We’ve heard many urban legends about murder victims and people who die quite by accident, yet remain tied to the place where they have met their untimely demise. Personally, I believe that’s a bunch of nonsense, but it is fun to entertain the possibility of ghosts, particularly those on a mission of vengeance. Ghost stories intrigue people since they involve phantoms that invade our lives without our permission our desire. Where these myths originate, and why they exist is anyone’s guess; probably a belief in:
- unfinished business
- telekinetic ability (I see dead people)
- punishment for particularly heinous sins. Yipe.
Here are a few ghost stories that have persisted over the tears and decades:
There are two versions of this story, most of them involving a young woman who died either in a car crash, or at the hand of her father, depending on which version you believe. One version states that Selina Desgasperis, a lovely 15-year-old girl, was a victim who died in a car accident on November 1, 1993, on Kirby Road in Vaughn, Ontario. In this version a barn named Hell House is key to the tale, reportedly a former meeting place for the KKK (Ku Klux Klan). The father of the family living in Hell House went mad and murdered his family. Well, that’s what happens when you live your life as a racist jerk. In this version, Selina was the man’s daughter and he murdered her for dating a black man, by hitting her with his truck.
Other sightings at Kirby Road include a little girl of 8 or 9 years old, who sits beneath a tree. Naturally she is the daughter of the murderous father. This story claims the ghost is Selina; impossible since Selina died at the age of 15 in a car accident. KKK meetings in the barn remain unsubstantiated. The intersection at Weston Road and Kirby Road is the location of the car accident. A roadside memorial has been erected for Selena along Kirby Road. The OCPRS (Ontario Catholic Paranormal Research Society) conducted an EMF investigation along Kirby Road, testing for electromagnetic fields. EMFs are often confused with paranormal activity. In this case the source of the EMF are the power lines in the area. No unusual audio or visual observations were seen. Both versions of this silly tale have been debunked. It makes you wonder how the Desgasperis must have suffered from their daughter’s death, as if they needed to deal with the ridiculous ghost stories that circulated afterward.
The Hitchhiker While we’re on the topic of death, cars, and young girls, lets examine the ghost story of the hitchhiker – the girl who hikes a ride, asking for a ride home. A man usually pulls over upon seeing her and offers her a ride. During the ride, the very pale girl is quiet. Upon pulling up to her parents’ house, she exits the car, leaving her scarf on the passenger seat. He cannot see her any longer, so he knocks on her parents’ door. The girl’s father and mother open the door. The father acknowledges the scarf and explains to the man that the girl died on that road, and had been buried with the scarf.
This is the modern version of the hitchhiker however its history spans back to ancient times and is even mentioned in the Old Testament of the bible. Sometimes, the ghost is on horseback and accosts people walking or driving along the road. Yipe. The trace of physical evidence gives the tale a jolt of realism, combining reality and the tale of a spirit.
Another version involves a Texas schoolbus of children who are hit and killed by a train. The myth states that if a car parks nearby unseen little hands push the car towards the track. Later, small fingerprints are found on the car. The true moral of the story is that these cars are in need of a carwash.
The Slit Mouth Woman
A tale of a woman, Kuchisake-onna, who is mutilated by her jealous husband, leading to her death. The Slit Mouth woman returns to wreak revenge on others. Not fair. What did other people do to her? Rumor has it that she appears before her victims wearing a surgical mask asking if she is pretty. When the ghost removes her mask she opens her slit mouth and asks “what about now?” then attacks the unsuspecting victim. Nasty broad. The effects in this video are astounding. Great Halloween mask.
Speaking of angry women on a mission, the Bloody Mary tale is particularly gruesome. This tale is based on reality: Henry VIII‘s daughter Mary inherited the throne after his death. Mary refused to allow the Protestant religion to flourish in England and anyone suspected of practicing it was killed in a brutal and bloody manner. This is fact, not fiction. Another version of this story involves a very beautiful woman named Mary Worthington, was obsessed with her appearance until she was horribly disfigured in a car accident just before her death. When summoned in a mirror, the horrid apparition is said to appear in all her gory glory.
Poor smelly Carmen Winstead. Her modus operandi is to drag her sleeping victims into the sewer, tearing off their faces. Well that ought to wake them up. A modern twist on this legend has it that in 2006 an email chain letter began zipping around a suburban neighborhood, claiming, “they pushed her!“ Her story begins when she is 17 and her family moves to Indiana. Naturally the move was anathema to Carmen, particularly at her new high school where no one wanted to befriend her. Eventually Carmen found five girlfriends, who began gossiping about her. After confronting her so-called friends, the girls turned on her and bullied her mercilessly. The bullying led to her accidental death when the girls pushed her into a sewer, breaking her neck, Her face was torn off when she hit the ladder on the way down. When police questioned her five former friends they lied and declared Carmen simply fell into the sewer. The case was deemed an accident.
Months later, the message began appearing on the girls’ MySpace pages. The messages directed the girls to turn themselves in to the police, but of course the didn’t. Eventually Carmen sought revenge on all of the girls, pushing them into sewers and breaking their necks. Investigation revealed the story was invented by three girls from MySpace for the purpose of terrorizing gullible site members. More time on their hands than brains. Someone should push them into a sewer.
Agnes was a nurse who worked in a hospital. Mysteriously, under her watch many patients died. People suspected she was responsible for the deaths and she was put to death, however the next day it was discovered that Agnes was innocent. A statue was erected in her honor in Druid Ridge Cemetery. Shortly after, strange occurrences began. A teenage girl bet her friends she could spend the night in the cemetery and the next day she was found dead in the statue’s lap. Grass didn’t grow near the statue. One day the gardener found the statue had been vandalized: one of its arms was sawed off and the arm was found in a worker’s car. He claimed the statue had cut off her own arm and given it to him. In 1967 the statue was moved to the Smithsonian. the original statue was actually placed in Rock Hill Cemetery, marking the graves of Marian and Henry Addams. Marian committed suicide with potassium cyanide. The person buried under the replica was a union civil war soldier. Not as intriguing as a ghost story, but reality seldom delivers that kind of macabre.