Popular Urban Legends Still Being Told Today Part 1
Most of you grew up hearing a variety of urban legends. Most of them were so believable that they kept you up at night and forced you to keep the light on. It’s okay, you’re not alone. I remember being so scared by some urban legends I heard throughout my life that was always creeped out for one reason or another. If you’re brave enough to read through this list of popular urban legends, you’ll gain some freaky stories to tell others in hopes that they creep others out as much as they did you.
Bloody Mary is a very old game meant to frighten those that choose or are chosen to play it. Legend has it that if you stand in front of a mirror in a dimly lit (or candle-lit room) and say “Bloody Mary” three times, a spirit will appear in the mirror. The apparition that appears looks like a corpse and is covered in blood. The legend also says that the apparition can be violent, and is believed to have screamed at and strangled some participants, stealing their souls and drinking their blood.
Is there any truth behind this legend? I did some digging and found that many people believe Bloody Mary is Mary Tudor, the daughter of King Henry the VIII. King Henry was wicked and is known for putting his wives to death whenever he got tired of them. Mary was the daughter of King Henry’s first wife, so she grew up seeing some pretty gruesome stuff. She was surrounded by death. Mary became Queen of England when she was 37 and was also pretty messed up like her father. Whenever people refused to follow the same religion she believed in she decided to have them burned at the stake. People grew to hate her and gave her the nickname Bloody Mary. Mary wanted to have a baby so she’d have an heir to the throne. She eventually stopped getting her periods, started gaining weight, and getting sick in the morning. Her belly grew and she was so excited that she was pregnant… or was she? After nine months, nothing happened. Several months went by and her stomach went back to normal and her “pregnancy” symptoms disappeared. Her pregnancy wasn’t real and she was humiliated and died shortly after this.
Some people claim to have really seen Bloody Mary in mirrors, but no one really knows if there is any truth behind this legend.
The Vanishing Hitchhiker
This legend can also be referred to as The Ghost Hitchhiker, The Lady in White, and The Phantom Hitchhiker. There are so many variations of this legend, but it’s basically about a driver spotting a female hitchhiker and offering to give her a ride. She gives the driver her address and the driver eventually finds out the hitchhiker has been dead for a long time after she vanishes from the closed car. Sometimes she’ll leave behind an object like a scarf, a bag, or some kind of identification. This urban legend dates back as far as the 1970s and is told all over the world.
Is this legend true? There is no truth behind this legend. It was basically a story that spread rapidly because Americans took it seriously and kept passing it around.
The Missing Bride
The Missing Bride is a legend about hide-and-seek that went very wrong. The legend states that a bride and groom decided to have a little fun after their wedding. They chose to play hide-and-seek, with the bride being the person to hide and the groom the one to find her. The bride wanted to win so she snuck into the house and crept up into the attic, finding an old trunk to hide in. The problem was, the groom, nor anyone else could find the bride. The groom sent everyone home because he figured his bride got tired and went inside to rest. He looked everywhere for her but couldn’t find her. The groom and the parents of the bride filed a missing person’s report, but she was never found. Years later when the bride’s mother died, the father of the bride went into the attic to look through his deceased wife’s belongings. He came across the trunk and opened it to find the decaying body of his daughter. The lid of the trunk was closed and the old lock was rusted which prevented her from escaping the trunk.
This legend is over 200 years old, but there is absolutely no historic evidence that this ever happened. It still makes a pretty creepy story, though.
Russian Sleep Experiment
This legend is so freaky and is one of my favorites. The story says that in the 1940’s Russian researchers used a gas-based stimulant to keep five people awake for 30 days. The people were prisoners that were promised freedom if they completed the experiment. They were kept in a sealed environment so the researchers could keep track of their oxygen to make sure the gas wasn’t killing them. The first five days were rather dull because nothing out of the ordinary happened.
After five days, things began to change. These five people stopped talking to each other and seemed to exhibit signs of extreme paranoia, whispering into the microphones. After nine days, one of the guys in the experiment began screaming and running the length of the chamber they were kept in. He screamed for three hours straight, eventually only able to get out little squeaks because he physically tore his own vocal cords from screaming so much. The creepy thing about this instance is that two non-screaming people in the chamber ripped up books and tore the pages out, then they smeared the pages with their own feces. They then took these feces-covered pages and placed them calmly over the glass portholes which stopped the screaming and the whispering into the microphones. Three days went by and not a sound was heard from inside the chamber. The researchers addressed them via intercom and told them they wanted to test the microphones so they needed to step away from the door. A captive answered back saying they no longer wanted to be freed.
The researchers really didn’t know what to do, so they decided to end the experiment and on the 15th day, they stopped the gas-based stimulant. The captives began screaming like they were dying and they begged to have the gas turned back on. The researchers went inside the chamber to retrieve the captives instead but found something that would haunt them forever. Within the chamber one person was dead, lying face-down in bloody water. His flesh was torn off in chunks. All of the subjects were severely mutilated, and the wounds looked to be self-inflicted. They tore open their own abdomens to disembowel themselves. Some ate their own flesh. Such a creepy story, but this event never took place.
The Small Woman in Grey
This next spooky story is about a woman dressed in gray who goes into a general store in a small town. This woman picked up a glass container of milk and walked out the door without paying for it. The two gentlemen who ran the store went after her, but she was already gone. The next day the same thing happened. The men were more prepared this time and they were able to follow her some, but she turned a corner and disappeared again. The third time it happened, these two men were able to follow her to a cemetery. There in the cemetery, they heard the sound of a baby crying from a fresh grave site. The crying continued so they dug up the grave. They opened up the coffin and found the corpse of the small woman in gray clutching her living baby. Next to them were the three empty glass containers of milk. The legend says the spirit of the mother kept the baby alive for several days with the milk until it was found. Another legend that is nothing but a fictional story… but it’s a cool story nonetheless!
Bunny Man Bridge
Like most urban legends, the one of the Bunny Man Bridge has several variations. One version of the story states that in Fairfax County, Virginia after the Civil War, the location became extremely populated. An insane asylum was eventually built there, but no one wanted to live by an asylum, so it was eventually shut down. This meant that administration had to move all of the patients that lived in the asylum, which they were able to do in 1904. However, during the move, many patients escaped and hid in the nearby woods. The patients that escaped were said to be delusional and dangerous. All of the patients were eventually found except Douglass Griffen and Marcus Lawster. Authorities followed a trail of hundreds of half-eaten and severely mutilated bunnies deep in the woods and they came upon the entrance of a tunnel. There hanging from the tunnel was Marcus with a note attached to him that said, “You’ll never find me no matter how hard you try! Signed, The Bunny Man.” Ever since this incident, the bridge has been referred to as the Bunny Man Bridge. For years, many people claim that around Halloween, carcasses of bunnies can be found hung up from the overpass. Other variations claim a man in a bunny costume attacks people with an ax or hatchet.
The story about the insane asylum never happened. There is some truth to this story, though. There was a crazy man dressed in a rabbit costume in Fairfax county that like scaring and confusing individuals. He supposedly threw a hatchet once through a car window. He would often yell at people to get off his property.
Scared yet? Stay tuned for more creepy urban legends in my next post!