The world can be a baffling place, and it can get even more inexplicable when you go looking for chilling and spooky tales from different parts of the world. We often categorize these tales as ghost tales, urban legends, and even just horror stories. But an urban legend is something that is totally different from folklore and fairy tales. Fairy tales and folklore are about things that have happened many, many years ago. Urban legends, on the other hand, can be terrifyingly close to our very homes. So here are a bunch of nine urban legends that will entertain you as much as they will scare you:
1. Yeti, Himalayas
Sherpas are an ethnic group that is native to Nepal. They are known for being excellent climbers and have a rich history and culture. This includes the legend of the Yeti. A “Yeti” is an enormous, shaggy ape-man who has enormous feet and saber-like teeth. It is said to reach around 6 feet tall and produce footprints that are about 13 inches long. A legend states that the sherpas tricked the yetis into getting drunk and beating each other up after they kept harassing them. The Yetis that survived, moved up higher into the mountains and later came down to terrorize the Sherpas. Recently the Indian Army shared images of what appeared to be yeti footprints on Twitter, but they were heavily trolled and mocked. But who are we to say if the pictures were fake or not?
2. Kuchisake-onna, Japan
According to legend, Kushisake was a young woman who was majorly disfigured by her jealous husband. She now roams the streets of Japan at night time while wearing a doctor’s surgical mask to hide her seemingly grotesque face. Her face was split from one side of the cheek to the other (it’s scarier now because everyone is wearing masks due to the pandemic). If you run into Kuchisake on the road, she will ask you whether you find her beautiful. Saying no will lead to immediate death, and if you said yes, she would take off her mask and ask you if you still find her beautiful. If you were to say no this time around, she would kill you. If you say yes, she will take out a knife and carve your face as well. The only way for you to beat her at her own game is by giving vague answers.
3. Jinn (Genie) Umm Al Duwais, UAE
Genies aren’t exactly the witty and fun Aladdin versions that we are used to. The word is an anglicized version of the Arabic word “jinn”. These beings can be malevolent and evil or even good and kind. One of the most famous jinns is Umm Al Duwais. She is from the UAE and appears as a strikingly attractive woman who enchants men. Once she has caught them in her trap, she turns into an evil and terrifying figure who eats all the men she has enchanted.
4. Ghost Bus, Beijing
A ghost bus might stand out pretty well, right? But, it isn’t actually a bus filled with ghosts. One night, three men wearing clothes that dated back to the Qing dynasty entered the last bus for that day. The regular travelers of the bus quickly cleared out and informed police that the strange three passengers weren’t even touching the ground! According to the passengers, the strangers were either floating, and their feet weren’t touching the ground. The bus and the bus driver were never to be seen again after this incident.
5. Wendigo, USA
In Native American mythology, a Wendigo is a mythical creature or evil spirit that roams around the forests of Canada in the East Coast and the Great Plains regions of the United States. The wendigo is a malevolent spirit that is sometimes described as a creature with human-like characteristics and a desire to cannibalize other humans. A person is said to turn into a Wendigo when he shows immense greed, is starving and lost, or has an insatiable thirst for human flesh. These creatures are horrifying, and if you spot one and manage to escape unharmed, you’d be considered extremely lucky.
6. The Loch Ness Monster, Scotland
Nessie, as she’s affectionately spoken off, swims deep inside Loch Ness, which is the second deepest lake in all of Scotland. There have been many alleged sightings of Nessie, and they grew more common after 1933, when a road that gave people unobstructed views of the Loch Ness was built. Soon, a tourist couple claimed that they saw a giant sea creature, and attention around the lake grew. Although the famous photograph has been revealed to be a hoax, it didn’t stop wannabe monster hunters from visiting Scotland.
7. Water Babies, Utah
Another Native American tale is that of “water babies”. They can be found in Utah Lake and Massacre Rocks State Park in the state of Idaho. The origin story of water babies is even more upsetting, and they are believed to be ghosts of young children who belonged to the Shoshone tribe. The Shoshone tribe was facing a great famine and drowned the babies in the river, wanting to save them from the painful death of starvation. Legend has it that if you sit by the rocks of the lakes, you can still hear the drowned babies crying. While other stories claim that the babies did not drown; instead, they adapted and developed gills. The latter story also stated that the water babies plan on seeking revenge on humanity for the pain and misery caused.
8. Night Marchers, Hawaii
In Hawaii, there is a group of “night marchers” called the huaka’i pō, who are believed to be spirits of ancient warriors. If you look at these night marchers, they will mark you for death immediately. If you happen to come across this phantom procession, the correct thing for you is to lie flat on the ground and avoid eye contact. This is seen as a sign of respect.
9. The Abandoned Town Of Kuldhara, Rajasthan
The small town of Kuldhara in Rajasthan is a town that was abandoned overnight. Nobody knows what made the entire town disappear, along with all their belongings and any traces of them. Many Paranormal investigators who have dared to venture into the place have reported unexplainable footsteps, noises, and shadows throughout the small village.
As you see, every city, culture, and town has its own set of urban legends, and there are many questions that remain unanswered. Tell us which of these tales you found the scariest. Do you know any urban legends or spooky tales about your town or city? Let us know in the comments below!
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