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10 Global Versions Of The Lady In White Legend

by Estelle
fact checked by Jamie Frater

The Lady in White is a popular ghost tale relayed from generation to generation in many countries around the world. Of course, there is no solid evidence that any of these spooky stories have any substance in truth whatsoever, but this hasn’t stopped thousands of people retelling them over Halloween or around the campfire.

In most versions of the story, the lady comes to her end tragically and continues to search for peace in her spirit state. On this list are some of the most popular adaptations of this legendary tale.

10 USA

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Given the size of the North American continent, it is no wonder that many states in the US have a unique White Lady legend. One of the most infamous is the tragic story of the ghostly lady wandering through Durand-Eastman Park in Irondequoit.

It is said that before the park was established, the area was home to a woman and her teenage daughter who rarely left their house. The reason was that the daughter possessed extreme beauty and her mother became very protective of her, especially since the young woman was pursued by several young men. The teenager loved and respected her mother’s wishes but, as with any young girl that age, longed to have a relationship with someone special.

One night, the girl left her home to go for a walk. She never returned. Falling into grief and despair, her mother believed that her daughter had abandoned her to run off with a young man. Neighbors believed that the girl might have been murdered.

Wearing a flowing white dress, the mother started walking around outside at night, looking for her daughter. After many years, she died without ever knowing what had happened to the girl.[1]

Years later, visitors to the park began to report seeing a white figure floating toward them followed by two dogs. Others stated that they saw an apparition dressed in white flowing clothes rising from the lake in the park. Ghost hunters continue their stakeouts each year hoping to witness the grief-stricken ghost of the mother who lost her daughter all those years ago.

9 Portugal

A CURVA aka Teresa Fidalgo Ghost (Original)

A couple of years ago, a chain message with a video started making the rounds on Facebook. The video purported to show a young hitchhiker by the name of Teresa Fidalgo being picked up by a group of friends in a car.

The video went on to show Fidalgo pointing to a certain spot in the road where she had died years earlier, causing the people in the car to panic and crash. Just before the crash, the video revealed Teresa with blood on her face. The message attached to the video stated that if you didn’t forward the message to a certain number of people, something terrible would happen to you.

This chain message is linked to a car accident that allegedly took place in Portugal in 1983, causing the death of a young girl named Teresa Fidalgo. Naturally, there is very little evidence supporting this incident, but that hasn’t deterred people from reporting that they saw Fidalgo hitchhiking next to the road years after her death.[2]

Her story became Portugal’s Lady in White legend because the girl said to be Teresa Fidalgo wears a white dress in the video. This caused many terrified souls to delete their Facebook accounts after watching it.

8 Switzerland

Ghosts Among Us – The White Woman of Belchen Tunnel

The Swiss version of the Lady in White legend started out as the specter of a man emerging from the shoulder of the highway that runs through the Belchen Tunnel. As soon as a Good Samaritan offered a lift to the man, he would disappear from the vehicle, leaving the driver in shock.

Eventually, the tale morphed into that of an older, very pale woman dressed all in white standing on the side of the road. In September 1983, two young female lawyers picked up the woman and gave her a lift through the tunnel. The two women asked their passenger whether she was ill, and the older woman confirmed this.

Out of the blue, the woman blurted out that something terrible would happen soon and then disappeared from the car. Shaken, the two women drove to the nearest restaurant and called the police to report what had happened. An article about the incident made headlines in Switzerland.

While it is unknown who the White Lady may have been when she was alive, it is thought that she may have been the victim of an accident in the tunnel and is unable to cross over.[3]

7 Ireland

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The White Lady of Kinsale is the one of the most famous ghosts in Ireland. Her story dates back to the 1600s. Legend has it that a soldier at Charlesfort got married and he and his new bride stayed over at the fort on their wedding night.

Unfortunately, the soldier missed his watch duty that night after falling asleep. He ended up being shot dead for it by another soldier. The devastated bride couldn’t come to terms with her husband’s death and jumped to her own death from the top of a wall surrounding the fort.

Many years later, children began to report seeing a woman dressed in a white wedding dress smiling at them from within the fort. Soldiers’ families would visit the fort only to have the children tell stories afterward of meeting or seeing the White Lady. Many captains reported being pushed down stairs by an invisible presence. The apparition has also been seen moving about in Kinsale where she used to live.[4]

6 Manila

The lady in white who haunts Balete Drive in Metro Manila has been floating around since the 1950s. She is especially fond of scaring the pants off cabdrivers. She quietly sits in the back seat waiting for the cabdriver to notice her staring at him. Naturally, when the driver glances in the rearview mirror and sees a ghostly figure looking at him from the back seat, he is scared out of his mind.

It is believed that the White Lady singles out cabdrivers due to an incident that occurred when she was alive and attending the University of the Philippines. The young woman took a cab to get home from school. The driver raped and killed her and then dumped her body on Balete Drive. Therefore, she is now looking for revenge by appearing to unsuspecting cabdrivers that use this street.

Another version of her story has it that she appears to cabdrivers at 3:00 AM seeking their help to escape the abuse happening at home. The drivers then end up driving in a circle or loop for hours and can only stop when they start praying and turn their shirts inside out.[5]

5 Australia

In 1870, a coal schooner ran aground north of Australia’s Central Coast during inclement weather. Fortunately, everyone aboard the Janet Dickson survived. Later on, the area was named Jenny Dixon Beach.

In 1973, Raymond Grove and a group of his friends held a party at the beach and later fell asleep by the campfire. As Raymond was drifting off to sleep, something told him to look at the greenery surrounding the beach. Doing so, he saw a woman dressed in a flowing white garment reminiscent of the 1800s.

Frightened, he awakened his friends. They began throwing objects at the woman, but the objects passed right through her. The men ran away, heading up the stairs to the place where their car was parked. After calming down a bit, they headed back down the stairs only to run into the woman. She blocked them from going farther down.

Doing some research later, Raymond found that there was a woman whose son had gone overboard during a shipwreck at the beach. He believes that the woman they saw is the mother looking for her son.

A far more disturbing version of the story has it that a young woman was raped and murdered by five men who left her for dead near Jenny Dixon Beach. Before she died, she vowed that the men would pay for their crime.[6]

None of them was convicted of the crime, but each died a violent death either by suicide or an accident attributed to the spirit of the victim tormenting them. Drivers have also reported picking up a young female hitchhiker that disappeared from the vehicle once they drove past the Norah Head cemetery.

4 Germany

According to German urban legend, the country’s infamous Lady in White was the Countess Kunigunde in life. When her husband died, she set her sights on Albrecht von Hohenzollern. He said he would marry her if only there were not “four eyes between us.”

While it is unclear what he actually meant by that, Kunigunde took it to mean that her children were in the way. Therefore, she murdered them by piercing their skulls with a needle.

However, she couldn’t escape her conscience and eventually visited the Pope in Rome. He told her that she could be forgiven for her crime if she walked on her knees to the valley of Berneck and set about building a monastery.[7]

She died during the journey and has haunted all the castles belonging to the Hohenzollern family ever since. It is said that she is even able to appear in more than one place at the same time. Being a malevolent spirit, she enjoys prowling in the dark and scaring those who have the misfortune of running into her.

3 Scotland

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In the 17th century, a charmer by the name of James Forrester decided to enter into one more affair. He was noted for having an eye for a good-looking woman and appreciated his drink more than he should have. However, he had to keep his latest fling quiet because it was with his married niece, Lady Christian Nimmo.

Lady Christian awaited her lover at the dovecote within his castle’s grounds. Her good mood swiftly changed when he arrived drunk and in a bad humor. An argument escalated quickly and became so heated that Lady Christian ended up killing Forrester with his own sword. She was executed for her crime after her appeal of self-defense was rejected.

It is said that she wore a white gown with a hood on the day she was beheaded. It is in this attire that she has been spotted around the dovecote carrying the murder weapon that she used to kill her lover.[8]

2 Argentina

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A tale retold in many countries around the world sees a young man meeting a pretty girl dressed in white outside a cemetery. In this version, the young man met her outside La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires and decided to take her out for the evening. The date went well, and the young girl wore his jacket when she started feeling cold. She took it home to clean after spilling a drink on it.

When the young man visited her house the next day to pick up the jacket, he met the girl’s mother, who had shocking news for him. Her daughter had died years earlier and was buried in La Recoleta Cemetery. In disbelief, the young man rushed to the cemetery and was astonished to find his jacket flung over the girl’s headstone.

It is alleged that the young girl was Luz Maria Garcia Velloso, who died of leukemia in 1925 at age 15. Her grave is on the right side of the cemetery path.[9]

1 Estonia

Photo credit: Ivar Leidus

Haapsalu Castle in Estonia became the home of monks and canons in the 13th century as the grounds included a monastery as well as a cathedral. One of the canons broke the rule of no contact with women when he fell in love with an Estonian maiden and brought her to live with him in the castle under the disguise of a choirboy.

Unfortunately for the happy couple, the bishop soon figured out what was going on and punished them in a very cruel manner: He starved them to death. The canon was locked inside a prison cell, and his lover was immured inside one of the chapel walls. Builders working on the castle structure sealed the wall, leaving her to scream out in vain for several days before she died.[10]

Dying in distress caused her to remain trapped in this world. Every time there is a full Moon, she appears as a white-clad specter inside the chapel where she died.

Estelle lives in Gauteng, South Africa.

fact checked by Jamie Frater

Estelle is a regular writer for Listverse.