There are countless, countless, COUNTLESS ballads, songs, poems and plays about ghosts and hauntings throughout history. But to find stories about songs about specific ghosts and hauntings is a bit more tricky. These are the selection we could find, but if you know about more, give notice as we are collecting!

Murder of Maria Marten (1971)
by Shirley Collins and the Albion Country Band

This modern folk ballad is actually inspured by the real Red Barn Murder. Maria Marten was supposed to have eloped with her lover, William Corder in 1827, in Polstead, county Suffolk, England. He wrote back to her family, claiming they were fine. But then, Maria started appearing to her stepmother in her dreams. The ghost of Maria told she was dead and were they would find her. They found her body in the barn and Corder was found and executed. Corder’s skeleton was reassembled, exhibited, and used as a teaching aid in the West Suffolk Hospital. The skeleton was put on display in the Hunterian Museum in the Royal College of Surgeons of England, where it hung beside that of Jonathan Wild until 2004. The murder inspired plays, songs and movies, one of them sung by Shirley Collins, with her voice echoing the ye’ old England ballads.

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Jacob’s dream
by Allison Krauss

Few voices are as haunting than Allison Krauss. And the song, Jacob’s dream, even more so because of its backstory of The Lost Children of the Alleghenies.

Its a well known folk story from the Appalachia region of the United States. George and Joseph Cox, then aged seven and five , disappeared from their home in Pavia on April 24, 1856. The legend tells that the night after the disappearance a local farmer, Jacob Dibert dreamt he walked a path through the woods past a dead deer, a child’s shoe and a fallen birch tree and eventually to a copse of birch trees in a small ravine. Here he found the bodies of the Cox boys. The dream reoccurred on the two following nights. He and his brother in law decided to make a search, culminating in the discovery of the bodies just as the dream had described – under birch trees in a small ravine reached along a track with a dead deer, a child’s shoe and a fallen birch.

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The Ride (1983)
by David Allan Coe

The writer, Gary Gentry swears the ghost of Hank Williams appeared to him in his darkened house one night. Gentry says he tried to summon Williams for a little inspiration. And he supposedly came. The ballad tells the story of a hitchhiker’s meeting with the ghost of Hank Williams, Sr. in a ride from to Nashville, Tennessee. The mysterious driver, “dressed like 1950, half drunk and hollow-eyed” and driving an “antique Cadillac” (referring to the baby blue 1952 Cadillac convertible that Williams died in), questions the narrator whether he has the musical talent and dedication to become a star in the country music industry.

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Elizabeth (2010)
by Ghost

The Swedish occult rock band could have had many listings on this particular list. Especially since they have dedicated their carrier to warn about the coming of the devil and other satanical topics. The song “Elizabeth” is about Elizabeth Báthory, not exactly a ghost, but who is remembered as one of the deadliest women and well… a vampire. In 2010, the band produced a three-track demo and the vinyl-only single “Elizabeth”, before releasing their first studio album, Opus Eponymous, on October 18, 2010.

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Angels (1997)
by Robbie Williams

Yes, that is correct. The romantic breakout hit of former Take That singer and solo singer, Angels, was actually inspired by paranormal occurrences that Robbie Williams experienced himself as young. “There hasn’t been a moment of my life when I haven’t been aware of the presence of something unseen,” he said. “The very first song I wrote was Angels and it’s about actual angels.”

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