Campfire Stories: The Golden Arm

For October, I’ve decided to write up a few posts retelling some of my absolute favorite ghost stories from my youth. I heard these stories in Girl Scout tents, around campfires, and on living room couches. Every time the air was cool, the stories were told by friends and family. I’m telling all of them from memory and locating the original source with variations. I hope you all enjoy my scary ghost stories and you are reminded of the stories you were told. If you want to share a particular story, feel free to comment, and I can arrange to have your story posted on the site! I’m going to start out with my personal favorites:

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The Golden Arm

Long ago there lived a man and woman who loved each other very much. The man loved his wife so much that he bought her anything her heart desired. One terrible stormy night, the woman was out walking along the road on her way home when a car slid on the wet pavement and crashed into the woman nearly killing her. She survived the accident but lost her left arm. The man was devastated and wanted to make his wife as comfortable as possible. So he arranged to have a golden arm fashioned to replace the one his wife lost. He pampered and spoiled her for many years, but the wife never seem to recover from her accident. She died and was buried with her golden possession.

Years passed, and the man never could quite get over his wife’s death. Depression and grief controlled him, and he soon fell into a huge debt from the years of lavish spending and increasing medical expenses. Soon he faced bankruptcy and foreclosure. He was penniless and needed a miracle. Desperate times call for desperate measures. He knew what he needed to do. Late one night, he snuck out to the cemetery and carefully dug up his dearly beloved wife’s coffin. He ever so easily removed the golden arm from its position, placed the coffin back in the ground, and filled in the hole. He took the arm to the nearest jeweler and sold it for enough money to cover his misfortunes. He soon began to regain control of his life.

On the anniversary of his wife’s death, he remembered her fondly, had a hearty meal, and went to bed. It was a stormy night, much like the night of the accident, and the man felt a sudden chill come over his body. He laid in his bed not able to sleep. He closed his eyes and drew the blankets around him when he heard a loud knock on the door. It was followed by a haunting moan, “Where’s my golden arm?” He couldn’t believe it. He must be dreaming. He heard the knock again and once again the moan, “Where’s my golden arm?” He closed his eyes tighter. The door opened. “Where’s my golden arm?” A jolt shot through his body making him shudder. Footsteps down the hall. “Where’s my golden arm?” At the bedroom door. “Where’s my golden arm?” A slam as the bedroom door opened. “Where’s my golden arm?” Creeping to the bed, the man shut his eyes tight. “Where’s my golden arm?” The blankets slid from the man’s body. “Where’s my golden arm?” “YOU’VE GOT IT!” (Really yell the last part, and the kids will jump a foot in the air, I promise).

There are so many variations. The original is said to be from Mark Twain as an instructional guide on how to tell a story. I’ve included the links. All end with shouting to really scare your audience. Next time you’re outside around the fire, tell this story. Just try not to pee in your pants at the reactions you get!

Don’t forget about the Spooky Halloween Letters Giveaway going on until October 30. Enter by clicking the image below:

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