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February 2021

Ghost stories: bands tell their spookiest real life tales

Halloween is here, so we asked a bunch of bands the spookiest thing that's ever happened to them. Best keep the lights on, eh?
Published: 9:48 am, October 31, 2016
Ghost stories: bands tell their spookiest real life tales
It’s the scariest time of year. No, not visiting the dentist for an overdue check up; nor reading end of year lists that have David Brent selling more albums than your favourite band: it’s Halloween. And while we start stashing sweets in preparation, some bands have gathered to tell us the spooooookiest thing that’s ever happened to them. Are you ready?

“I used to live in this weird little Victorian flat above a Stonemason’s in central Cambridge. It was always freezing cold and just had an eerie vibe to it. I got woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of a hammer and chisel being used on stone in pitch darkness at 3am. I went down to investigate but as soon as I got to the door that separated us from the workshop it all just stopped. I absolutely shit it that night.” - Mo, Lonely The Brave


“I once saw a ghost sitting on my friend’s bed. Me and two friends were sharing a room about two years ago on holiday and I was sleeping on the floor. I woke up at like 3am and saw a figure sat on my friends bed looking at me. I put the duvet over my head and pretended I didn’t see it. The next day my friend Ed told me he saw the same thing, unprompted by me. It turns out the guy who owned the place had a brother who killed himself in the room. It was pretty dark. Good times!” - Leo, Palace

“Finding an old mossy noose in the woods round Chillingham Castle on Halloween a few years ago. Some friends and I went there as it’s meant to be one of the most haunted places in Britain.” - Eat Fast

“On the last tour we kept scaring each other by hiding round corners or in boxes etc. and jumping out which got pretty scary but then Simon and Jason (our guitar tech) upped the ante by hiding in our hotel room and waiting till we’d gone to sleep. Then they made that croaky noise the thingy from The Grudge + Jason is really good at this creepy little girl voice. It’s so high pitched and gentle and freaks the fuck out of me. Anyway it woke me up so went to investigate and they were just standing there in the dark with these horse head animal masks they’d found. I totally shat myself.” - Rob, Don Broco

“I’ve yet to be spooked myself so I’ll regale you with my grandfather’s tale of horror instead. When he was a young boy he woke his parents as he was struggling to sleep. Apparently the quiet old man at the foot of his bed wouldn’t stop shaking the frame. That’s always a story that’s stayed with me. Out of the mouths of babes…” - Rachel, Esben and The Witch


“When I was 10 I was sleeping over at a friend’s house and as I was about to go to bed I saw a figure standing at the top of the stairs and then it just disappeared, to this day I still believe it was a ghost!” - Steph, Greywind

“I used to wake up when I was young and think someone was standing in the corner of my room. That’s pretty spooky.” - Johnny, Baby Strange

“Harris woke up in the middle of the night with someone stroking his face, turned out to be his own dead hand.” - Blaenavon

“When I was sleeping next to someone who had night terrors, I have literally never been so scared in all my life.” - Dean, Muncie Girls

“When I first moved into this attic room that I still live in, I was convinced it was haunted. I would come home and things i had put on the wall would be sideways or upside down. Almost every time. I freaked me the fuck out! I was so scared. I later learned it was all an elaborate prank executed very well by my boyfriend at the time.” - Lelah, Tacocat

“Last year on tour we were driving late at night and we hit some random drifter with our van. We got out and started to bury him in a shallow grave (that was the style back in 2015). We thought he was dead but at this one super spooky moment he sat up looked me in the eyes and said my own name and home address back to me. Crazy! I am sure I never met this dude. We all looked at each other like “whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!”. It was that moment we knew we had to burn him alive. Also before you get all “I can’t believe you murdered a drifter, life is precious blah blah blah”, just know that your favourite band has done a lot worse! Ask Hop Along why they are no longer welcome at the San Diego zoo!” - Andrew, Field Mouse


“I’ve actually had a few creepy experience because the pub that I work at when I’m home is supposedly haunted.. it was built in 1180 so I’m sure a lot of things have happened there over the years. One night when i was closing down the bar, my colleague was sorting out the tills upstairs and when she came back downstairs she kept asking me why I’d been standing in the kitchen doing nothing with my back to the security camera; she’d been watching me not do anything. I hadn’t actually been in the kitchen and it had been locked for the last hour. We went and checked and there was nobody in there. That was definitely a bit creepy.” - Matt, ROAM

“When my sister was quite young, she saw the ghost of my deceased grandmother. But she was a fairly benevolent spirit, so even that’s not too creepy. We’ve played some supposedly haunted venues before, and while I’ve never encountered anything, they can still give me the heebie-jeebies. You can occasionally pick up on an energy that feels wrong. Bad vibes. Those aren’t my favourite venues to play. I will always choose not-haunted over haunted.” - Dave, The Dirty Nil

“I lived in an old, converted paper mill and so many odd things happened. One of which was leaving to take some bins out, coming back up to see a door closed which was open before I had left. The door opened on a hill so there was no way it could close without pulling on it hard.” - Ant, Black Foxxes

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