Jewellery is designed to shine, sparkle brightly and reflect the light. But it has a dark side. Scrolling through many real ghost stories via forums and personal blogs, I was surprised how many tales had a deep connection to jewellery. Spirits seemed to be drawn to rings, necklaces and bracelets sentimentally, playfully or perhaps even maliciously.
Without any further ado, I collected three interesting jewellery-related ghost stories which were based on true events (allegedly), and I have rewritten them in a way I’d tell it to you by candlelight on a Halloween night. Let’s transport ourselves to an abandoned mansion or chapel, imagine it’s raining outside, and as the witching hour approaches, the story-telling begins.
The Phantom’s Pearls
Oh the parties they had in the late 17th century. The lavish stately houses, the extravagant outfits, the jewels dripping from their ears and necks, almost like sweet, delightful tree sap oozing from the tree barks, ready to extinguish the thirst of anyone passing through the woods.
Mary Ingram, the granddaughter of Sir Arthur Ingram, was born into this echelon of society. While Mary was spoiled with a variety of gifts throughout her life, a very special present that she carried close to her heart was a pearl necklace from her grandfather. This string of pearls meant the world to her.
One evening, Mary’s friend invited her to an incredible party. Everyone was expected to arrive in their finery, so the young girl decided this was an amazing occasion to wear her newest dress and to adorn it with her favourite peal necklace.
The party was a triumph: Elegant gentry, stunning fashion, gossip as juicy as the steaks served – every moment of the party was peppered to perfection. As the soirée drew to a close, Mary went back to her carriage and reflected on the grand evening. As the young girl and her servants rode through Garforth, suddenly there was an ambush. Everything was stolen, even the string of pearls right from Mary’s neck. Fortunately, the distraught teenager was able to get away. She ran back to her house, completely shaken by the ordeal. After hours of pacing around her room, she finally fell asleep, seduced by the calmness of the warm fire.
Mary woke up the next morning forgetting all about the thieving highwaymen. For the entire day she looked around the manor, convinced she simply misplaced her beloved pearls. The day turned into a few days, which then turned into weeks. Searching mercilessly for her pearls, Mary neglected herself to a point where she did not eat, and did not drink. Never finding the pearls, she passed away in a state of confusion, despair and malnutrition.
But this is not the last we’ve seen of Mary Ingram. To this day, visitors to the manor are spooked by the Lady in Blue, Mary’s phantom form. Misplaced bedsheets, flying cushions, loud footsteps, moans – there is no doubt that Mary is still searching for her pearl necklace. She must have left is here somewhere… In fact, she may be right behind you, waiting to ask: Have YOU seen my pearls?
Find out more about the background of the story here.
It’s time to give it back
My childhood is full of wonderful memories. My family lived in a tranquil village in England. Idyllic, beautiful, peaceful – everything looked as if it was taken straight from a postcard.
We lived in a medieval cottage that most people dreamed of having. Exposed beams, characterful fireplace, higgledy-piggledy layout, we had it all. The only darkness that surrounded our cottage was some lore that it used to belong to a coroner, and that it was built on a former cemetery. These allegations always remained simply local legends, and there was no proof to this.
One day, I asked my friend to come over as my mum promised to teach us to cook some delicious sweet pastry. As I welcomed my friend, she went upstairs to wash her hands and she left her jewellery on the table – somewhere visible, not to forget it later. I remember as if it was yesterday, it was two sterling silver rings and a silver bracelet. As the pastry went into the oven, it was time for us to have some tea and relax. My friend went towards the table to put her rings and bracelet back on, only to find that the bracelet had vanished. The rings were there, perfectly placed, just as my friend had left them.
We looked under the table, on the stairs, in the bathroom, in our shoes by the doors even (what if it accidentally popped in there, I remember my friend remarking), but we found nothing. We even took the table cloth off, just in case it ended up under it. After hours of searching, the only thing we found was that our carefully executed pastry was burnt as we neglected the timing.
Assuring my friend that I’d return the bracelet the second I found it, she put her coat on ready to leave after this disastrous day. But we decided that one more sweep of the floor wouldn’t hurt.
Then, out of nowhere my mum yelled out: It’s time to give it back.
Both my friend and I looked at each other confused as to who my mum was talking to. We entered the room my mum was at. She was alone, starring at the distance without a blink. I waved my hand in front of her, and it was as if my mum snapped out of it, not recalling saying a thing. Before things got any weirder, my friend decided to officially call it a day. As we marched towards the door, we passed the dining room. I spotted a silver bracelet. It lay there on the table exactly where my friend left it. Only this wasn’t my friend’s bracelet. It was mine, which I had lost when I was 9. Both my friend and I were 17 when this happened.
This tale was inspired by the true story here (allegedly). Google around for ghosts displacing jewellery – this seems to be a reoccurring theme in the paranormal community.
A symbol of our friendship
My dear friend Annie, so caring and gentle. We grew up together. It wasn’t unusual for me to spend the night at Annie’s place, or for her to come for a sleepover to mine. Our families were close. We were family. Until we weren’t.
Like a lot of childhood friendships, our one just naturally evaporated. Annie drifted into her world, while I got busy creating my own. Years passed on, I was approaching my twenty sixth birthday, when I suddenly stumbled upon Annie. It wasn’t awkward. It was almost like we picked up where we left off. We had a coffee, we had a chat. It was pleasant. It was a reminder of how beautiful our childhoods were.
On my actual birthday, Annie stopped by my home, and left a gift while I was at work. It was a beautiful gold necklace, a dainty but intricate gold chain with a detailed pendant, adorned with amethysts. It was too much, I couldn’t accept this gift. It looked too costly to give to someone who wasn’t really in one’s life anymore. I went to Annie’s family’s home to give it back. But Annie wasn’t there. Her parents said she went away to a different town to study. They didn’t elaborate, and refused to take the gift back. They said that once upon a time we meant so much to each other, the present was from the heart. I felt I was being rude and insensitive. I apologised and left.
I decided that to me this necklace symbolised a beautiful nostalgia of days I could never return. I put it on, and the piece just felt so weightless, I thought I’d never need to take it off. I went to sleep, and was seduced into a deep, deep slumber…
I started feeling that I have been sleeping for a very long time, and something inside me wanted to wake my body up. I woke up and realised that it was still dark…
Only it wasn’t – it was day time.
I was under my bed, completely stuck. The legs of my bed were not tall enough to create a gap for me to climb under without raising the bed first. Also, it was too heavy for me to move by myself. I couldn’t get out. I was trapped. I shouted for help. I screamed, but there was no sound coming out of my mouth. That’s when I saw my dad raising my bed and getting me out from under it. My family thought I started sleepwalking. I didn’t want to believe that.
It happened again the next night. And the one after. And once more. I was frightened, I was confused. What was happening to me? I decided to leave a big tub of cold water right next to my bed, positioned where I’d naturally stand up, so my feet would submerge in ice cold water, waking me up instantly. I slept so well that night. I woke up thinking that I nailed it. I slept soundly, I couldn’t remember any ice cold water. The psychological awareness of the tub being there must have had something to do with it.
How wrong I was. I was under the bed. The tub next to me. Untouched. It was impossible for me to move a heavy water tub in the middle of the night, and then the weighty mahogany bed frame. I felt a strange sensation all over my body, which culminated in a burning feeling on my neck. It was the necklace. It was so hot, I felt it was almost melting into my skin. I attempted to scream, and just like before my throat was muted. My mum stepped into the room, shocked she called for my father as they both moved the water tub and the bed to be able to take me out from under it. As I climbed out, I tore the necklace off, feeling the burn on my hands as I took it off. It landed on the floor. There were no burn marks on my neck or my hands. My voice came back.
I did not wear the necklace for the next few days. Everything went back to normal, including my sleeping. No waking up under the bed, no muted screams, no burning sensations. It was gone. I was fine.
I put the necklace back into the gift box, and went back to Annie’s house. Her mother opened the door. I politely told her that after carefully thinking things through, I was adamant that I could not accept this gift. Her mother nodded, and accepted the box back.
Many years later I discovered that Annie was not away for studies at this time. Annie was institutionalised after a mental breakdown due to years of obsessing with occult practices. Our families had not spoken again after the return of the necklace.
Jewellery pieces holding positive or negative energy is something many people believe in. There are many listings on eBay or Etsy, claiming to sell pieces that are cursed or possessed. There are some interesting real stories (allegedly) in this forum thread about some of the members’ experiences with haunted jewellery. The story above was inspired by Spring Day’s entry.
Do you believe that some jewellery pieces could be holding on to some bad juju? Have you had any eerie experiences?