Updated: Feb 18, 2020
So, picture this: You're out alone at night. Maybe you're staying at a hotel, driving down the road or attending an event and wandered away from the crowd. You see a woman dressed all in white and decide, for whatever reason, to approach her. But at some point in your interaction -- maybe even before it starts -- she disappears right before your eyes
You later discover the truth about this woman. Maybe the white outfit is her wedding dress and she was just left at the altar. Maybe she couldn't bear being jilted, or was upset for some other reason, and took her own life. Whatever the case, she's not of this world.
You've probably heard variations of this story before. Legends of ghostly women in white have been reported for centuries, not just in the United States, but all over the world. Here are five creepy woman in white legends.
1. East 8 Mile Road
You probably know about Detroit's Eight Mile Road that famously divides the city. But you may not be familiar with the similarly named East 8 Mile Road in California. The road runs through Stockton, about 50 miles south of Sacramento, and is occupied by more than just the occasional turtle or deer.
According to motorists who use the road at night, a woman wearing a white dress often appears on the side of the road -- or even in the middle. But if you're thinking "Well I'm going to ignore her just to be safe," think again. Even if you don't pick her up, she allegedly disappears from the road, only to appear in your backseat! Stories also say she's killed drivers before, so this is one malevolent ghost.
But she's not alone on the road. The ghost of a Native American girl reportedly wanders the area as well. Legend says she was killed in an accident on the road, and her screams can be heard at night.
2. Dallas, Texas
My more fashion forward readers might be familiar with high end clothing brand Neiman Marcus. But I bet you never thought you'd hear about it in a ghost story.
In White Lake Rock Park in east Dallas, stories date back to the 1930's of a ghost girl in a long white Neiman Marcus dress. They say she appears to motorists at the park, soaking wet. If someone offers her a ride home, she gives them an address about a mile and a half away and hops right in. But at some point in the journey she disappears, leaving nothing but a puddle behind.
The motorist decides to check out the address the woman gave, maybe out of curiosity. When he (or she) arrives at what turns out to be an ordinary house, they knock on the door and a man answers. When the motorist tells the man what happened, he says the girl perfectly fits the description of his daughter, who drowned in the lake. Some versions say her death was an accident; others say she committed suicide by jumping in.
One sighting of the so-called 'Lady of the Lake' was by a Neiman Marcus employee, who must have recognized the girl’s dress as being made by the brand. When he and his wife approached the girl's father, he informed them that his daughter loved Neiman Marcus and wore nothing else. I guess if you're going to encounter a ghost, it might as well be one with style.
I've talked before about ghosts that haunt the various Disney parks around the world. One that hangs around the Anaheim location is a notorious 'woman in white' and, unsurprisingly for the 'happiest place on earth,' she's not only benign, but pretty helpful.
The woman has been spotted on Main Street, often window shopping -- so maybe we have another fashion savvy ghost. She reportedly wears clothes reminiscent of the early 1900's, and is thought to hang around Main Street because of its old timey feel. She also appears at guest services, guiding lost children there so they can be reunited with their parents. How sweet of her!
Like the other ghosts on this list, not much is known about the woman's life. The Anaheim park was opened in 1955 so, based on her clothes, she likely predates it. The property used to be orange groves, so maybe she worked or spent time there before her death. Whatever the case, I'm glad to have a friendly ghost on the list.
4. The United Kingdom
For the next woman in white, us Americans will travel "across the pond" to the U.K. There are gobs of legends there that fit the 'woman in white' bill. But the one that stood out to me the most was the one at the Old Mill Hotel.
This hotel is located in Motherwell, Scotland, about 15 miles southeast of Glasgow. The town boasts just over 30,000 residents, but not all of them are living.
According to the legend, the woman was set to be married in the hotel. But her fiancé jilted her at the altar and, as if that wasn't bad enough, she was attacked and beaten by another man who had feelings for her. Why did he do this? Who knows. But apparently the woman was so upset as she ran away that she didn't notice when she jumped in front of a train -- though she wasn't actually hit by the train, she only died of fright. Kind of an anticlimactic ending if you ask me -- but hey, I'm just the messenger.
After the woman's death, she haunted the fiancé who jilted her, still wearing her wedding dress. (Frankly, if I were her, I'd haunt the man who beat me up, but to each her own I guess.) Today, the woman is said to be buried near the hotel and her ghost has been spotted under a tree on the property.
50 miles south of Sicily, Italy lie the Maltese Islands. With a rich history dating all the way back to prehistoric times, it's no surprise that Malta has its share of spirits -- including its own woman in white.
This woman haunts Verdala Palace, built all the way back in 1586. It was briefly used as a military prison during the French rule of the island -- which lasted a long and impressive two years -- but has been used as the private summer residence for the president since 1987.
Like the others on this list, it's unclear who this woman in white was in life, or even when she died. But, as the legend goes, she was forced to marry a man she didn't love. (In some versions of the story, he's a knight.) On her wedding day, the disgruntled bride-to-be refused to accept her fate and jumped off a balcony to her death, still in her wedding dress.
Another version of the legend refers to her as 'the blue lady' and says she didn't commit suicide, but tried to escape the palace through a window and fell to her death. Regardless of how she may have died, she reportedly never left the grounds and has been spotted around the balcony. Palace guests have claimed to see her during the annual August Moon ball, the only time the palace is open to the public.
These are just a few of the women in white that haunt places around the world. What are some of your favorite 'woman in white' legends? Have you ever encountered one of these ghosts, or a similar one? Let me know below.
Road photo: Nicholas Henderson/Flickr
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License 2.0