From Whispers to the Web: 12 Urban Legends That Refuse To Fade
Who doesn’t love a good urban legend? True or not, these popular myths come from somewhere, right? While the source itself may be unclear, how much we believe or relate to these stories often depends on the listener.
That said, here are 12 urban legends one online community shared from around the globe. As you’re reading, reflect on which stands out or leaves the biggest impression.
1. Bloody Mary
Did you ever hear the rumor that if you go into the bathroom and spin three times chanting “Bloody Mary,” the ghost of Queen Mary of England will appear? “You had to drop water on the mirror so blood would appear,” another user adds.
Just an old wives’ tale or a ritual with some semblance of truth to it? There’s only one way to find out.
2. Underground Satanists
Our second urban legend takes place underground. The commentator talks about giant tunnel networks in Australia built for “society’s elite to escape/hide in” in case of a conflict or disaster. The urban myth claims these same tunnels are used for satanic rituals today.
Is there any evidence to support this claim? The user doesn’t say. But it makes you wonder where and why such a dark rumor originated.
3. Coke and Pop Rocks
“Mikey from Life Cereal lost his life because he drank Coke and ate Pop Rocks, causing his stomach to explode,” begins our third urban legend. Nobody can forget Little Mikey from the Quaker Oats ads in the ‘70s. The actor who played him (John Gilchrist) is still alive, in his 50s, and a qualified communications major.
4. Ghost War Criminals
A Polish forum member declares how, back in his hometown, there is an urban legend about Russian Soldiers from World War II buried somewhere. Legend has it that they would haunt the residents. “All the kids believed it,” he adds. “Who knows, maybe it was even true?”
5. Hitch-Hiking Ghosts
“Ressurection Mary the Hitch-Hiking Ghost,” says a Chicagoan contributor. The story speaks of a lady in a white ballgown who would wait for a lift outside the Willowbrook Ballroom in Chicago’s suburbs. Local ghost stories describe picking her up at the ballroom before dropping her at the cemetery.
6. Argentinian White Minivan
The international urban legends continue with a haunting Argentine contribution about a white Renault traffic minivan. The rule goes that if you see the van following you, and “if you are a woman or a child of any age,” men in masks will kidnap you — or worse.
7. White Van Creepy Clown
In another white van chronicle, “Homey The Clown,” is another Northern American legend based on a creepy clown who drives around in — you guessed it — a white van. This story predates the “creepy clown” craze that stormed the Internet years ago.
I hate clowns, so I don’t wish to discuss this anymore.
8. Harold the Scarecrow
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) charts this myth about a scarecrow who comes to life and turns his victims into scarecrows themselves. This film is based on a real-life urban legend — wouldn’t “rural legend” be more apt here?
This one is scary for anyone who hates scarecrows — including me. Next!
9. Walmart At It Again
“The Walmart Supercenter is off-limits for single women and children/teens at night,” begins another story. “Because the employees are involved with human trafficking.” This one must be a recent urban legend phenomenon. Walmart? Really? At least set the legend in an old industrial park somewhere.
We love Walmart.
10. La Llorana
La Llorana is the Hispanic legend of a weeping woman who strolls the banks of lakes looking for her children, whom she drowned. Hispanic commenters speak of growing up scared of this indigenous ghost woman, impregnated by a wealthy Spaniard, then abandoned.
11. Paul From The Wonder Years
And here’s a light-hearted urban myth. Gothic rock icon Marylin Manson makes his customary cameo in the myth department. “Marlyn Manson removing ribs,” so he could reach his “shoes,” has been floating around for twenty years. However, the tee-up comes with a great kick. “You mean Paul from The Wonder Years?” jokes a respondent. Two birds, one thread.
12. The Wendigo
Next, First Nations residents share a story they knew as kids living on the reservation. The Wendigo is an evil spirit that appears as a human, putting anyone who calls its name under a spell. “You aren’t supposed to say it out loud in our culture,” comments a thread participant. “It will hear its name and come for you, which is why we always close the curtains and never look out at night.”
Yeah, that would ruin me as a kid. I’m scared now.
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Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.