White Lady

White Lady (1)

White Ladies are mysterious apparitions. Some are true spirits. Some are ghosts. In general, what they have in common is their appearance: they resemble the traditional conception of a ghost. True White Ladies are the color of white clouds, sometimes transparent or semitransparent. They are usually completely, strikingly, often unnaturally white, hence their name. The term White Lady makes no reference to their ethnic background or appearance when they were alive. In life, many so-called White Ladies may have had dark hair or dark skin. The point is what they look like now. White Ladies are clearly supernatural beings—there’s no mistaking them for someone living, unlike many other spirits.

Sometimes ghosts or spirits who dress in white are lumped in with White Ladies. Many are more accurately called Ladies in White, as the only thing white about them may be their clothing.

White Ladies are unnerving spirits, although many are beautiful. White is traditionally the color of purity and Western brides, but it’s also the color of death: bones, shrouds, and ashes tend to be white. White Ladies bridge these concerns. Although this is a vast category, a high proportion of White Ladies died for love. Many died as brides, often on their wedding day. Some died of broken hearts. Others were killed by lovers, husbands, or fathers who opposed their romance. Although some haunt the scenes of their death, others pursue their true loves through eternity.

White Lady ghosts are ethereal wraiths. Many are particularly active spirits, makingregular appearances.They haunt houses, mysteriously slip through walls, vanish and appear at will or dissolve into mist. White Ladies are sometimes a tourist draw. Many mansions, hotels, and castles brag about their resident White Ladies.

In general, White Lady ghosts are disturbing but not harmful. (Exceptions do exist. Some vent their romantic frustrations on the living.) Some seem to enjoy scaring the living daylights out of people with abrupt sudden appearances. These White Ladies tend to haunt hotels or public areas where there is greater opportunity to surprise strangers.

Some White Ladies are harbingers of doom. Their appearance signals a death in the family. Unlike Banshees, they usually don’t wail. Instead, their appearance says it all.

Because most White Ladies are persistent but not harmful, they are generally left alone. It is relatively easy to coexist with most White Ladies. Beyond appearing and haunting the premises, they do little harm—unless you perceive proximity to ghosts as integrally harmful to the living, in which case it’s probably easier for you to move than to displace them. Many are very attached to the scenes of their hauntings. If you really wish to remove a White Lady, standard exorcism methods used on other ghosts should work on them, too, although White Ladies have a tendency to pretend they’ve been exorcised only to reappear years later when they think the coast is clear.

White Ladies can become attached to homes or families with whom they live and may evolve into allies, scaring intruders or giving warning of danger.


They’re white! Many but not all are beautiful. The White Lady may dress in a bridal gown, draping white garments, a shroud, or a winding-sheet.


Acknowledge her existence by setting a place for her at holidays or special occasions. Offer a portion of whatever everyone else is having. Alternatively pastry and champagne usually please. Serve her a White Lady cocktail. Standard ingredients are gin, Cointreau, and lemon juice, but ingredients like cream or egg whites are sometimes included to make the drink whiter. White Ladies don’t need a lot of offerings—they’re preoccupied with their own private obsessions. In general, if they need or desire something, they’ll let you know.

See Also:

  • Ghost;
  • Gray Lady
  • White Lady (2)


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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