Archive for the Urban Legend Category

The Story of Centralia, Pennsylvania

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2016 by Xander Woolf

You may have heard that Centralia, PA is considered a ghost town. Here’s the brief story as to why.Censign.jpg

On May 27, 1962, a mine fire started burning under Centralia, PA. As a result of this, the town’s population has drastically decreased from over 1000 residents in 1981 to only 7 residents in 2013.

It is suspected that the fire started from the deliberate burning of trash down in the mine, igniting a coal seam. The mine continues to burn to this day and is estimated to burn for another 250 years.

Many of the buildings in town have been leveled and most of the properties are condemned under eminent domain. The US Postal Service even revoked the ZIP Code 17927. The remaining 7 residents are allowed to live out their lives there, but no new residents can move in due to safety reasons.

The fire causes the town to be filled with smoke and ash. This has led to Centralia becoming a fairly large tourist attraction. It embodies the aesthetic of a “ghost” town, in more than one way.

This aesthetic has inspired many horror stories. It is a common reference when referring to physical manifestations of hell and has inspired the film Silent Hill, the books Strange Highways and Vampire Zero, and the 1991 movie Nothing but Trouble.

Have you been to Centralia, Pennsylvania? We’d like to know about it. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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The Legend of the Richmond Vampire

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Richmond, Virginia was the site of a tragic accident in 1925. On October 2 of that year, the Church Hill Train Tunnel collapsed onto several workers as they attempted to repair the tunnel for the use of the burgeoning railroad.

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Tess Shebaylo/Flickr (Source Link Below)

What’s the legend?
On that same day, it was reported that a ghastly creature escaped the tunnel and ran into the mausoleum of W.W. Pool in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery. This creature was said to be covered in blood and have ghastly pale, sagging skin and jagged teeth. It was never seen again.

What’s the real story?
Reports of the incident say that there was one person who was able to escape from the caved-in tunnel. This person was named Benjamin Mosby, a 28-year-old fireman who was helping shovel coal. He was severely burned from the incident, causing his skin to sag and peel. Many of his teeth were broken, causing them to look jagged.

Mosby died just hours later in Grace Hospital and the legend grew from there.

How’s it used today?
The legend holds so much power in the Richmond area that occult groups are often found gathering in or around the mausoleum. The History Channel attempted to open up the old tunnel to film a show about the 1925 incident, but it was in such bad shape that it was deemed unsafe to film or even explore. It is believed that there were at least two workers who could not be recovered from the rubble. In 2014, a local petition was started to renovate the area and create a memorial for the victims of the tragic cave-in.

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Image Source.

The Legend of the Jersey Devil

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2016 by Xander Woolf

In October of last year, the internet was intrigued with a photo released of the Jersey Devil in Galloway, New Jersey. It is not clear whether the photo was real, doctored or just someone who threw a goat with fake wings into the air (poor goat, if so!). Regardless, the legend of the Jersey Devil has been around for nearly 200 years.Jersey_Devil_Philadelphia_Post_1909

What’s the story?
In 1735, a woman by the name of “Mother Leeds” gave birth to her 13th child. It was said that Mother Leeds was a witch and that the father of her final child was the devil himself. The baby looked normal at first, but legend says that he was quickly transformed into a horrible creature. The child developed hooves, a goat’s head, a forked tail and bat wings, gave out a terrible scream and killed the midwife before flying out the window.

In 1740, it is said that a clergyman in Southern New Jersey banished the demon for 100 years and it wasn’t seen again until 1840.

What’s it based on?
Many historians have said that the Jersey Devil was likely created to discredit a politician by the name of Daniel Leeds (1651-1720), who was largely known as “The Leeds Devil” for being a political monster. They posit that this image evolved over time to become the Jersey Devil we all know today.

The first published images of the Jersey Devil as we know him today were from 1909, when several newspapers published hundreds of stories of claimed encounters all over the state of New Jersey. This news caused widespread panic around the Delaware Valley, which led to schools and other professional organizations to close for fear of public safety.

How’s it used today?
The Jersey Devil has become a cultural icon of the state and surrounding areas. The creature has also appeared in several television shows (such as The X-Files), movies (The Jersey Devil (2005)) and video games (Jersey Devil (1998)). The hockey team, The New Jersey Devils, was also named after this notorious cryptid.

Take a look at the most recent sighting in October of 2015:

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Let us know what you think in the comments below: The Jersey Devil, real or fake?

wolfout

 

Urban Legends

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Hey Horror Fans!

As you may know, I have dubbed Sunday “Urban Legend Day!”

Today, instead of picking a legend and boring you with it, I’m asking you to let us know what your favorite urban legends are.

Is there a local scary story you love? Is there a monster you’d like to learn more about, but don’t have the time to research it?

Now is your chance to let us know the stories you want us to tell!

Leave a comment below, message us on Facebook, Tweet at us (@9thcirclehorror) or take advantage of the Contact Us page to let us know!

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The Legend of Black Aggie

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2016 by Xander Woolf

From 1925 to 1967, Druid Ridge Cemetery was home to a creepy and mysterious statue, named Black Aggie. She is so named because of her dark color and the name “Agnus” carved into the pedestal on which Aggie sat.BlackAggie

What’s the story?
There are many legends surrounding Black Aggie. During her time at Druid Ridge Cemetery, it was said that anyone who spent the night in Black Aggie’s lap would be haunted by the ghosts of those buried in that plot. There is another story that claims that those buried in Druid Ridge Cemetery would annually congregate at the Black Aggie statue.

Legend says that no grass would grow on the ground where the statue’s shadow would lie during the day and that Aggie would come alive during the night. Many have claimed to see the statue moving around the graveyard. Others have claimed that her eyes glow red at the stoke of midnight.

Many believe that Aggie was a real person. It is said that she was a nurse at the turn of the century. She was very well liked, but her patients always died under her watch. Suspicion grew and she was eventually lynched for murder. The day after her death, it is said that she was found to be innocent and the Black Aggie statue was commissioned in her memory. However, Aggie’s vengeful spirit remained attached to the statue, haunting it to this day.

What’s the history?
The history behind Black Aggie begins in 1885, with the death of Marian “Clover” Adams. Distraught, Clover’s husband Henry (grandson of President John Quincy Adams) commissioned an elaborate monument for her grave site. Augustus St. Gaudens sculpted Grief, which was placed in the Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington in 1891.

In the early 1900s, Eduard L.A. Pausch created an unauthorized copy of the original monument. General Felix Agnus purchased this copy in 1905 and placed it on his family’s cemetery plot shortly after. It was not until General Agnus died in 1925, however, that the legends surrounding the statue would surface.

The statue was donated to the Smithsonian in 1967 after the Agnus family became worried about vandals. Black Aggie currently stands behind the Dolley Madison House on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C.

What do I think?
Whether or not the statue is haunted, I can’t say, since I’ve never been to see her. Given my research, however, I do believe the story about Nurse Aggie is fake. I do believe that the fact that no grass grew in front of the statue was due to the fact that the ground was not receiving enough sunlight and grass could not grow.

On the subject of Black Aggie’s movements, I hope the legend isn’t true. Statues are scary enough, I don’t need them to move on their own.

Have you seen Black Aggie in person? Let us know your story!

Have a comment on the story or a suggestion for a Legend you’d like us to talk about? Tell us below!

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The Legend of Knecht Ruprecht

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2015 by Xander Woolf

As I was researching Krampus last week, I found that the terrifying goat-like creature wasn’t St. Nick’s only mischievous companion. While the Krampus is the most widely known companion, Knecht Ruprecht is another figure highly feared by children in Germany.

What’s the story?knecht ruprecht
There are two beginnings to Knecht Ruprecht’s story. The first story says that he was a wild child (possibly a changeling) that St. Nicholas found and raised into adulthood. Another story claims that the figure was a farmhand before becoming Santa’s assistant.

Knecht Ruprecht is most commonly spotted carrying a staff and a bag of ashes and wearing a brown or black robe with a pointed hood. Sometimes he is depicted riding a white horse or while other times being accompanied by faeries.

The Brothers’ Grimm associated him with Robin Goodfellow from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. While not evil, per se, he is mischievous like the famous faerie. Ruprecht was also associated with the Devil.

In older stories, Knecht Ruprecht would ask children if they could pray. If they could, he gave them treats. If they could not, he beat them with his bag of ashes. More modern stories, however, depict him as the one who gives naughty children coal or sticks while Santa gives out all the presents.

How’s it used today?
Knecht Ruprecht is not seen much today, as far as I can tell. In the Alpine Region, the Krampus is the one most celebrated. In Germany, while he does not get a festival or big event, many still dress up like Knecht Ruprecht and accompany those dressed as St. Nicholas. Also, in the German version of The Simpsons, the dog, Santa’s Little Helper, is called Knecht Ruprecht.

Knecht Ruprecht is a little overlooked in the holiday season, if you ask me. I want to see more of him. I mean, who doesn’t want to see a horror movie based on an evil faerie who attacks naughty people and non-believers? That’s just good entertainment right there.

Let us know that you think in the comments!

wolfout

The Legend of the Krampus

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , on December 6, 2015 by Xander Woolf

We’ve all seen the advertisements for the movie Krampus, which came out just this past Friday. For those curious about the origins of the title creature, you’re in luck because today’s Urban Legend post is about Santa’s evil sidekick himself.

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A 1900s greeting card reading ‘Greetings from the Krampus!’

What’s the story?
While there is speculation that Krampus dates back to ancient Norse Mythology as the grandson of Loki, the best known origin for the creature resides in the Alpine region of Europe. Germanic folklore describes Krampus as a horned, demon-like creature who punishes the children on St. Nicholas’ “Naughty” list.

Even though the popular Santa mythos today states that “Nice” kids get presents and “Naughty” kids get a lump of coal, this was not always the case. In the original story, the “Naughty” kids would be visited by Krampus on the night of December 4 to receive punishment. Some stories claim that this punishment consisted of lashings with a birch stick while others claim that Krampus dragged the misbehaving children down to hell for a year.

Krampus, who’s name is derived from the German word krampen (meaning “claw”), serves as a contrast to St. Nicholas. He is often paired with the popular Christmas figure in order to create a balance of good and evil. This dichotomy has been used since the 1600s to scare children into behaving. It’s definitely more effective than the idea of a lump of coal, if you ask me.

How’s it used today?

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Krampus parade in Pörtschach am Wörthersee (2013)

While Krampus is nearly unheard of in the United States, many cities and towns in the Alpine region of Europe still recognize the mythical figure as a loved and feared symbol. Krampus festivals typically kick off the holiday season. They can range from parades of young men wearing Krampus costumes, shaking birch sticks and chains, to large gatherings called Krampuslauf, where revelers get together, drink and chase people through the streets dressed as the terrifying creature.

Even today, on Krampusnacht (December 4) each year, it is typical for St. Nicholas and Krampus (or, rather, men dressed up like them) to go around to homes and businesses to hand out presents or coal, respectively.

Did you grow up believing in Krampus? If so, we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Is there an Urban Legend you’d like to read about? A ghost story you’re dying for others to read? Now is your chance to let us know what you want us to write about! Leave a comment below and tell us what you would like us to cover!

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