Most of the time, old urban legends are based on nothing but fiction. However, some of the tales that are most commonly heard being whispered around the campfires turn out to be true. To celebrate the upcoming Halloween, let’s take a look at five freaky urban legends that turned out to be true.
1. The Green man, or Charlie No-Face
Legend: In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, children often hear the tale of a monstrous, green creature that wanders the roads at night. They call him the “Green Man” or “Charlie No-Face”.
“If you go out after dark, Charlie No Face may grab you.”
“If you stay out too late, you may run across the Green Man who will steal your face to place over the gaping hole where his face once was.”
And that’s just a couple of phrases people use to frighten themselves and others.The legend says that Charlie No-Face was a utility worker who was killed by a downed power line that burnt off his face. In another version of the tale, Charlie No-Face was struck by lightning, failed to die, and crept into an old abandoned house where he lived out the rest of his days venturing out only at night to terrorize residents of the area.
True Story: Raymond “Ray” Robinson (October 29, 1910 – June 11, 1985) was a severely disfigured man. He was so badly injured in a childhood electrical accident that he could not go out in public without fear of creating a panic, so he went for long walks at night. Local tourists, who would drive along his road in hopes of meeting him, called him The Green Man or Charlie No-Face. They passed on tales about him to their children and grandchildren, and people raised on these tales are sometimes surprised to discover that he was a real person who was liked by his family and neighbors. Despite his disfigured face, Raymond was a good man loved by his family and friends.
Legend: The legend says that Cropsey was a mental patient who lived in the old abandoned Willowbrook Mental Institution which wasn’t too far from the kids’ neighborhoods. He would come out late at night and snatch children off the streets. Sometimes Cropsey had a hook for a hand, other times he wielded a bloody axe. Cropsey was always out there, lurking in the shadows, waiting to get them.
True Story: In the summer of 1987 Cropsey turned frighteningly real after a 12-year-old girl with Down syndrome, named Jennifer Schweiger, disappeared from the community. Police investigated and later arrested Adre Rand, a former employee of a Mental Institution, who is now serving 50 years to life on kidnapping and murder charges. Although it is not confirmed, he remains the most likely candidate for the real Cropsey.
There’s also a documentary about this urban legend entitled “Cropsey “.
3. Halloween hanging
Legend: What was thought to be your typically charming Halloween decoration depicting a lynched woman hanging from a tree, turns out to be a genuine suicide.y.
True Story: In the town of Frederica, Delaware, a 42-year-old woman hung herself from a tree near a busy road on a Tuesday night. The body hung about 15 feet above the ground until the next day and could easily be seen from passing vehicle before somebody realized it wasn’t a decoration and finally called the police.
4. The legend of “Dog Boy”
Legend: People claim that The Bettis House in Cleburne County, Arkansas is haunted by the evil
spirit of a sinister little boy who savagely tortured stray dogs.
True Story: However terrifying that sounds, The Dog Boy legend is actually very real and is based on the life of a man called Gerald Floyd Bettis. Local residents recall that they could routinely hear animals screaming from the house and Mary Nell Holabird, who was unfortunate enough to live on the same road revealed:
His parents were good people, but Gerald was a brat, vicious and cruel. He would catch stray animals and torture them. We could hear them howl. I had almost forgotten about all those cats and dogs he had, but he even added onto the house so he could keep more of them.
When Bettis grew up he kept his parents imprisoned in the upstairs part of their house. Moreover, he threw his 70-year-old father out of a window and broke his mother’s hip, prompting the state to remove them from his care.
5. The human fat vampires
Legend: The ‘human fat vampire’ legend has a 400-year-old history in Peru. During this time, locals spoke of vampires who hunted down and fed on the blubber of tourists and left behind bodies drained of all their fat.
True Story: Unfortunately, the legend turned out to have been true all along, except the “vampires” are traffickers who hack people up and remove their fat to sell on the black market. Peruvian police investigated this story for years and in 2009.
Which urban legend is your favorite? Let us know @CelebMix.