Creepy Urban Legends Part Two!
With Halloween just a few weeks away, we over here at GGA couldn’t imagine a better way to spend it than by educating our dear readers with some creepy, potentially true, urban legends. So, what is an urban legend? Basically, it’s a modern form of folklore that people insist to be true. But, after a while, it’s been circulated around so many times that details begin to change drastically and nobody is sure of its authenticity. And the best part about urban legends? Pretty much anywhere you go in the world, there is bound to be some local tale told; you just need to ask around.
For example, a mere 15 minutes from my own home sits Granary Park Burying Ground where, supposedly, the ghosts of Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere are said to make an appearance every now and then. Some have even claimed to see Paul Revere on horseback as though reenacting his famous midnight ride from 1775. It just goes to show that everyone loves a good story. Regardless if it’s true or not. So! I have compiled a list of, in my opinion, the creepiest urban legends from every state in America. Scroll down, read up on your state’s weird history and I hope you find this as interesting as I did.
MONTANA- Sacrifice Cliff
Just south of Yellowstone River sits Sacrifice Cliff, a gorgeous area despite its name. And back in the 19th century, it was a place of meditation for people of the Crow tribe. One day two young men returned home to see almost everyone in the tribe infected or dead due to a small box outbreak. In a desperate attempt to save the Crow the young men decided to ride their horses off the cliff, hoping the sacrifice would save the tribe.
NEBRASKA- Hummel Park’s Albino Cannibals
Hummel Park by itself was enough to make this list. Rumored to be a Native American burial ground, the park is home to numerous ghosts, cults and brutal murders; it’s not totally surprising that a colony of people are supposedly living here too. And the cherry on top? They’re an albino cannibal colony. No, you didn’t read that wrong. Somewhere in Hummel Park are albino cannibals waiting in the trees- mostly at night- to eat people.
NEVADA- Corpse Under the Bed
A myth almost as the old ‘wake up in an ice bath with no kidneys’ is the phenomenon that under certain hotels one can, and most likely will find a rotting corpse under the bed. Not only is this most likely to happen in Sin City (Las Vegas) but many insist that is where the urban legend originated. This is mainly due to all the mafia connections.
NEW HAMPSHIRE- The Chase Home for Children
Orphanages aren’t nearly as popular as they used to be and, unfortunately, many of them were in miserable conditions. A perfect example of this is The Chase Home for Children. Built in the 1800s, the orphanage is still in business, and while it’s received a much-needed upgrade to take care of its current occupants, including the ghost of a girl that used to live there. People say that she was an unhappy resident or worker in the house and ended up hanging herself in one of the hallways. To this day employees report many unusual things: hearing a young girl’s scream, lights and ceiling fans flicking on and off, locked doors opening on their own.
NEW JERSEY- The Jersey Devil
No, I’m not talking about the NHL hockey team, though this urban legend did influence the name. The Jersey Devil is Jersey’s most famous legend; a demon with the head of a goat, goat, wings like a bat, horns, small arms, claws, cloven hooves and a forked tail. The story goes this demon was the 13th child of a local woman, it immediately escaped to wreak havoc on the state. This was in 1735 and since then hundreds of sightings have been reported, even Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s eldest brother, confessed to seeing the creature during a trip.
NEW MEXICO- Boy Scouts Own A Gateway to Hell
According to ancient Navajo beliefs the Urraca Mesa in the Philmont Scout Ranch- which is now owned by the Boy Scouts of America – was once a battleground between humans and dark supernatural forces. The result of the battle somehow opened up a literal portal to hell. And if they’re right that certainly would explain some of the strange goings-on in this area: reports of an ominous blue light, strange creatures and voices, compasses NEVER work in this area and lightning strikes in the Urraca Mesa more than anywhere else in New Mexico. Luckily, nothing ever gets too out of control thanks to protective cat totems that stop the portal from opening entirely.
NEW YORK- Hudson River Ghost Ship
Nobody is sure where it came from. Some say it to be the ship that Henry Hudson himself steered up the river. Others insist it’s a menace summoned by evil faeries. Either way, since the 1600s the people of Hudson Valley have noticed a mysterious ship sailing along the river. It has no flags or crew and often brings violent storms whenever it is spotted.
NORTH CAROLINA- Brown Mountain Lights
As far back as anyone can remember the brown lights that appear in Brown Mountain have always been there. First reported in 1913, people just assumed it to be a trick of the sun, some sort of reflection. But when two Category 4 hurricanes swept through the area just a few years later people couldn’t help noticing the lights remained unaffected by the devastation. Slowly but surely the lights have begun to dim though nobody knows what causes them. The case is so unusual that it even inspired an X-Files episode!
NORTH DAKOTA- White Lady Lane
When young Anna Story caught the eye of a traveling peddler named Sam Kalil he almost instantly asked to marry her. Not only did Anna refuse the proposal but her mother didn’t approve either. So, being a rational human being, Sam handled his rejection by shooting them both. Anna died and now, many, many years later she can be seen every Halloween night near Eddie’s Bridge walking about in the ghostly white nightgown she was killed in.
OHIO- The Melonheads
Everybody loves a good government cover up, don’t they? That’s seems to be the case with the Lake County Melonheads. Being the result of an experiment gone wrong, the government decided to dump the enormous headed humans in a wooded area near where they are still rumored to remain.
OKLAHOMA- The Oklahoma Octopus
The drowning rate in Oklahoma’s placid lakes has skyrocketed in recent years. Some locals have come up with an unusual explanation: a freshwater octopus. Lake Thunderbird, Lake Tenkiller, or Lake Oolagah are rumored to be home to multiple gigantic octopuses that purposefully drag swimmers down to eat them.
OREGON- The Bandage Man
Cannon Beach has its very own boogeyman for its urban legend: a phantom that smells of rotting flesh wrapped from head to toe in bandages. He’s known to jump into passing cars, leave bandages behind after breaking car windows and has even eaten a dog. He hasn’t attacked anyone but people often report smelling his rotting flesh, signaling that he is nearby.
PENNSYLVANIA- Charlie No-Face
One of Pennsylvania’s best-known legends is that of Charlie No-Face, a ghostly figure that is always found wandering the roads, smoking and giving off a creepy green glow. This story is actually true. Sort off. This urban legend most likely this inspired by a man named Raymond Robinson who suffered a terrible accident that resulted in him having, well, no face. But he didn’t glow green. As far as we know, at least.
RHODE ISLAND- Mercy Brown
One of the more interesting and famous urban legends is from Rhode Island. Mercy Brown lived a difficult and short life. After losing two members of her family to a mysterious illness everyone in her town was convinced that she did it. Even when she died of the same illness everyone was still skeptical. So, as an attempt to put an end to the rumors, Mercy’s father had her body exhumed to prove that she was a normal girl that was indeed dead. But a closer examination turned up something shocking. Mercy’s heart, it seemed, still had fresh blood in it. Why? Because Mercy Brown- according to everyone- was a vampire. America’s first reported vampire some say. Obviously. So to stop Mercy from killing anyone else her father and doctor did the town a service. In a pit near her grave, they burned her heart to ashes which was said to break the curse.
SOUTH CAROLINA- The Headless Sentry
Think of the Headless Sentry as a harmless version of the Headless Horseman. During the American Revolution an unnamed sentry for the British when he was ambushed by colonists. His head was promptly cut off and his body staggered off before collapsing in a pool of his own blood. It’s brutal but that should be the end of it, right? Not quite. It’s said that to this day the Headless ghost is still staggering around an old plantation in Charleston, every step he leaves a trail of his own blood. It’s most likely that he’s looking for his head though that might prove difficult especially since the location where he died is now a golf course.
SOUTH DAKOTA- Hooky Jack
In life Hooky Jack was a man named John Leary, who lost both arms and an eye after a mine explosion. John managed to overcome his trauma. He even managed to become a police officer before being killed in 1926. Now his spirit is said to haunt his former home which is currently a tavern. Voices, rattling, and eerie sounds can be heard on the third floor where John used to live. Employees of the tavern have openly admitted to turning down working the closing shift because of all the activity at night.
TENNESSEE- Pine Haven School Bathroom Ghost
There’s some real horror movie potential with this beautiful cliche story. It goes that one day a group of bullies cornered a boy in the Jamestown school bathroom. They teased and shoved him around just for the fun of it. Of course, it stopped being fun when the boy got shoved, a little too hard, into one of the mirrors and ended up with a piece of it in his neck. Not wanting to get caught, the bullies buried his body beneath the floorboards and called it a day. The school is now abandoned but if you happen to find yourself there I would suggest not going into the bathroom. It’s said if you do and look in the mirrors you’ll see the murdered boy standing right behind you.
TEXAS- The Candy Lady
Everybody knows the number one rule for Halloween: check your candy! Whether or not anybody does it is up for debate. But you may want to after reading this: at the turn of the 20th century, a large number of children from an unnamed town in Texas began going missing. All signs pointed to The Candy Lady, a woman who was known for dropping off small candies on children’s window ledges during the night. Some candy would even come with a note asking children to come out and play with her. The parents feared that some of them foolishly went. As time went on it seemed the Candy Lady got bolder. More children went missing, one man found a rotting tooth in a candy wrapper, a little boy even turned up dead with his pockets stuffed to the brim with candy.
UTAH- Escalante Petrified Forest
In Garfield County, Utah sits Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. It’s a gorgeous area of land that features displays of fossils, petrified wood and dinosaur bones. Sounds great. The only flaw? Nothing major, just if you take any of the petrified wood out of the park you’ll be struck with the worst bad luck ever. Officials at the park “…confirmed they receive chunks of wood with tons of letters in the mail apologizing for ignoring the warnings and recounting all the horrible things that happened since they left the park.” (Ranker)
VERMONT- Hartford Railroad Hauntings
In the winter of 1887, the worst train wreck in Vermont’s history occurred thanks to one of the back carriages getting knocked off the tracks. It dragged the rest of the train off the tracks and into a river, resulting in the deaths of 37 people and up to 50 more were injured. Today, nearly 132 years later, a hospital stands near the crash site where patients and employees alike often experience hearing crying, smelling burning wood and, occasionally, get a glimpse of the train’s conductor.
VIRGINIA- Lost Treasure
In this urban legend, a local man in 1885 in Beale County began selling small pamphlets that claimed there was treasure buried somewhere in Virginia. The story goes that many years beforehand that a man named Thomas Beale and his crew of 30 men discovered a mine in New Mexico. It was packed with gold and jewels so, naturally, they took as much as they could. Wanting to keep the treasure safe, they buried it in a secret location near or in Beale County; Thomas even went so far as to help develop three coded letters that, if put together, would show the exact location of the treasure. Only one letter has ever been discovered and was published in that pamphlet I told you about earlier. It’s a nice story except for the fact there is no documented proof verifying Thomas Beale was even a real person. Was it just a hoax? Either way, it doesn’t stop some from trying to hunt down the remaining letters.
WASHINGTON- Jake Bird Hex
Jake Bird may not be as well known as Jeffery Dahmer or Ted Bundy but he did more than enough to earn himself a slot with those guys. After being arrested for killing two people with an axe, Bird went on to confess an additional 44 murders. He, to nobody’s surprise, received the death sentence and this being 1940’s, the death row process got sped up pretty drastically compared to today. Right at the end of his trail, Bird was said to have put a curse on pretty much everyone who was involved in his capture stating that they would die before he did. The crazy thing? Six of those individuals actually did die before his execution just two years later.
WEST VIRGINIA- The Flatwoods Monster
Near Braxton county in the 1950s, a team of four set out on the Flatwoods looking for UFOs. Instead, they found a being known as the Flatwoods Monster. All members of the team almost instantly felt a swelling in their throats and vomited profusely upon seeing the creature. People believe that the monster is actually an alien that crash-landed here on earth and now keeps people from discovering its ship by making them violently ill.
WISCONSIN- Highway 12 Hitchhiker
Baraboo, Wisconsin’s Highway 12 is home to a phantom hitchhiker. Fun. Nobody knows his origin though he is speculated to be from the 1960s with his long dark hair, beard, faded jeans and army jacket. He’s harmless though he is defiantly up there on the creepy factor, drivers on the highway report seeing this man trying to get a ride. When they pass him they usually see him again about a mile down the road or if they do stop he vanishes into thin air before actually getting in any cars.
WYOMING- Big Nose George Shoes
In his life, Big Nose George- aka George Parrot- was a big-time criminal and nobody likes those. You name it and George probably did it. So after attempting to escape from prison a mob of angry townsfolk decided that enough was enough. Big Nose George was put to death in March of 1881 but that’s not the end of his story. No, he didn’t put a curse on the town, his spirit didn’t come to seek revenge, it’s what happened to his body that made this a truly unusual case. And the craziest part? This isn’t a legend. This actually happened.
George’s body was taken in by a team of doctors. They wanted to study his brain to see key differences in the brain of a criminal versus the brain of a normal civilian. When the experiment turned out to be a bust the doctors settled on performing some odd experiments and, apparently, some craftwork on George. “…A death mask was made of his face, and the Osborne skinned his chest and sent the skin to a tannery with instructions for it to be made into a medicine bag and shoes. His skull cap was also used as an ashtray. They kept the rest of his dismembered body preserved in a whiskey barrel for over a year…” (Ranker)
This was originally published on 10/15/2018