Ghost Stories

Campfire Ghost Stories – Spooky October 4

Spooky October

A few scary stories are labeled campfire ghost stories-they are often told around the campfire and are usually harmless enough to be told to children. The stories have become so common they are spread across the nation and most folks have heard a version of the stories at some point in their lives-usually at a camp-out or sleepover where kids are gathered.

Most of the campfire stories end on a humorous note-or with the story teller yelling BOO at the end to break the spell and remind the kids it’s only a story. One I heard often as a child told the tale of an old man and woman who moved into a little old house by a pond. Each night after they went to bed they would hear an eerie voice saying ‘it floats it floats’. The story teller would embellish the tale by describing how creepy the place was and using their best scary voice. As the story ended the mystery was solved-Ivory soap floats.

Brenda S. ‘Okie in Colorado’ sent me this:

This is a scary story my Granny used to tell me when I was a child. The difference, is that she kept repeating, “Who’s got my gol…den arm, who’s got my gol…den arm. Then she would grab me and say, YOU have it!
THE GOLDEN ARM    By Joseph Jacobs
There was once a man who traveled the land all over in search of a wife. He saw young and old, rich and poor, pretty and plain, and could not meet with one to his mind. At last he found a woman, young, fair, and rich, who possessed a right arm of solid gold. He married her at once, and thought no man so fortunate as he was. They lived happily together, but, though he wished people to think otherwise, he was fonder of the golden arm than of all his wife’s gifts besides.
At last she died. The husband put on the blackest black, and pulled the longest face at the funeral; but for all that he got up in the middle of the night, dug up the body, and cut off the golden arm. He hurried home to hide his treasure, and thought no one would know.
The following night he put the golden arm under his pillow, and was just falling asleep, when the ghost of his dead wife glided into the room. Stalking up to the bedside it drew the curtain, and looked at him reproachfully. Pretending not to be afraid, he spoke to the ghost, and said: “What hast thou done with thy cheeks so red?”
“All withered and wasted away,” replied the ghost, in a hollow tone.
“What hast thou done with thy red rosy lips?”
“All withered and wasted away.”
“What hast thou done with thy golden hair?”
“All withered and wasted away.”
“What hast thou done with thy Golden Arm?”
“Thou Hast It!”
I’m glad Brenda sent the story-The Golden Arm is perhaps the most popular campfire ghost story there is. I know I heard several versions of it as a child.
How about you-ever hear campfire ghost stories as a child?


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  • Reply
    Night Heron
    April 7, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    I read a version of The Golden Arm and it also involves a Storm that comed up when the man is returnig to home with the arm hidden in his coat

  • Reply
    October 25, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I so remember us kids scaring each other with that one. After the first time I guess the gotcha scare was gone, but we kept trying anyway. We’d just get more and more dramatic hoping to recapture the scare.
    Our version is a variation on that “closer and closer” thing — he hears the wife wayyy down the street (and you whisper) “Wheeerrrre’s my golden arm?” Then you get louder and louder and closer and closer until “YOU GOT IT!”
    And I think it was the husband with the golden arm when we did it. . . .

  • Reply
    October 18, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    I never heard that either! The one I remember is close to the who’s got my tail Cindy mentioned. Goes something like, “I want my bone”… the voice gets quieter, “I want my bone”… the voice is closer now, but even quieter, “I want my bone”… almost in a whisper. Then jump up and yell, “TAKE IT!”

  • Reply
    trisha too
    October 18, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    oh yes, the man with the bloody finger . . .

  • Reply
    October 18, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Just as I hit “post” I remembered that it was “I’ve got ya where I want ya and now I’m gonna eat ya.”

  • Reply
    October 18, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Oh yes! The Golden Arm was certainly a tale told around our campfires, the version was a bit different but the ending the same. Another one was “Now I’ve gotcha and now I’m gonna eat ya” story. I can’t remember all the details, but a spooky setting where a voice was heard every night for several nights, getting closer each time, saying the gonna eat ya words. Until finally (now this is kind of gross) the scary man or boy shows up picking his nose. YUCK!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    I think I have heard that Golden Arm story before Tipper. Thinking about it just kind of creeps me out. I never did and still don’t like ghost stories. Isn’t that crazy?
    When my brother and I were small we were always afraid to walk into a dark room. Of course, I’m sure my step-dad telling us, Rawhide and Bloody Bones is going to get you, had nothing to do with it! lol

  • Reply
    October 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I’m enjoying the spooky stories for October. I will send you a scary story my daddy told us if I can find my written version.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    October 17, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    By the way: What an amazing guitar player. Is that your brother we hear so prominently in the songs in the playlist? Just amazing! Of course, the person we hear playing bass, a lot of the times, is no slouch either.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    October 17, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    That’s a good one, Tipper.
    This time of the year, we were terrified as children by thoughts of “Ol’ Raw Head – Bloody Bones”, “Ol’ Scratch-eyes”, the “Boogerman”, and by the ghosts said to inhabit several tall, gaunt-looking houses that had dark, foreboding windows a’way up high in one of their gables, and we swore we could see haints up there beckoning us to join them and we ran all the way home, panting, flopped out on the bed, covered up, safe from the spectre, afraid to talk about it.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I’m guessing he didn’t get back to sleep that night! What a rascal. Great story.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    I don’t think I’ve heard of that one. We go to state parks for vacations and at Twin Falls State Park they take you on a hike past a graveyard after dark and they tell ghost stories.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 17, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Tipper, I don’t remember any stories from my childhood. My mother was once scared really badly by some story about someone called :false face”. So….we never had spooky stories.
    Sounds like I missed out !

  • Reply
    October 17, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    We had the greatest fun with our kids when they were younger…staying all night in Gran-Polly’s bedroom…us in the bed, them on the floor…my Hubby starts in telling “Who’s Got My Tail? Similar to the above story…lot’s of schreeching and hollerin’ goin’ on…LOL!!!!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Yes, I USED to know all kinds of them when I was a kid. And now I can’t remember any of them.
    I have never heard the one with the golden arm, though.

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    October 17, 2009 at 10:28 am

    I have to remember this one! Never heard it before! It is as the kids would say, “golden!” No pun intended!
    Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Tipper! :))

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