Have you ever wondered why campfire stories are so spooky? Because there’s always a sliver of truth to them – they are believable enough to make us sleepless for the rest of the night. It’s in human nature to come up with all kinds of eerie stories, but there’s no smoke without fire and all those stories are inspired by something – whether it’s due to pure imagination or real events that actually took place. And sometimes the urban legends created as pranks turn into something more – an actual story with real sightings. Can urban monsters come to life with the sheer power of human imagination, or did they always exist and we just recently stumbled upon them, revealing these creatures for the whole world to see? Whatever the case, here are 10 terrifying urban legends that will probably give you nightmares.
The Noise Coming From Inside Children
Behold the creepiest story on Earth that hasn’t been read by anyone (except for one critic that can’t be found anywhere). This might be a case of an urban legend creating itself, but one thing we can say for sure – ‘The Noise Coming from Inside Children’ and its author Ed Kann are among the most mysterious creations in the history of writing. No one actually knows what Ed Kann’s creepy story was about, but according to one critical review and a few mentions on the web, its content is so disturbing that it was banned soon after it was released. The sole review mentioning ‘The Noise Coming from Inside Children’ stated that the whole genre of horror stories would have been reconsidered if more people were to read this short story. But alas, both the author and his story have disappeared from the face of Earth. The mystery remains unsolved!
Rake: The Stuff of Nightmares
The internet has given us a whole new genre of real-life scary stories that are downright creepy. It usually starts with one internet post somewhere, an idea or a comment, and then gets out of hand turning into a full-blown urban legend with photos, documented sightings and all kinds of details that make the idea all the more real. And maybe, just maybe, turning a mere idea into an actual monster. Meet Rake, a six-feet-tall humanoid that usually crawls on all fours. He has pale skin and a blank face with no mouth or nose, but he does have three green eyes. He’s mostly seen in suburban areas and doesn’t attack if not approached. Yet he will attack if you walk towards him, opening his mouth that looks more like a crack on his face with dozens of dull teeth inside. No thanks, we’ll just walk the other way!
Hackers used to have too much fun back in the day – they wouldn’t be able to do half as much damage today with all the anti-viral software installed on modern-day computers. Yet back in the ‘90s when people didn’t have elaborate programs to protect them and were helpless in the face of internet evil, hackers roamed the web like pirates causing havoc and despair everywhere they went. Have you ever heard about viruses that could make your whole PC go into meltdown? Well, that’s not just a manner of speech – viruses actually did that to a person’s computer, destroying not only software but also hardware. And the worst part of it – the virus replicated itself like crazy and sent itself to your whole address book. Just imagine how many people suffered! Goodtimes virus was sent via emails when people were innocent enough to open a message warning about a supposed virus attack. A hacker group called Cult of the Dead Cow took credit for the Goodtimes virus after it had destroyed hundreds of machines.
Ted’s Caving Page
If you think that modern Internet users are gullible and will believe any rumor of a celebrity death or a new crazy movie release after seeing just a few photoshopped posters, then try to imagine what people were like back in the day when Internet was still new and people were more trusting. Why would anyone lie on the web, right? But people did then just as they do now. Ted’s caving page started off as a pretty innocent project with photos of various caves, findings and descriptions of his spelunking experiences. Yet things started getting weird when he and his friends found a ‘mystery cave’ – a cave that wasn’t on any map and was not supposed to be there in the first place. Of course he and his friends had to explore all its nooks and creepy hieroglyphics. The blog ended quite abruptly after Ted and one of his fellow spelunkers suffered from nightmares and hallucinations for weeks. They decided to go into the cave one last time, with guns and knives, and that’s where the story ends. It’s really well-done and seems absolutely real!
Anansi’s Goatman Story
Most modern-day urban horror stories are created on the web, but some of them have deeper roots that go back to the cultural heritage of Native Americans. Such is the story of Anansi and his encounter with the Goatman. We should thank creepypasta that has filled out all the blanks and added the necessary YouTube accompaniment that made the story all the more realistic. As the story goes, Anansi and a few of his friends decide to go camping south into the wilderness of Alabama. There they meet the creepy Goatman that stalks them day and night, speaking gibberish and moving in a terrifying way. The creature doesn’t slaughter the boys, but plays with their minds, literally driving them insane with paranoia, so that best friends start attacking each other. This story brings creepiness to a whole new level!
The Blair Witch Project
Meet the predecessor of all found-footage-horror stories that has actually created the genre itself. It’s marketing campaign that rolled mostly online was also a work of art in itself, presenting a whole bunch of compelling ‘evidence’ and creepy video clips ‘proving’ that the upcoming Blair Witch movie was a real thing, not a product of a carefully directed plot. They spent $25 million on marketing, while the budget of the movie was just $20,000 – but the whole idea paid off wonderfully! People believed the found footage premise of the story and that’s what made the movie legendary. The home site of the Blair Witch project told the story of three filmmakers who disappeared while filming the movie and revealed a whole bunch of other eerie yet believable details. It was so brilliantly made that we can’t but wonder – maybe the whole thing was real after all?
The Smith Sisters
While chain emails can be bothersome as hell, we don’t usually consider them creepy. Yet this story will make you rethink that – it’s about a boy John Smith who liked to prank people with such emails, scary vids, and all things of that sort. One day he received an email from the mysterious Smith Sisters, who claimed to be his lost siblings. To prove that their story was true they sent him some old photos of them in his house. The boy was scared out of his wits because he didn’t know he had any sisters, especially dead ones (because, obviously, that’s what they were – dead sisters sending messages from the other side). The Smith Sisters urged him to check out an old wardrobe upstairs which he didn’t know existed. Of course the boy did as he was asked – and was never seen again after that. All the police found were a few carvings inside the wardrobe: one saying ‘Lisa and Sarah 1993’ and another with ‘John 2007’. Just make sure your spam filter is on and avoid any kind of crazy-looking emails!
Everyone has heard about Slender and knows that he is totally fictional, but it doesn’t mean the creature is any less scary. Who knows, maybe the power of our imagination brought him to life? With so much believable footage and sightings, one might start wondering…what if? It seems that Slender Man has existed for ages – and that’s exactly what we’re supposed to think after watching a web series like Marble Hornets and playing numerous games featuring this horrifying creature. After some time, no one will remember that he was a product of our imaginations – he’ll be an actual part of our urban legend heritage. Slender Man first appeared as a photoshopped, shadowy figure on an old black-and-white picture, and then there were more pictures, and then some more, until it became a real avalanche of evidence that the creature was real. He plays on our fears of darkness and all things that are lurking there waiting, looking, and observing. We’ve all seen that glimpse of a shadow when you turn around on a narrow patch of a badly lit street late at night – and there was something, right? You’ve definitely seen something. The Slender Man.
The Russian Sleep Experiment
Creepy experiments conducted by the military are still a thing. And will probably remain one of the scariest themes for decades to come. With real stories like the infamous Japanese Unit 731 or the MKUltra program conducted by the CIA, it would come as no surprise that the Russian military would also experiment on harmless citizens. Apparently, people were locked up in chambers and packed with drugs to prevent them from sleeping and see how long they could last without it. People stayed in a sealed room for months slowly breaking and going mad. The cameras were covered after some time and there seemed to be no noise inside the room filled with dozens people. When they were finally dragged out, it turned out that half of them were dead and the other was feasting upon flesh. They demanded more drugs to stay awake forever. This is real heavy stuff!
Normal Porn for Normal People
Here we are with chain emails again, but this time with an incredibly sinister twist. You get a link to the site with a semi-interesting tagline that states: “A website dedicated to the eradication of abnormal sexuality”. You end up reading a crazy rant, but some words in it turn out to be link to videos. On them pretty normal acts are captured – a dog gets fed, a guy makes himself a peanut sandwich and eats it, a girl plays a violin. Yet in each of these videos some terrifying and downright violent sexual acts are happening – out of the frame or as a glimpse on some reflective surface. From there things start getting weirder and much more explicit. We won’t spoil all the ‘fun’ for you, so if you’re interested – just check it out! If you dare.