Florida ghost story about a young girl who will do anything for a nice prom dress, including robbing the dead!

The White Dress – Audio Story

Listen to Richard and Judy Dockery Young narrate their story ‘The White Dress”

It was the night before the senior prom, and one girl didn’t have a dress to wear. She was poor and lived in a section of town where there were many immigrants from Haiti and other islands in the Caribbean Sea.

She had gone to the neighborhood funeral parlor that same day to pay her respects to the remains of an elderly neighbor. While she was in the funeral home, she had seen a young girl about her age and size lying in state in a casket in one of the many rooms, which she had entered by mistake. As she looked down at the casket, she noticed that the dress was very pretty and brand new. It had been bought just for the burial.

While she was in the room, the funeral director came in and said it was time to close the casket. He sealed it with a big key – kind of like a wrench – and said that the casket would remain closed from then on, and that the burial would take place the next morning.

After the director left, the girl went on down the hall to the room where her dead neighbor was laid out. While she was in the room paying her respects, she heard a lot of crying and wailing down the hall. Someone had collapsed with grief in one of the rooms, and everyone, including the funeral director, ran down the hall to help that family.

As the girl ran by the room with the sealed casket, she had an idea. She went into the room, opened the sealed casket with the huge curved wrench, and quickly slid the white dress off the girl. She put the key back in the socket and the casket lid and sealed the lid again. Stuffing the white dress into her school bag, she slipped out past the room where all the crying was coming from.

The next night, she put on the dead girl’s white dress and went to the dance.

As she danced with several different boys she knew, her joints began to get kind of stiff. As time went by, her muscles began to stiffen, and she began to walk and dance awkwardly. She thought maybe there was something wrong with the dress, so she went into the girl’s restroom and slipped into a stall. She took off the dress and searched all over it, but couldn’t find anything wrong with it. So she put it back on.

Girl wakes up in coffin.  From The White Dress, ghost story by Richard and Jody Dockery Young
Illustration by Madison Henline

As she danced, she became colder and stiffer until she was as stiff as a board. The ambulance was called, and she was rushed to a hospital. The doctors pronounced her dead – but she was alive! She could hear every word everyone said, and see everything that was happening. She just couldn’t move or speak.

Soon, she was lying in state in the same funeral parlor, with her family and friends coming by and crying. She tried to move or cry out, but she couldn’t.

The funeral director came in and closed the lid on her casket. And the next day, the casket was taken to the graveyard. And she could hear the gravediggers working: “Did you hear what happened at the funeral home this morning?” said one of them. “No, what?” said the other as they threw shovel fulls of dirt onto her casket. “A young mortician’s assistant heard a knocking sound in one of the caskets. Well, he opened it up, and a young girl in a slip climbed out. She said she’d been the victim of a voodoo ritual. Someone had given her a dress dusted with that zombie powder, so she seemed dead when she wasn’t.”

“Huh,” said the first gravedigger. “I wonder what happened to that dress.”

And then the girl couldn’t hear anything else….



Teachers can download instructional materials based on this story and others on our Lesson Plans page.

The White Dress – Story Credits

Written and Told by Richard and Judy Dockery Young

Additional Sound Design by Henry Howard

This story was taken from the recording “There’s No Such Thing As Ghosts” by Richard and Judy Dockery Young.

Special thanks to August House for allowing us to use this story.

Leave a Reply

This Post Has 112 Comments

  1. This is good but maybe as a re-write add more details so people can feel the tone and a certain mood as they read the story. Very good like I said and You all keep writing!
    Taya Kerklynist

  2. E

    Wow this is good!!!

  3. Whitney

    This story is very interesting but very creepy! I love scary stories!!

    6Th grader


  4. Kennedi


    1. Cecelia

      So I was just reading this and I thought;if the second girl stole the dress and was paralyzed,doesn’t that mean that maybe the first girl either could have stole it like the second girl?Oh,wait,never mind I finally remembered that the first girl was given the dress.Also doesn’t that mean that the first girl saw the second girl take off the dress,so she saw her face.And that also means that the first girl was saved by the second,right??I am just confused of how the first girl didn’t try to find the second,I mean like,couldn’t she have heard about the funeral and such?I mean,I just wanted to now these things lol.

  5. daniel

    wow that was a good story and she was buried alive omg thats creeeeepyy

  6. BOA3006

    Who read this in 2020 ? (me xD)

  7. Kelly

    Ok, I just read this to my class, and one student had a really good point. If the dress was bought for the funeral for the first girl, then she was already dead to begin with. So…. we are confused.

    1. Kelly, the “dead” girl she stole the dress from was actually alive but immobile because of a “zombie powder.” So when the second girl put on the dress it still had powder on it and she, too, was immobilized. In her case though she was buried alive.

  8. Makenzie

    This story was really good!

  9. C L C

    This story needs a sequel and if not a sequel a new ending because why does she get buried alive I mean that was kind of predictable I mean she is basically paralyzed and the doctors don’t have a clue what is wrong with her. They are not getting a pulse and the girl is not breathing, I mean she is doing all that stuff it’s just that they don’t know it. I think that the witch or voodoo curser or whatever should come into the story because she senses revenge on the girls list. I mean thats what I would think because the girl is a turd and she seems like the person that wants to get back at that girl that had the dress before she did. I know I get that the girl stole the dress from a supposed to be dead girl but doesn’t that girl that steals the dress doen’t she seem like that type of person to get revenge? Well anyways peace out.