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Halloween stories

Updated on January 28, 2014

Scary Halloween stories and short ghost tales for kids and adults online. Read about ghosts, skeletons, witches, pumpkins and black cats.

On a stretch of road in Dartmoor, United Kingdom, there have been many sightings for almost a century of a pair of disembodied Hairy Hands that appear suddenly, grab at the steering wheel of a moving car and then force it off of the road.

Picture this - you're driving along the narrow misty moonlit moors, its a dark, cold night. All of a sudden the steering wheel or handlebars are grabbed by a gruesome pair of grotesque, hairy, calloused hands that are inhumanly strong and do their best to fight you for control of your car.

That's a story that's been repeated many times since the first incident in 1921 when a Dartmoor Prison guard was killed as his motorcycle went out of control and crashed. The tale was related by his children who were riding in the sidecar. All they heard was their father shouting at them to get off the bike and apparently wrestling with the steering. They jumped clear and survived. Their dad did not.

This happened again when another motorcyclist and passenger were driven off the road at the same spot. This time the passenger saw a large hairy hand grab the handlebars and forcibly crash the bike.

In 1924 a young couple were camping in a caravan in the area and the woman was awoken in the middle of the night by a a large disembodied hand, covered in hair, crawling up the outside of the caravan window. In her terror, the woman made the sign of the cross and the hand seemed to disappear.

The tale has been heard again and again and the area has become notorious for accidents, many of the survivors giving the story of feeling or seeing the large rough hands, covered in hair grabbing at them and trying to crash their vehicle. Rumours abound that the hands are the ghost of an old man who was hit by a car and killed on that road, the ghost of a deceased Dartmoor Prison inmate or some kind of evil spirit wandering the moors. Whatever they are, its certainly a good idea to take care if you find yourself driving around the lonely country roads of the UK.

Big bear cabin

Big Bear Cabin is a scary campfire story about a group of boyscouts who go on a camping vacation in a mountain resort near an old lodge. Around a campfire, they hear a tale of terror about an indian chief who lost his head.

The troop of boyscouts were nearing the summit of the mountain. Just at the edge of a clearing, they found a secluded area where they could make camp. There was an old lodge cabin, that stood out in the snow. They found an old stove inside the cabin and hoped that they could use it for cooking. That way, they wouldn’t have to resort to cooking their sausages and beans on an open campfire. So they all pitched their tent beside the cabin and cooked a big meal.

That night, as they ate around a fire ouside the cabin, their scout master told them a story about the history of the area.

Many years ago, he said, the land was sacred hunting ground for an Indian tribe. The game in this field was always plentiful until a white man, a fur trapper, came and built the cabin at the summit of the mountain.

The chief of the tribe was an indian brave named Big Bear and he was enraged at this encroachment. Big Bear decided that they would have to find a way to get rid of the intruder.

The Indian chief had seen the trapper in the cabin, and knew that he was an old man and didn’t have any weapons, so instead of harming him, he decided to scare him away instead. The Indian warrior crept up to the house and tap-tap-tapped on the wall.

This attracted the attention of the trapper, who came outside to investigate. But finding nothing there, he went back to his work in his cabin, skinning rabbits with his pocket-knife. Again the Indian tap-tap-tapped on the wall and frightened the trapper. When the trapper came out to investigate the noise, the Indian was hiding in a bush nearby. This cat and mouse game went on for the majority of the night.

The trapper was becoming very afraid of this mystery noise. He decided if he couldn’t figure out what was making the noise, he would leave in the morning and never return.

He kept a big axe mounted on the chimney over the stove in his cabin. It was used for chopping firewood but he thought he may need it for protection as well. So he took it down from the chimney and waited for the tapping sound.

The next time Big Bear tap-tap-tapped on the wall, the trapper was creeping out of the cabin. As the Indian darted away to hide, he ran right into the trapper. The old man was too surprised to think and swung the axe at the shadowy thing coming towards him. He decapitated the Indian with a single chop. Big Bear’s headless body stumbled forward before it crumpled to the ground at the trapper’s feet.

The Indian’s severed head flew through the air with the force of the blow and became lodged in the chimney of the cabin.

When the trapper went back into his cabin and began cleaning his axe, he again heard a gentle tap-tap-tapping. This time it seemed to be coming from inside his cabin. It went on for hours until he peered up the chimney and saw the Indian’s bloody head staring back at him. The blood was dripping down the chimney and making a tap-tap-tapping noise on the stone floor.

When the other Indians saw how easily the old white man had conquered their chief, they banned all people in the tribe from setting foot in their sacred hunting ground. To ensure this, the medicine man called on the spirit of the headless indian chief to guard the land. It is said that on dark rainy nights, Big Bear the indian warrior can still be heard prowling around the old cabin, tapping on the wall and looking for his head.

“And that”, said the scout master “is why they call it Big Bear Cabin”.

Once the scout master had finished the story, all of the boyscouts were afraid to go to sleep. The boys all lay awake in their tent, thinking about the story of the trapper and the headless Indian. The scout master tried to tell them it was just a legend, that there was nothing to be afraid of, but the boys couldn’t get the story of Big Bear out of their heads.

Just after midnight, as some of the scouts were managing to fall asleep, one of them thought he heard a faint tap-tap-tapping sound. He told the scount master who didn’t believe him. When more and more of the boys said they heard the sound, the scout master was forced to get dressed and investigate.

Reluctantly, he unzipped the door of the tent, got out and walked around the cabin, listening for the noise. The scouts all stayed in the tent waiting for him to come back. The tap-tap-tapping sound got louder and louder. The scout master went into the cabin and realised the sound was coming from the area of the stove. Slowly, he kneeled down and peered up the chimney.

The scouts heard a yell and then a dull thud. Then nothing. They waited for seconds that seemed like hours and then there was a rustling at the door of the tent. Something was unzipping the tent door. Frightened, the boys grabbed anything they could to use as a weapon.

They were relieved when the zipper of the tent was pulled down and they saw their scout master’s uniform. But the relief only lasted a second. The scout master dropped to his knees and the boys realised that he was missing his head.

The End

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