Frozen to Death


Welcome to a special Wednesday post about freezing to death: perfect winter ghost stories to tell around a warm fireplace or for scaring others at the cold bus stop.

When The Midnight Society announced their #SpookyAllYear blogging event, I thought of two things: (1) I have to participate and (2) Damn, I miss Are You Afraid of the Dark?

My favorite episode (with a young Melissa Joan Hart) was “The Tale of the Frozen Ghost.” Our protagonists encounter a blue-ish, pale ghost of a young boy in the woods that utters the words, “I’m cold.” By the end of the episode, he peacefully goes to the other side when the protagonists find his red coat. To this day, I say the “I’m cold” line in a young boy’s voice when I’m especially cold to usually unamused friends.

This childhood memory triggered another childhood memory. One day, in fourth grade, I had to tell a scary story to my class. Of course, I told this story. “The Blue Boy” is not just the creation of The Midnight Society, but also a legend of historic Gettysburg:

Stevens Hall, now a stately Neoclassical dorm, was erected in 1868 as a preparatory school for girls. In the 1870s, a few girls from the school befriended a boy from town. One day, in the dead of winter, the boy escaped his abusive home (ostensibly, the aforementioned orphanage) and found refuge in the girls’ room on the second floor. That snowy night, the headmistress came around to the rooms to check on the girls before bed. As she approached the room with the boy, the girls hurriedly hid the boy on the ledge outside their window. The headmistress took her time talking to the young women, and she did not leave the room until nearly an hour later. The girls threw the window open to look for the boy, but all that was left were small footprints in the snow on the ledge. They ran outside to see if he had fallen, but the boy was nowhere to be found. To this day, sightings of a boy in the window, blue in the face as if frozen, are common among female residents of Stevens Hall. (The Toast)

The childhood memory train did not stop there. Absorbed with the concept of freezing to death (because I am, in fact, very cold currently), I returned to one of my favorite childhood haunts: The I spent HOURS on that site when I was a child (along with most Angelfire sites about ghosts). I began to read through the archives, searching for ghosts roaming the earth for some warmth:

  • At Boy Scout Lake in Clatonia, Nebraska, the ghost of a young woman walks the property. One day, a young woman sent her children outside to help her husband with the farm chores. A blizzard unexpectedly hit, and she left the house to search for her family. While they hid safely in a nearby barn, she froze to death.
  • In Anson, Michigan, people have reported the ghost of a woman walking down the road or hanging from a tree. Others, have reported floating orbs. Legend says that a woman went out into the night to find her lost toddler. She never found him and he froze to death. She still searches Anson for her frozen son.
  • At the University of North Dakota, legend says a female student was locked out of a dormitory on a cold winter night. She froze to death. The apparition of a female torso haunts the dormitory (along with electrical problems).
  • In a roast beef shop in Santa Clara, California, a man was accidentally locked in a large freezer. Now, when shutting the door between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m., you can hear the screams of the trapped man.

While the bitter cold can kill and trap people on earth, it can also warn us of a spirit’s presence…or in some cases, be a spirit’s weapon. In Japanese folklore, the female spirit, Yuki-onna (“snow woman”), is the spirit of a woman who had died in snow. Tall and beautiful with long black hair, she floats across the snow (since she has no feet). She is very pale and almost translucent, so she blends into any winter backdrop. She will appear to travelers during snowstorms, either freezing them to death with her cold breath or leading them astray so that they freeze to death in the elements. Some versions say she freezes them through sex or a deadly kiss.

Every winter we see scenes of people raiding grocery stores before large winter storms, fearful they may not have wine or may resort to a Donner Party situation. Whatever the case, I recommend turning off the TV during the next blizzard, gathering around the space heater, and telling stories about our frozen ghosts.

Today’s post is part of The Midnight Society’s #SpookyAllYear blog hop. For more spooky posts, click the image below and explore other blogs.


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