new family decided to fix up one of his old jackets, which every tailor in town had told him was beyond repair. So, he went down to the old study, lay his jacket on a chair, then tried to see if there was anything in the old desk that could help him mend it. But the drawers were all locked and he couldn’t find a key anywhere. The next morning, he came back down to find the key on the desk, all of the drawers open, and his jacket completely fixed.

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Ghost stories - teddy bear
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The Ghost in the Hall

Four young women moved into an old-fashioned apartment together (you know the type, with squeaky floorboards). A month after they moved in, one of the girls realized that her favourite stuffed teddy bear was missing. The others all said they hadn’t touched it or seen it. Weeks went by, and she almost forgot about her teddy when something strange happened. She opened the door to one of the closets they hardly ever used, and there on the top shelf sat her furry friend. All of her roommates swore they had no idea how it happened. Now whenever the teddy bear goes missing for a few days, she knows exactly where to find it.

If our tales have you spooked, consider these ghost stories with totally logical explanations.

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Ghost stories - running faucet
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The Lake Inside the House

A young bachelor at the beginning of his career became very successful very quickly. So, he bought himself his first house. One morning he awoke to the sound of running water. He rushed to the bathroom and saw that the bathtub faucet was running on full blast. He was perturbed by this, as he lived all alone. A week later it happened again, only this time it wasn’t just one faucet, but all of the faucets in the house. The young man called a repairman to fix the pipes and the water damage. But the pipes weren’t broken. The repairman—a local—had a scared look on his face. “What’s wrong?” the bachelor asked. “The woman who lived here before you,” said the repairman, “she drowned in that bathtub.”

Read up on more haunted house mysteries.

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Ghost stories - lit candle
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When the Candle Burns

Three little girls were having a sleepover one night when they decided to try to host a seance. One of the girls, Clara, recently lost her grandpa and wanted to see if she could reach out to and talk to his spirit. The three girls gathered some candles and some items that belonged to the late grandfather: his watch, his cigar case and his photograph. The girls held hands and started the seance. Suddenly, the candles began to flicker and the hands on the watch began to spin. Clara was sure it was her grandpa! Elated, she began to talk to him and ask him questions, when all of a sudden one of the candles flew, as if by some invisible force, and almost hit her head. “Grandpa would never do that,” she said, shaking. She was right. It wasn’t her grandpa—not at all.

These creepy photos are sure to give you the chills.

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Ghost stories - dining table place setting
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The Uninvited Party Guest

One night a group of adults was having a dinner party. There were six of them, and they had all just taken their seats when they heard an unexpected knock at the door. The woman hosting the dinner party opened the door to see who it could possibly be, but there was no one there. “Somebody must have realized they had the wrong address,” she explained to her guests. But when they all turned their attention back to the table, there was a seventh plate set. “Was that there before?” one of the men asked. “I… I must have set an extra place by mistake,” said the hostess. She took it back to the kitchen, but when she returned another plate was there, this time with a glass next to it. The other guests had been talking amongst themselves and hadn’t realized, but when they did, they were so shocked that they didn’t know what to do. At this point, they realized the best strategy was to play along, so they filled the empty glass and plate, so as not to upset their mysterious uninvited party guest.

Here are the signs your house could be haunted, according to paranormal researchers.

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ferris wheel in the night
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The Lonely Ferris Wheel

The carnival came to town every summer, and this year was no different. But Charlie just started working there, so he didn’t know what the rest of the workers knew about the Ferris wheel he was in charge of operating. The first night of the carnival was bustling with people, but as it came time to close, it was practically a ghost town. However, there was one boy who showed up at the last minute. “One for the Ferris wheel, please,” the boy said, giving Charlie a ticket. Charlie looked around. “Where are your parents?” he asked the little boy. The boy just took his seat and didn’t answer. Unsure of what to do, he let the boy go on the ride. But when the ride was over, the boy was no longer in his seat! Charlie ran to his boss to tell him the story. The boss casually said, “Oh, that’s Thomas.” He handed Charlie a cutout piece of an old newspaper. It had the boy’s picture and the headline: “Boy falls from Ferris wheel, eight-years-old.”

Need to lighten the mood after reading these ghost stories? These corny Halloween jokes should do the trick.

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Hotel room , Condominium or apartment doorway with open door in front of blur bedroom background
Photo: Sompetch Khanakornpratip/Shutterstock

The Child in Room 213

An executive went on a business trip for her company. When she arrived at the hotel, she got the keycard for her room, 213, and went straight up. She was exhausted and she couldn’t wait to sit down. But her keycard for room 213 didn’t work. She went down to complain to the front desk and promptly got a new card. That one didn’t work either! Just as she was storming off to go back to the lobby, the door to her room creaked open. A little boy had opened the door and he was standing in the dark. She went to the front desk again. “There’s another family in my room,” she said to the man. “No, that’s impossible,” he said. “No one has checked in but you.”

These chilling hotel mysteries continue to baffle investigators.

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broken glass against grey background, concept of danger
Photo: zzcapture/Shutterstock

Shattered Glass

Sam, Peter and John met up every day after work for a drink. This time, they decided to try someplace they had never been before. “They say this place is haunted,” Peter said to his friends of the bar. The other two insisted that was nonsense, and they all sat down in a booth. When their drinks arrived, they were about to do their usual toast when both Sam and John’s glasses completely shattered. “What gives?” they yelled. “Apologies,” said the waiter, “that happens sometimes.”

Read up on the strangest unsolved mysteries of all time.

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Illuminated stairs in the building. Suspense background.
Photo: Elena Dijour/Shutterstock

Wedding in the Dark

An engaged couple planned to have their wedding reception at their absolute favourite restaurant. The day of the wedding, though, the bride suffered a fatal fall down the stairs during the reception. Now, it’s said that every night after the restaurant closes, the ghost of the bride walks down the very stairs she plunged and sets up all of the tables and chairs for the wedding guests she never got to see.

Discover 13 creepy facts about Canada.

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Close up of wet towels in front loading washing machine (selective focus)
Photo: Natalie Board/Shutterstock

The Laundry Thief

A woman and her daughter moved into a new house. The mother worked a lot, so it was up to the girl to do the household chores, including the laundry. One day, the girl went down to the laundry room and put a load of clothes in. When she came back, the door to the washing machine had already been lifted open. “That’s weird,” she said to herself. “I thought I closed it.” She shrugged it off, but the next time she did laundry it happened again. And that’s not all… each time it happened, she noticed one piece of her clothing would go missing. One time it was a sock, the next a pair of shorts, and so on. After a few weeks, she went down to the laundry room again to find a complete outfit set out for her, with all the clothes that had been missing.

Would you believe these famous horror movies were inspired by real events?

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Open pages of album photobook couple in love on wooden background
Photo: Wedding Stock Photo/Shutterstock

The Travelling Photograph

After Anna’s dog, Bo, passed away, she started carrying his photo with her everywhere. She loved Bo more than anything, which is why she was so heartbroken when she noticed she had somehow lost his picture one day. She thought the picture was gone forever until Bo’s birthday came around the next year. On that day, she found the photograph in the closet next to his old leash. “Good dog, Bo,” she whispered.

These spooky Ouija board stories will give you chills.

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Plaid on a light wooden background. Top view. Flat lay.
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The Daughter’s Scarf

One freezing January night, a man was driving down a deserted road. The snow was picking up and quickly turning into a blizzard. But this man was not the only one on the road. There was another man driving behind him. The other man flickered his car lights to signal him to stop. Both men got out of their cars. The second man stretched out his hand and gave the first man a pink scarf. It was soft and looked just like his daughter’s. The man who gave him the scarf had a terrible look in his eye and a terrible smile to match. Frantic, the father jumped back into his car and sped home, where he found the police already waiting for him.

These spooky urban legends turned out to be true.

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Woman holding folded clothes in hands, closeup
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After Hours

It was nine o’clock; time for the store to close. Valerie, Ginny and Kelly were the only ones working. As they were cleaning up the store, a pile of shirts fell to the floor. None of the girls touched it. “It’s probably the ghost,” Ginny said. “Very funny,” said Kelly. “No, really,” Valerie said with all seriousness. “He’s a little boy. He likes to play.” Kelly still didn’t take them seriously, though. “They’re older and they’re teasing me,” she thought. But when she went into the back room to get her keys to go home, she saw the flash of a young boy in the mirror next to her. When she looked back, her keys had been placed on the floor.

If you loved this collection of ghost stories, be sure to check out these spooky tales from the most haunted places in Canada.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest