We’ve become completely obsessed with Adam Ellis’s Dear David saga on Twitter. Ellis, a New York-based illustrator, is being haunted by the ghost of a dead child and his experiences with him are getting out of hand. In between Dear David updates, we find ourselves fascinated by other child ghost stories because, honestly, nothing gets our goosebumps going more than ghostly kids.
There’s just something about child ghost stories that makes our skin crawl more than anything else. Perhaps it’s because we know that these children barely lived life before passing on. And if young children don’t understand death, then these ghost kids may not even know they’re dead. It’s all so tragic, yet so utterly creepy.
Keep the lights on and make sure you’re not home alone. Let’s scare ourselves silly with these eerie child ghost stories.
1The Black-Eyed Children
Imagine you’re walking to your car in an empty and dark parking lot. A couple of kids seemingly appear out of nowhere and ask you to give them a lift to their friend’s house. Your gut sinks as you realize that these children have completely black eyes, pallid skin, and dirtied clothes. You tell them no, and they get angry. The only way to escape the situation is to get into your car and drive away. When you look in your rearview mirror, the children have vanished.
Some think these kids are the spirits of dead children, lost in limbo and looking for help to cross over. But those who have encountered them say they are something more sinister, derived from the bowels of hell. Ghosts or demons, these black-eyed children are reportedly out there, attempting to lure humans to their demise.
2The Radiant Boy
Radiant Boys are ghostly omens that appear only to signal future misfortune after a significant victory in a person’s life. They are glowing, naked children who were supposedly murdered by their mothers and are mainly connected to English and European lore. Perhaps the most famous Radiant Boy sighting happened in 18th century Ireland.
Captain Robert Stewart sought refuge in a gentleman’s manse after being caught in a storm during a hunting outing. The house was crowded with guests, so Captain Stewart was unknowingly put in a small, haunted room. He fell asleep for a few hours but then awoke to see a radiant light emanating from a naked boy who looked at him for a moment before vanishing.
Captain Stewart eventually became a lord and the chief secretary of Ireland, achieving great political success. But unfortunately, he went mad and killed himself, as the gentleman of the manse warned him he would after seeing the Radiant Boy.
3Chatty Ghost Child
In a video uploaded in October of 2013, a homeowner catches some eerie child voices on his GoPro. He explains in the description of the video that his dog had been intently staring, following, and reacting to “nothing,” so the homeowner decided to see if he could catch anything on film.
You can clearly make out a child’s voice saying “Mommy” and then some other jumbled words later on. The uploader wrote that he’d been experiencing some odd things in his home for about a year-and-a-half. He even writes that the spirits followed him — maybe Adam Ellis should get in touch with this guy. They seem to have a lot in common.
Lily roams the halls of West Virginia’s Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. No one knows if Lily was brought to the asylum or born there, but she only made it to age nine and then died of pneumonia. Visitors and tour guides often report hearing Lily’s giggle and have witnessed toys move on their own, including a bouncy ball that Lily reportedly loves playing with.
A room within the asylum has been dedicated to Lily, in which a small music box gifted to Lily’s spirit sometimes plays on its own.
5The Little Boy of Gladiolus Street
New Orleans is packed to the brim with haunted locations, many of which are home to ghostly children. But one of the most famous kiddie haunts is the boy who lives in the haunted house on Gladiolus Street.
Investigators believe that the little boy haunting this house is around 10 years old. He often laughs at the homeowner when she makes silly mistakes like stubbing her toe. When the boy’s voice is caught on recorders, he’s often tattling and gossiping about the other ghosts in the residence.
In 1888, boaters discovered the murdered body of 8-year-old May Hawes in Alabama’s East Lake. She and her mother and sister had been murdered by her father, Richard Hawes, and two accomplices. Although her murder was solved, and her father was eventually given the death penalty for his crimes, little May still lingers around East Lake after she met such a tragic end.
Some people have witnessed May walking up and down the shores calling for her mother and sister or playing with the geese. Others have seen an apparition of her body floating in the water. Locals call her the “Mermaid of East Lake” or the “Child of the Lake,” and they often leave jack-o-lanterns and flowers for her during the Halloween season.
7Ghost Boy in the Spy House
New Jersey’s Spy House is reportedly one of the most haunted locations in America. Built in the mid-1600s, it changed hands and titles from house to tavern and back to house again. It’s historically known as The Spy House due to the tavern owner getting Redcoats drunk enough during the Revolutionary War so that they would spill military secrets.
Visitors to the house have reportedly seen a small boy in the upstairs window, wearing old-timey clothing. The top floor is roped off to visitors. Others have seen a gaggle of kids playing outside, all dressed in 18th-century fashions. Some even claim that these kids have black eyes — callback to the first haunting!
We will never be able to sleep again.