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
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.
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….
– THE END –
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.