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The White Lady is the spirit of a woman who died tragically or suffered a severe trauma during her lifetime. Usually, the White Lady died violently for the sake of true love or for the loss of her children (sometimes, she is the one who killed them). This causes her to go mad with grief and commit suicide, leaving an angry spirit behind.
Species: Spirit of the Dead (Restless, Harbinger), Undead (Incorporeal)
Other Names: The White Lady goes by many names around the world. Among the most common of these are: the Woman in White, Gray Lady (commonly used in the United Kingdom), Vanishing Hitchhiker (as she is known in North America), Dames Blanche.
Habitat: The White Lady seems to be a nocturnal spirit. Although seen all over the world, she has a tendency to haunt the site of her death. She is known to frequent graveyards, old bridges, old houses, and lonely beaches.
Features: The White Lady looks as she did in life. She is described as young and beautiful, often with a look of profound sorrow, grief, or sadness etched into her lovely features. She is most commonly described as wearing a flowing white dress (although a black, gray, blue, green, or brown dress isn’t unheard of).
Behavior: The White Lady is a fairly predictable spirit most of the time. She seems content to haunt her place of death or burial, wandering aimlessly in search of her long-lost lover or her children. Sometimes, she whispers her sad story into the ear of a sleeping person. This individual awakens in tears, seeking the nearest cliff to jump off of.
While most of these spirits just want to be left alone and don’t bother the living, a few are malicious ghosts that love to lure unwary men to their deaths, taking out their sorrow and anger on those the White Lady feels deserve it. Those individuals most at risk are unfaithful lovers, abusive husbands or fathers, and men with dark secrets. This aspect of the White Lady is one of the most dangerous, as she preys on one of the best human qualities: the compulsion to help those in need (as in the case of the Vanishing Hitchhiker). Those who encounter her may feel compelled to seek her out, perhaps because she left some sort of token behind. This search usually ends in the cemetery she haunts, and the man who sought her out is usually never seen or heard from again.
While the White Lady is most commonly indifferent and even benevolent, the more malicious aspect of the White Lady is one to be feared and beware of.
Abilities: The White Lady is an incorporeal ghost, and she cannot be physically harmed or killed. She is able to manifest or disappear at will, and is able to produce poltergeist disturbances through the use of psychokinesis (the mind’s ability to interact with the physical world through sheer willpower alone). It has been suggested that the White Lady may be able to read emotions, and detect any qualities that might make one deserving of her wrath. Among other things, she can pass through solid barriers quite easily. In many cases, the White Lady is thought to be an omen of impending death or disaster for those who see her. Tragedy may strike soon after.
The White Lady’s most formidable ability is her draining touch, which seems to be common among Spirits of the Dead. Her insubstantial touch seems able to drain a human of heat or vitality. While most types of this spirit are benevolent and indifferent to humans, the malicious aspect of the White Lady is more than willing to use this ability. While being drained of heat may cause one to feel unusually cold (hence explaining the strange cold spots in a haunted location) but otherwise has no threatening effects, having one’s vitality (lifeforce) sapped away could be potentially lethal. What she does with this drained vitality is unknown, but it could be that the more malevolent variety of the White Lady needs this energy to keep herself from fading away.
Weaknesses: Being a spirit of the dead, the White Lady is unable to harmed or destroyed by any physical means. However, she does have some weaknesses common to spirits. Cold iron is known to have the power to repel spirits, demons, witches, and evil forces. However, the iron must be pure, although any type of iron will usually work in an emergency. Therefore, cold iron is most likely an effective method of keeping the White Lady at a safe distance.
Salt is known to be another spiritual repellent, thought to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. Salt is considered to be necessary for life to continue, and that which benefits the living is disruptive to the dead. Salt is considered to be among the purest of substances, due to its white color and the value placed upon it during ancient times. It is able to negate supernatural power, and is therefore anathema to supernatural beings. Like iron, it will keep the White Lady at a safe distance and prevent any attacks on anyone with salt in their possession.
Exorcising the White Lady: As mentioned earlier, the White Lady will usually not bother anyone. However, one can never tell if the White Lady has benevolent or malicious tendencies towards the living. It is better to be safe than sorry when encountering this spirit. The following exorcism should be performed only when the spirit’s malicious tendencies are revealed. As she is impervious to physical harm, the only way to put her to rest eternally is to find her grave and to salt and burn her remains. The supernatural properties of the salt will sever the ghost’s connection to this plane of existence, and the burning will cause the spirit to dissipate and disappear forever. However, this is an extreme measure to be used only on those spirits that are known to have malevolent tendencies.
History: The White Lady is the restless ghost of a woman that died violently for love’s sake or heartbreak from the loss of her lover. She takes her name from the flowing white dress she is most commonly seen wearing, although other colors have been reported. She haunts her place of death due to her intense desire to be reunited with her true love. Sometimes, her lover is murdered by her family because they do not approve of the relationship, or her lover dies in a far-off place. In the most disturbing cases, the White Lady was killed by her drunken or jealous lover, who then kills himself shortly afterwards. According to some legends, she commits suicide or kills her own children for some reason. If she murders her children, her grief causes her to waste away and die or to commit suicide in a dramatic fashion (like jumping off of a bridge). She may die waiting for her lover to return to her, but is condemned to remain one of the spectral undead and wait for her love until Judgment Day.
To say the least, the White Lady’s story is tragic and filled with sadness. She died for the sake of true love, and all she wants is for her love to return to her, so that she may rest in peace. Some of these spirits become angry, however, and take out their anguish on the living. It should suffice to say this: beware of the mysterious White Lady…