Humorous Ghost Stories: “There’s only one room left…”

A few ghost stories show up in version after version among kids, a great many of which start with:

A couple went to a hotel, and the man said “there’s only one room left, and it’s the HAUNTED room….

A succession of renters then get scared by a ghost and run out screaming (or jump out of the window and die) before a joke comes in for the ending. A few variations:

The guests are accosted a by a ghost with a bloody finger who says ‘bloody finger, bloody finger…” until a guitar player shouts ‘cool it, man! get yourself a band-aid!.

(note: this appeared in Alvin Schwartz’s immortal “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” (one of the most frequently banned books in the country). I was wondered if this ghost was actually of a person who died of a bloody finger – a freak digital accident!)

A family is accosted by a ghost who says “I am the ghost with the white eyes….” This scares the mother, father, and son away, but the little girl of the family says “if you don’t shut up, you’ll be the ghost with the BLACK eyes!”

(note: both of the above two were already common enough in the early 1970s to appear in Knapp’s book at the right)

Guests are scared out of the room by a ghost that says “it floats!” Finally, one woman asks “WHAT floats?” to which the ghost replies “Ivory soap floats!”

(note: this was very common around the time that “ivory soap floats” was a marketing slogan, but I imagine it’s long since fallen out of favor.)

The guests are accosted by a ghost who says “I’m going to get you….” until one sticks around to hear the end of the sentence, which is something like “I’m going to get you a new bike.”

(note: my friend Courtney, possibly to keep things light when these stories were getting spooky, told some variation of this that she might have made up. In it, the voice turned out to be coming from the protagonist’s brother, Alfred, who was sitting on the toilet, then proceeded to follow the protagonist wherever he went as he tried to run away. I particularly remember the line “and then he went to Disneyland – and guess who was playing Snow White!” I THINK she made this up (the folk process at work!), but I’m not sure I remember it correctly).

The guests are scared out of the room by a voice saying “if the log rolls over, we’ll all die.” They look and look around the room, find no one there, and get so scared they leave (or jump out the window to their doom). Finally, one woman looks in the toilet and finds the source of the voice: ants on a piece of poop.

(note; a version of this was collected by Iona Opie in 1978, so it’s at least that old).

A guest gets a series of phone calls saying “i am the viper. I am coming soon.” She gets more and more frightened until finally a window washer arrives and says “I am the viper. I’m here to vipe your vindows.” (I think this was also in Schwartz’s book – he was kind enough to put plenty of jokes in with the stories that scared the crap out of me!)

Hearing any variations from kids lately? The comment form is right down below…

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7 Comments

  1. Michelle_Buckhannon_WV

    I first heard the story, the ghost with the bloody finger, in 1966, I think. My sister and I and friends were camping out in our back yard! A great ghost story. Always scary, even after you know it!! Children tell it best and create the best suspense. Michelle Lulos Livingston, Buckhannon, West Virginia.

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  2. Red Wolf

    The drawings in those "Scary Stories" books were WAY scarier than ANY of the stories themselves.

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  3. Pseudotsuga

    A variant I knew from Southern Oregon in the mid 70s–
    There is the hotel with the one haunted room, and a person rents it. Late at night he hears a voice chanting out, "I'm the ghost of Able Cable, put your money on the table". So he puts his money on the table and jumps out the window. (Repeat for 2nd person)
    Third person follows the narrative up the voice, but he replies, "Well, I'm the ghost of Davy Crockett, and all that money stays in my pocket!" (and that's the end of the story).

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  4. Pseudotsuga

    This is the variant I knew of "a family is accosted by a ghost who says "I am the ghost with the white eyes…." (S. Oregon, early/mid 1970s).
    In my variant, the ghost said, "I am the ghost with one black eye," and the little girl/boy replies, "If you don't shut up, you'll be the ghost with TWO black eyes!"

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  5. Swirl-Girl

    I heard a variant where the person (typically a man) goes up to the room, hears a voice saying "I've got you, right where I want you" then promptly jumps out the window. Repeats several times until eventually someone opens the closet door to find an old woman speaking to a booger on her finger.

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  6. Black Box Admin

    I was born in 1970 and grew up in Ohio (tri-state area next to West Virginia and Pennsylvania). As kids, we used to tell the log story as a joke instead of a scary story. The ants would also be chanting the phrase like some fatalistic song. The last part is repeated in response.

    "When the log rolls over we are dead (We are dead)."

    I just realized that the repeat was probably the echo in the toilet bowl!

    It's very possible that my brother brought this back from scout camp and told it to us.

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  7. pak gendoet

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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