We are deep into the throes of spooky season, and whether you believe in ghosts or not, who doesn’t love a good eerie story? Actors tell these tales for us on screen all the time, but what about their own personal ghoulish encounters?
We asked some of your favorite TV stars to dish on their eeriest experiences with the supernatural. Do they believe in otherworldly spirits? What can they tell us about their close encounters with the scary kind? In one tale, Courteney Cox shares how an old house turned her into a believer (at least for the day). In another, Greg Kinnear tells of a time when his dog sensed a stirring presence in Luke Wilson‘s home. And we have Ghosts star Rebecca Wisocky detailing the haunted house she used to work in (no doubt those memories come in handy when playing Hetty Woodstone).
Get your hair-raising fix through the celebrity ghost stories, below. And happy haunting!
“I used to live in a house on top of Lookout Mountain in Laurel Canyon. It looked like [the house from Shining Vale] a little bit. It was a Tudor house. Very, very old. Gypsy Rose Lee used to live in it. And I wouldn’t know a ghost if literally one was sitting on my lap. I’m just not that kind of person, but here I am with my acting teacher. She used to come out and she’d say, ‘It’s weird. I have a feeling in this house. I keep feeling drafts.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, OK. I haven’t noticed anything.’ And then I had another friend come out and they had a dream that they saw this woman in a white dress, and she came and sat down on the bed next to me, and I thought, ‘OK.’ So I didn’t still believe it. But one day I was at the door and the doorbell rang. It was a FedEx guy and he goes, ‘Are you aware that there is a spirit in this house?’ And I go, ‘No, why are you saying that?’ and they said, ‘Because they’re standing right behind you.’ I was like, ‘Oh f**k,’ and then I moved.”
Watch her on: Shining Vale on Starz
“This is absolutely true and, honestly, the only real strange ooga-booga moment I can point to because I haven’t, honestly, had a lot of these kinds of experiences, but I brought my dog over to see a friend of mine. It was Luke Wilson. Went over to his house on a Saturday, just hanging out, and his dog had died recently, and I brought my dog Winston. Everybody’s met Winston, a very happy dog — a very joyful, soulful animal — and we were sitting in his living room, and Winston without any hesitation walked straight over to this bureau, started clawing at this little box that was there and howling with a kind of pain and just very emotional. I’ve just never heard my dog sort of writhing before, and Luke says, ‘That’s my dog’s ashes that are in that box,’ and I thought that was a very, very strange moment.”
Watch him on: Black Bird on Apple TV+; Shining Vale on Starz
“My mother [Lorraine Davis] was a young, aspiring actress in New York, and she was part of a singing trio. She sang like the baritone part, and they were part of a larger group of dancers, and singers, and musicians who were going to go on a riverboat trip, down the Mississippi River, on a teakwood stage on a houseboat, and Pepsi Cola was sponsoring them. I have photographs of them rehearsing and they all look so cute in their little period outfits. They had a party and they brought out a Ouija board, and they asked the Ouija board what date they should choose to start the tour. The Ouija board picked a certain date, and eventually the thing fell through. The financing fell through. Something didn’t work out. But that date was the date of the worst storm in the history of the Mississippi, and a ton of people died on the river that day. So it was very odd, and malevolent, and taught me to never, ever play with a Ouija board.”
Watch her on: Shining Vale on Starz
“I used to work at the Merchant’s House Museum in New York. I used to clean the museum, and I would help host events. I’ve been asked so many times whether or not I’ve seen a ghost, and the fact is, I actually used to work in a haunted house. I never saw one, but definitely if you go there, there is 100% a presence in the house. It is still set up as though the family lives there.”
Watch her on: Ghosts on CBS
Stephen “tWitch” Boss
“Yes. But more than those, I’m going to say like spirits, like other beings, kind of let me know what was what. I feel like a lot of my past relatives and ancestors kind of hold me and sometimes kind of give me words of wisdom. I’m not scared of that at all.”
Watch him on: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Check local listings
“It’s quite fascinating because it was with my dad. So two of us had it at the same time. Ten years or so ago, I was back in my family home for Christmas; my dad and I were in the living room. We had a drink, but it wasn’t like we were falling over. We both saw my grandfather, his father, at the same time walk across the room and sit down opposite us and not say anything. But there was a very kind of positive view about the experience. And then, like in the movies, you know, when you look away, and we were like, ‘Oh, my God!’ and then look back, it was sort of over. And my dad said, ‘Don’t ever tell your mother about this.’”
Watch him on: Transplant on NBC
“Yes! An ex and I had a haunted house on Martha’s Vineyard. The first night there, it was a dark and stormy night. Our cat flew across the room, and we heard someone playing the piano downstairs. The piano playing was beautiful. No one else was in the house. A young Native American girl had drowned in the well 80 years before.”
Watch her on: Young Sheldon on CBS
“I’m a scientific person, but I’m also very open-minded. When I was a kid, there was a time when I swore that somebody was tapping me on the shoulder in bed. I still remember it. It was like, there was no question that someone was tapping me on the shoulder, and I turned around, and there was nobody there. I can’t explain it. But also, as a lover of science, I recognize that there are some things we can’t explain, and that’s OK.”
Watch her on: Domino Masters on Fox; You, Me & the Christmas Trees on Hallmark Channel