Posted by Kristen Hyde on October 28, 2016 in Entertainment, Events, Holidays

It’s that time of year again. The supermarkets are selling out of trick-or-treat-sized sweets and your eccentric neighbours have started covering their doorstep with fake spider webs and motion-activated ghouls.

(Or is that just me?)

Yes, Halloween is upon us and whether you love it or couldn’t give two witches’ hats about it, there’s never a more apt time to start digging up the past than on All Hallows Eve.

So to get this spooky party started, we crept through the UK and US records on Ancestry in search of the creepiest characters we could find.

Image reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, UK.
Image reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, UK.

For example, ever wondered if you had a witch in the family? Some are easier to find than others, such as Mary A Witch and Edwin Witch (a chemist’s apprentice) who can be found in the 1851 England census.

Over in Rhode Island, USA we have the Zombies, including Anna, Antoinxette and Mary Zombie, the brothers John and Clarence Goblin of North Carolina, and Jean, Otto, George and Mary Vampire, who can all be found in the 1930 US census.

There’s also a spot of paranormal activity occurring the 1851 England census thanks to Mary A. Ghost, who was potentially a long lost relative to Emma Ghost of South Dakota who can be found in the 1910 and 1920 US censuses.

Think your family are a bit batty? They’ve got nothing on the Bat family, listed in the 1851 English census alongside John Ashlin Skelton, who we assume knew a thing or two about finding skeletons in the family closet.

But of course, sometimes actions speak louder than words, as was the case for Henry Norman, Louis Harty Fowler and Gustave Reticke who identified as Professional Wizards in the 1881 England census. John Holden also had the magical job of being the Queen’s Magician and Wizard of the Wicked World in the same census.

Robert Hole and Gains. A Stone were no strangers to holes and headstones, considering they were both listed as undertakers in the 1880 US census and 1881 England census respectively. We’ll never know if good fortune befell Gertrude Hazelgrove but we hope she saw it coming, especially considering she was a gypsy fortune teller in the 1881 England Census.

So why not grab a handful of spooky treats and start searching for some fang-tastic finds in your family tree this Halloween. As they say, blood is thicker than water…

Kristen Hyde

Kristen is Ancestry's Social Media Manager for the United Kingdom.


  1. Merilee

    Kristen, you always find interesting things to share! This is hilarious! Thanks for all you do for us out in here in the trenches researching our families!

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Jean: We’re sorry to hear that. What happens when you try to access our site? Are you trying to set up a free guest account or are you trying to start a subscription with us? Have you tried doing this from a different web browser?

  2. Joshua Martin

    This website is garbage. Used the free trial to try and find some information out and could not find anything. Cancelled the subscription and still got charged for a new subscription to a site that is utter trash and not reliable. And can’t even get a refund for an unauthorized payment on a subscription that was cancelled. I’d be happy to delete my account if I could but there is no visible option to.

  3. Sheila Tittle


    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Sheila , thanks for getting in touch. Please feel free to call us on 0800 404 9723 and one of our support team would be happy to help you access your account.

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