In the arena of ghosts, there are some popular players that show up over time and location. Some of the more popularly and often reported ghosts are going to be reviewed here today. Chances are your home, your friend's home, your neighbor's home, your neighborhood, your town might have at least a few of these.
Cry baby bridges involve legends of or actual events of a child being pushed over the bridge and dying or jumping from the bridge, or some other tragedy associated with the bridge involving a child. The names of just some popular cry baby bridges in Ohio are; Rogue's Hollow, The Screaming Bridge of Maud Hughes Road, Egypt Road in Salem, Wisner Road and Helltown. That's just one state!
These are the cry baby bridges just in the state of Oklahoma as reported on Wikipedia:
In Alderson, near McAlester, the bridge is located at the end of Alderson Road and has been known to legends of a woman who was raped by her father several times and would throw her unwanted infants off the bridge. Local residents have reported sounds of babies crying underneath the bridge late at night and also the glowing image of the woman has been seen numerous times floating over the rocky bed of North Boggy Creek.
In Moore, approximately 2 miles east of Sooner Rd. on 134th St. there is a collapsed and abandoned bridge. Legend of a woman and infant in their vehicle falling through the wood of the bridge during late-night hours, a few days later the vehicle and remains were discovered by law enforcement patrolling the area. As for the bridge, it was never repaired and the road was therefore deemed unsafe and was closed off to vehicles, the cry of the baby is rumored to be heard during overnight hours.
In Kellyville, approximately 1.63 miles east of the Slick/Kellyville Road on West 181st street on the north side, there is the original bridge abutments off of the new road. Legend of a woman and her infant child driving down the road trying to escape her husband. The woman's car ran off the bridge and the baby was never found. Legend continues that if the bridge is visited at midnight the baby's cry can be heard and sometimes accompanied by a strange blue light.
The legend of La Llorona is from our legend-filled neighbors to the south of the United States. It is a legend repeated in some form or another in many cultures around the world. There are a lot of explanations for why the La Llorona exists, most having to do with a woman who met a man but he didn't want children, so she drowned her children. She rushed back to tell her lover what she had done and how much she loved him, that she would drown her own children, he was repulsed and rebuked her. She then wandered in search of her children. Some say, she was turned down at Heaven and forced to go back to earth and find her children. Her spirit is said to wander in the desert washes crying out for her babies. She is the equivalent of the lady in white in the United States. In the UK, the equivalent is the banshee.
There is a different version in every area. Here is one shared by a woman about the Tucson La Llorona.
"The Tucson, Arizona version of La Llarona was a promiscuous lady who didn't like to be bothered with children. Whenever she had a baby, she would take it down to the river and drown it.
When she herself died and tried to get into Heaven, St. Peter told her that she couldn't get in unless she brought all her dead babies with her. So now she wanders along the river, wailing for her lost children. Not surprisingly, they haven't come back to her.
Don't leave your baby alone in the dark or let your little ones wander around at night alone, because La Llarona will take them in hopes of fooling St. Peter. —Maureen
The most famous (or infamous) of the hitchhiking ghosts comes from Illinois and she was known as Resurrection Mary (named for the cemetery she was associate with).
Back in the 1930s, drivers along Archer Avenue were reporting a girl in white was attempting to jump on running boards. More recent drivers claim stopping to give her a ride and one she's in the car, she disappears right at Resurrection Cemetery, before they get to her destination. She is seen to dart in and out around the cemetery and sometimes, right in front of cars, leading drivers to believe they hit someone. One of the legends associated with her is that she went stormed home on foot from a dance after an argument with her boyfriend and got hit by a car and is buried in the cemetery.
Lady in White
This ghost is usually associated with a legend in a rural area of some tragedy. The woman, in a long white gown is still seen wandering. Some are attached to stories of losing a husband, being rebuked by a lover, or even being a harbinger that someone is about to die.
The White Lady of Acra (NY) is a legend of a young woman dressed in all white supposedly seen at night along the road she last traveled on or near the cemetery not far from her fatal accident. (Interestingly similar to the legend of Resurrection Mary).
It would seem that a great deal of female apparitions seen by people involve a gown, often a light/white gown, giving way to even more reports of white lady ghosts.
In terms of Feng Shui, the study of energy "chi" and how it flows, stairways are great raceways for energy. Why do we have so many stairway ghosts? I'd say the likely reason is very logical - stairways easily creak compared to floorboards because of the way they are supported. They have also had people climbing up and down them for decades, sometimes centuries. That common pattern is bound to lay down some memories.
In the home I grew up in, we have a very famous stair climbing ghosts. We called him the soldier with no boots. The legend told to us when we moved in and my mother asked the previous owner about the sounds, was that a soldier had been in there during the Civil War and fighting broke out. He rushed outside to give aid with his gun, leaving his precious boots his parents had given him, up in the room. He was killed. He kept going back for those boots. Each night, he climbed the stairs and headed down the hall to the middle bedroom where he would come to rest before the radiator, the board sighing with his weight, as if the fibers of the house recalled this event over and over again.
They tuck you in, they pull the sheet off your feet. These playful ghosts are sometimes very unsettling. On Ghost Hunters show, Grant spent a night in an infamously haunted room at the Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, Arizona where something moved his bedding as he slept.
I had an incident at the Hotel Vendome in Prescott, Arizona that unsettled me greatly. I do not like hospital corners, I feel trapped in the sheets, so I was pulling the sheets out of the corners of the bed before going to sleep. My friend who was staying in the haunted room with me thought it was hilarious that I am scared of tight sheets, but she knew my routine. So, I got ready, climbed into bed, took a few pics of the room to compare in the morning. I woke up at night, hearing something in the closet, and feeling something bumping the bed. I thought someone was in the room. I picked up the camera and took a shot. Then, I realized that my feet were tucked in tightly with a hospital corner, in fact, my toes were pointed it was so tight. I panicked and my friend woke up and saw that I was trapped as I pulled the sheets back out from under the mattress. When the photo was checked later, it showed the closet door was wide open during the night. In the morning, when I took the pictures, it was closed again.
The most extraordinary one was in Gettysburg. Julie and I stayed at Federal Pointe Inn (I highly recommend it). We went to bed at night and the air conditioning made the room really cold. I kept pulling the blankets over me and then I would wake up and they weren't there. I found them halfway off the end of the bed one time. The next time, on the floor on the other side of the bed. The next time, a few feet away from the foot of the bed. The last time, they were all the way at the opening to the reading room about 15 feet away! I got really mad, wrapped myself up like a mummy and said out loud, "these are MY blankets."
Other common themes
Widow's walk ghosts that go back and forth awaiting their man who died at sea
Pirate ghosts searching for treasure
One's own deceased relatives