A bride is generally seen as a symbol of everything that is delightful and joyous in the human experience though for some unfortunate brides, wedded bliss doesn’t last long as tragedy strikes. Some of these brides leave their earthly abode but are doomed to forever wander the realm of the netherworld and the realm of the living. Some of these ghost brides make their presence felt to the living and serve as a reminder of how truly tragic the longing of a bride deprived from living out her ‘happily ever after’ can be.
The Tragic Ghost Bride of Charles Fort
Located on the south coast of Ireland, the historic town of Kinsale has witnessed many wars and much bloodshed over the centuries and ghost sightings are not an uncommon event in the area. However, the legend of the Ghost Bride of Charles Fort remains one of the most well-known ghost stories in the area. According to local legend, the daughter of the Commander of the Fort fell in love with and got married to a handsome young officer sometime in the 1600s. On their wedding night, the couple decided to take a romantic walk along the ramparts of the fort. Just as they arrived at the fort’s land-side wall, the young bride spotted a solitary white rose growing on a bush just below the high wall.
The bride asked her new husband to retrieve it for her though a sentry overheard them and volunteered to get it for the happy couple and asked if the young officer would stand guard in his place while he’s gone. The young man agreed to do so. However, the sentry did not return for quite a while and the young officer fearing that the sentry might have met with an accident decided to keep guard at his sentry post till dawn and sent his bride back to their residence.
While keeping guard, the young officer dozed off. A short while later, the Commander of the Fort and the young officer’s father in law came around for his nightly inspection and found a sentry with a musket asleep. Not realizing that it was his own son-in-law, the commander shot the sleeping man in keeping with the military code of the day only to realize later that he had killed his own daughter’s husband. Tortured by the discovery, the commander jumped off the ramparts to his death. A while later, when the young bride returned to look for her husband, she discovered the corpses of both her new husband and father at the spot. Stunned by the tragedy that turned her wedding day into a nightmare, the young bride too committed suicide by jumping off from the ramparts. Locals say that her ghost still walks around in the area hoping to overcome her grief.
The hitchhiking ghost bride of Route 26
There is a stretch along Route 26 in Portland, Maine that is infamous among local drivers for being haunted by the ghost of a “woman in white”. Though there are many legends associated with the identity of this ghost, the most popular one states that spirit that appears to many travelers along this route is the bride of one George Knight who was brutally murdered in her farmhouse on Route 11 in 1856 while she was on her way to get to her wedding.
According to tales narrated by eyewitnesses, the ghost of Mrs. Knight appears as a bright glow ahead in the road when a motorist approaches a particular stretch along Route 26. As the vehicle grows near, the figure of a young woman aged between 20 and 24 dressed in a bridal gown becomes clear. The woman asks motorists if they can drop her off to the church on Route 11. She sits quietly in the passenger’s seat though some have said that she delivers a cautionary message also. She often asks the driver to drive quicker as she doesn’t want to be late for her wedding. However, when the motorist gets to the church and asks the young bride whether that is the place she wants to go, she simple says “goodbye” and vanishes into thin air!
The Ghost Bride of Fairmont Hotel
The Fairmont Hotel in Banff, Canada is famous among skiers though the building constructed in the 1800s is also home to the tragic ghost of a bride who could never walk down the aisle. Often spotted in the Grand Suite 1236, the ghost of the young woman is seen in a long sleeved empire-waist wedding dress with fresh-looking flowers in her long curly locks. Described as being extremely pretty though sad looking, the ghost is seen standing in front of mirrors and patting her stomach and is often reported to have been seen walking right through closed doors! According to local myth, the beautiful 22-year old woman was pregnant with the child of a man who was reluctant to marry her. He thus brought her up to the Grand Suite 1236 in the Fairmont Hotel and killed her. Sadly, the ghost of the young bride doesn’t seem to have realized that she has been murdered and is thus seen wandering though the hotel checking her bridal dress and hair and looking for her groom.
Falkirk Mansion’s wailing Ghost Bride
In 1888, the Falkirk Mansion in San Rafael was designed by renowned architect Clinton Day and built by local craftsman E. F. Chisolm for Ella Nichols Park who had been widowed after a short six months of marriage. Mrs. Park lived in the house till her death in 1907 and the mansion is now a popular wedding location. However, people claim that the property is haunted and most people have reported that the moment a couple says ‘I do’ during a ceremony held at the mansion, a high pitched wail or scream is heard. There have also been reports of other disturbances during the recital of wedding vows like opening and closing of doors, footsteps heard in the house and people also report that wedding effects left in rooms rented by a wedding party appear to be disturbed or moved.
The ghost bride of Erie, Pennsylvania
The town of Erie, Pennsylvania is strewn with railroad tracks that run through the city. One track runs through what was once Erie Canal and the neighborhood is also home to many local bars and taverns. On an October night not too long ago, a local engaged couple came dressed to a pre-Halloween party as bride and groom at “The Queen’s Pawn,” a popular private club. The twenty somethings danced the night away and left at around 3:15 am with a group of around 30 friends.
Just as the group reached one of the railway tracks in the area, they found a slow moving train approach and they thought it would be fun to hop on. The girl’s fiancé too hopped on to a platform and extended his hand for his bride-to-be. The girl, however, was dressed in high heels and a full length gown and as she tried to jump onto the train in her intoxicated state, her dress got caught in the wheels of the train and she was dragged over 100 yards with her body parts severing and scattering all around the streets.
Though the horror of the day has lived on in public memory, another sad reminder of the tragic day lingers on in the area in the guise of the woman’s ghost who is seen wandering in her wedding dress looking for her fiancé. She says nothing, interacts with no one but vanishes into thin air after a while.
The ghost of the jilted bride who murdered her ex and his wife
Sometime in the early half of last century, young Cynthia Nell got all dressed up for her wedding, wearing her gorgeous purple bridal gown with matching heels and a bouquet of lilacs. She waited for the love of her life eagerly but as the hours passed, she realized that she had been left at the altar. Deeply embarrassed and shocked, she vowed never to marry. The very next day, she was shocked to discover that her ex-fiancé had an affair with her own sister and had married her the day he was to marry Cynthia. To add insult to injury, Cynthia found out that her sister too had worn a purple ensemble that mimicked her own.
Jilted and infuriated, Cynthia took out her wedding dress at 11:30 that night, walked 12 blocks to her sister’s house, crept into the bedroom where her sister was asleep with her new husband and cracked both their skulls open with an axe and then proceeded to lay petals from her sisters bridal bouquet over their dead bodies as she hummed the wedding march. The screams of the murdered couple prompted the neighbors to call the police who found Cynthia sitting in a rocking chair smiling evilly, holding her sister’s bridal bouquet of lilacs.
As they tried to capture her, she jumped from a window feet away with her evil laughter filling up the night before she hit the ground and died. Even to this day, people report hearing Cynthia’s evil laughter and her voice humming the wedding march while some have even seen her in her purple gown shining a large bloody axe.
The Ghost Bride that haunts Dolmia road near Karachi
Sometime in the late 1990s, Abdul Rehman, an employee at a school in Karachi, Pakistan was returning home after a late night at work. After purchasing some food for his family from an eatery that was still open at 1.30 am, Rehman decided to take a short cut that ran through an under construction patch of road instead of his usual longer route. The 2.5 to 3km stretch along Dolmia road near Karachi runs next to a graveyard and local residents believe it to be haunted. However, Rehman didn’t believe in ghosts and decided to travel down the road to reach home as quickly as he could. At around 2.30 am, Rehman’s car got a flat tire and he stepped out to change it. Even though he was within eyeshot of the graveyard, he changed the tire without the fear of the unknown entering his heart. Just as he was about to drive off, he saw a blue light flash by him and felt a chill run down his spine as his hair stood on ends.
Trying to make sense of what just happened, Rehman drove on only to see a very pretty young girl dressed in traditional red bridal attire, heavy jewelry and floral garland 400 meters ahead. As he drew closer, he saw her waving her hand as if she was in misery. He stopped to ask her if she needed help but found her talking in a language he could not understand. Moments later, he saw her face turning corpse-like with maggots crawling out of her skin and she smelled like a dead body too.
Rehman quickly got into her car and sped off though he could see the corpse bride chasing his car in the rear view mirror, screaming in the unknown language. Overcome by fear, Rehman lost consciousness and ended up hitting the side pavement. He was found injured in the morning with his car badly damaged.
The ghost bride of Pontlottyn
More than 24 years ago, this pair of newlyweds moved into a flat near old chapel called Zoar Chapel in the village of Pontlottyn in Wales. Though the big beefy husband was not a believer in ghosts by any stretch of the imagination, one night he found himself face to face with a bride dressed in an old fashion bridal gown standing in his bedroom in the middle of the night staring at him.
Visibly shaken, the man woke up his wife and asked if she could see “her” too. When the wife said no, the man realized that he had in fact come face to face with a ghost. Upon investigation from neighbors, the couple found that the bride was stabbed to death on the steps of the chapel near their house after her wedding by a jilted ex lover of the woman’s husband. Even though the husband continued to see the ghost bride through the years, she never spoke to him and never harmed the family.
The matchmaking ghost bride from Alpha Gamma Delta sorority house in Athens, Georgia
Athens architect William Winstead Thomas built a house in Athens, Georgia in 1896 which was purchased in 1913 by then state senator James Yancey Carithers for his daughter Susie and her fiancé. On the day of her wedding, Susie wore her pretty white dress and waited for her groom to show up. However, he was horribly late and believing that she had been left at the altar, Susie committed suicide by hanging herself from the rafters in the attic. Shortly after, her fiancé arrived and explained how he had been delayed by a vehicular breakdown but it was too late.
The house at 530 South Milledge Avenue was purchased by the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority in 1939, and though member of the sorority have reported various unexplained events like doors shutting and opening on their own, flickering lights, faucets turning off and on, a piano playing gown its own, faces in the mirrors and windows and chairs moving in the attic, residents of the Thomas-Carithers House report that the ghost has been largely beneficial and the girls that reside in the rooms directly under the spot where Susie killed herself end up getting married or engaged within a year!
The ghost of the bride at Emily’s Bridge in Vermont
According to local legend, this woman named Emily was supposed to elope with her lover and they had planned on meeting at the bride before the secret wedding. However, the groom never showed up and the jilted bride hung herself from the rafter of the bridge. To this day, visitors to the bridge recount tales of paranormal activity including the sounds of a girl screaming, banging noises on cars parked on the bridge, ropes tightening, footsteps and sounds of something being dragged on top of the car.