Urban Legend isn’t just a terrible horror film starring Jared Leto and Tara Reid; it’s a piece of modern folklore that often holds horrific implications intended to scare the bejesus out of us.But what happens when these creepy tall tales come to life?
Whether it’s the grisly Slender Man attack in Wisconsin or the terrifying clown stalking the streets of California, no person is safe from the potential fright of an urban legend turned real.
Here are 5 such cases that will make you want to sleep with one eye open.
Urban Legend: 2014 was rocked by frightening news of two Waukesha, Wisconsin tweens accused of stabbing a 12-year-old girl as a sacrifice to the malevolent Internet entity known as Slender Man. Though the creepy character began as an online urban legend, its presence turned deadly after sparking numerous crimes IRL – including the horrific attack in Waukesha. Thankfully, the victim made a full recovery; though doctors say one of her stab wounds missed a major artery by a mere millimeter. Shortly after the incident in Wisconsin, Slender Man struck again: a 13-year-old girl from Ohio stabbed her mother in honor of the legend while a 14-year-old girl set her house on fire in Florida.
Urban Legend: Residents of the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash have long exchanged creepy tales of a “portal to hell” hidden deep within the winding tunnels of a massive storm drain system, and two horror buffs claim to possess proof … Sort of. Called Satan’s Hollow, the site is quite the tourist attraction, much to the dismay of local residents and police (it is private property, after all). Thrill seekers brave enough to venture into the tunnels report hearing screams and encountering a spirit known as Shadow Man. According to the paranormal investigator in the video above, the site is one of the scariest places he’s ever visited.
Urban Legend: In the 1950s, Louisiana’s George Washington Carver High, also known as Ellerbe Road School, was a fully functioning segregated school for African American children. As years passed, however, the facility slipped into ruins, and earned a terrible reputation to match its rundown condition. According to legend, horrible crimes were committed in its halls; children were abducted and molested by a former janitor (sound familiar?) while a fire is believed to have killed a number of youngsters. More recently, locals believe the spooky site is a real-life den of devil worshippers, earning its nickname “Satan School.” It sounds like a storyline right out of True Detective.
Urban Legend: When it comes to the Magic Kingdom, it’s more than just a small world after all — it’s a creepy world filled with tons of urban legends. Many believe a man once hung himself from the rafters of a park ride, while others swap tales of a dead bellhop haunting the Tower of Terror. Then there are the stories of grieving visitors who smuggle in the ashes of dead loved ones to scatter throughout the park. The ghosts of these souls are said to forever roam the land of Mickey Mouse. According to the photographer who captured the eerie image above, one such spirit can be seen poking his head out of the darkness in the Haunted Mansion ride.
Urban Legend: Clowns are notoriously creepy, especially when they start popping up in your backyard. The residents of California’s Central Valley learned this the hard way late last year, when someone called the Wasco Clown terrorized their communities. Dressed in full makeup and costume, the clown held balloons while lurking around the neighborhood, generally creeping people out. Wasco’s appearance seemed to trigger a wave of nightmare circus sightings across the nation, with some evil jesters even holding weapons. So far, no actual crimes have been reported, but shouldn’t dressing up like Bozo and scaring passersby be illegal? We think so.