Stories For Kids

Dead Man

The Dead Man is a scary story for kids about a young girl in Ireland who is haunted by a corpse. It is based on an old Irish folktale called “The Blood-Drawing Ghost”. This story is also known as “Mary Culhane and the Dead Man”.

Dead Man

Years ago, in Ireland, there was a young girl named Mary Culhane. Her family was very poor and they lived in a white-washed cottage, down a country lane. She had six younger brothers and sisters and spent a lot of her time taking care of them. Her father worked as a grave digger in the local cemetery, next to the Catholic church. It was the only job he could get because he had been born with a bad leg.

One day, when her father came home, he sat down sighed. He was extremely tired after working all day.

“I can’t believe it,” he said. “I left my blackthorn walking stick back at the graveyard. If I don’t go back for it, someone will steal it. It was the last thing my poor departed father gave me before he died. I can barely walk without it.”

Mary Culhane was always a helpful girl and she knew how tired her father was. She fetched her shawl and said, “I’ll get it for you, Daddy!” She ran out the door before anyone could stop her. At the time, many people in Ireland were superstitious and nobody dared to go into a cemetery after dark.

By the time Mary reached the gates of the graveyard, the moon was out and the wind was whistling through the trees. She carefully walked around the graves, making sure she didn’t step on any of the,, because that would mean bad luck for her.

She spotted the blackthorn walking stick lying against an old oak tree and ran over to pick it up. Unfortunately, she wasn’t looking where she was going and fell into a freshly-dug grave.

She got up on her hands and knees and tried to climb out, but the grave was too deep. Suddenly, she felt something crawling up her back.

A chilling voice whispered in her ear, “Little girl, I have been waiting a long time for someone to drop by. Now that you’re here, you must take me into town to get something to eat. I have a terrible hunger and an awful thirst on me.”

Mary’s heart skipped a beat. She knew that the thing that was whispering in her ear could not be alive. She could feel its rotting fingers stroking her hair and its fetid breath blowing against her neck. The dead thing’s arms wrapped around her body and she could feel its ribcage digging into her back.

She was helpless and alone. There was no doubt that the dead man would surely kill her if she didn’t do his bidding. She reached up to the grave’s edge and took hold of two clumps of grass. Then, she pulled with all her might. She felt the weight of the dead man dragging on her shoulders. Somehow, she managed to lift herself out of the grave with the corpse clinging to her back.

As she lay in the mucky grass, trying to regain her breath, the corpse screamed in her ear, “Get up, young girl! Get up and carry me into town. I’ll ride you like a horse!”

Mary slowly got to her feet, and with the dead man straddling her back, she trudged towards the village. When they came to the main road, and saw a house, the dead man hissed, “Take me into this here house so that I may feed.”

Mary climbed up the steps with great difficulty. When they reached the front door, the corpse cried out, “Not here! Not here, for I do smell the stench of holy water!”

The frightened girl walked back down the steps and went to the next house. Again, as they reached the front door, the corpse cried out, “Oh No! Away with us, for I do get the stink of holy water here as well.”

Mary walked on down the road until they came to a third house. “This is a house that has no holy water,” hissed the dead man. “Take me into the kitchen and I’ll find myself a bit to eat.”

Mary walked down the darkened hallway to the kitchen. There she let the corpse slide off her back and onto a chair. All that was in the cupboard was some porridge and some dirty water.

“I’ll teach these vagabods and blackguards not leave me anything. Let me on your back.” Again Mary did as the dead man commanded her to do. “Now take me up these stairs.”

Mary was reluctant to go upstairs because she knew the family who lived in this house. She went to school with the three boys who slept upstairs. But the evil corpse dug its bony fingers into her neck and threatened to choke her to death. She slowly made her way to the top of the stairs.

There, in the pale moonlight, she could make out the figures of the three young boys, lying fast asleep in their beds. The corpse took out a sharp knife and slit each boy’s throat. Mary turned her head and looked away. She couldn’t bear to watch. The dead man collected their blood in a jug.

With the first drop of blood, their breathing stopped; with the second drop of blood, their hearts stopped beating; with the third drop of blood, all life left their bodies.

He took the jug full of blood and said, “Take me back down to the kitchen so that I may feast.” Mary sadly walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. The dead man took the bowl of porridge and poured the jug of blood over it. When he finished, he took a spoonful of the bloody mess and gave it to Mary Culhane. “Eat this!” he said.

“No!” she cried.

“You’ll do it and you’ll do it now!” he said and he wrapped his arm around her throat. She took the spoon from his grasp and brought it to her lips. The dead corpse picked up the bowl and began to slurping and licking up the bloody porridge. While he wasn’t watching, Mary quickly threw her spoonful on the ground.

The corpse put down his bowl. “We must hurry,” he hissed. “I must be back in my grave before the morning comes.”

As they left the house, the corpse began laughing insanely.

“You know, there was a way that those boys could have lived,” he cackled. You see, if they were to drink their own blood, they could come back to life. But all the blood is gone and now there is no way.”

On and on into the night they went. The creature whispered in her ear, telling her evil stories and disgusting things that no one wants to hear and nobody would ever repeat. The moon was going down and the sun began to rise. They were close to the cemetery when Mary heard a rooster crowing.

“What is that God-forsaken noise?” screamed the dead man.

Mary knew full well it was a rooster and that morning was fast approaching, but she said, “It sounds like the bleating of a sheep or maybe it is the moo of a cow.”

“Quickly,” shouted the corpse. “Get me to the cemetery, for I feel myself weaken.”

Mary saw the oak tree. She saw the open grave. She walked slowly towards it. Just then, the sky broke open and the first beam of morning drew across the sky and into the graveyard. The rooster crowed three times. The corpse let go of her shoulders and slid down into the grave.

Mary Culhane was free of its deathly grip. She grabbed her father’s walking stick and hurried home. When she got to her house, wveryone was asleep. She threw herself into bed and fell into a dead sleep.

A few hours later, her mother ran into her room and cried, “Mary, Mary, wake up! Something terrible has happened in town! Three boys were murdered last night!”

Mary stirred and her mother could see that her hair was matted and tangled. There were dark circles beneath her eyes. Her dress was dirty and it looked like there were blood stains on it.

Mary Culhane headed into town. When she got to the house where the dead boys lived, she could see that the entire village was trying to console the devastated parents. She went up to the father and said, “Please, please let me inside!”

“No, Mary! I can’t do that,” he replied. “What lies upstairs in that bedroom is not fit for the eyes of a young girl to behold.”

“But you don’t understand,” insisted Mary. “I think I can save the lives of your three sons.”

“Mary, if you could save my three sons from the clutches of death, I would be forever grateful,” he cried.

“I ask nothing,” said Mary. “But that you let me go in there alone.”

The father cleared the house and Mary entered. She walked down the darkened hallway to the kitchen. She grabbed the spoonful of blood and porridge from the floor and went upstairs. She saw the lifeless forms of the three boys lying in bed. She gently went over and put the spoon to their lips.

With the first drop of blood the boys began to breathe, and with the second drop of blood, their hearts started to beat, and with the third drop of blood, all life came back into their bodies.

And what rejoicing there was, when Mary walked outside. The three boys were alive and well. The jubilant father came over to Mary Culhane and said, “You have made me the happiest man ever to live. You gave me my boys back from the dead safe and sound. What can I do to repay you?”

“Well,” said Mary. “There’s only one thing I ask of you. Always be sure to keep some holy water at your front door.


  • if she “threw” her spoonful on the ground,how does the blood still remain on the spoon and why did it not dry? BTW good story

  • why is there a smiling man with white eyes? i didn’t like it. i thought it was about to get out of the screen. this is a very long story. it has a bunch of comments. i didn’t know what they said. oh my god. this can never be true.

  • Wow!!!! Very very very very good story. 10 out of 10. Nice story guys. The guy who wrote this is a genius!!!

  • Oooh. I’m so glad there was so glad there was no twist ending! Really good story @Scary for Kids.

  • At last a story with a happy ending! First one I read that a person didnt die or a bad thing happened in the end! Silly dead man!

  • Creepy pic especially if you see it on a smaller screen like my DSi. I saw that and I was just kind of scared enough but I wanted to be freaked out anyway. I wasn’t planning on sleeping either. O>O
    @Dragon Slayer : Nope Nope, a thousand times NOOOOOOO! Ever heard of Snow White?!?!?! She would have died if it weren’t for true love’s kiss.

  • @Dragon Slayer: Never eat candy strangers give you! Throw them away. In scary stories whenever somebody eats candy a stranger gave them they die. Never talk to strangers. Don’t eat the candy!

  • Hey guys you know last night while i was waiting outside my house for my sister to get back a total stranger began a conversation with me asking how I was and stuff (never seem him before….well not creepy but kinda funny lookin’) so this funny guy for no apparent reason gave me few candies, i took em’ cuz i don’t like to be rude no matter the situation even though I was terrified!!
    Well he stood there for a while looking at me and I pretended to text so that he would leave me alone but then he finally left after a while.
    Neways what really freaked me out was that this funny guy kept looking at me with that half smile on his face O_o
    I still have em’ candies , should i eat em’?
    so what to you guys think!

  • OMG this story is scary god I thought she would die at the end I felt sorry for the boys but then at the end I thought that girl is a hereo but if it was me I would burn that horrible creature or dig him back up at sunrise.

  • @WolfSpeaker: well yeah but my iPods a jerk! I was trying to type pudding one time and it switched it for “Puffing BFF’s” what the heck does that mean?!

  • @Dragon Girl: Yes I’m 15. I joined when I was 13. Its scary stories for KIDS. You can be young! This website has the best scary stories on it though and that’s why I read it.

  • Dragon Slayer: Yay! Oh and if the people from the satanic ritual ask you to join just say no! You might need to bring a sword though…. I can’t wait to hear about tour journey through Walmart!
    @Dragon girl: aw. Wait youre a vampire? Well I got some holy water…. (My dads a preacher. We actually have holy water but it’s for baptisms. But I could use it if some vampires were attacking me ^J^)

  • @shadowhuntress: I think i’ d rather not!
    @dragon slayer:I dont know when i was turned. i had a dream about being turned…maybe it wasnt a dream. yeah i can eat human food but it doesnt serve nutritional value. just tastes good. i hate twilight vampires…BOO EDWARD. i dont like coffin-dracula vampires either. the vampires that exist today are cool. we fly, drink blood, and read minds. :D don’t worry i can only read your mind if im looking at you! and i only need to eat 3 times a week.

  • @ShadowHuntress: That creepy guy sounds real creepy! just gotta avoid him….
    well noooo i just kill em’ evil dragons, good dragons r my frnds:P
    hey, wish me luck! I’ll post about my adventure tomorrow:D lol tomorrow’s great dragon egg mission!!!

  • @Dragon Slayer He’s about as creepy as your friendly neighborhood hobo! Be wary of the rats though. They like dragon egg (Not the shell but the yolky part) Now when you have successfully gotten a dragons egg be sure to tell me.
    So Dragons like you but you slay them? O.o Weird dragons. I couldve used you then two days ago. A huge Dragon burst through a hole and snatched away the dragon egg I had. Then I had to run before I was a marshmallow. Mmm marshmallows.

  • @Dragon Slayer He’s about as creepy as your friendly neighborhood hobo! Be wary of the rats though. They like dragon egg (Not the shell but the yolky part) Now when you have successfully gotten a dragons egg be sure to tell me.
    So Dragons like you but you slay them? O.o Weird dragons. I couldve used you then two days ago. A huge Dragon burst through a hole and snatched away the dragon egg I had. Then I had to run before I was a marshmallow. ^J^


  • This happened to my granddads brother, he always tells me. One night, my granddads young drunken brother was walking home from the pub when he talk a shortcut through the graveyard. Then all of a sudden, he fell straight down a dug up grqve and landed on a bony skeleton of a woman. And thats my grandads brothers story. It really is true!

  • @ShadowHuntress: Lol!!! you just made my day!!!!
    Haha! seems like a fantastically scary -er- adventure to get em’ eggs from Wal-Mart :P
    neways m not worried abt the ANGRY DRAGON MOM …dragons r always “calm” n “friendly” i mean i hav a way of gaining their “love” ^.^
    oh and i like rats the only problem is that stupid creepy guy…I hope the dragon mom is hungry O_o

  • @Dragongirl: ahhh awkward O_o sorry I put it that way but it’s kinda true ~ :laughs~
    hey are you dead or just turned? wow u r able to eat human food….bt does it serves nutritional value…?? n wait which vampires r better, twilight vampires or classic vampires?
    sorrie so many questions — just curious!

  • @Dragon Slayer and @Dragon Girl. Oh yes. Dragons eggs are in Wal mart they are over in the back to the left…. No the other left! Then you make a right. Go up the stairs, slip past the creepy dude In the corner who’s talking to a rat (the rats really nice), Go up the other staircase, sneak through the satanic ritual, then once you’ve come to a white door open it and say ShadowHuntress sent you. There’s some pretty good dragon eggs back there. ^^ Make sure you ask for the discount eggs first! An if an angry dragon mom comes looking for her eggs. Run. (Yes that was weird but it’s really late. So I couldn’t make it longer.)

  • @shadowhuntress: Grrrrrrrrrrrr…wait, walmart?? haha even though i drink blood i still like human food sumtimes. once i bought how to train your dragon chocolate eggs half off they tasted TERRIBLE LOL

    @dragon slayer: um if you are a guy you should feel like a guy right…? awkward. NO I DO NOT SPARKLE. TWILIGHT IS LIES. yes i am a vampire who likes dragons. PROBLEM BRO?? lol

  • @ShadowHuntress: lol you got em’ dragon eggs from Wal-Mart:) and i thought they were extremely rare and way too expensive *stupid, stupid me*

  • @Soulsrenade yeah. Pretty much.
    @Dragon girl: If I told you I stole some eggs from a dragon nest you’d probably be pretty mad at me so I got them from Wal-Mart. Half off!
    Dragon Slayer: Thought as much. Just didn’t know a lot of people on here are girls.

  • @shadowhuntress : haha dragon omelette, must be very tasty *_+. aww I’m a boy. I promise, btw your username is pretty cool:D

  • @shadowhuntress HEY I’m no egg! how do you know what dragon eggs taste like?? o__O
    yeah dragon slayer are u boy or girl?

  • Oh and Dragon Slayer: Are you a guy or a girl? Sorry just can’t figure it out. Like your name by the way.

  • @Dragon Slayer. Dragon eggs make the best omelette ;) oh and Dragon girl I’m pretty sure you would know if you were a vampire. I like vampires they’re pretty awesome!

  • I like this story. I thought I read a variation of this story on this site… Oh well. It’s still good.

  • i got another scary story idea!
    A news reporter interviewed the town mayor.He said his assistants were killed
    by a creature.”It was huge!It ripped my assistants to shreds!”,exclaimed the
    mayor.the reporter thought,”What an idiot!Like his assistants were killed
    by a creature!”One night the reporter was in bed and when she woke up she
    was kidnapped.Two huge creatures tied the poor women up.the creatures yelled
    in a creepy voice,”we will eat you!”.the women was frozen in horror.Then the room
    changed into a mental ward.the women’s memory came back.She saw her mother
    kill a man and the reporter went psycho and killed the mayor’s assistants.she was the
    hope you like it!!

  • @Julia
    You don’t have to look at the picture. The pictures actually help most of the readers visualize things in the story, too.

  • @shadowhuntress and dragon slayer: because i just like dragons. love them. sumtimes i pretend. but yeah pretty sure im a vampire. dragon slayer: YOU WILL NEVER CATCH ME!! HAHAHA

  • that corpse is not going to be happy once he hears that the boys are alive again. He is going to take the father’s walking stick and beat her with it, make some porridge, and drink her blood with it. Then he’ll catch a cab back to his grave before sunrise.

  • @dragongirl now it just seems like you’re making things up. I thought you err a dragon girl. Are you like a hybrid?

  • Holy crap holy water?!!!!
    I bet when the dead corpse asked Mario to carry him and feed him.
    Mario would have definetly eaten the dead corpse instead.

  • @soulserenade : No i meant to catch her because dragons are fire made flesh and fire is power!!

  • The picture kind of scarred me :'(

    Scaryforkids, I really love this site and all, but I must ask you to PLEASE tone it down with the pictures. I know the pics are “scary for kids”, but don’t you think some are WAY too scary? Thank you!

    Anyway, great story.

  • @shadowhuntress
    NOPE i’m a vampire. my friend gave me her neck and i grew fangs! I almost killed her! :( how am i just figuring this out??

  • @dragongirl. I you like blood (like drinking it) Then you’re a sanguarian. They drink blood.


  • i got a scary story idea:


    There was once a family who went every other friday,to the webster’s kitchen fast
    food diner.One friday at the diner, the family’s parents got burgers and the kids
    got corn dogs.One of the kid’s corn dogs tasted funny.while the family was leaving,
    the kid asked the waiter “why my corn dog taste funny?”.the waiter replied,”oops,
    your’e meal might have gotten switched with the cannibals who were at the table
    behind you.”

    hope you like it!

  • awsome story, and i wonder if thats true if u feed 3 boys three drops of there blood combined, but y does it have to be boys that get to live :(

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