What exactly are urban legends?
People say they’re stories circulated around that were too crazy to be true and just plausible enough to be believed. Sometimes they’re horrific or funny or embarrassing, but most serve as a cautionary tale.
Then there are these, compiled by Thought Catalog, that are so eerie and often terrifying. And don’t worry. No matter what state you live in, you can’t escape...
Alabama — Hell's Gate Bridge
Alaska — The "Bushman"
via: YouTubeApparently a long long time ago, the Inuit native people and Alaskan Bushman (a.k.a Big Foot) once harmoniously shared the upper reaches of Alaska. This peaceful arrangement ended when an Inuit killed a Bushman for destroying his kayak. They got fed up and migrated elsewhere, and now these creatures are said to be seen randomly wandering around.
Arizona — Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine
via: FlickrThe name is pretty accurate as many down-on-their-luck people have died trying to discover the missing mine of gold that German immigrant Jacob Waltz supposedly located in the 1800s. That didn't work out so well for them.
Arkansas — The Dog Boy
via: WikimediaWell, that's terrifying. Legend states that Gerald Floyd Bettis was a deranged lunatic who gained supernatural (probably satanic) powers by performing grotesque experiments on dogs in his house. Various owners have reported a number of ghostly sightings, including men that resemble Bettis, perhaps indicating his desire to keep up his antics — even after death.
California — Alien Blood Poisons Hospital
via: FlickrOver two dozen emergency room staff were screwed after a woman named Gloria Ramirez had her blood drawn in the ER. The very second her blood began being sampled, a foul odor filled the entire area and Ramirez’s skin began taking on an oily sheen. Apparently people started passing out and losing control of their limbs. There was an evacuation, minus a crew of doctors who failed to save her life, and many outside theorists supposed that Ramirez wasn’t human.
Colorado — The Denver Airport is a Satanic Temple
via: Sinister SitesLong story short, when they were building this they ran out of money and many crews had to complete the whole job. Because of this hodge-podge, apparently the whole thing is supposedly riddled with occult and Satanic symbols. Oh! And The airport runways also apparently resemble a Swastika. Have a nice flight!
Connecticut — The Melon Heads
via: YouTubeWhat goes there? Myth states that the creatures are escapees of an insane asylum that burnt to the ground, and that their strange appearance is due to subsequent cannibalism and inbreeding. They sound delightful.
Delaware — Mr. Chews
via: FlickrOnce upon a time there was a Dover judge by the name of Samuel Chews who people mocked for his last name. (Fake sneeze and say, “Ah, Chew!" See?) Even after his death, the mocking continued, with some of the townspeople warning that taunting the dead could bring ill omens to the town. Bingo! Mr. Chews was said to personally haunt everyone who had made fun of him, and set them into uncontrollable fits of sneezing. Gesundheit.
Florida — The Devil's Chair
via: Unexplained ResearchCrack open a beer and journey to the cemetery in the tiny town of Cassadaga, where you will find the “devil’s chair" where Satan likes to chill every so often. It's actually a graveside bench where, according to popular belief, if you leave an open beer, it will be emptied by morning. Cheers!
Georgia — Baby Bridge
via: FlickrA poor farming family was expecting a fifth child, and the husband knew they didn’t have enough money to care for it. The doctor agreed to "secretly" kill the baby immediately after its birth, which he did by throwing it off a bridge. Now, according to legend, if you drive to the bridge on a full moon and sprinkle baby powder around your car you will see tiny footprints in the powder and hear the distant sound of a baby crying.
Hawaii — The Night Marchers
via: YouTubeThe Night Marchers are a band of ancient spirit warriors who may be looking to reclaim lost land or avenge their deaths. I guess they're not that specific about their goals. At any rate, they are solid apparitions that people see mostly at night during very specific times. It's thought that if you connect eyes with the marchers while in progress, you will seal the death of yourself or a loved one.
Idaho — Haunted High School
via: YouTubeThis school is just full of weird, creepy stories, but here's one. Security camera footage from 2014 shows a shadow figure moving on camera, and ghost hunters say it is some of the most conclusive evidence of paranormal activity on there, as the shadow actually moves on camera. It also appears to cause the lights to flicker on and off, and its presence was so definite it actually triggered a security alarm in the building. The ghost ate my homework?
Illinois — Rapist Clown Luring Kids Into His Van
via: YouTubeSo much nope with this one. “Homey the Clown" was a psychopath who dressed in a clown costume and drove around in a white van to kidnap little kids and do unmentionable things to them. A group of people managed to track Homey down to the Chicago project-area, but were never able to capture him. Neither could the police, so they just chalked it up to "urban legend" to cover their you-know-whats.
Indiana — The Crosley Monster
via: FlickrMore Big Foot, but this time an Indiana-based version running around and scaring the crap out of people. What does the Indiana version look like? About 7 feet tall with yellow eyes.
Iowa — The Black Angel of Council Bluff
via: WikimediaIt was built in memory of a woman who had a dream about drinking something from an angel and then she died a few days later. Some say this statue vanishes from its stone stand at night, and flies around the graveyard. Others say that they have seen its eyes light up. Others still warn that children who run out of site behind its figure at night will completely vanish.
Kansas — The Hamburger Man
via: YouTubeBeware: This isn't pleasant. He's nothing like the Hamburgler. Apparently there is a deformed man who was maimed in a car crash or house fire and lived alone on Hamburger Hill in Hutchinson, Kansas. He hunts people who dare to roam the hill alone at night, kidnaps them, and grinds their body down to a meaty hamburger-like mixture for his dinner. Not exactly a Hamburger Helper you'll be seeing soon.
Kentucky — Sleepy Hollow Road
via: YouTubePeople claim to hear terrified baby screams along the road near “Crybaby bridge" where desperate parents would allegedly throw their sickly babies to their death. Oh, and while you're there, you might be tailgated by driverless black hearses on the road. Maybe take a different route.
Louisiana — Ellerbe Road "Demon" School
via: YouTubeIt's not much more than a pile of rocks now, but stories tell of vanishing children and an evil janitor who molested, tortured, and killed them. Even though it closed in 1972, people still claim that devil worshippers have held Satanic rituals on the abandoned campus.
Maine — The Mackworth Island Tree
via: Thought CatalogThis mostly dead tree isn’t what spooks people, but rather the faces carved into it which were said to be carved by ancient Native Americans who still haunt the area.
Maryland — The Goatman
via: YouTubeThe Goatman is said to be a crazed scientist who was employed at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. Rumor states that he did a number of grotesque and torturous experiments on goats, and that one such experiment backfired and caused him severe brain damage. GOAT KARMA. Now he's ticked and roams the area with an axe and is blamed for the mysterious, violent deaths of pets, small animals, and some humans.
Massachusetts — Taunton State Hospital
via: Thought CatalogRumor has it that desperation drove much of the staff to convert to Satanism, and in attempts to “cure" their patients, they would perform rituals on them in the hospital basement. Never go into the basement.
Michigan — The Michigan Triangle
via: YouTubeIt's like the Bermuda Triangle, but in Michigan, which is nothing like Bermuda except people claim that many storms form on the lake, and that weather is to blame for these strange disappearances. Plus, archeologists have discovered a ring of prehistoric rocks under the lake that appear to be the remains of an ancient civilization’s temple. Mysterious red lights have also been seen over the lake, leading many to theorize that UFOs are to blame for the downed planes. Seems legit.
Minnesota — Dead Man's Trail
via: FlickrHow about you avoid trails that are named, "Dead Man's?" Legend has it that an old Native American hid along this trail when he was on the run after being convicted of murdering a European. Now people claim to see him.
Mississippi — Secret Disease Covered Up By Government
via: FlickrAccording to legend, in the 1950s, something caused women to perceive a hormonal odor off of men, which compelled them to kill the unlucky man. The epidemic came to its height when an entire village of women chased one single man into a freezing river, where they all drowned. If all your friend's jumped off a cliff... Many people allege that the government engaged in a massive cover-up because they didn’t have a cure...or care.
Missouri — Dead Body Under Mattress
via: FlickrI know hotels can be dirty, but this is a little overboard... Legend says that a patron checked into a hotel and complained multiple times to staff about an odor. After they got tired of listening to him whine, housekeeping finally checked the room out and found the source of the odor was a dead body under the bed. See? I told you so!
Montana — Flathead Lake Monster
via: YouTubeThis isn't the scariest one, but people say they’ve seen something that looks like what the picture above is theorized to be as a “baby" monster, with the mama and papa still out there somewhere…
Nebraska — Sadistic Farmers v. Bunnies
via: FlickrTwo farmers bought fireworks, got drunk, and decided that they hated rabbits. They decided to get some sadistic pleasure and strapped each rabbit to a firework so they could watch them run off into the distance before they blew up. Except one badass bunny who ran the opposite direction toward the farmers’ beloved truck, jumped through the driver seat’s window, and blew up the truck. Hadn't these guys ever seen Night of the Lepus?
Nevada — Area 51
via: WikimediaMany people claim that the base is a focal point in the United States’ effort to control and suppress alien presences in the country. Others claim to have seen flying saucers and even alien bodies at the facility. Either way, E.T. phone home.
New Hampshire — First Alien Abduction
via: FlickrSpeaking of aliens, apparently this is the home of the very first alien abduction. A couple was driving home one night when they saw a strange light in the sky. They watched it for a few moments, went to drive home, but found it was a few hours later than it was only moments before. Why? Under hypnotism, they remembered being probed and experimented on. Did they give a breathalyzer?
New Jersey — The Jersey Devil
via: WikimediaA Native American witch predicted that her 13th baby would be a demon, which is never a good sign. The baby initially looked normal — at least until it grew a horn and satanic tail, which was a bummer. The creature fled, but people claim to still see it.
New Mexico — The Chupacabra
via: FlickrThe Chupacabra is a vicious beast that feeds on goats and other animals. In other words, you don't want one as a pet.
New York — The Rake
via: Creepy PastaThis thing is said to resemble Gollum from Lord of the Rings and induce its prey to feel extreme, or even violent, emotions. If you look the Rake in the eye, you become its victim with a very drawn-out and emotionally turbulent slog to death.
North Carolina — The Beast of Bladenboro
via: YouTubeThis started in the 1950s when livestock animals were found with their jaws broken and blood completely drained. Witnesses claimed to see some sort of “wolf" or “giant cat" draining them of their blood. The town began to arrange for group hunts to kill the animal, but the attacks suddenly stopped. Mysterious...
North Dakota — UFO Invasion
via: Sonic Tremor MediaYup, more UFOs. While these sightings are usually explained by clouds or aircraft, people said these did not appear…Earth-like? It's a bird, it's a plane...
Ohio — Satan's Hollow
via: YouTubePro tip: Avoid any place with "Satan" in the name. Part of an old sewer system, the tunnels are said to be haunted by a “shadowman," and other angry spirits who had ceremonies and sacrifices; culminating in a human sacrifice that they made in order to summon Satan himself.
Oklahoma — The "Hex House"
via: News OKCarol Ann Smith lived in Tulsa in the 1940s and had loud rituals she held in her home. Naturally her neighbors weren't thrilled and called the cops, who found two women in cages in Smith’s basement. They had been there for over 10 years. Now people say the house attracts a fair amount of negative paranormal activity.
Oregon — Crater Lake
via: Thought CatalogHikers have found mutilated bodies on trails around the lake, and both UFOs and Bigfoot hang out there. So did a body found in the 1970s that had seemingly been melted into its own clothing.
Pennsylvania — The Cult House and Devil's Road
via: YouTubeAlong this creepy road is a creepy house known as the “Cult House." Black SUVs are said to be parked outside and chase away curious drivers. People think the house is either owned by a Satanic cult, the KKK, or an extremely wealthy family who insists on intermarrying each other to keep their fortune in the family. Really a no-win situation.
Rhode Island — The "Conjuring House"
via: TwitterThe movie The Conjuring was based on a true story that happened in this house. The residents say an ancient satanist named Bathsheba really did haunt the house, and really did possess one of the kids (allegedly).
South Carolina — The Lizard Man
via: YouTubeNot quite as creepy as the Hamburger man, but this “lizard man" has been seen several times and people have reported finding abandoned cars with bizarre bite and scratch marks imprinted on them.
South Dakota — Ghost Joggers
via: FlickrLegend says that two university students died while running on the road, and they haven’t stopped working out since. At least they're trying to stay in shape?
Tennessee — Skinning Tom
via: FlickrTom met a pretty girl in town and began dating her. He didn't know the girl was already married. The husband found out, stabbed the wife, and skinned poor Tom. Rumors persist that around the lover’s lane a ghostly figure with no skin and dripping blood will pass on his pain to anyone who crosses his path.
Texas — Galveston Ghost Face
via: YouTubeLegend says that the face is of a man who originally owned the building and didn’t want it donated to the medical school. Maybe he wanted an amusement park there, or a Starbucks.
Utah — Killer In Cops
via: FlickrIt really happened. Serial killer Ted Bundy dressed up in a police uniform and told a women that her car had been broken into and he needed her to come to the station to file a report. When he tried to cuff her, she kicked his crotch and ran to the real police station.
Vermont — Bennington Triangle
via: Thought CatalogMore UFOs. More Big Foot. But also people disappearing all over the place. One of the most prominent cases was that of Paula Jean Welden (pictured above) who vanished while walking a path that cut through the triangle.
Virginia — The Bunny Man
via: WikipediaIt sounds so nice, right? WRONG. In the early 1970s, reports began to surface of a person in a bunny costume running around Fairfax, Virginia and threatening people with a large axe. He was thought to have escaped from an asylum and a group of teenagers were allegedly killed inside his tunnel.
Washington — 13 Steps to Hell
via: PexelsAccording to popular belief, there was an underground tomb in Maltby’s Cemetery that belonged to a wealthy family that had 13 steps to the bottom. If you walked down the 13 steps, and then turned around and looked up, you would look straight into the depths of hell and lose your sanity. I think I'll pass.
West Virginia — Flatwoods MonsterIn the fall of 1952, two brothers and their friend saw something extremely strange in the sky. They tracked it down and found a “pulsating ball of fire" and a 10-foot tall creature that chased them away from the object. Hence, the Flatwoods Monster.
Wisconsin — Plastic Surgeon Experimenting on Patients
via: FlickrGlen Tucker was a Wisconsin plastic surgeon who allegedly left dozens of people severely mangled after “performing surgery" on them. After decades, these suspicious stories began to catch up to Tucker, and so he tried to fake his own death. Then he changed his mind and killed his wife and cat before killing himself. What a charmer.
Wyoming — The Wyoming Incident
via: YouTubeA hacker managed to interrupt broadcasts from a local programming channel (believed to serve several smaller communities in the county of Niobrara) and aired their own video. The video contained numerous clips of disembodied, human heads showing various emotions and “poses." The video was often interrupted by a “SPECIAL PRESENTATION" announcement, which is always just kind of creepy.