5 Halloween Horror Stories That Actually Happened

Warning: the following real Halloween horror stories are extremely graphic and violent in nature. So if you’re looking for the kind of scare you get from finding only yellow Starbursts in your trick-or-treat bag, this is not the article for you. But if you’re feeling especially daring, here are the freakiest real Halloween stories!

The Hanging Woman


Residents of Frederica, Delaware mistook a body hanging from a tree around Halloween-time 2005 for a scary decoration. It wasn’t until hours later that the body was discovered to be that of a 42-year-old woman.

Ronald Clark O’Bryan


On Halloween night in 1974, Texas father Ronald Clark O’Bryan tried to kill his two children as well as four other children by giving them candy poisoned with cyanide. He had taken out a huge life insurance policy on his two children, and thought that by giving the candy to four other children it would clear him of suspicion. Only his 8-year-old son Timothy ate the candy and died, and O’Bryan was caught and eventually sentenced to the death penalty. He was nicknamed “The Candy Man” by the press, and executed in March 1984.

Karl Jackson


In 1998, a 21-year-old man named Karl Jackson took his girlfriend to pick up her son from a Halloween party. As they waited for the boy, a group of teenagers started throwing eggs at their car. Jackson got out to tell them to stop, but as he turned around to get back in his car, one of the teens pulled out a gun and shot Karl in the head. He died at the scene and his killer was never caught.

The Body Under the Bed


You know that urban legend about the corpse hidden in the hotel bed? In 2003, a man checked into the Capri Motel outside of Kansas City. The room had some serious stank, but the staff said there was nothing they could do since they didn’t know the source of the problem. After three days in the stinky room, the man had enough. After he checked out, the hotel staff found a decomposing body under the mattress.

William Anthony Odem


A 15-year-old North Carolina teen named William Anthony Odem was hosting a haunted house with his friends in 1990, when he accidentally hung himself while staging a gallows scene. The noose had somehow tightened, killing him without anyone there to see or help.


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