Tales of ghosts and apparitions date back to ancient times and can be found in almost every culture. Pliny the Younger (c. 63 - 113 AD) writes of a fellow philosopher who had a chilling experience when he rented a large house in Athens to investigate rumors that it was haunted, and the Chinese philosopher Mo Tzu (470-391 BC) wrote: "If from antiquity to the present, and since the beginning of man, there are men who have seen the bodies of ghosts and spirits and heard their voices, how can we say that they do not exist?"
Belief in ghosts has persisted throughout human history (according to a 2005 Gallup poll 32% of people still believe in ghosts) and the ghost story has evolved from a genre carried on primarily through oral folktales to a respected form of literature. Today ghost stories are a part of our cultural mythology, and we are familiar with many of the most famous tales regardless of whether we have actually seen or read the original source material--from the ghost of Hamlet's father to the ghost of Christmas past, from Casper the friendly ghost to the pathologically violent entity of The Amityville Horror.
Compiled here, you will find a collection of classic ghost stories from the annals of history and literature. Some will fascinate you, some will make you laugh, and others may scare the pants off you. Enjoy!