October is synonymous with all things supernatural and spooky, and TV can prove it. As if Fox’s newest show, Ghosted, a supernatural-themed show aimed at tickling your funny bone, wasn’t enough, there’s a ton of other TV shows primed to spook you the heck out. Think The Exorcist, American Horror Story: Cult and even the long-running CW hit Supernatural.
When it comes to shows with spooky or supernatural themes, it’s highly likely that someone has based the show on an experience they had IRL. In fact, a 2013 Harris poll found that 45 percent of Americans believe in ghosts, which means that if someone involved in writing a spooky TV show didn’t have the scary experience, maybe one of the celebrities involved might have had that supernatural encounter. Makes total sense, right?
Of course, it’s fun to tell ghost stories this time of year. It’s less fun when the tales are terrifying and true. These celebs may not make you rethink ghost stories, but if you were a skeptic before, you might just read through this article and find yourself reconsidering. You don’t need scary movies or TV shows to get into the Halloween spirit this year!
Turn on a light, grab a cozy blanket and settle in for some terrifying tales. Sure, some of these celebs are actors, but it’s up to you to decide if they’re acting while recounting their personal experiences with the supernatural. After all, they already have the fame, so why would they need to lie?
1. Demi Lovato
In 2013, Lovato told Buzzfeed the story of her home in Texas, which is haunted by a ghost named Emily.
“I go ghost hunting. My house in Texas is so ridiculously haunted. Not by a bad spirit, but a little girl. I think her name is Emily,” Lovato explained. “I’ve had a medium come over and ghost hunters, and they both told me the same name, Emily. There were so many times that I saw her when I was growing up. I saw her in my closet one time. When I was 3 years old, my mom caught me talking to something by myself. She asked, ‘Who are you talking to?’ and I said, ‘My best friend Emily.’ She’s playful. She’d probably be around 11 or 12 years old, maybe younger.”
2. Carrie Fisher
Fisher’s story started when her good friend R. Gregory Stevens died from an overdose while in bed with Fisher at her home.
After that, Fisher said weird things started happening in her home, and she could still feel Stevens’ presence.
“Lights would go on and off, and this [talking] toy machine [I had] would go off in the night, by itself, in my closet,” Fisher said in a 2006 interview with Vanity Fair.
3. Miley Cyrus
Cyrus had such a terrifying encounter with a ghost in a rented London flat during her 2009 tour that she had to leave. She described the incident to Elle UK.
“One night, my little sister [Noah] — it sounds crazy to tell you — but she was standing in the shower, and all of a sudden I hear her scream. I run in there, and the water had somehow flipped to hot… The knob had turned, but she hadn’t turned it, and it was burning her. She was really red.”
Cyrus had her own encounter too, “I thought I had seen a little boy sitting on the sink watching me take a shower. I was sitting there the next night, and maybe I’m crazy, but I could have sworn I could see this little boy sitting there on the sink, kicking his feet.”
The incidents caused Cyrus to do some digging into the history of the house. She discovered that it used to be owned by a family of three, but the parents died, leaving their son an orphan. Cyrus insists that the little boy she saw was the orphan son.
“I had to move,” she revealed. “That’s not a lie. I will never stay there ever again.”
4. Patrick Stewart
Stewart saw a ghost while he was onstage performing Waiting for Godot at Theatre Royal Haymarket.
“I just saw a ghost. Onstage, during Act One,” Stewart told his BFF Ian McKellan in a 2009 story in the Telegraph.
Stewart added that the man he saw was wearing a beige coat and twill pants, which matches the description of John Baldwin Buckstone, an actor and manager of the theater in the mid-19th century.
The story was so chilling that it was even included in a documentary about the theatre.
“Patrick told us all about it. He was stunned. I would not say frightened, but I would say impressed,” said Nigel Everette, director of Theatre Royal Haymarket.
“I’ve got a song called ‘Supernatural’… about having sex with a ghost,” she explained. “I lived in this flophouse at Rural Canyon, and there was this weird energy that lived there, and it used to keep me up at night and wake me up. And it progressed into this dark, sexual spirit.”
“I’m very open to it,” she added. “It did scare me, but that’s part of the fun of it.”
6. Joan Rivers
In an interview with Larry King, Rivers revealed that her Manhattan apartment was haunted.
“You felt awful and scary, and things were locked that shouldn’t be locked,” Rivers said. “I used to say, ‘This is stupid. This is nonsense. There’s a reason for this.’ And then at one point you’d say, ‘You cannot say that anymore. Something is going on here.'”
The something? Rivers uncovered it: “This lady had died in the apartment. And she just was angry.”
7. Ariana Grande
Grande has maybe the scariest story on the list.
In 2013, she recounted the tale to Complex magazine. She was in Kansas City and visited a haunted castle and “Stull Cemetery, which is known as one of the seven gates to hell on Earth,” she explained.
“I felt this sick, overwhelming feeling of negativity over the whole car, and we smelled sulfur, which is the sign of a demon, and there was a fly in the car randomly, which is another sign of a demon,” Grande said, “I was like, ‘This is scary, let’s leave.’ I rolled down the window before we left and said, ‘We apologize. We didn’t mean to disrupt your peace.’ Then I took a picture, and there are three super-distinct faces in the picture — they’re faces of textbook demons.”
Grande continued, “The next day I tried to send [the picture] to my manager, and it said, ‘This file can’t be sent, it’s 666 megabytes.’ I’m not kidding. I used to have a folder called ‘demons’ that had pictures with all the screencaps in it, but then weird things started happening to me, so I deleted it.”
She said one of the weird things included an instance just a few weeks prior to the interview, when she was going to sleep. “I had just gotten off the phone, and as soon as I closed my eyes, I heard this really loud rumble right by my head. When I opened my eyes, it stopped immediately, but when I closed my eyes it started again with whispers. Every time I closed my eyes, I started seeing these really disturbing images with, like, red shapes. Then I opened my eyes and got back on the phone and was like, ‘I’m really scared, and I don’t want to go to bed tonight.'”
She continued, “Then I scooched over to the left side of my bed, because that’s where the best service is in my room, and there was this massive black matter. I don’t know what it was… I started crying. I was on the phone like, ‘What do I do, what do I do?’ and they said, ‘Tell it to eff off.’ I thought, I’m not going to do that. It’s going to upset it, so I’m just going to chill and not feed into it, because all it wants is fear. It feeds on fear. I watched it move to the front of my bed, and then I fell asleep on the phone. I woke up, and it was gone.”
8. Marilyn Manson
No one should be surprised to find Manson’s name on this list. He has been open about his paranormal encounters and even told his story in a 2009 episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories.
He said he encountered a ghost at his grandparents’ house as a child, and the meeting left him unable to sleep.
Manson’s experiences with ghosts have left him skeptical of ghost movies. “A movie like Paranormal Activity — I watched that and felt condescended to or insulted because I’ve had more scary, more frightening, and more interesting and believable experiences happen that I can’t explain. I think they’re encouraged by my interest in things that maybe you shouldn’t look into.”
9. Kate Hudson & Goldie Hawn
In the DVD extras for her 2005 movie Skeleton Key, Hudson said she and her mother, Hawn, see dead people.
“I’ve seen ghosts plenty of times,” Hudson said. And she said in a 2014 interview on the talk show Chatty Man that her mother sees them, too.
“It is not really seeing, it is feeling a spirit,” she explained. “A fifth energy. I believe in energy. I believe our brains can manifest into visual things.”
To Hudson, it’s not scary when it happens. “When you see something, you are supposed to tell the energy what year it is and that they don’t belong there. When your brain is freaking out on you, you may have to remind it. Why is being dead funny?”
10. Keanu Reeves
Reeves recounted his ghost story during an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live. “It was in New York. It was cool. So I’m, like, a little kid. I’m probably 6, 7 years old [in] a new apartment… We’d come from Australia. Renata, my nanny, was in the bedroom,” Reeves said. “There was a doorway, and all of a sudden, we’re looking over there and this jacket comes waving through the doorway, just empty — there’s no head, there’s no body, there’s no legs. It’s just there, and then it disappears.”
He continued, “I was a little a kid, so I thought, ‘That’s interesting.’ And then I looked over at the nanny.” It was her shocked face that made him realize what they had just seen was real.
11. Dan Aykroyd
It would make sense that Aykroyd, a Ghostbuster himself, would have a ghost story or two.
“I had several experiences. I saw things moving around on our counter, and doors opening and closing… Somebody crawled in bed with me once,” Aykroyd said during a 2013 interview with Esquire.
“I was alone in the house and decided to take a nap,” he recalled. “I closed the door to the bedroom but didn’t lock it. I woke up… I saw the door open, and I rolled over and looked at the bed, and I saw the depression in the mattress, like somebody was getting in there. And I thought, ‘I’m just going to roll over and snuggle up next to it.’ I’d be surprised if I was his type, but when you’re dead, you’ll take what you can get.”
12. Matthew McConaughey
McConaughey was settling in at his new home late at night when he heard what sounded like a dime drop on a glass table. The noise freaked him out so much that he didn’t even bother putting on clothes as he wandered out naked and armed with a bat.
“I go downstairs, and there’s nothing there,” McConaughey explained. “I now know it was her, because I’ve seen Madame Blue since.” But fear not: Madame Blue is apparently a “cool ghost.” McConaughey added, “Maybe me being nude all the time is why we get along.” Well, yes, that makes sense.
13. Peter Jackson
Jackson told his ghost story back in 2009 during an interview with Britain’s Channel 4.
He and his wife were staying in an apartment across from the St. James Theatre in London.
“I woke up one morning and there was a figure in the room, she was very scary, she had a screaming face, very accusatory, she was a lady about 50 years old,” Jackson said. “It was terrifying actually… she was at the end of the bed… she glided across the room and disappeared into the wall. I sat in bed and thought, have I really seen that?”
When Jackson told his wife what he’d seen, her response was eerie: “Was it the woman with the screaming face?”
Turns out, the woman with the screaming face was well-known around St. James Theatre. Many saw the woman, who was reportedly an actress who committed suicide after a bad vaudeville review.
“They say she manifests herself in the theater with a screaming face. Sometimes she’s seen — the same ghost,” Jackson explained. “She needs to learn to smile a little.”
14. Emma Stone
Stone believes the ghost of her late grandfather haunts her by leaving quarters for her to find.
She explained to David Letterman, “There’s a long family history with quarters… my grandfather leaves quarters. It’s just amazing.”
When Letterman seemed skeptical, Stone added, “It’s him! It’s absolutely him.”