10 Famous Female Ghosts

Famous female ghosts

Have you ever noticed that some of the most famous paranormal tales have female spirits as the main characters? From innocent young girls to powerful witches, these ghost stories and urban legends are deeply compelling from start to finish.

In this article, we’ll shed light on some of the most noteworthy female ghosts around the world. We’ll provide fascinating context to the history surrounding their deaths and how they rose to otherworldly fame.

1. Bloody Mary

Legend has it that if you say “Bloody Mary” three times while facing the bathroom mirror, her ghost will appear. But who is Bloody Mary exactly? In ghost-hunting culture, Bloody Mary is thought to be Mary Tudor, former Queen of England, Ireland, and Spain at different points in her life.

She got her nickname because of her fondness for executions, even as a young girl. During her rule, hundreds of Protestant dissenters were executed on account of heresy. Today, Mary Tudor is one of the most legendary ghosts in the world, with her spirit being summoned in bathrooms all over the globe.

2. Dolley Madison

Dolley Madison was the USA’s First Lady between 1809 and 1817. She was celebrated for hosting lively parties and was said to be a young woman of many talents. However, she is best known for the role she played in rescuing the Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington before the British invaded the White House in 1812.

After she died at the age of 81, there were many reports of Dolley floating around the White House’s rose garden. Of all America’s female ghosts, Dolley Madison is one of the most loved!

3. The Bell Witch

In the early 1800s, John Bell and his family moved from North Carolina to Tennessee. Everything seemed fine at first but it was not long before very strange things began happening to the family. There were sightings of weird creatures in the cornfields and they heard unexplained noises every night.

The evil spirit causing all this disruption was dubbed “The Bell Witch“. Ghost hunters travelled from far and wide to try to help the Bells with their ghost problem. The terrorising of the family got worse and worse and many people believe that The Bell Witch is to blame for John’s death in 1820, after he fell into a coma.

4. ‘La Planchada’

La Planchada, which is Spanish for ‘the ironed lady’, is a well-known legend in Mexico. She is said to be the ghost of a nurse named Eulalia, who fell in love with a doctor who did not return her love. After this rejection, she became very dejected and was known for not treating her patients properly.

While there are many stories of maligned female ghosts, La Planchada is actually thought to be quite friendly. In fact, many patients have said that her spirit has helped heal their sickness, perhaps atoning for her sins while she was alive. Catching a glimpse of her during your time in hospital is said to be a good omen.

5. The Crying Woman

The Crying Woman, also known as ‘La Llorona‘, is one of the most famous campfire stories in Latin American folklore. The story follows a woman named Maria. After she found out that her husband was cheating on her, Maria drowned her two children in a jealous rage.

La Llorona is said to haunt the waterways of Mexico and the Southwestern part of the USA, crying out for her drowned children. You can recognise her by her long, dark her and her white dress that is dripping in water.

6. Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn, who was the Queen of England between 1533 and 1536, is one of the most interesting figures in British history. After being married to King Henry VIII for just three years, Anne Boleyn was beheaded for treason at the Tower of London. It is thought the king used treason as an excuse and the main reason for Anne’s beheading was because she had not borne him a male heir.

The ghost of Anne Boleyn has been sighted all over England, including the grounds of Hever Castle, the Tower of London, Salle Church, and Blickling Hall. Sightings of Anne’s ghost usually happen around Christmastime, and she is known to make appearances at royal events.

7. The Red Lady

The Red Lady, or The Lady in Red as she is sometimes referred to, is the ghost of a woman who haunts Tonopah’s Mizpah Hotel. The historical truth about this woman is a little fuzzy. Some say she was a prostitute who was murdered by one of her clients, others say she was murdered by her husband after he found out she was cheating on him.

The haunted rooms of the Mizpah Hotel attract ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts from around the world. Ghost stories in America reveal that ‘The Red Lady’ represents a popular trope of women who were murdered by their lovers, with ‘Red Ladies’ being spotted all over the country.

8. The Donkey Lady

America’s ghosts come in all different shapes and forms, including half-donkeys. The legend of San Antonio’s Donkey Lady is one of the region’s most famous ghost stories. Legend says that the Donkey Lady raised donkeys on a farm all on her own. She died in a body that left her maimed and scarred and today she haunts the farmlands surrounding the city.

The Donkey Lady is said to have the body of a woman but the head of a donkey.

9. Kuchisake-onna

Also known as the ‘slit-mouthed woman‘, Kuchisake-onna, is a Japanese spirit who often presents herself to children. At first, she is wearing a mask but she removes it to show a slit in her face that goes from ear to ear. She is rumoured to ask, “Am I pretty?“. If you say no, she slashes your face with a samurai sword.

This story is meant to reveal ways society objectifies women, with ‘unnatural women’ typically being portrayed as evil.

10. The Vanishing Hitchhiker

The story of the Vanishing Hitchhiker has been told all around the world and it is difficult to determine its exact origins. The story tells of a young female hitchhiker who gets picked up by a man in a car. She gives him her address and he begins making his way there.

After a while, he notices that the young woman has completely vanished. When he arrives at her home, her family tells him that she died in a car accident many years ago.


How do I know if a ghost is male or female?

If you’ve ever come across a ghost, your intuition usually tells you whether the entity is male or female. If you want to communicate with the spirit to find out for sure, you may be interested in investing in ghost-hunting equipment like:

Are female ghosts more vengeful?

Many cultures believe that female ghosts are more vengeful than males because of how they were unjustly treated during their life. Some of the most famous female ghosts died amidst torture and suffering, filling them with rage and vengeance in the afterlife.

Do all witches become ghosts?

While there are a few female ghosts who were said to be witches when they were alive, not all witches come back as ghosts. Whether or not someone becomes a ghost after their death has more to do with their attachment to Earth than their interest in witchcraft.

Final Thoughts

There have been too many real-life ghost encounters around the world to simply dismiss the prevalence of female ghosts. If you want to learn more about famous female ghosts through a keen feminist lens, you may be interested in reading, ‘A Haunted History of Invisible Womenby New York Times bestselling author Leanna Renee Hieber.

This deeply researched book is perfect for those who are interested in a well-written observation of some of the most famous ghostly legends out there. Remember that there is no reason to fear any of these paranormal tales, so long as you are respectful towards the ghosts and what they may have experienced during their lives.


Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!