Everyone’s heard an urban legend, whether it was evilly whispered to you by your mean siblings, passed around the campfire, or read under the covers as a child. More often than not, we’ve wondered if these stories were true – and if they were, whether or not the Boogeyman come to get us! If you want a spook, these 13 urban legends will be sure to creep you out – especially when you discover which of these stories are actually true! Read to the end to find out!
One afternoon in England, a middle-aged woman and her husband were visiting her mother’s grave. As her husband waited in the car, she respectfully left flowers and did what people usually do at the graves of their loved ones. While she was walking back, she decided to snap a picture of her husband in the car. Several days later, the wife dropped by the store to pick up her developed photos and received quite a shock when she saw the photo from the graveyard. Somehow, her deceased mother appeared to be sitting in the passenger seat of the car beside her husband!
There was once a young woman who always dreamed of having her wedding in the backyard of the farmhouse where she spent her childhood. Years later, the big day finally arrived and she invited friends from near and far to attend her jolly wedding celebration at the farmhouse. Since so many of her guests had brought along their children to play, the newlyweds thought it would be fun to play the simple game of hide-and-seek with everybody. Given that this was her old house, the bride wanted to find the best hiding spots and made sure the groom was ‘it’. As the groom was counting down, she scurried up to the attic and stepped into an old trunk to hide. Hours later, the groom still had not found her and eventually, everybody assumed she had just went to sleep and left the party. Yet, years later, the bride was still nowhere to be found.
Long after the bride’s mysterious disappearance, the mother of the bride passed away from an illness. The father decided to return to the farmhouse to collect some of her belongings and climbed up to the attic. He noticed the trunk and while he didn’t remember storing anything in there, he opened it up just in case. Imagine his horror upon prying open the dusty trunk to find the decaying body of the bride, mouth still in the shape of a scream from being accidentally trapped in the trunk years ago.
Basically everybody has had the crap scared out of them by a mannequin that creepily looked like a real person. But is there a corpse disguised as a mannequin?
In a wedding dress shop in Chihuahua, Mexico, there is a lovely mannequin that has been displayed in the show window for 85 years. While a mannequin in a shop window is nothing unusual, the locals call this one La Pascualita. They say that she is so realistic, people believe her to be a mummy preserved in the shop for centuries, and not without good reason. When she was first placed in the window in 1930, people realized that she strangely resembled the daughter of the shop owner. However, the daughter was rumoured to have died on her wedding day, bitten by a deadly Black Widow spider. The mannequin still stands eerily in the window and locals claim her eyes follow them in the store or that she changes positions in the night.
The Choking Doberman
One evening, a young couple returned home rather late after meeting friends to find their large Doberman choking in the living room. Instead of calling up the vet or trying to save it, the man fainted on the spot, leaving his partner to deal with the situation. She promptly called her friend, who was a vet, and rushed the dog to her offices. Upon returning home, she was trying to drag her husband upstairs when the telephone rang. She considered not answering, but given the time of night, she figured it had to be an important message. Right she was, as she picked up the phone to the frantic voice of her vet friend. Her friend was hysterically screaming into the receiver and it seemed like she was telling them to get out of the house immediately. Confused, the woman began to drag her husband to the front door, but before she could even get outside, police began to run in. When she asked what was going on, a policeman explained that their dog had been choking on a human finger. At that moment, they located an unconscious burglar in the bathroom who was missing a finger.
The Red Room
In Japan, there is a Red Room Curse that is rumoured to travel the internet. It’s a simple pop-up quiz game that appears on your monitor. The game starts off by asking, “Do you like the Red Room?” in Japanese writing. You continue to click through the questions until you arrive at a list of names – the last names probably being those of your friends, and the final name being your own. The next day, you’re found dead from suicide in your room with your blood on the walls.
The Hotel Room Stench
If you were to murder someone in a hotel room, where would you hide the body? Unfortunately not all of us have the chemistry knowledge to pull a Breaking Bad tactic, but in this disturbing story, that won’t be necessary.
The story starts with a couple who have checked into a local hotel during their vacation. Upon walking into their room, they realize that there was a strange smell coming from somewhere in the room – but where? After inspecting the obvious areas of the room, it occurred to the woman that the stench was actually coming from the bed! Curiously, there was nothing hiding on or under the bed, so what was going on? The couple, becoming more and more uncomfortable, alerted the hotel staff, who gave them a new room. However, the next day when the hotel staff continued the inspection, they flipped over the mattress to reveal the rotting girl’s corpse shoved into the springboard.
The Clown Statue
We had to throw in a classic babysitter story of course, but this one is particularly disturbing.
One evening, a young couple wanted to treat themselves to a date night, so they called up their regular babysitter to watch their young child. Later that evening, the babysitter had tucked the daughter into bed and was getting rather bored. She decided to watch TV, however the only TV set the family owned was in the parents’ bedroom. She called the father up to ask for permission, but before she hung up, she also asked if she could cover up the life-size clown statue in their room because it was really starting to creep her out. The father paused, then immediately told her to get their daughter, run to the neighbor’s house, and call 911. When the babysitter asked why, he replied, “We don’t own a clown statue.”
The parents rushed home, only to find their daughter and the babysitter lying in pools of their own blood and no clown statue to be seen.
One summer afternoon in New York, a woman pulled into a gas station. While the gas station attendant pumped the gas, she explained that she was in a bit of a hurry as she had to pick up her daughter from an art class on the other side of the city. As she was explaining, a well-dressed man overheard her conversation and came to speak with her. His car rental had died on him and he needed to get to that same area of the city for a meeting, so he wondered if she could give him a ride there. The woman agreed, happy to be able to help him out. The man left his briefcase in her backseat and slipped out to the bathroom quickly.
When the attendant had finished pumping gas, the woman took a look at her watch and realized that she was running late already. Without thinking, she got in her car and drove away to her daughter’s art class.
She had already picked up her daughter before she realized the man was still at the gas station without his briefcase. Thinking they could find some ID in the case in order to apologize and return his belongings, the woman cracked open the case. Inside, there was only a knife, a chloroform rag and duct tape.
In 1948 in Ojai Valley of California, there was a great wildfire that scorched a large area of the valley, destroying several houses. One of these was an isolated home belonging to a son and father, burned down in the blazes of the fire. The father was trapped in the fire and perished, but the son miraculously survived. However, the son couldn’t bear his father’s death and was driven insane. When rescue personnel arrived to the scorched scene days later, they found the father hung from a tree with all of his burned skin peeled off. The son fled from the house and has been named Char-Man, living with charred skin in the valley ever since. They say if you go to one of the bridges in the valley at night, you and your healthy skin lay as bait for the Char-Man to come.
The Funhouse Mummy
One day, a mother brought her 5-year-old son to the city’s theme park that had opened up recently. The son was amazed by the attractions all around the park, and he especially loved the fun house at the centre of the park. His mother brought him around to see all of the attractions and somewhere at the back of the tent, they arrived at a dummy made up to look like a dead man being hung from an overhead bar. The boy giggled at the display, having never seen it and not realizing what it was. The mother was quite disturbed and started to pull her son away so she could complain about this unseemly attraction to the staff. However, before she could do so, he young boy pull on the pant leg of the dummy and the leg fell off – revealing human bones and remains falling out from the not-so-fake dummy.
Usually people want their bachelor parties to be pretty wild, but this particular bachelor party plan might be too much for the average guy.
A man was soon to be married, so he and his buddies decided to throw the best and most wild bachelor party they could imagine: renting an RV to go to Las Vegas for the weekend (okay, so maybe they’re not that imaginative, but they tried). Their day they left, all the guys piled into the run-down RV and kissed their ladies goodbye as they set off. As they continued, they became more and more aware of a terrible stench. Everybody sniffed their pits and profusely denied having farted (well, one of them actually had farted, but that still wasn’t the one everybody smelled). Finally at one of the pit stops, the guys decided it was unbearable and investigated. Upon checking out all of the compartments, smelling the seats, and blaming each other, one of them finally broke open a compartment that had been stuck before. Their wild party became crazy in the worst way when the compartment revealed a rotting corpse hidden in the front compartment. Let’s just say that bachelor party wasn’t what they expected.
There was once a young couple who lived on different floors of the same building in college. Both being medical students at a strict school, they were not allowed to visit each others floors past curfew and were hardly able to see each other in between classes. However, they had the fortune of the girl’s bedroom being right above her boyfriend’s. To show her affection for him, she would make a bowl of oxtail soup for him every evening and lower it down outside the window to his room. The soup made him very happy and warm inside, as most gifts from young lovers do. One particular night, the boy had finished an especially delicious bowl of oxtail soup and fell asleep studying. The next morning, he went upstairs to visit his girlfriend. He was shocked to hear from her roommates that she had died of a sudden illness. The young man was devastated, when he realized – who had been lowering the oxtail soup to him?
There is an organization called the “Secure, Contain, and Protect Foundation” which serves to study and contain strange creatures. These creatures are called “SCPs,” each given a number. There is rumoured to be an SCP called SCP-173, one of the originals and particularly dangerous. It has some human-like features, with short limbs and a face – however, it has a statue-like body and its face is bloodied. It is said that this one was dangerous because it would instantly kill if not watched. SCP-173 cannot move when being directly watched by someone, but as soon as eye contact is broken, it snaps the necks of those around. As a result, SCP-173 is constantly under surveillance. If you find yourself in the vicinity of an SCP-173-like creature, don’t blink – you might regret it.
Real or Myth?
Now which of these urban legends were true?
TRUE – Although there have been many falsified ghost photos in the past, in the case of Mabel Chinnery and the image of her deceased mother in 1959, the photo apparently was deemed genuine by a photographic expert. Spooky, eh?
FALSE – Fortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be a real story as there haven’t been any reported cases like this. That’d be a horrible way to spend your wedding day!
FALSE – While the mannequin is likely the most realistic out there, there is no proof that she is a corpse. She does, however, still frighten one of the shop workers, who commented that “Her hands are very realistic and she even has varicose veins on her legs. I believe she’s a real person.” Perhaps it’s just a marketing scheme, but La Pascualita has yet to be cracked open to confirm any doubts of the legend!
The Choking Doberman
FALSE – While there are rumours of this being true, there haven’t been any legitimate police reportings similar to this story. Too bad, the dog could have been quite the hero.
The Red Room
TRUE (sort of) – While this doesn’t appear to be entirely true, there is a scarily true incident called the Saseba Slashing relating to it. In 2004, a 11-year-old Japanese schoolgirl, who was seemingly non-violent and totally normal before this incident, murdered her 12-year-old classmate at school. Upon further investigation, the Red Room video was apparently the first bookmarked website on her computer.
The Hotel Room Stench
TRUE – Disturbingly, this story has actually taken place on several occurrences. Worst of all, many of the people who reported these stenches in their rooms thought it was too trivial a matter to bother the hotel staff with it – and continued to sleep in the hotel room despite the suspicious smells, only to discover that they’d literally been sleeping on top of a makeshift springboard coffin.
The Clown Statue
FALSE – While this is a fairly popular and widespread urban legend (there’s also a version with a clown statue that circulates around the internet), there haven’t been any reported angel or clown statue murder cases.
FALSE – Although this would probably make a good story, there haven’t been any cases similar to this in the past. Still, I’m glad the fictional lady got away safely!
FALSE – Thank goodness this isn’t true! It appears that this was just rumour spread around local campfires and used to scare children. Either way, I’m not heading onto that bridge!
The Funhouse Mummy
TRUE – This myth actually spawned from the real embalmed body of bandit, Elmer McCurdy, being passed around for decades until he ended up at a funhouse exhibition in 1976, but the people who put him there had no idea it was a real body. That is, until a worker accidentally knocked his arm off and found human bones and muscle tissues inside.
TRUE – Crazily, this actually happened to 11 guys who were heading to the Kentucky Derby for a bachelor party. While they were admittedly more creative than the guys in the previous story, their party was also ruined when somebody forgot that the RV owner ominously told them, “don’t open the front compartments, they don’t work.” You can guess what happened after that.
FALSE – This one seems to be false. I’d probably want to throw up all of the oxtail soup if I came to this creepy realization.
FALSE – This one is fictional, and definitely for the better! The entire SCP Foundation is a fictional foundation and has many other terrifying and dangerous SCP creatures.
Thanks for reading! We hope you sleep well tonight!