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Viewing Blog: The Scary States of America, Most Recent at Top
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I am the author of The Scary States of America, a collection of tales of the paranormal, written for ages 9-12. This is the blog of the book's main character Jason Specter, a collector of the paranormal tales which have been gathered in the book. At the end of the book I (Jason, actually) invites readers to send in stories of their own paranormal experiences, which can then be posted onto the blog. This enriches the reading experience and connects readers to the main character of the book. I have also set up an e-mail account for the character where people can send their stories. This is the e-mail address I have listed below. I, of course, check that e-mail every day. To contact me directly, please use my Jacketflap page, or e-mail me at: [email protected] Thank you, Michael Teitelbaum, Jacketflap member, user name: Teitelbaum
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1. Video Ghost

Sometimes video cameras or audio recorders can capture the sights or sounds of spirits that can't be seen with your eyes or heard with your ears. Here's one such tale from New Jersey:

Hi. For safety reasons I won't tell you my name, but I am from New Jersey.

The other day my best friend was sleeping over. We were creating videos on her professional camcorder. When she went to the bathroom, she told me to edit the video.

I was going over the footage. You could see me dancing to Lady GaGa's Bad Romance. However, in the background you could kind of see a woman. Her hair was draped over her face, and she was wearing a yellow dress. Just as my best friend started to aim the camera at the dresser the woman disappeared. I ended up never telling my best friend. And she never found out because her camera has an eraser feature where you can draw over any image. When we created our next video, I walked over to where I had seen the woman, and there was a shred of yellow fabric, right there!

Pretty creepy right?

Take Care!

Anonymous Jersey girl

Very creepy! Thanks for sharing!

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2. The Captain Who Wouldn't Leave His Ship

Everybody knows that Boston is a city filled with history. Well, here's one story about a bit of history that never went away:

Dear Jason,

Hi! Did you know that the ship, Old Ironsides, in Boston is haunted? Well it is. This is my story.

My family and I were in Maine for a family reunion when me and my dad decided we wanted to go to Boston and walk the freedom trail. Nobody else wanted to come so we headed out in our car to Massachusetts.

When we arrived we went to Old Ironsides first. We waited for about an hour until we finally got on the boat. As we continued the tour I wandered a few feet away from the group. We soon got close to the Captain's quarters when I started to feel like I was being watched. Soon I was breathing really fast like I had just run a marathon.

Suddenly a rustic voice said "Get off my boat!" Then it felt as if someone pushed me towards the stairs. After we got off the boat I asked my dad if he felt anything. He said "No. Why?"

"No reason." I replied.

It still haunts me to this day and you are the first person I've told. Please believe me Jason.


P.S. I love your book!

Of course I believe you. Wow! Sounds like you got more than just the usual souvenir of your visit.

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3. Girl in the Mist

Old houses can be fun to visit or even live in. Sometimes, however, previous residents haven't completely moved out...as in this story sent in by Dawson from Ohio:

Hello, I'm Dawson from Ohio.

My old house was built on the site of a former 1800's school house. During renovation, a young girl's shoe, and an ink well were found.

One winter in 1993 I was home alone when my dogs; Chloe the cocker spaniel and Windsor the German Shepard mix, started growling, as if preparing for a fight. Suddenly, pale mist poured around the room, then a girl appeared from the mist. Surprisingly, I was calm, the girl had black flowing hair and dark, soulless, eyes and a dress that looked like it was the 1800's.

Then it was gone.

My parents didn't believe me, but I hope you do.


As I have said many times, I have no reason not to believe the people who send me stories. Thanks for sharing yours.

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4. Ghost in the Keyboard

Shelby from Massachusetts sent in this tale of an encounter with a ghost that communicated through a computer's keyboard.

Hey Jason!

My name is Shelby and I love your website! This is what happened to me on a "normal" Massachusetts evening.

My dad works with computers. In fact, he is a computer freak! Well I was on my computer and suddenly the screen went black! And boy I was mad! I had worked night and day on a speech for a group I am in. I called my dad and told him what happened.

"Just do that and it should work again." he said after telling me what to do. But it didn't. So I sat in a chair in the room and read your book (What a shocker, I never put that thing down). I was just finishing "My House is Bleeding" when...

Click click click tap tap

"What the...?" I looked around.

Tap tap click tap

The keys on the computer were typing something. 'Hello' It said. I was freaking out. "Hi..." I said nervously.

Tap tap click tap click click tap

'My name is Emily' It said. 'Do not be afraid I will not hurt you'

"Umm, good to know... Did you live here?" I asked feeling a little better.

Tap tap tap

'Yes. Once, but I died of Yellow Fever when I was only twelve.'

"Oh. Sorry to hear that. How do you know how to use the computer?"

Tap tap click tap click

'I have watched you and your family use it. I only trust you though."

"Okay. Well I invite you to stay with me here. We are a nice family, Emily." I said finally calling the ghost by its name. "See you later. Bye."

Tap tap click click tap click

'Thank you for being so welcoming. Take care.'

I ran downstairs to tell my mom what had just happened. But she won't believe me (I hope you do Jason!). To this day Emily will often visit me. She can tell when I am depressed, angry or happy. She now is like a friend to me. I hope she will never leave me.

Thanks for listening Jason.


Thanks for sharing your story, Shelby. Kinda gives a whole new meaning to the term "ghost writing"!

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5. My Friend, the Civil War Ghost

Mandi from Illinois sent me this story about the time she visited a Civil War battlefield and came home with more than just a history lesson.

This all started in May of 2009. My dad brought me to Washington DC for the police memorial. I was studying the Civil War in history class and so before we left, we went to Manassas Battlefield (site of the famous battles of Bull Run). Anyone who has been there knows that there is a well-known field house there. Anyway, people aren’t allowed into the field house, but you can look in the windows. So that is exactly what I did. When I looked into the window, I saw a man in all gray, pacing. I quickly stepped away from the window and walked back to my dad’s car. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary for a while after that.

When I went to a summer camp in late June, I kept getting weird dreams about the field house. On the last night I had a dream that I was back at the field house... but this time I was IN the field house. I figured that it was directly after the First or Second Battle Of Bull Run. There were Confederate soldiers with blood on them, some were missing limbs. No one paid attention to me, except for one soldier.

He had brown eyes and light brown shaggy hair, he also had a scar going across his face. He looked at me and said, “This is only the beginning.” I assumed he was from Tennessee from his accent, he grabbed my shoulders and ran through me. I woke up in a cold sweat back at the summer camp, I sat up and read the clock, it said 3 am and everyone was asleep. I laid back down and let out a sigh ‘It was only a dream’ I thought. I looked around one more time to see if I had woken anyone up, and the same Confederate soldier that talked to me in my dream was standing next to my bed, looking at me!

Before I could scream he put his hand over my mouth. I could smell the gun powder, and he shushed me and told me “I won’t hurt you.” I blacked out after that. I didn’t eat much that morning... everything smelled like gunpowder.

Not that long after I came home from the summer camp I had another dream. The Confederate soldier kept saying he wouldn’t hurt me. He also confirmed that he was from Tennessee.

In late July, my parents, two sisters and I drove down to Florida. We were at a gas station in Tennessee early in the morning, I was walking around the perimeter of the gas station while everyone else was inside going to the bathroom. I was behind the gas station when I felt a rough hand grab my shoulder, I balled up my fist and spun around, trying to punch whoever grabbed my shoulder, but my hand went through air. The same Confederate soldier was smiling and laughing at my reaction “What do you want?” I hissed at him. He laughed some more, and I couldn’t help but smile for a second. He stopped laughing and said “I want to welcome you to my home... and give you this.”

He handed me my phone charger, which, I realized, I had left still plugged into my wall, “Thank you.” I said, and he laughed some more. My mom started calling my name, and he disappeared. Throughout my entire week in Florida, the soldier would show up and tell me stuff about the Civil War. When my dad, my friend (she and her family had joined us on the trip) and I went into the war museum, we stopped by the Civil War section. I felt a rough hand on my back and I could see a faint outline of the soldier pointing at some pictures and other artifacts from the Confederate army. He was talking, but I couldn’t hear him. Finally he pointed to a Confederate uniform and I could lip-read what he said, “That was mine.” I almost fainted.

He still talks to me, and teaches me about the Civil War. I'm not afraid. I definitely don’t want him leaving anytime soon.

Thanks Mandi. Gee, I've heard of history coming alive, but this is truly amazing.

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6. The Ghost Wears White Pants

Sylvia from Ohio sent me this story about a ghost who likes white...not as in a white sheet you might wear at Halloween, but white pants and shoes and--well, read on..

Hey, Jason!

My name is Sylvia. I'm 14 and live in Ohio. I read your book over the summer and loved it..I also visited your site many times. Some of the stories you have posted are amazing..I always wanted to share a true ghost story..And after what happened to me the other day..I think I can.

Last week my friend Katie and I decided to go biking so we could catch up on the latest news at each other's high schools. We live in the same neighborhood and always meet at this little circle of grass in the middle of a road where our neighborhood has its annual 4th of July/Bike parade. Since it was September the little area was completely abandoned. I got there by bike and decided to sit down and wait for Katie to show up. While I sat I wasn't doing anything besides playing with the laces on my shoes...But then I heard a crow overhead and things became weird.

I was still sitting there when I heard a voice call, "Hey! Sylvia! Hey-I'm here!" So I looked around, but didn't see anyone. I called out, but no one answered...So I figured it was my imagination. I went back to playing with my shoelaces when I saw a pair of white tennis shoes right in front of me. Whoever was standing there also had slightly grass-stained white pants. I could tell that they were boy's shoes, so the first words out of my mouth were, "Braddy! Braddy! What're you doing here!?" Braddy was my good guy friend who also lived in the neighborhood. I assumed he had biked up to the little park area and came to say hi. But when I looked up..there was no one there. I looked around but there was nothing there and it was dead silent..But then I heard some laughter right in my ear. I turned around, but all I saw was a flash of white and gold. I was very freaked out now, but I decided to wait for Katie, who showed up a moment later.

I didn't say anything to Katie as we biked and talked because I didn't want to freak her out. For the next half hour everything was normal..Then we decided to bike to our old middle school and sit on the swings to talk. When we got there we looked around and there was no one there. So we sat down and began to talk. That's when it happened.

We heard a faint voice yell, "Hey, Katie! Hey, Sylvia! I'm here!" We both froze and looked around. There it was...the flash of white and gold and the odd laughter. We both looked at each other and laughed nervously. "Wow..The voices in our heads are being tricky, huh?" Katie asked with a fearful smile.

"Yup...Silly little voices..Our eyes must be going weird too.." I replied.
"Yeah, you're right." Katie nodded.

We tried to push the voice aside and tried to act like nothing had happened. I didn't tell Katie it was the same voice that I had heard earlier. We went back to talking and laughing and then...that voice came back saying, "Katie? Katie?" Katie looked up and glared at me.

"Very funny, Sylvia. Imitating that voice."
"Katie," I began, trembling, "That wasn't me..."
But Katie wasn't looking at me...She was staring past my shoulder in wide-eyed shock. "Syl...Turn around." She whispered. "He's here.."

I turned around and saw a brief glance of white pants and white tennis shoes..My eyes flicked up so fast, but I only caught a glimpse of golden-honey like hair. Then whoever it was vanished...and laughter trailed behind.

"Please tell me you saw that!" Katie cried when I turned around.
"Saw...White..And gold like honey-ish.." My words came out in a meaningless ramble.
"YES!" Katie yelled. "Tall? White pants? White shoes? White shirt! Eyes were blueish..Kinda tall..Who was he?"
"Yes! I saw him earlier!" I gasped, scanning the field for this being. "He kept saying my name..But I didn't want to tell you 'cause you'd think I was crazy!"
"Well.." Katie began. "You aren't crazy! We both saw him--or it! Sylvia, that wasn't some kid we know...That was a ghost. I saw his face..Trust me..Not alive. And now..we're being haunted!"

I stared at her and slowly nodded. Without a second thought we ran, grabbed our bikes, and hurried home..Laughter trailed behind us, but we weren't laughing.

That's my story, Jason. Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks, Sylvia. I did enjoy. Maybe that ghost was just looking for a few tips on his wardrobe! After all, who wears white after Labor Day :)

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7. TFF (Telepathic Friends Forever)

Tristan from Virginia sent me this tale of a dream she had at camp about her best friend. Not unusual, right? But what happened next...well, read on, friends.

Hi Jason. My name is Tristan and I live in Virginia. I'm a normal twelve-year-old girl. But I had a REALLY weird experience last week when I went to camp. I believe I had telepathic communication with my best friend.

Okay, so I was at camp for the week. You know, campfire, cabins, pranks, counselors, mess hall, the whole thing. Well, on Monday night I had a dream that was SO vivid, it was kinda like I was there! It started with me and my friend's sister in their kitchen. (both of them are my friends) and we were in front of the stove, mixing something in a big bowl. I told her something, and, in the EXACT same way she does when I'm actually with her, she said "good" and turned around and left. Then her brother- my best friend- came up the steps in a plaid fox hat, and his green fox t-shirt and we started talking. I woke up in my bunk, a little dazed the next morning. I decided it was just because I missed them that I had the dream. So I forgot about the whole thing....until wednesday night at the campfire. I felt a throbbing pain, as if I'd been smacked on part of my head. I just shrugged that off, too.

When I got back home the next day, I told my friend's sister what happened, describing everything. "What did you say he was wearing in your dream? " she asked me when I was done. I repeated the dream. "That's what he wore on Tuesday!" she said, her eyes wide. "And I smacked him on Wednesday night, too. Around the time you described! And I thought I heard you walking around upstairs!"

So I think, we think, we MAY be telepathic. Nobody believes me! Not my parents and almost none of my friends believe me, either. You believe me, don't you?

You bet, Tristan. Like you, I'm wide open to the possibilities that weird stuff happens out there. Thanks for sharing this!

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8. Ghost in the Basement

Sara from Ohio sent me this tale of what she encountered when she went downstairs to do something that's terrifying to everyone--clean her basement!


Here's the story. We just moved into a big brick house that was pretty old. A lot of people lived here and left all kinds of furniture and junk in our basement. I guess my parents thought I looked bored because they asked me to start cleaning it out. I really didn't want to clean at the moment but I had nothing else to do.

I started down the carved, creaky, wooden stairs. It was hard to find the light switch because it was at the bottom of the steps. A few minutes later, I was looking through papers when I heard a loud CRASH! I looked behind me to see that all of the organized stacks of papers I just stacked on a shelf were scattered on the floor.

I was very angry. I worked hard for hours!!! Whoever it was, was going to pay!!! Too bad I didn't know I was dealing with a ghost.

I decided to forget what happened. But when I turned back to the papers, they were gone! I started looking everywhere. Under boxes, behind chairs, but when I looked behind an old rocking chair I heard a low angry voice say "OUT, GET OUT!!!!'

I was terrified. I ran upstairs and explained everything to my parents who, of course, didn't believe me. I made them follow me to the basement but when we all got down their, everything was neat and organized, as if nothing had happened!


Thanks for the story, Sara. So what have we learned? Never clean your basement!!

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9. Ghost in the Snow

Sue from Wisconsin sent me this story about driving on a snowy night. When she came to an intersection, she encountered more than just a stop sign!

Hi, I'm Sue from Wisconsin and I noticed you had no stories from here, so I thought I'd send you mine.

I was driving home one night while a blizzard was going on. I was pretty worried about getting home, so I drove very carefully. I was out in the country, but lived in the city, and so I was ESPECIALLY careful as I did not want to slide into a ditch or get stuck in the middle of nowhere. Even though it was dark, the sky was bright because of the heavy snow falling. Slowly, I was approaching an intersection of 3 roads. This was a dangerous intersection even on a sunny day, so I slowed down even more. As I was squinting my eyes, trying to see the stop sign to see exactly where to stop, I saw the outline of a man in what looked to be a snowmobile suite, raising his arms up and down, signaling for me to slow down or stop. I got the distinct feeling there must have been an accident or that he was stuck. The only thing at this intersection was an old house, a church, a tavern and a little cemetery.

I slowed the car down just before this intersection so it would not get hit by another car, but my worst fear came true, the car began to slide down into the ditch. I was scared. I put the car in park, got out and ran to the intersection in the blizzard to find this guy because now he would need to help ME. When I got there, the silence was eerie, the snow was falling ferociously and there was no man in the intersection. I thought if I looked for his footprints in the snow, I could find where he went and get help.


Just me, the cemetery and the snow falling. By this time, I was really scared because I was alone, out in the country, and how would I get help getting out of the ditch? What a mean mean trick to play on me. Why would someone play such a dangerous trick on an unknowing stranger? I was so mad. I charged back to my car and somehow, in my anger, I rocked the car to-and-fro, and I did get it out of the ditch, proceeded through that intersection and on to home. I carried this anger around for a long long time. I could have frozen to death! All at the cost of someone playing a trick.

Speed ahead about 5 years to a beautiful sunny warm day at this same intersection, where an open house in the little church was on this day because it was turned into a historical society and there were tours in the cemetery. I decided to go there. I walked up to the front door of the church and pasted on the door was a few news articles. I read the titles. One said: "GHOST PLAYS WITH TRAFFIC AT INTERSECTION" and another said: "PLATES THROWN BY A GHOST." Well guess what....it was about this same intersection where I had my mishap 5 years earlier. The article went on to say that the ghost would throw plates and glasses in the tavern when no one was around and run to the intersection and play with traffic, going back and forth from the church to the tavern. After reading that, a chill went up my spine.

I had seen a ghost! And for 5 years, I never knew it and was angry at a ghost! Up to that point in my life, I was pretty much not a believer, but not any more. Still, I'd like to find him and ask him why he did that to me.


Thanks for adding the scary state of Wisconsin to our list, Sue. Glad you made it home safely that night, despite your ghostly encounter!

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10. The Box Under the Floor

Terry from Florida sent me this tale which took place when he was a boy in Indiana. It involves another boy who used to live in his house but died, then sent Terry a message from beyond...

My family moved to a small town in northern Indiana, into a large house where I got my own room. I was 15.

It started a few weeks after we had moved in. it was late and I was in bed ...really half asleep when I heard my closet door open. I quickly turned on the light and sure enough it was open. I just dismissed it and went to sleep . I truly did not give it a second thought until a few nights later it happened again but this time I was awake reading and watched the door slowly open. Ok now I freaked. But the rest of the family was sleeping. I didn't want to wake them and freak all of them too. So I just laid down on the couch. That is where my Dad found me the next morning. When I told him what was going on he just sort of laughed at me and told me it was probably just the air conditioning kicking on ..and causing a vacuum which caused the door to swing open. He said he would get to fixing the latch. I believed him.

So this went on for a while, the closet door just swinging open. Until one of the neighbors told me that the family that lived in the house before us had lost a son in a train accident two years before we had moved in. The boy had been in his senior year of high school--the same one I would be going to that September. I also learned that I was living in his old room.

Now I was either letting my imagination running away with me or I was tuning into something but I got it in my head that it was his ghost who was opening the door.

It kept happening, and strangely I got use to it ...until it was waking me up more frequently and I had school in the morning and was losing sleep so one night , that last night when it happened again ....I was mad ....and I said out loud ... I said his name ..... and told him he was dead .... he got hit by a train .... and he should go to heaven. The door never opened on it's own again.

Now for the really strange part ..... I started thinking about the closet door two or three weeks later ... if it was this kid's ghost, why was he opening the closet ... so I got out of bed one night ... turned on the light ... and looked in my closet. I moved my shoes and some boxes that were still unpacked from the move and peeled back the carpet. When I did that a section of the floor board popped up and hidden in the floor board was a cigar box. Inside of it was a bunch of stuff ...really nothing valuable, just things a guy would save, an old watch, a buck knife, pictures of friends and family and some cards and letters, just stuff. I just knew what to do with them. I put the box in a paper lunch sack and took it to school with me.

I knew from others that the younger sister of the boy that was killed was in my class. At lunch I went over to her. She was sitting with her friends and I told her who I was ....and after a strange look I let her know that I was living in her old home ... and had her late brother's old room and found something that I think belonged to him hidden in the closet of the bedroom. I slowly pulled the cigar box out of the bag and handed to her she smiled when she saw it and slowly opened it. A few tears came to her eyes..she thanked me as her girl friends comforted her, and I left.

A week later her mother came up to me as I was walking home. Her daughter had pointed me out, and she thanked me too ...and gave me the buck knife from the box as a reward ...I tried to say no but she was tearing up and I smiled and said thank you.

It's been over 30 years and I still have that Buck knife. I never told either of them that it was their son and brother that showed me where the secret box was.

That's it ...Not scary but a real Ghost Story


And a really touching one, too. You were very kind and I'm sure the mother, the sister, and, in his own way, the boy, appreciated your kindness. Thanks for sharing this one.

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11. The Haunted Car Crash

Karen from Utah sent me this chilling tale about the day she saw an accident on the road. The only problem--five minutes later, it wasn't there anymore. 15 years later, the same thing happened again! The story is long, but well worth it:

Hi Jason:

I love your blog! Thanks for your hard work and dedication.

I would like to share an incident that happened to my brother and sister-in-law nearly 30 years ago.

It was a spring evening, just at dusk, it had been raining lightly and the road was wet and the surrounding area slightly misty.They were headed to Salt Lake from Layton Utah, about 30 miles north of Salt Lake.

As they drove along the divided highway, two cars ahead of them came together in a horrible crash! They both witnessed the flying debris and watched as one car flipped and rolled several times finally landing on it's top. My sister-in-law screamed and my brother swerved to miss it. He sped ahead trying to find a spot to turn around to go back and help. He was an undercover narcotics officer so he called for the local Highway Patrol. He found a spot to turn around, placed his light on top of his car and raced back to the scene. They were sure someone had died in this horrible accident. Coming to the spot where it occurred they found nothing! No debris, no car, no skid marks, nothing.

The Highway Patrol Officer showed up and thought maybe he was the brunt of some kind of sick joke. They were both shaking and upset. My brother exited from the car and walked half a mile along the road looking for some sign. There was nothing. They were freaked out to say the least. As they discussed what they had both seen, it was identical, however, they came to realize there was no sound involved. If this horrific accident had happened right in front of them they would have heard something. But there had been no sound.

For a long time they refused to travel this stretch of highway. They weren't sure what they had seen, if it had been a premonition of things to come or what. Fast forward 15 years or so. My husband, who was a state trooper, received a call one morning while on duty, that his father was gravely ill. He stopped to pick me up as we rushed to Salt Lake and the hospital. We spent the day. Things calmed down and my father-in-law was stabilized, so by late afternoon we could head back home. It was a spring evening, it had been raining, and was still misty outside. Over my husband's police radio came a call that a girl had witnessed a horrific accident and gave the approximate area of where the accident took place.

One of the other troopers sped off in search of the crash. A few minutes later the trooper returned to the radio and told the dispatcher he had been to the area three times but found nothing. At that point I said to my husband "he's sure having a hard time finding that accident isn't he?" We both had these funny expressions on our faces when we realized it was in the exact area my brother had also seen the accident. The trooper on the radio continued to say he had been back three times, and there was nothing to indicate there had been an accident anywhere. He wanted to know if someone was playing a joke on them. The dispatcher assured him the young woman was serious, she was very distraught as she was certain that someone had been killed in the accident.

I always have a strange sensation when I drive past the area. I'm sure there was an accident at some time right there. And now, years later, when conditions are right, whoever is there gets to witness it again.


Yikes! Thanks for the story, Karen. Talk about bad "Car-ma!" Very creepy indeed!

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12. The Butt-Pinching Ghost of Florida!

Now I've heard stories about ghosts that were scary, ghosts that were sad, and ghosts that were helpful. But Laura shared a story about a ghost in Florida that was downright RUDE!!! Check it out.

My sister has told me several times about a ghost in her house in St. Petersburg, Florida. She told me this ghost would pinch her butt as she washed dishes. Although I am a believer, I did kind of think her love of Stephen King books was fueling her imagination. One day shortly after Christmas I went over to her house to see what the children got from Santa. As I was standing in her son’s room, with my back to a wide open closet, I was talking when I felt something pinching my rear-end very hard. I gasped and turned around, assuming my nephew was just being silly, but no one was there! I looked at my sis and said “I just got pinched!” she said “See, I told you!” I really was shocked.


Thanks for sharing that one, Laura. Wow! What's next? A ghost who gives wedgies? Not that I'm trying to give anyone any ideas or anything!!

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13. Grandpa's Spirit

Mandi from Illinois sent in this story about what happened after her grandfather died.

Hi, I am Mandi. I have always believed in the paranormal (sometimes)... but now that I had a real life experience, i believe in it more...

Well this all started the day before my grandpa died. He was in the hospital. On February 3rd he died. That night, I had woken up at 3 am in a cold sweat, I started to sob uncontrollably.

That morning, my mom got a call from the hospital and had to go there. When she came back, she told me and my sisters that my grandfather had died at about 3 am! I was really creeped out, but that doesn't compare to what happened when I went to my room.

As I entered, I saw my grandpa there! He was staring at me, as I went closer, he said "I will always be looking out for you." Ok RRREEEAAALLLYYY creepy... he disappeared before I could touch him. Anyway, when I woke up in the morning the next day, I heard a cardinal. Ok nothing weird about that, but my older sister was blasting her radio and my little sister was blasting the TV. I could still hear the cardinal. It swooped down from the tree it was on and landed on a little perch on the outside of my window. IT WASN'T AFRAID OF ME!!!! Then the cardinal followed me & (in my opinion) kept me safe. The cardinal is still with me today. And, unlike most birds, the cardinal sings at night...

Some people might think that your story is for the birds...but not me! Thanks for sharing it.

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14. Crop Circle Mystery

Paige from Michigan sent me this tale of a crop circle no one could fully explain.

The background:
In July 2003, a farmer found crop circles in his field about fifty miles south of Hemlock, in Livingston County near Howell, Michigan. There were no tracks or paths leading to the crop circles. The first circle was only four feet across, but the second circle was fifty feet in diameter and had two extensions leading off like spurs at the east and west points. An investigator said this formation was unusual in his report because there were four additional circles at the north, south, east, and west points on the larger circle, layered UNDER the circle. There was intricate weaving and braiding of the grain stalks and the director of the Independent Crop Circle Researchers' Association, said he found at least twenty stems that were exposed to a complex energy burst like what happened in your book. Two radio personalities in Howell said they created the circles but it was unlikely, the investigators said, that they could have microwaved the field somehow.

My story:
I'm 17 and I swear I'm not crazy or a hoaxer. I was visiting my sister in Howell in July, 2003 and I spent the night there. I was in bed and I was looking out the window when I saw 6 or 7 white lights in a boomerang formation. I went to sleep and when I woke up I went downstairs and my family told me some crop circles showed up that night. I would later see more UFOs and some alien incidents have happened to me which makes me wonder if it's a coincidence it happened the same night I was spending the night.

Sounds like you've found a real paranormal hot spot, Paige! Thanks for filling us in.

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15. Demon House

Here's a story from Pennsylvania about a house rental that didn't quite work out as planned.

First off I'd like to say if you put this on your site, which I give you full permission to do, I only ask that you keep my name a secret for my own safety...

My family and I rented this house in Pennsylvania. It was fairly cheap, and at the time we thought nothing of it. Well, as we were moving in we found that the basement door was locked and we didn't have a key, so being the curious people we are, we knocked the door down.. only to find that downstairs was an area on the wall painted over with black paint. So we put all of our extra stuff down there and thought nothing of the paint on the wall... but we should have.

Things started out small and we figured it was just an old house, right? Wrong. As time went on "it" as we called it got madder and madder at us... it began to shake everything violently and flick light switches, even call out our names at night, trying to lure us to the basement. We began to get frightened but thought paranormal teams wouldn't believe us. So we got an Ouiji board and began to ask "it" questions, first we asked "is there some presence in this house?" it replied "Y-E-S" so next we asked "what is your name?" and it replied "S-E-T-H" so we asked Seth when he was alive, and what we got shocked us--Seth replied "N-E-V-E-R". As it turns out, Seth was a demon... we very quickly boarded up the basement and paid our last rent payment and moved out... never to return to that house again.

Thanks for listening, and I hope you put my story up on the site.

Thank you. Sounds like moving out was right move!

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16. Headless Axeman

Ian from New York sent me this story of a guy with an axe who lost his head...literally!

Hey Jason,

Have I got a story for you!

So, once when I was like 7 years old, I was in my room one night in the cabin that my family owns in the Catskill mountains. I woke up in the middle of the night to a sharpening axe sound. I stared up from my bed, just to see a glowing white body holding an axe in a swinging position. But there was something weird about this guy. He was headless!

I tried to scream for help, but I was paralyzed by fear. That guy started to swing the axe. I braced for impact. But then the axe guy just disappeared, leaving a glowing residue of some kind of ectoplasm on the floor.

I did some research and it turns out there was this guy named Jacob Alexandra back in the 1800s who was a traveling lumberjack. He fell in love with a woman named Eliza Jones. Eliza moved away because she was engaged to a banker who lived out in the western United States. Jacob was never the same after that. One day, he was cutting down a tree in the forest when he accidentally missed the tree and cut his own head off with the axe.

I was totally freaked out. How about you?


I am certainly freaked out, and I'm guessing Jacob was too!

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17. Scary States on YouTube!

Hey Scary States Fans,

Scary States author Michael Teitelbaum has posted two videos on YouTube. In each one he reads a condensed version of one of the stories from the book.

Check out:




A scary treat for the ears...but not for the faint of heart!

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18. Footage of a UFO in Texas!

Hey Fellow Sky Watchers,

Earlier this year it was Stephenville, Texas. Now many folks in the town of Dublin, Texas have spotted unidentified lights in the sky. And one quick-thinking citizen captured it on video.

Take a look:


Do you know what those lights are? I don't. Thus the "U" in UFO.

Keep watching the sky! (At night, of course)


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19. Living in a Haunted House

I've gotten lots of stories from people who have experienced one haunted event. Here's a tale sent in by Mitchell about the time he and his family lived in a haunted house in Washington State. Check it out:

When me and my family lived in Washington, the house we lived in was haunted. We all had things happen to us there, but we never really talked about it.

One time my mom got home late from work at around 1 am. She was so tired she fell asleep on the couch and was awakened about two hours later to find every light in the house on and the front door shaking like mad! When she opened the front door nobody was there!

Another night when I was in my room, I heard a strange noise coming from my fireplace. I went to see what it was and when I got about 5 feet away from it my bedroom light turned off and a very bright light came out of the fireplace!

Lastly, every time I cleaned cobwebs out of any corner in this house, I would find them back where they had been the very next day!

Thanks for listening to my story, Jason.

Following in your footsteps,

Some truly creepy stuff there, Mitchell. Thanks for sharing it with all of us. Hey, if I had haunted cobwebs in my house, I'd never clean my room (any excuse that works, right! :)

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20. The Montauk Monster

Okay cryptid fans, check this out.

Last week something washed up on the beach at Montauk on Long Island in New York State. Some say it's a monster. Others have said it's nothing more than a raccoon. What do you think? Here it is--The Montauk Monster, 2008's (so far) cryptid of the year!

Stuff like this just makes my summer!


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21. Bigfoot Remains Found!!

What a month for cryptid fans! First the Montauk Monster. And now the body of a Bigfoot!

Seems two guys out in the woods in Georgia found a dead Bigfoot. They called in expert Bigfoot tracker Tom Biscardi to check it out. He's convinced it's real. The picture they took is above. What do you think?

Check out the news story.

And here's some video of Tom Biscardi being interviewed about it on TV.

Is this the final proof we've all be waiting for? Stay tuned, cryptid fans... Read the rest of this post

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22. Bigfoot is Watching You

Here's a story sent to me by Ryan from Tennessee about the time he saw Bigfoot in his hotel room. Talk about room service you could do without!

Hey Jason,

I was nine years old and I was with my parents and 4-year-old sister at a hotel in Tennessee. I was about to go to bed when I looked at the door and saw something that looked like Bigfoot walk through the wall and look at me. It stood there for a few minutes. Then it walked through the other wall. I tried to convince myself that it did not happen and went to sleep. At about midnight a loud noise woke me up. When I looked to see what it was I saw the creature at the end of my bed. It scared me so bad I blacked out. When I woke up I noticed something written on a piece of paper. It said "I will always try to protect you, Ryan". Since then I keep searching for whatever wrote that.

Ryan from Tennessee

While it's nice to have someone bigger than you looking out for you, I'm not sure I'd choose Bigfoot for my protector. Who's going to protect you from him!?

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23. Haunted Dolls

Colin from New York sent me this story about something that happened when his sister got a new doll. Doesn't sound too weird, right? Well, read on!

Hi, my name is Colin and I live in upstate New York. I love your book. I also love your website. This is my second story (I also told you about Werewolf in the Backyard).

This past Christmas, my sister Mallory got an American Girl doll. I was happy for her (but wish she would stop bragging about it).

She also got a bed for it. And at night, the American Girl doll slept in her bed. In the morning, she decided to name it Mallory (of course). Ever since then, the doll seemed to have a life of its own.

One day, I was looking at a picture of Mallory holding her American Girl doll and was surprised to see the American Girl's eyes were blazing red! Another day, I picked up the doll and it started punching at me!! And another time I thought I saw the doll moving! I told my sister but she didn't believe me. We went to her room and it was in a different place than where she left it. She just thought I moved it. But I didn't.

The doll also would disappear. We would look all over but couldn't find it anywhere. Then other dolls started disappearing. What's the most weird is that one day, they all were just back.

I hope you like my story, J.

- Colin

I do, thanks. Sounds like Mallory is haunted (the doll, I mean, not your sister :)

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24. Scary States and Encyclopedia Horrifica Team Up to Find the New Jersey Devil!

Hey fans of the frightful, the weird, and all things paranormal!

On Sunday September 28, Michael Teitelbaum, the children's book author who helped bring The Scary States of America to print will be teaming up with Joshua Gee, the author of the amazing Encyclopedia Horrifica for a fight-filled appearance at the Crane-Phillips House in Cranford, New Jersey. For all the details click here.

Both authors will be exploring the history of the cryptid known as the New Jersey Devil. Myth? Legend? Or real life creature? Find out at this event. For those you unfamiliar with the New Jersey Devil (and no, we're not talking about hockey here) you can check out the New Jersey story in The Scary States of America.

And be sure to check out Joshua's terrifically terrifying website, and of course his fear-filled, fact-packed book, Encyclopedia Horrifca.

Hope to scare, I mean, see you there!

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25. Sleepwalker or Hijacked Body?

Tanner from Utah sent me this creeped-out tale about something that happened when she was 4 years old to her and her two sisters.


When I was about 4 we lived in a huge house in a small town. That house had a record of being haunted. Things would turn on and off and there would be weird noises. One night my two sisters were sleeping in the same room. My sister Cam (not quite asleep) bolted upright because she heard something on the ground. She woke up my sister Shay. Shay looked on the ground by her side of the bed, and she saw me! She said later that I was just laying there smiling up at her. She told me to go back to bed, but when she turned on the light, I had vanished! I wasn't there anymore!

Thing is, I don't think I ever left my bed! So either I have a weird power where I can move instantly to different places or a ghost or something took the form of my body and appeared there in the middle of the night. I don't know why this happened but it sure is weird!


ps. I've read your book 3 times!! It was great!

Thanks, Tanner, for sharing that story. Here's hoping that these days you stay put through the night.

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