“EERIE URBAN LEGENDS, STORIES, AND MYTHS FROM EACH U.S. STATE” #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: We look at some of the most infamous and creepy urban legends, myths, and stories from each state of the good ole’ “U.S. of A.”
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Call it folklore or a legend, but certain scary stories have been told for generations. These are told around campfires, at sleepovers, by parents trying to keep their kids in line, or by locals about the spooky house down the street. They’re whispered around campfires and passed down from generation to generation. Some of these cautionary tales are pure fiction (at least we think), while others are rooted in the truth, making them that much creepier. Some of these urban legends have gained a bit more notoriety than others. Some have even landed in the news making headlines for their creepiness factor; others may have inspired movies and TV shows. And it doesn’t matter where you go in the United States, you can’t get away from these myths and stories – because every state in the Union has their own creepy collection of urban legends.
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – (I’m Darren Marlar and) this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode…
We look at some of the most infamous and creepy urban legends, myths, and stories from each state of the good ole’ “U.S. of A.” (Eerie Urban Legends And Myths Of Each U.S. State)
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Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
STORY: EERIE URBAN LEGENDS AND MYTHIS OF EACH U.S. STATE=====
American urban legends recount spooky tales with enough truth to make people wonder, “Did this really happen?” The creepiest urban legends might make those who enjoy traveling the country reconsider their passion or take additional precautions. According to stories passed around each state in the US, the country is practically crawling with aliens, cryptids, creepy clowns, and vampires. Mystery and uncertainty keep these stories from fading away – and sometimes, they change and evolve with each telling. Whether they’re urban legends inspired by actual events or ridiculous myths concocted at a campfire circle, folklore has a special place in society.
***ALABAMA: In 1822, the people of Huntsville, AL, built Maple Hill, one of their first cemeteries. There’s a playground in the middle of the cemetery, and locals claim strange phenomena occur there late at night, such as swings that move on their own, glowing orbs, and mysterious voices and laughter. According to legend, several children disappeared in the 1960s, and they inexplicably ended up dead at the playground. The legend of Dead Children’s Playground holds a special place in the residents’ culture. Thus, when builders took down play structures to make room for more graves, people complained until the city built a new playground.
There is also Hell’s Gate Bridge. The generally accepted story of Hell’s Gate Bridge starts in the 1950s. A young couple driving over the bridge somehow drove their car off the bridge one night and they both drowned. There are two legends associated with Hell’s Gate Bridge — one, that if you drive your car out to the middle of the bridge and turn off the lights, the couple will magically appear in your car and leave a wet spot on the seat. The other, which is how the bridge got its name, is the belief that if you drive over the bridge and look over your shoulder halfway through, the scenery behind you turns into a portal to hell engulfed in flames. Potentially to curb ghost hunters and bored teenagers, Hell’s Gate Bridge is closed to cars, and it is in such disrepair that walking across is strongly discouraged.
***ALASKA: The tropical waters around Bermuda may feel like the opposite of Alaska’s frigid wilderness, but both places have something in common: unexplained disappearances. Thousands of tourists, residents, hikers, and airplanes have vanished without a trace in a large area of land called the Alaskan Triangle, encompassed by Juneau, Barrow, and Anchorage. In 2007, state troopers reported about 2,833 disappearances. For a state with a population of more than 700,000 people, this suggests one in about a couple hundred people disappeared in Alaska that year. There are many theories about this creepy phenomenon, some of which involve Alaska’s unpredictable and often unforgiving environment, as well as the sheer expanse of the landscape that can result in many lost travelers. According to the legends of the Native Tlingit people, the missing people likely fell victim to the Kushtaka, a race of shape-shifting otter people who lure humans away from civilization and transform their captives into one of them.
Also in Alaska, according to Inuit legend, the Qalupalik is a woman-like creature with long hair and long nails who lives in the water and tries to lure children in so she can kidnap them.
***ARIZONA: In the mid-1800s, thousands of people ventured west in hopes of finding gold and riches. Unfortunately, this dream never came true for many people due to disease, the dangers of mining, and dwindling gold deposits. According to the legend of Luana’s Canyon in Arizona, one miner left for the hills one day and never returned, leaving his wife and children with nothing and no way to afford food. The family grew so malnourished and weak that the wife fell into madness, put on her wedding dress, and killed her children to save them from further suffering. She then threw their bodies into a river and wailed on its shore until she died of starvation. The legend says her cries still echo some nights, causing locals to call the area Slaughterhouse Canyon.
And Arizona has its own version of Bigfoot called the Mogollon Monster. It’s said to be more than 7 feet tall with deep-set red eyes and very long fur. Sightings date back to 1908.
***ARKANSAS: In 1931, a railroad worker named Louis McBride allegedly killed his supervisor from the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The foreman had fired McBride for an infraction, and some claim McBride had intentionally manipulated a piece of track to cause a train crash. Seeking revenge for being fired, McBride killed his former boss by beating him with a railroad spike maul; authorities arrested McBride and executed him by electrocution.
Not long after McBride’s death, a mysterious moving light began appearing along the train tracks, far from the highway. People have witnessed it many times since, and the TV show Unsolved Mysteries documented the phenomenon. Though there are some scientific theories to explain the occurrence, local legends attribute the light to the ghost of McBride – or that of a different rail worker who was decapitated in an accident and allegedly continues to search for his head.
A Hot Springs, Arkansas theatre is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman in the audience who vanished during a performance in the late 1800s. She was never seen again, but some say they’ve heard her scream when the theatre is empty.
Of course, Arkansas is also famous for the monster of Boggy Creek. The Boggy Creek Monster of Fouke is Arkansas’ version of Sasquatch. He’s commonly accepted to be around 7 or 8 feet tall and covered in hair. Legend says that he roams the creeks of rural Arkansas. He was first spotted in 1834, when people reported seeing a “wild man.” People still claim to spot the Boggy Creek Monster today, and he has been the subject of five feature length films including 1972’s “The Legend of Boggy Creek.”
***CALIFORNIA: If the Thomas Fire of 2017 is any indication of how susceptible Ojai, CA, is to wildfire, the state’s most unnerving urban legend makes sense. In 1948, a wildfire raged in the area, and many people with homes in remote foothill areas had to wait days for help to arrive. A man and his son living in an isolated cabin allegedly burned alive in the blaze. When rescue workers finally arrived at the cabin, they discovered the father’s body skinned and hanging from a tree. Those who believe the story say it was the work of the son, who had gone mad from terror and pain after surviving horrific burns. He supposedly ran away into the wilderness and occasionally turns up to chase away anyone who wanders into his territory or otherwise stops by the area.
And let’s not forget Hollywood. The spirit of early 1900s actress Peg Entwistle haunts the Hollywood sign and the surrounding area. Legend has it she committed suicide by jumping off the large H after a bad review of one of her performances. She may even try to entice hikers to leap from the sign themselves.
More urban legends from across America when Weird Darkness returns!
***COLORADO: Riverdale Road in Thornton, CO, boasts several spooky urban legends. People claim to have seen the bodies of massacred slaves hanging from the trees, a possible entrance to hell, and a phantom Camaro that somehow emerged in pristine condition after a tragic crash – it supposedly continues to challenge passersby to a race. According to the legend of Jogger’s Hill, a car fatally struck a person who was running along the side of the road. Supposedly, the occupants of any car parked on the hill hear running footsteps from behind, with the sound coming increasingly closer. People have also reported something banging on the outside of their car, as well as mysterious handprints on their windows.
Elsewhere in the state, there’s a vampire buried in the Lafayette Municipal Cemetery, and the surrounding town has always had strange lights and odd voices heard in the shadows. During a paranormal investigation, the grave’s occupant apparently offered to show his stake to the people gathered.
***CONNECTICUT: A few crumbling stone walls and sections of building foundation are the only remainders proving Dudleytown, CT, ever existed. Though history blames the town’s abandonment on farming difficulties due to rocky soil, urban legends claim the founders’ ancestor, whom King Henry VII beheaded, cursed the town. Allegedly, the residents began to go mad or die in horrible accidents. A man fell to his death while building a barn; lightning struck a woman while she was sitting on her porch; people hanged themselves; and a man disappeared into the surrounding woods after his family died and his house burned down. Buildings fell into disrepair after residents died or abandoned the town, and according to stories, not even animals are brave enough to enter the area to this day.
Union Cemetery at the crossroads in Easton, Connecticut has been the site of unexplained paranormal activity for more than 400 years. Legend has it that one of the spirits will leap in front of cars driving by at night.
There’s also the legend of Hanna Cranna. Known as the “Wicked Witch of Monroe,” Hannah Cranna gained a reputation as a witch in the 19th century when her husband died by mysteriously falling off a cliff — and locals reportedly believed that she had bewitched him. People also believed that she would cast spells on people she didn’t like. Hannah lived to the age of 77, but right before she died, she asked to be carried down to the cemetery in her coffin by foot, not wagon. After her death, the people of Monroe tried to wheel her coffin down the hill but were unable — the coffin kept falling off — so they were forced to carry it. When the townspeople returned to her home, it was found to be engulfed in flames, sealing Hannah’s reputation of witchcraft. Now, you can visit her real grave in Trumbull.
***DELAWARE: In 1741, Samuel Chew became a chief justice in Delaware. Chew felt offended when people made fun of his name by faking a sneeze. After he died, residents began spotting his ghost, and those who had once teased him feared he would seek revenge. Women claimed to feel cold pockets of air around them suddenly, and men sometimes felt a phantom grip pulling on their coattails. Terror gripped the residents of Dover, DE, and they refused to leave their homes at night, so local taverns suffered due to the lack of business. No longer wanting to live in fear, the townspeople decided to hold a funeral for Chew’s ghost. Though the ceremony seemingly appeased Chew, and the ghostly encounters stopped for a while, he later returned to frighten people with phantom footsteps and spots of chilly air.
The Rockwood Museum in Wilmington, Delaware is home to several ghosts connected to a family of merchant bankers. Employees have seen the ghost of a man in a red jacket and a ghostly dog.
***FLORIDA: Florida’s Everglades are home to alligators, panthers, and – according to urban legend – the elusive skunk ape, which supposedly stands roughly 7 feet tall, weighs more than 400 pounds, resembles an orangutan, and emits a horrible odor. Sightings of the creature date back to the 1960s, and some claim to have taken videos and photos of the so-called skunk ape. Though one enthusiast believes he has discovered beds, footprints, teeth, and clumps of hair from skunk apes, park rangers at Myakka River State Park say they have never seen the creature despite working there for decades. It’s possible the skunk ape was a fabrication intended to scare outsiders away and prevent them from damaging the Everglades, but this may have had the opposite effect thanks to enthusiastic skunk ape trackers.
Florida also has Spook Hill. The phenomenon that happens at Spook Hill is real: Cars that are parked in neutral will appear to roll uphill. Legends say the hill is either the site of a Native American burial ground or an epic battle of a Native American chief against a crocodile. But the truth is it’s actually just an illusion created by the hill’s surroundings. While cars appear to be rolling uphill, they are still just rolling downhill.
***GEORGIA: In the 1950s, engineers constructed Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River to form Lake Lanier, one of Georgia’s largest artificial lakes. The lake would supply water and help with flood control in the area. As the waters of the newly formed lake rose, they consumed roads, bridges, and abandoned homes previously purchased by the government to make way for the new body of water. While Lake Lanier has since become a beloved recreational spot, it has also stirred rumors about the cursed land beneath. Abandoned structures are sometimes visible when the water level drops. Catfish as big as 5 feet long allegedly swim in the lake. More than 160 people have either drowned or had boating accidents since 1994, including one woman who drove off a bridge.
HAWAII: In addition to world-famous beaches, Hawaii features a terrifying legend about a group of spirits known as night marchers. Purportedly the ghosts of long-gone warriors, the spirits appear at night traveling in a line and holding torches. Their job in death, as in life, is to protect Hawaii’s most sacred beings. Rumors claim any living soul who glances directly at the marchers will die. According to one story, a caretaker saw a mysterious fog, died the next day, and later appeared marching along with the spirits. If you encounter these creepy torch-wielders, the legends recommend you take off your clothes, lie facedown, and avoid gazing directly at the marchers. Some stories also suggest those who meet night marchers should urinate on themselves in submission.
Also drivers along Pali Highway in Oahu should be wary if they travel with pork. The food displeases a pig-man god, and cars will stall and refuse to start if anyone tries to sneak pork past the god. No news on whether that includes SPAM, which Hawaiians seem to love.
***IDAHO: Back in the 1860s, a narrow, rocky passage along the Oregon Trail in Idaho earned the name Massacre Rocks due to pioneers fearing an ambush by the area’s Shoshone tribes. Though no one bothered to change the name as time passed, urban legend claims the site hosted other horrors. For example, at one point, the Shoshone suffered a terrible famine, and mothers had to drown newborn children in the nearby rivers to avoid having to raise suffering and starving children. Stories claim the children became water babies who still haunt the waters where they died. Supposedly, the infants’ cries are audible when it’s quiet. Other tales warn visitors to stay away from the riverbanks, where the water babies may try to drag them away.
The waters of Idaho in general might be something to avoid. Watch yourself in Payette Lake — Idaho has its very own version of the Loch Ness Monster with sightings reported for at least the last hundred years.
***ILLINOIS: In the early 1990s, while audiences were laughing at Damon Wayans’s portrayal of Homey D. Clown on In Living Color, kids in Chicago felt pure terror. Rumors circulated about a man dressed as the sketch-show clown driving around the city, abducting and terrorizing children. Reports mostly came from children, and while police took the reports seriously at the time, the details were inconsistent. Some were claiming the man drove a black pickup, while others said it was an Oldsmobile or a van with “ha-ha” written on the side. Parents received warning letters, and school grounds gained additional security. Eventually, police dubbed the claims an urban legend, and kids who lived through the rumors reportedly recall several different versions.
And don’t stop for that hitchhiker near the old Willowbrook Ballroom on Archer Avenue near Chicago… she’ll disappear from your vehicle as you pass the Resurrection Cemetery. According to local lore, Resurrection Mary loved to go dancing and is still searching for a dance partner even in death.
***INDIANA: Many people visit Indiana’s Dunes every year to hike and swim around the southern tip of Lake Michigan. Back in 1916, newspapers reported on a mysterious woman named Alice Gray who rejected society, moved into a shack on the dunes, and disturbed locals with her skinny-dipping. She was allegedly the socialite daughter of a successful doctor. Newspapers dubbed her Diana of the Dunes, inspired by the Roman huntress, and Gray became the subject of many rumors. After getting married and then caught up in a mysterious homicide involving her husband, Gray died at home and was buried in an unmarked grave. People later discovered she wasn’t a wealthy woman fleeing society, but an environment lover trying to conserve the dunes. Today, rumors say she continues to haunt the park.
In Indiana you’ll also find the 100 Steps Cemetery – located in the town of Brazil, though the official address is actually disputed. While it’s not clear when the stories about the cemetery being haunted began, there are gravestones that date back to the 1860s. The legend states that if someone finds themselves in the cemetery at midnight, they must climb the steps and count to 100. At this point, a ghost of an undertaker will appear and show the person a vision of their death. On the way back down, the visitor is supposed to count the steps AGAIN— if they count the same amount of steps, the vision was false. People who visited the cemetery in the past have tried to outsmart the supernatural forces in 100 Steps by avoiding the steps altogether. They’ve reported being knocked or shoved to the groundby an unseen force.
***IOWA: The Black Angel stands over 8 feet tall in Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City, and she is black due to oxidation. Most likely because of her dark appearance, multiple legends have cropped up around her. One legend says that a pregnant woman should never walk under her, or she’ll lose the child. Others say that if you touch or kiss the statue, you’ll be dead within six months. Whether haunted, cursed, or completely harmless, the statue is definitely a somber sight to see.
A deadly train crash outside Charles City, Iowa left a permanent mark on the land when several children were burned to death. Visitors to the site say they’ve smelled the faint smell of burning wood and found charred children’s toys.
Of course, you can’t talk about Iowa without talking about how an ax-wielding person slayed a sleeping family of eight in their Villisca, IA, home in 1912. A concerned neighbor went to investigate the Moore family’s house after she noticed they were missing. She later discovered the family’s bodies in the house. The Moore killings went unsolved, and several legends about the incident circulated, including tales of serial killers and corrupt senators. To add to the mystery, new owners eventually turned the house into a museum. After paranormal investigators insisted spirits haunted the site, people began experiencing ghostly phenomena, such as one overnight visitor who left with an unexplained and apparently self-inflicted chest wound.
***KANSAS: A boarded-up well sits in the middle of Kansas’s Alma Cemetery. According to local legend, the land underneath the cemetery originally belonged to a cranky farmer who refused to sell his property to the newly formed city of Alma. One day, he disappeared, and a terrible smell reportedly began emanating from the well. Rather than investigate the disappearance and odor, city officials boarded up the well and continued building a cemetery around it. According to stories, brave souls who visit the cemetery and sit on the well end up vanishing not long afterward. This earned it the nickname The Devil’s Chair.
Kansas also has Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery which is rife with the spirits of soldiers buried across the 36-acre cemetery. It’s common to see the ghosts of men wearing uniforms from several different wars walking through the tombstones.
***KENTUCKY: A horned goat-man, AKA the Pope Lick Monster, allegedly lurks under a railroad trestle near Louisville, KY. Some claim the creature was once a circus freak who escaped when a train derailed. Others say a farmer made a deal with Satan and then received goat-like qualities. As the story goes, the creature lives under a Northern Suffolk Railway trestle near Louisville; he can mimic voices and hypnotize people into climbing on the tracks to die via train crash. Most do not recommend seeking out the monster, since several accidents and fatalities have occurred on the spot, and officials have closed off the trestle area from the public.
And while the town of Sleepy Hollow is in New York, Kentucky has the road. If you check your rearview mirror while driving along Sleepy Hollow Road in Oldham County, you will be shocked to see who is tailgating you.
***LOUISIANA: A man known as the Comte de Saint-Germain reportedly lingers around New Orleans, and legend says he is not a man, but a vampire. The count emerged in the late 1600s or early 1700s, but there are stories about a man with the same name throughout history, even dating back to biblical times. In 1700s Europe, the count was purportedly an alchemist, joked about being over 100 years old, and never seemed to age. His love of high society and the finer things in life made his excessive wine consumption appear commonplace. After his recorded death in 1784, rumors spread about his appearances across Europe until he allegedly resurfaced in New Orleans in 1902 as Jacques Saint-Germain. This man called Jacques was also a socialite and eccentric, and he disappeared after a woman accused him of attacking her and trying to drink her blood. Of all the spooky things one might encounter in New Orleans, this vampire is possibly the most chilling.
Another famous phantom is Marie LeVeau. If you leave a rose on the grave of this VooDoo practitioner at the St. Louis Cemetery, she may use her magic to make you levitate.
Louisiana has another odd tale that I had never heard of until putting this episode together… the Grunch. Not the GRINCH, but the GRUNCH. Grunch Road is an old dirt road that leads deep into the woods and eventually to a dead end. It was a favorite place for teenagers to go and do whatever teenagers do, until they learned about the Grunch. The Grunch are rumored to be a group of deformed half-human, half-monsters that resulted from years of isolation in the Louisiana bayous. In the present day, it’s said that if you find yourself on Grunch Road, don’t get out of your car if you see a goat who looks injured. The stories say that the Grunch use goats to lure people out of their cars so they can eat them and drain their blood.
***MAINE: In Bucksport, ME, Colonel Jonathan Buck rests in a tomb in Buck’s Cemetery. As the town’s founder and namesake, he has a large monument in his honor. Residents were surprised to find a leg-shaped stain marking the front. Though they supposedly had the stone cleaned and replaced the monument twice, the stain would reappear. Rumors say the stain signifies a curse placed on Buck’s memorial by a witch he had burned at the stake. Allegedly, her leg rolled out of the fire, and the phantom limb is haunting him to this day. As creepy as the stain sounds, skeptics point out Buck lived long after the witch hunt craze. Plus, the stain first appeared 75 years after Buck died.
Another horrifying legend in Maine has a teen being transformed into a babbling, white-haired shadow of himself after he was lowered into a wishing well in Sabattus. Legend has it you can still hear him screaming in a nearby asylum. It’s no wonder Stephen King has chosen Maine for his fictional town of Derry.
***MARYLAND: In 1936, military members in a helicopter over Maryland’s Bush River claimed to have seen a large, snakelike creature swimming in the water below. People seemingly forgot the story until the 1980s, when more sightings occurred. In 1982, a family captured a video of the so-called Chessie. Considering this and other firsthand accounts, the Smithsonian determined some type of creature lives in the waters, though the size and species remains uncertain. Chessie believers claim the creature is about 30 feet long and hangs out in the waters of Chesapeake Bay. Since 2014, no reports of new Chessie sightings have emerged, but local environmentalists have used the urban legend to help raise awareness of water pollution.
Ohio has a more famous one, but Maryland has a Goatman. The Goatman is lurking in the forest outside Bowie. The creature, said to be an experiment gone horrifically wrong, has the head of a goat and the body of a man and chases intruders away with his ax.
***MASSACHUSETTS: After the Salem Witch Trials, it’s no surprise the Massachusetts town has a witch-related urban legend or two. Many say Giles Corey placed a curse on Salem after townspeople accused him of witchcraft in 1692. Attempting to extract a confession, locals stripped 81-year-old Corey naked and placed heavy rocks on top of him. Corey was allegedly trying to protect his assets, but he remained defiant and refused to confess to anything, and the rocks eventually crushed him to death. In line with Corey’s curse, the sheriff who oversaw Corey’s abuse died of a heart attack four years later, and every sheriff up until the 1990s suffered heart problems, different blood diseases, or legal troubles. Corey’s ghost allegedly appeared before several major disasters, including the Great Salem Fire of 1914 – which, coincidentally, started near the gallows where 19 alleged witches were once hanged.
It’s in Massachusetts that you’ll also find “The Bloody Pit.” In the 24-year-long construction of the Hoosac Tunnel in western Massachusetts, approximately 200 men died. Death was so associated with the tunnel that it was actually nicknamed “The Bloody Pit.” After a particularly gruesome explosion in either 1867 or 1868, 13 miners were trapped inside the tunnel. The other workers assumed that the miners had died, but eventually it was discovered the miners had lived, built a raft to combat flooding, and eventually died due to poisonous gas inhalation. It’s said that these 13 miners haunted the tunnel for years, moaning and briefly appearing as ghosts.
We’re only halfway through the alphabet of the United States. More legends and lore, on the way.
***MICHIGAN: A narrow, unassuming bridge in the woods near Algoma Township in Michigan sits at the center of a gruesome urban legend. According to stories, a man named Elias Friske killed several children while he was possessed by a demon, and he threw their bodies below the bridge into Cedar Creek. Some say those who stand silently in the middle of the bridge can hear the unfortunate children’s cries and screams. According to history, however, there was never anyone named Elias Friske living in the area, though there is a nearby Friske Road. While many paranormal investigators have dismissed the legend as bunk, many believers insist something terrible still lurks around Hell’s Bridge.
Another haunted road in Michigan is Strasburg Road – better known to paranormal followers as Knock Knock Road. The legend of Knock Knock Road says that there was a little girl who was murdered on Knock Knock Road in the Detroit area, and now she appears to drivers at their car window, knocking, trying to find the person who killed her.
And then there’s a mysterious light that appears almost every night near Paulding, Michigan—it’s the lantern from a train brakeman who died in an accident, but he’s still on the job.
***MINNESOTA: Native American folklore tells of terrible creatures called wendigos found in the forests of Minnesota. Some believe they are responsible for many disappearances in the area. According to tales, the creatures have long fangs and glowing eyes, stand over 15 feet tall, and have enormous appetites. Supposedly wendigos were once human, but turned into monsters after practicing cannibalism. A well-known Cree hunter claimed to have killed a number of wendigos, including one he claimed had possessed a woman.
You’ll also find an odd, uh… FIND in Minnesota. In 1898, a Swedish-American farmer found a gigantic slab of rock on his farm that had symbols that appeared to be Norse. And since then, no one has figured out where it came from. While most historians have debunked the rock — now known as the Kensington Rune — as a hoax, due to dating and inconsistencies with the Norse language of the time, the myth has persisted. But if it wasn’t the Vikings, who did leave this mysterious rock? And what does it say?
Plus… Pub 112 in Stillwater, Minnesota’s oldest town, is home to the ghost of a heartbroken woman who threw herself into the nearby St. Croix River.
***MISSISSIPPI: A woman living along Mississippi’s Yazoo River allegedly abused and killed fishermen after luring them to the riverside. When local authorities confronted her in 1884, they found human bones in her house. The Yazoo River Witch fled into the woods and got stuck in quicksand. As she sank, she threatened to return in 20 years to burn down the town. Allegedly 20 years to the day, a fire started. Unusual winds caused the fire to spread rapidly, and it destroyed the town. Stories also claim the chain-link fence around her grave broke – a grave that still stands today with an unidentified body buried below.
The magnolia state also has the Ghost of Deer Island which originates from an old pirate story. The story says that back in the 1920s, two men were fishing on Deer Island when they heard rustling in the bushes, a noise they assumed was caused by wild hogs. Eventually, they decided to check it out and encountered a headless skeleton. They ran back to their boat, and the skeleton followed them all the way there. According to the pirates’ story, there was a ship that sailed into Biloxi Bay and buried their treasure on Deer Island. The crew decided to behead one of their own, and left his body behind to guard their treasure.
And just ignore that song coming from the Pascagoula River, in Mississippi. It’s a jealous siren who has been luring people into the water since Catholic missionaries arrived in the 17th century.
***MISSOURI: Built west of St. Louis, MO, in the late 1860s, Lawler Ford Road connected railroad tracks and the Meramec River. It saw its share of history over the years as a path traveled by Native Americans, railroad companies, workers at the nearby limestone quarry, and Civil War spies – then it fell into ruin. In the 1950s, teenagers used the abandoned road for parties or as a lovers’ lane. Different urban legends circulated about killers with hooks for hands, a ghost wandering the railroad tracks, and a creepy woman who screams at passersby. One story claimed a shack-dwelling serial killer named Zombie slayed young lovers, giving Lawler Ford Road the infamous nickname Zombie Road.
While in Missouri, sit in the Baird Chair at the Highland Park cemetery if you dare. It’s a toss-up whether you will be punished or rewarded for your bravery.
And let’s not forget about MoMo! Momo is Missouri’s version of Bigfoot/Sasquatch. He’s been said to have terrible body odor, a pumpkin-shaped head, and an appetite for dogs. In 1968, Momo reportedly tried to abduct a 4-year-old boy, though no evidence was ever found.
***MONTANA: Sacrifice Cliff overlooks Billings, MT, and takes its name from a tragic Native American legend. According to the story, a smallpox epidemic ravaged the Crow tribe around 1833, and many died. Believing their sacrifice would end the outbreak and preserve the rest of their tribe, several Crow tribe members blindfolded their horses and rode with them off the cliff’s edge.
***NEBRASKA: Though the town of Portal, NE, has no recorded history of a mass killing, an urban legend alleges it was the site of a gruesome act. The legend says a schoolteacher went mad in the early 1900s and killed all her students. According to some accounts, she decapitated the pupils and placed their heads on top of their desks. The regretful teacher cut out the children’s hearts and threw them into a nearby river. The schoolhouse was relocated to Papillion, where it now functions as a historical building. However, some claim those who stand in the middle of the bridge where the teacher discarded the children’s hearts can still hear them beating.
But that is not the only haunted schoolhouse story in Nebraska. When Insider chose the most haunted place in each state, Centennial Hall was a no-brainer. People claim that there are multiple ghosts roaming the halls. But the creepiest story of Centennial Hall originates in the 1940s, when it used to be a high school. The story says that a student was playing her clarinet, suffered a heart attack and died — because her reed was poisoned. Now, people claim to feel cold spots, hear disembodied music, and to have witnessed an empty rocking chair start to rock.
Stay out of Hummell Park in Omaha, Nebraska. Legend has it that there are albino cannibals living in the forest, and they have no qualms about snacking on park visitors after dark.
***NEVADA: When the government builds a military base in the middle of a desert in Nevada, then places signs around the perimeter threatening deadly force for trespassing, it’s going to start a lot of urban legends. Area 51, one of the most mysterious locations in America, has inspired stories about UFO research, alien autopsies, and a staged moon landing. There are also rumors about scientists at the base studying time travel and genetic experimentation. Since then, some have disclosed the base functioned as a test site for military aircraft back in World War II. Still, few know the truth about what goes on there.
***NEW HAMPSHIRE: According to legend, a Pequawket chief named Chocorua lived in New Hampshire in the early 1800s. He had a young son who died after drinking a bottle of poison supposedly belonging to a settler, and Chocorua declared revenge on the settlers. After finding one man’s family slain, the settlers chased Chocorua into the mountains, where he climbed atop a rock on the summit and either jumped or died from a fatal gunshot. Just before he died, Chocorua might have cursed the surrounding land, resulting in horrific storms at the settlements, wolf and bear attacks, faltering crops, and a rash of cattle disease.
This is also the state where a witch terrorized the people around her. Eunice “Goody” Cole was the only woman in New Hampshire history to be tried for witchcraft — multiple times. Her first charge was in 1656, and she was charged again in 1671. When she died and her body was recovered, the townspeople were rumored to have staked her through the heart to prevent her from haunting their town. People continue to blame Goody Cole for the misfortunes of Hampton citizens for the past 300 years. For example, a boat full of Hampton residents overturned, and everyone on board drowned, even though they were in swimming distance of shore. People blamed Goody Cole for the crash and for cursing the passengers by having them forget how to swim.
And the forest around Archer’s Pond in Ossipee, New Hampshire is haunted by the tortured souls of a husband and wife who died in a horrific murder-suicide. They both wander the woods, unable to rest their souls.
***NEW JERSEY: In 2014, the Broaddus family purchased a million-dollar home in New Jersey, but before they moved in, they started receiving letters from a self-described “watcher.” The letters’ mysterious author claimed to have inherited the job of keeping an eye on the house until its “second coming.” The family became more concerned when the letters referred to the children as “young blood,” and the watcher asked questions like, “Who has the bedrooms facing the street?” and “Have they found out what’s in the walls yet?” The Broaddus family refused to move in and sued the previous owners for selling the house while supposedly knowing about its active stalkers. No one knows the watcher’s true identity, and neighbors mostly shrugged off the idea, blaming a local person with mental problems who they say is harmless.
For a ghostly experience, stop by the Broad Street Station in Newark, New Jersey around midnight on the 10th of every month. You might hear the engine and squealing wheels of the ghost train. If it stops, do not get on.
And of course, for anyone who loves creepy stories, you can’t mention New Jersey without talking about its resident devil. The story of the Jersey Devil has been around since the 1700s. The legend states that a woman named Mother Leeds became pregnant with her 13th child, and said, “Let this one be [a/the] devil.” Once the child was born, it grew hooves, wings, horns, and a tail. Now, the monster has been spotted periodically throughout history in the Pine Barrens region of New Jersey. The state has embraced the legend so much that they named their hockey team after it.
***NEW MEXICO: On June 14, 1947, a rancher and his son discovered unusual wreckage on their land 80 miles from Roswell, NM. He collected the metallic-looking fabric debris and brought it to Roswell’s sheriff, who then contacted the military. News of the strange discovery worked its way up the chain of command, and less than a month later, a major at the local Air Force base shared a public statement about a UFO discovery. The local paper published the quote, and the military changed their story within a day, claiming what they found was the remains of a weather balloon. Many people refused to believe this alternative explanation, and legends about alien visitors ensued for decades. Some conspiracy theorists believe the government created a false story to cover up the fact they were using aerial equipment to monitor Russia’s nuclear activity.
Less well-known, but possibly much more frightening is La Mala Hora, which translates to The Evil Hour. This is an entity in New Mexico that you don’t want to run into on a dark road. Legend says that at first, it appears as a ball of black energy, constantly moving and changing its size and shape. If you look at it, it will drive you insane and will slowly kill you. At other times, it appears as a scary-looking woman. It’s said that if you see her at a crossroads, you or someone in your family will die.
And then there is Urraca Mesa – considered to be a portal to the demon world by Native Americans because it always felt like something was wrong with the area. Imagine how surprised ancient tribes would have been to know the Mesa kind of looks like a human skull when viewed from the air.
***NEW YORK: In the 1980s, rumors circulated about the Montauk Project, a secret government program that allegedly experimented with time, space, and psychological warfare. In 1988, Al Bielek supposedly discovered he had repressed memories of his work on the project to uphold its secrecy. He claimed to have boarded a military vessel during the 1940s, then time-traveled to the 1980s, and returned to the previous time period to destroy the machine. Bielek said that after being de-aged and having his memory wiped, he continued on with his life until he met Preston Nichols, a man claiming to have worked with Bielek and Bielek’s psychic brother at Camp Hero, the site of the Montauk Project. After they made their story public, other men came forward saying someone kidnapped them as children to become part of the project’s experiments. If this complicated story sounds familiar, it’s because the film The Philadelphia Experiment partially re-created it and later inspired the creators of “Stranger Things”.
And then there is the legend… then later the truth of Cropsey. The story of Cropsey has many iterations, but it generally tells the story of a man who stalked a sleep-away camp/psychiatric facility/children’s hospital, had a hook for a hand, and killed children who were wandering alone at night. Every single person who went to camp in upstate New York has heard about Cropsey. Things took a more sinister turn when a documentary posited that Cropsey was actually real: a convicted child kidnapper named Andre Rand.
***NORTH CAROLINA: In 1953, a large, catlike creature began killing dogs in the town of Bladenboro, NC. People who supposedly spotted the monster said it was about 3 feet long, had a long tail, made a noise like a screaming woman, and sucked blood out of its victims. Locals named it the Beast of Bladenboro, and after it allegedly attacked a human, news of its existence spread, inspiring hunters to travel to the town to kill it. Residents felt terrified and refused to leave their homes at night. Eventually, the mayor produced the corpse of a large bobcat and claimed it was the creature, hoping to calm down citizens and prompt the hunters to leave. After the story died down, no one witnessed the creature again, which led historians to believe the claims were mostly exaggerations by the townspeople.
Another North Carolina infamous legend is that there’s a perfect circle in the woods outside Siler City, where grass won’t grow, and the soil in the center looks as if it’s been burned black. It has come to be known as the Devil’s Tramping Grounds.
***NORTH DAKOTA: Founded in 1900, Tagus, ND, has remained almost completely abandoned in the decades since. While a half ghost town is creepy enough, the legends surrounding Tagus cement its eerie reputation. The town’s Lutheran church burned to the ground in 2001, and though electrical problems were reportedly the cause, many people believe vandals were to blame. Rumors claim the church was the site of Satanic worship and an upside-down cross once appeared on the front of the building. Some visitors say they can hear screaming when they walk on the ground where the church once stood, as the entrance to hell is allegedly directly below them. Others have claimed to see ghost trains, curtains moving with no wind, and vicious dogs appearing out of nowhere.
And ghosts of white ladies, or “a lady in white” are found almost everywhere – and North Dakota has one of their own. The story of White Lady Lane is a tragic one. The legend states that a young woman became pregnant out of wedlock, and her religious parents forced her to marry the father. The baby ended up dying after their wedding. The girl, so upset about her baby and her forced marriage, hanged herself from a bridge in her wedding dress. Locals claim to still see her ghost hanging from the bridge.
And like Minnesota, North Dakota has a Wendigo problem too. The 15-foot-tall creature was once human, but he was cursed to be a giant shapeshifter after resorting to cannibalism, as the legend goes for Wendigo.
***OHIO: Ohio’s Boston Mills region boasts a wealth of creepy urban legends, earning it the nickname Hell Town. Established in the early 1800s, the area thrived as a milling community, and the National Park Service purchased it in the 1970s. To build a new park, the government bought the residents’ land and forced them to leave. They boarded up some vacated homes and burned others, inciting wild rumors about the reasons behind the town’s dismantling. Stories spread about a government chemical spill turning residents into mutants, as well as tales about a cursed school bus, on which a serial killer slayed children.
There’s a tunnel to hell in Blue Ash, Ohio, but it’s on private property. The tunnel is actually a drainage ditch, and visitors who trespass to get there report seeing satanic symbols painted on the drain’s walls. Some visitors say they’ve seen a shadowy demon lurking inside.
Ohio also has it’s own werewolf or dog-man as some prefer to call it. During the summer of 1972, the people of Defiance claimed they were being terrorized by a werewolf. The sightings always happened at night, generally by the train tracks. A couple of women said it would try to get into their houses by rattling the doorknobs. The animal was said to be huge, hairy, and dressed in rags. But after summer ended, the beast disappeared, never to be heard from again. But the story lingers.
***OKLAHOMA: If sand dunes in the middle of Oklahoma’s spacious wheat fields seem unusual, wait until you find out what supposedly goes on there. Beaver Dunes Park is a 520-acre desert reportedly covering a Native American burial ground. Unexplained disappearances in the area have garnered it the nickname Shaman’s Portal, while others refer to the area as Oklahoma’s Bermuda Triangle. Even Spanish explorers in the 1500s noticed something strange going on there and recorded stories of weird flashes of green light and people disappearing. Potential explanations range from vortexes to other dimensions to a still-functioning UFO buried in the sand.
And OK has it’s own monster. Talihina holds the distinction of being home of the Green Hill Monster — which is likely a Bigfoot. When police investigated initial reports, they found several dead animals in the vicinity.
A few more states to go, and all of them have some pretty disturbing urban legends attached to them!
***OREGON: If you’re planning a trip down Highway 101 near Cannon Beach, OR, be careful about where you park. According to legend, the Bandage Man calls the area home and isn’t afraid to jump into passing cars and trucks. He was supposedly the victim of a sawmill accident, and bloody bandages cover him like a mummy; he also radiates the odor of rotting flesh. Some say in addition to jumping into vehicles, he walks along the highway and nearby beaches.
Sacket Hall at Oregon State University is said to be haunted. Very haunted. Legend says that one of Oregon State University’s student residence building, Sackett Hall, is haunted by the horrible tragedy that was the abduction and death of student Kathy Parks in 1974 by infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. Though Parks is reported to have been taken while walking from Sackett Hall to the Memorial Union, rumors have flown for years among students that Bundy hid in the catacombs of the residence hall and abducted her there. Other legends say he left her body in the basement. In reality, Parks’ body was sadly later found on Taylor Mountain in Washington State. Still, legends persist among the students who dorm in Sackett Hall, with claims of banging in the night and ghost sightings in the building’s basement, likely a way of trying to understand the tragic murder of Parks.
Not far from Corvallis, Oregon lives another urban legend, taking place in Lebanon. Kuhn Cinema opened to the public in 1932 and is rumored to have had a ghostly presence for years. The story goes that a young girl fell to her death from the theater’s balcony and now, sightings of the child in a white dress have been claimed at various spots within the building. Most notably, the presence is felt in the projection room, and employees have reported that they’ve felt a small child hugging them while working in the room. Other accounts say lights turn on and off by themselves at random, giggles can be heard when no one else is in the room, and items have gone missing and turned up in other locations.
And then there is the infamous Oregon State Hospital. Almost every native Oregonian, and most everyone who listens to Weird Darkness, has heard of the horrors of the Oregon State Hospital in Salem. The hospital was built in 1883 as an insane asylum and was home to years of malpractice, leading to the deaths of many patients. One incident in 1942 was particularly horrible, in which 263 patients fell ill and 47 died after being served their morning breakfast. An investigation was conducted, and it was found that a patient helping in the kitchen had mistaken roach poison for powdered milk. The poison went into the scrambled eggs, poisoning hundreds of residents in the hospital. Considering the stories of malpractice that are said to have occurred at Oregon State Hospital, it doesn’t come as a surprise that it is now considered haunted. Particularly, the underground tunnels of the building are said to have an “overwhelming sense of evil” and footsteps, doors opening and closing on their own, and screams have been reported within the tunnels.
***PENNSYLVANIA: As creepy as the urban legend of Philadelphia’s Wandering Bus sounds, it is also fitting as a New Age-inspired metaphor. This particular bus allegedly travels the streets, only visible to those who have lost all hope in their lives. It’s said the bus doesn’t make normal stops, so those wishing to ride must chase it down. The passengers on the bus are only those with no hope of improving their lives or fulfilling their dreams. Riders will likely never reach a destination where their problems no longer exist, but they can exit the bus at any time by pulling the stop-request cord. Passengers will then enter the real world, but hours, days, and months may have passed.
There’s also a gate to hell in Pennsylvania (well, seven in fact). As legend goes, an insane asylum once resided in a wooded area of Hellam Township that burned down one fated night. Though many patients perished in the flames, many also escaped into the surrounding area. Seven gates were built to trap the wandering inmates. The myth states that today, only one gate is visible by day, though all seven are visible by night, and that any person who passes through all seven gates goes directly to Hell. In reality, an insane asylum never existed in the area, and only one gate was built by a local doctor. It is very creepy Pennsylvania lore though.
This is one Pennsylvania legend that is absolutely true. Residents of the South Park area near Pittsburgh during the 1950’s often spotted a strange figure walking along Route 351 at night. The figure was a man without a face who allegedly emitted a greenish glow– locals were frightened by his shocking appearance and his nocturnal habits. The man, Ray Robinson, had been severely electrocuted as a child and lost most of his facial features. He only came out at night due to his disfigurement, though in reality he did not emit a glow of any sort. He was actually a really nice guy who would chat with anyone who approached him, though this did not prevent some passers-by from treating him cruelly or the community from fostering ghost stories about his misfortune.
***RHODE ISLAND: By the late 1800s, Exeter, RI, became largely abandoned after people realized the area was not suitable for farming. Mercy Lena Brown and her family lived in the town, but tuberculosis claimed the lives of her mother and young sister. As so-called “consumption” swept through the town, rumors spread about people coughing up blood and wasting away. While people had discovered tuberculosis several years earlier, superstitious residents blamed the deaths on vampires. When Brown died in 1892, her brother was dying of the same symptoms. Attempting to cure him, townspeople exhumed Brown’s body and burned her heart so her brother could eat the ashes. Despite this, he died two months later.
If vampires aren’t enough for you, Rhode Island also has the devil himself leaving evidence of his walk. There is a rock on Devil’s Foot Road that appears to show a normal human footprint, and a cloven hoof. The story goes that a Native American woman murdered a white man, and fled the scene of the crime. While running, she was stopped by another man. She cried out for the Devil to save her, when the man admitted that he himself was the Devil, and stomped his feet on the ground to prove that he had a cloven hoof, which the rock still shows to this day.
And then… Tower Hill Road in Cumberland, Rhode Island is a popular haunt for a ghost boy and his ghost dog on a walk. Multiple people have reported seeing the same thing without having any prior knowledge of the area’s spooky story.
***SOUTH CAROLINA: Stories say Julia Legare became unexpectedly ill while visiting family on Edisto Island during the mid 1800s. She slipped into a coma, and doctors couldn’t diagnose her and eventually declared her dead. Since preservation and embalming methods were more primitive back then, Legare was buried in a South Carolina mausoleum the same day – a heavy, locked door sealed her inside. Years later, when the family were preparing to bury another member, they opened the mausoleum door to find Legare’s remains not where they left them, but on the floor. They realized she had been in a coma when sealed inside and likely awoke to find herself trapped. According to legend, the door cracked when they closed it again, and every door attached afterward has been destroyed or broken by an unknown force.
You might suspect it’d be New Mexico or some other well-known UFO hotspot, but Horry County in South Carolina has more UFO sightings per capita, according to recent data. If you look up while you’re at Myrtle Beach, you just might catch a glimpse of an alien craft.
***SOUTH DAKOTA: What more would you expect from a place named after a Native American word for “evil” than creepy legends? Sica Hollow is in the northeastern part of South Dakota, and according to Sioux legends, blood once spurted from the ground and formed red-tinted bogs. Though the color likely derived from minerals in the ground, white settlers began fearing the area, as glowing trees and strange voices allegedly haunted it. In the 1970s, some believe several people disappeared in the hollow, either from falling into one of the deep ravines or being taken by spirits.
Another Native American legend in South Dakota is that of Walking Sam. Purportedly over 7 feet tall and very slim, Walking Sam is said to appear on the streets of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation at night, and he tries to convince teenagers to take their own lives. Whether or not Walking Sam is real, something tragic is going on at the reservation. From December 2014 to May 2015, there were 103 suicide attempts at Pine Ridge.
South Dakota also has Spook Road near Brandon – which is apparently enchanted. If you head out of town and count the number of turns, you will get a different number if you turn around and head back into town. Yeah, that would a bit spooky.
***TENNESSEE: John Bell and his family bought a Tennessee farm in the early 1800s; they began experiencing strange phenomena in 1817. Stories say Bell noticed a creature in his yard – it had a dog’s body but a rabbit’s head. Inside the home, family members had their bed covers pulled off while they slept, and something pounded on the walls from the outside. Eventually, items inside the home began moving by themselves, and the entity spoke to the family, telling them her name was Kate. She claimed to oppose their daughter Betsy’s upcoming wedding and vowed to kill John, the fiance. Allegedly, in 1819, General Andrew Jackson cut short his visit with the family after a frightening encounter with the Bell Witch. When John Bell died in 1820, a vial of poison was found next to his bed.
The Old Gray Cemetery in Knoxville, Tennessee is home to Black Aggie, a cloaked figure who appears between the tombstones. The cemetery is the final resting place of cholera patients, Union soldiers, and train crash victims. Is Black Aggie one of them?
Tennessee also has a haunted school bathroom. The Pine Haven School, located in Jamestown, is old and abandoned, and it’s said to be haunted. A tragic story supposedly took place there, where a boy was cornered by a group of bullies in the bathroom and shoved into a mirror, which shattered and killed him. To avoid getting caught committing murder, the bullies decided to bury the body underneath the floorboards. Today, people say that if you go inside the school you can see the reflection of the boy if you look in the mirror.
***TEXAS: In 1996, veteran journalist Brian Bethel was sitting in his car one evening in Abilene, TX, when two young boys approached him and asked for a ride. They appeared between 9 and 12 years old, and claimed they were in town to see a movie but didn’t have enough money. The boys politely asked Bethel for a ride back to their house, but an uneasy sensation overcame him. Before he let them into the car, he noticed their eyes were completely black. He quickly fabricated an excuse and sped away, noting they had mysteriously disappeared when he glanced at his rearview mirror. After he shared his story, other creepy tales about these black-eyed kids started to trickle out across the country.
Bowden Road in Huntsville, Texas leads to Martha’s Chapel Cemetery, and it seems as if the spirits are desperate to hitch a ride back to town with the graveyard’s visitors.
Texas also has a “don’t take candy from strangers” legend. In the early 1900s, children in an unnamed rural town in Texas started to go missing and the residents blamed it on the Candy Lady. The story says that she would go around leaving candy on children’s windows and eventually she’d lure the kids out with notes attached, promising more candy. The story picked up steam when a farmer allegedly found rotten teeth on his farm, and later found the body of a boy with his pockets stuffed with candy. While little is known about the origin of this story, some have speculated that the Candy Lady was real and that her name was Clara Crane.
***UTAH: While it’s illegal to take anything out of a state or national park, people who steal petrified wood from Escalante Petrified Forest in Utah could face especially grave consequences. After visitors started experiencing misfortune after pilfering pieces of wood from the trails, rumors spread claiming the forest and the petrified wood within carried a curse. Injured feet, broken collarbones, fires, and diseases have all plagued those who stole from the park. Many people have mailed their souvenirs back with apologies detailing their misfortunes, which inspired the park to set up a display of the notes to deter others from taking home cursed keepsakes.
And if you know anything paranormal about Utah, it probably takes place at Skinwalker Ranch near Ballard. Beyond the skinwalker sightings, the area is prone to large amounts of UFO sightings. What if the skinwalkers are actually aliens?
***VERMONT: Ripley’s Believe it or Not called it the “Eighth Wonder of the World” in 1984. To Abenaki American Indians, it is a sacred spot with natural healing powers. Over the last two centuries, people with enterprising ideas have envisioned it as a place of business. Four hotel fires later, they were left to wonder: was it coincidence that led to their failure, or the curse of Brunswick Springs?
The state also has frozen people that come back to life each spring. First appearing in a diary that was published in the late 1800s, the legend of the hibernating old people recounts the tale of a poor family outside of Montpelier who couldn’t afford to feed and clothe the oldest members of their family, so they froze the people and buried them. According to the tale, when spring rolled around, the elders thawed out and were just fine.
***VIRGINIA: People flock to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond for a number of reasons. Among them are seeing the Monument to the Confederate War Dead (a 90-foot pyramid), finding the graves of two United States of America Presidents and one Confederate States of America President, enjoying the amazing view of the James River, and looking for the mausoleum of William Wortham Pool. It is within the latter that the Richmond Vampire is said to reside. His “birth” occurred during the 1925 collapse of Church Hill Tunnel on a train loaded with passengers.
The Golden Bridge (also known as Emily’s Bridge) near Stowe, Virginia is haunted by the ghost of a woman who died of heartbreak. If you stop on the bridge, Emily may scratch your car, or you may hear dragging across the roof of your vehicle.
One famous Virginia legend is The Bunny Man. The Bunnyman’s legend starts with what every good urban legend starts with: an insane asylum. The people of Clifton were so up in arms about the asylum that they were able to get all of the patients transferred. The patients were being moved on a bus that crashed, and the police were able to catch all the patients except one — the Bunnyman. According to the tale, the Bunnyman lived in the woods and sustained himself on woodland creatures (like bunnies), but eventually he attacked humans. Some people reported being attacked by a man with a hatchet. Other tales say that groups of teens would see a bright light and then would wind up dead and strung up over a bridge.
We have urban legends, strange stories, and more from Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming up next!
***WASHINGTON: The Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle is known for trendy breweries, funky art stores and its close proximity to Boeing Field, but this was not always the case. This part of town was once known for brothels and illegal gambling. The Georgetown Castle on Carleton Avenue was no different. This Victorian home painted with bright melon colors was built by a blackjack dealer and used as a brothel. It is said that the original owner, Peter Gessner, still resides in the building as well as one of his employees and his niece, all of whom have suspicious circumstances surrounding their deaths. You can’t go inside this private home, but it makes for a good excuse to visit the neighborhood, plus you may just see a strange silhouette in the window.
The mining town of Monte Cristo, Washington was doomed from the start due to the rough winters in the Cascades. There are still whispers of the old mining town, and the ghosts of the townspeople who tried to make it work are still walking the abandoned streets.
And Washington also seems to be ground zero for most famous cryptid of all time. Bigfoot is an internationally recognizable name, and has been spotted all over the country. But, Bigfoot has been spotted the mostin Washington state. Bigfoot is essentially a gigantic ape-like creature who is either a ferocious beast who attacks loggers and hikers, or a gentle giant who wants to be left alone. Either way, there’s something creepy about an undiscovered species of animal wandering around the Pacific Northwest, evading capture.
***WEST VIRGINIA: While hitchhiking back to their Evansdale dorms in 1970, two female WVU students disappeared and were found headless only months later. It is believed that they were on their way back from a movie when they were picked up downtown and never made it home. The decapitated bodies of the two girls were discovered along an old mining road near Fairmont, and though the murderer confessed years later, their heads were never found and the case was never put to rest. Witnesses say they’ve heard growling, screams and whistling coming from the nearby woods of the Cheat Lake area, where the girls reportedly wander in search of their heads. Car accidents in the area have been blamed on shadowy apparitions of the two girls running back and forth through the woods.
Anytime I hear the name West Virginia, I immediately thing of it’s famous flying monster – Mothman. In 1966, stories say that West Virginia was visited by an insectoid flying creature with bright red eyes who resembled both a moth and a man. He was spotted flying around the town of Point Pleasant, along with shining lights and the Men in Black. Mothman’s origins have been claimed as supernatural, alien, or government experiment gone wrong. But Point Pleasant has embraced the monster, erecting a statue, creating a museum, and even dedicating a festival to him. In 2002, a film starring Richard Gere called “The Mothman Prophecies” was released.
***WISCONSIN: The story of what exactly happened at Boy Scout Lane varies, but they all end with the same conclusion: a group of Boy Scouts dead on the road. In some stories, there was a bus crash with no survivors, or they were murdered by their bus driver, or they just mysteriously vanished into the woods one by one. Visitors have reported seeing a swinging body in the trees, feeling as though they are being watched, and finding child-size handprints.
There is another Wisconsin tale – this one is grounded in reality. A long time ago, a family was driving over the Siren Bridge when the car went through the guardrails somehow and into the water below, resulting in everyone in the car drowning. But many motorists who have driven through the area report hearing a child’s voice over the radio: “Mommy, help me, I can’t get out.” It is unknown where the voice originates from, but it does scare the daylights out of passers-by. Is this creepy haunting in Wisconsin real? Many locals say yes.
***WYOMING: The Wyoming Frontier Prison was used for almost 80 years, starting in 1901, and is considered one of the state’s most haunted places. While the prison is filled with eerie stories, one of the most infamous urban legends surrounding it is that of the pie lady. A woman living in Rawlins used to bring the prisoners pies. Upon release, one prisoner tracked her down and killed her. He was then sentenced back to prison, where the prisoners took revenge into their own hands and hung him from the top floor. Visitors still claim to catch glimpses of ghosts in the prison, which offer special haunted tours every October.
And while we’re in Wyoming – if you ever saw the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, you are familiar with The Devil’s Tower, or The Devil’s Rock. There’s no scientific consensus on why Devil’s Rock looks the way it does, but one Native American creation story attributes the landmark’s shape to a tragedy. According to the story, a large group of Cheyenne girls were attacked and killed by a bear. Two escaped and found help from two boys, who convinced the girls to act as bait. They climbed to the top of the tower, and the bear tried to follow. The boys shot arrows at the bear, and it finally gave up, leaving scratches all the way down the rock as it slid down.
And The Sheridan Inn in Sheridan, Wyoming is watched over by a woman who lived and worked at the inn for almost her entire adult life. When she died, her ashes were scattered in the building’s walls, and she takes her job as guardian very seriously.
Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find information on any of the sponsors you heard about during the show, find all of my social media, listen to audiobooks I’ve narrated, sign up for the email newsletter, find other podcasts that I host including “Church of the Undead”, visit the store for Weird Darkness merchandise, and more. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or dark thoughts. Also on the website, if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
All stories on Weird Darkness are purported to be true unless stated otherwise, and you can find links to the sources I used in the show notes.
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Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “I’m sticking with God… He’s all I’ve got left.” –Lamentations 3:24 (from The Message version of the Bible)
And a final thought… “If they spit at you behind your back, it means you’re ahead of them.” — Confucius
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.