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It’s the stuff you and your buds in high school talked about and spent the whole Saturday night trying to chase, locate, or experience: urban legends. Those stories you only heard of but maybe never had the guts to verify for yourself, or those ones that you wanted to find out but were discouraged by a parent or a wimpy friend. Most urban myths are just that, myths. They’re not real, but they’re just interesting to talk about. And even though you’re visibly disappointed that there was no teenager who reappears at the train tracks every Halloween, you’re also slightly relieved that something like that isn’t true… But what if it was? Read on– if you dare– our list of urban legends that turned out to be completely factual and, indeed, scary!
No doubt you’ve heard this one before: someone thought to be dead gets buried, someone realizes s/he wasn’t dead, the coffin gets dug up to find claw marks on the lid, and so forth. But this actually happened: a Polish man buried his fiancee alive because he simply didn’t want to be with her anymore. After tasing her, binding her legs and arms, and shoving her into a box, he buried her out in the woods. How do we know this is true? She escaped using her engagement ring as a cutting tool. Whatever happened to the age-old “it’s not you, it’s me”?
You’ve likely heard some variation of this urban legend: a weird smell in a hotel room doesn’t discourage guests from still sleeping in there, just to find out DAYS into their vacay that the smell is a rotting corpse under or in the mattress. YES, it’s true– and not just once, either! There’s numerous news accounts of people ignoring that foul stench coming from the bed, basically shrugging, and getting some shut-eye anyways. Lesson learned: if the hotel room stinks, it’s probably coming from the bed, period.
Some people love getting dressed up like a scarecrow or what have you, sitting, and waiting for some unsuspecting trick-or-treaters to come just within reach. Except this one decoration of a person hanging from a tree that just kinda gave you the heebie-jeebies. And now, probably for good reason: a woman hung herself from a tree five days before Halloween in Delaware, and everyone who saw it thought it was a Halloween decoration. Well, except the one person who called the police.
Some of those corpses in Halloween funhouses look like they took an awful lot of time to prepare and dress and make dead-like. Except for this mummy that turned out be a real mummy: an undertaker who displayed a corpse he embalmed was taken by carnival promoters and used in their traveling funhouses during the early 20th century. It was only discovered in 1976 (some 60 years later) when the arm fell off and real bones were discovered within. See, kids? When your parents said don’t touch anything, they were right.
You thought peeing in a pool was terrible. What if a bloated corpse floated up beside you? That’s what happened to a group of kids who thought it a good idea to grab a late-night swim in a public pool, just to find that someone was already there… Well, sort of.
The next time you hear about some urban legend that makes you say, “NO way!” or “Whaaa?”, think back to this post, because it might actually be stranger than fiction… And then come back here and tell us about it!