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Sarah O’Bannon

Estimated reading time — < 1 minute

Coffins used to be built with holes in them, attached to six feet of copper tubing and a bell. The tubing would allow air for victims buried under the mistaken impression they were dead. Harold, the Oakdale gravedigger, upon hearing a bell, went to go see if it was children pretending to be spirits. Sometimes it was also the wind. This time it wasn’t either. A voice from below begged, pleaded to be unburied.

“You Sarah O’Bannon?” Yes! the voice assured.

“You were born on September 17, 1827?”



“The gravestone here says you died on February 19?”


“No I’m alive, it was a mistake! Dig me up, set me free!”


“Sorry about this, ma’am,” Harold said, stepping on the bell to silence it and plugging up the copper tube with dirt. “But this is August. Whatever you is down there, you ain’t alive no more, and you ain’t comin’ up.”

CREDIT: Anonymous

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199 thoughts on “Sarah O’Bannon”

  1. i do like this short story – read it years ago when i first started coming onto this site and it does occasionally pop into my head

  2. Does no one realize that this is plagiarized from Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark??
    Just me?

  3. This is one of the first creepypastas I read. It is still one of my favourites. Short and to the point, and with an interesting twist. It is amazing.

  4. I may be wrong, and please don’t get angry with me if I am. But I have a theory about this story that for me would make the story sadder more than anything. Also I’m not sure if anyone else has said this.

    I think there’s a possibility that Sarah was alive and not some undead zombie. The gravestone says she died in February yet it’s August, how do we not know that someone has cleverly buried her down there while she was in some kind of sleep and created a secret specialised gravestone that says February to trick Harold. Maybe in reality she’s only been down there a few hours or so, they could have orchestrated all this so carefully.

    I know I’ve probably been stupid so please let me know about the likely flaws in this theory.

  5. I’m sick of your shit, zombitch. Have fun eating dirt for the rest of forever. Now, off to stomp Slenderman.

  6. Me: Mrs. O’Bannon…. How old were you at 1830?

    O’ Bannon: Er…. 5?


  7. I liked that Harold wasn’t a typical Pasta character. He was all “Bullshit!” and sorted it before it was a problem!
    Nommy pasta! Brava!
    (side note; I wish coffins still had these bells and tubes! Would definitely make me fear being buried alive less!)

  8. Maybe she was paralyzed and couldn’t speak and she lived off bugs that crawled down the tube and drank rain water.

  9. This was a great story. Creeped me out a bit. I mean, what was down there???
    But there is just one thing. They only kept the bells attached to the string for a week or so. So six months down the road the bell would have been long removed.
    Sorry to nit pick!

  10. This is one of my all-time favorite pastas. It’s short and a great idea. It’s also hilarious if you imagine that maybe they’d gotten the dates mixed up on the gravestone and now she’s going to die from a misunderstanding.

  11. Amazing pasta! Cleverly written, as well as short. Well done! I would have preferred if you left a more personal name so everyone could keep an eye out for more of your pastas, but bravo nonetheless.

  12. Darn, why everyone love to think she’s a zombie rather than it’s mistake day on the gravestone? If she’s zombie, the zombie can’t talk, they can’t even think because they’re nothing but moving death body. And if she’s a spirit, she can fly out the coffin without any help.

    Darn you zombie maniacs.

    1. There’s so much more lore than just spirits and zombies, and originally zombies were said to be walking dead people that could still talk and do chores



  14. The part that makes me laugh is when Harold’s like, “Sorry, ma’am but whatever you is ain’t alive anymore.” I was like, derp! Zombie, why you no lie? QAQ poor zombie

  15. @what if…
    No. First of all, had she been down there eating damn bugs, she’d have rang the bell a long damn time ago. Also, she’d have needed water. Harold doesn’t appreciate ridiculous questions.

  16. lmfao at the one person who said “she could of been in a coma” you tard, she would of starved to death anyway! do you know how the human body works at all?

  17. Wow really short but really good….but I was under the assumption that this was occurring in modern times. making her dead for a few hundred years.

  18. This reminds me of a movie I saw once… Cemetery Man. The dead keep coming back to life, and it’s his job to kill them before they leave the cemetary. It’s good, but weird as shit.

    Anyway, great story. Way to be a badass, Harold.

  19. Everyone is talking about how smart Harold is for not digging her up, because she’s dead and must be some kind of zombie. But what if she really isn’t dead (pretty dumb to believe in zombies). And instead buried alive by some kind of 19th century mafia. The tombstone has a fake date, because a gravedigger would still remember if there where people buried a day or a week ago. But not wich people where buried six months ago. Or as some people already said above. Harold was wrong about the date, or the date on the tombstone was a misprint. Or she survived by eating insects. If this is the case, Harold is a murderer. By leaving her to rot.

  20. This one makes me quite sad but I
    Understand………..evil spirits want
    Bodies but they cant have them

    1. Possible. She could have been saying ‘No, it was a mistake’, as in, ‘I didn’t die on that day, that’s the wrong date, I was buried yesterday’ or some shit but…

      I like it better thinking Harold is a smart guy who politely told the zombie bitch to stay down. XD

  21. Umm, this story is from the 1800s and it’s now 2010. Harold should be dead now. THE ZOMBIE MUST BE KILLED!
    (too bad Harold wasn’t there to not let himself out of his coffin)

  22. Nice to see someone who isn’t on the intellectual level of a braindead chmipanzee in one of these stories for once.

  23. I like to think that this sort of shit happens all the time to Harold. Corpses try to crawl out of their graves and Harold just whacks them on the head with his shovel, then tells them to get back in the ground. And by god those corpses get back in the ground, because you do not want to cross Harold.

  24. What Harold should have done is exactly that, then stopped the zombie apocalypse alone using a shovel, and once that broke his bare hands.

  25. Sir Shoop Woopington

    i cant believe anyone would have bought that
    Harold is a god among men anyway since he also puts a final word in that is far more elequen then what i woud say:
    yeah, well how about go fuck yourself.

  26. Entertaining short. I humbly submit that in future versions, Harold should rip the clapper off the bell.

    Or, if you really want to be dumb, have him say something like “Stop Calling! Sarah don’t live here no mo'”

  27. @18 fuc kyeahs you did harold,septs,you could put like,tnt down the tube first
    extra long cord
    fucking booked it
    fuckin jsut

  28. それを沈黙させる鐘の「残念なこれについて、夫人」、ハロルドは言った、歩み、土が付いている銅管の上で差し込むこと。 「しかしこれは8月である。 であるそこにものは何でも、これ以上生きていないし、上がっていない」。

  29. Even if it really was Sarah O’Bannon, clinging to her mortal body long after its demise, and she was quite innocent and pleading, the life she would return to is not one to be enjoyed.

  30. Public Service Announcement

    In the event of a zombie apocalypse, everyone go to Harold the Oakdale Gravedigger. He is qualified to be Moses. He will save us all. In Harold, and God, we trust.

    That is all.

  31. I guess its true. Common sense really is so rare, it’s a fucking super power. Harold is now a superhero with his amazing abilities to think logically.


  32. ok ok, i loved this story but the comments were fucking bril!

    harold basically rocks my socks and i salute u!

    at sarah o’bannon…pwned bitch! i say let her out and let chuck norris give her a swift roundhouse kick to her undead face!

    ye, i enjoyed this A+ for entertainment fer suuuure!

  33. @ anon 1: Even if you’re in a coma, you still need AIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRR. Whatever’s down there ain’t breathing.

  34. The person formerly known as 'Noneya'

    Jeez, Im really thinking of changing my ‘name’. -.-”

    Harold has to be the ONLY intelligent person in a creepy pasta, ever.

    I love this one!

  35. Hey, the cemetery on the other side of my small town is called Oakdale…

    I should look for her.

    A fave, for sure. GO HAROLD!


  37. Harold + shovel = fuck yeah!
    and is it wierd that i’m listening to living dead girl by rob zombie while reading this?

  38. The wierd thing about this, is that the person on the surface could be lying to her… We’ll never know, I guess. No bri/x/ were shat.

  39. So what’s the big fuss? A little common sense put to use was never meant to be equivalent to an act of heroism.
    I just told the bitch, “i don’t believe you’re alive. Enjoy your unrest in the grave.”

  40. Hey Harold, would you mind if I had your babies?
    You don’t have a choice in the matter anyways.
    Kudos for screwing the bitch over.

  41. Harold…
    Did you ever know that your my Hero? And everything i would like to be? i can fly higher than an eagle. ‘Cause you are the wind beneath my wings

    1. Shut up Harold. I ain’t forgotten about when you did that to me four years ago. You’re lucky I got out the way I did.

  42. @Daniel O’Briant:

    He asked if she was born Sept. 17, 1827 to confirm that it was the one they had placed in the ground (The parents would know their daughter/husband would know his wife).

    He cites the date she was buried because it’s been half a year since she was buried. She’s obviously died in that time if she were buried alive.

  43. Daniel O'Briant

    How could he tell if she was a spirit/zombie if she was BORN september 17, 1827 and died makes perfect sence. she was born and they thought she died, so how is he smart? that means he’s murderer.

      1. it says she died on February 19th, and its august now. so she would’ve been buried for 6 and a half months…

        She’s dead…

    1. She could’ve survived on insects and prevailing moisture, right? xP I’m not so good with science. Maybe she just noticed the string for the bell after 7 months. Derp.

  44. She could’ve been in a coma all that time… But it’s said that the only spirits that need to ask for permission to join you are evil spirits, too…

      1. He said it’s august, so presumably it meant 7 months later. Still impossible to be in a coma that long without food/water.

        1. Anonymous is right, It could have been only a few months.
          And, sometimes people have been known to go into “Survival Mode” and not need food or water for long periods of time without burning carbs.

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