Archive for Urban Legends

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

 

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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!

wolfout

The Legend of Kuchisake-onna

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , on October 18, 2015 by Xander Woolf

In Japan, there is a popular urban legend about Kuchisake-onna, the spirit of a woman with her mouth slit from ear to ear, supposedly mutilated by her husband. Starting in the late 1970s around Nagasaki, this urban legend quickly spread throughout the country, leading to an increase in police patrols as well as precautionary actions in schools.

What’s the story?kuchisake-onna-pi01
According to legend, Kuchisake-onna wanders around wearing a surgical mask. When she finds a victim, she will approach them and ask, “Am I pretty?” If the answer is “No,” then the victim is cut in half with a large pair of shears. If the answer is “Yes,” Kuchisake-onna takes off her mask, revealing that her mouth is split open from ear to ear, and ask “How about now?” If the answer is “No,” the victim will die. If the answer is “Yes,” then she will split the victim’s mouth open from ear to ear so they look more like her.

According to legend, it is impossible to get away from Kuchisake-onna. If you try to run away, she will appear in front of you. She cannot be outrun. However, rumors from the 1970s are starting to emerge with ways to escape. Some say that giving an ambiguous answer – such as “So-So” or “You’re okay” – will confuse her long enough for the victim to get away. Other sources say that if you tell her you have a previous engagement, her manners will get the best of her and she will excuse you. She can also be confused if the victim asks her if they are pretty. Supposedly this will cause her to leave.

Recent sightings include reports in South Korea of a woman running around with a red surgical mask, chasing children. The most recent sighting was in 2004.

How’s it used today?
Kuchisake-onna is so popular that she is very common in Japanese pop culture. There are movies, television shows, manga and anime about her. I bet kids dress up like her on Halloween. I mean, it would be an easy costume. Just draw red slits on your face and buy a surgical mask.

What’s it based on?
In October 2007, a coroner in Japan found records from the 1970s of a woman who used to chase children. She was hit by a car and died shortly after. The records revealed that her mouth was split open from ear to ear.

Though I cannot verify this next statement with any written research, I believe that this legend originated in that woman’s home town. I think that parents used her actions as a cautionary tale to tell their children, but it got so out of hand that it terrified an entire country. Urban legends with a discernible beginning like this one are always the scariest.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

wolfout

The Legends of Turnbull Canyon

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2015 by Xander Woolf

Canyon

Turnbull Canyon is located in Southern California, creating the border between the towns of Wittier and City of Industry (yes, that’s the actual name of the town). It is a popular attraction for hikers and fitness nuts with it’s tough but manageable trails and beautiful scenery. According to locals, however, this canyon is the setting of many a terrifying event. Legend has it that not only is the canyon haunted, but it is also the preferred location for dark magic rituals, human sacrifices, and several grizzly murders. In this post, I will detail as many of the horrific events as I can.

Called “Hutukngna” by the Gabrileños Native Americans, this nature formation was considered off limits as there were numerous sightings of ghosts and evil spirits. It is believed that Turnbull Canyon was the battleground of many Native American Wars. Some locals have claimed that they have heard the sound of war drums coming from the canyon.

This tribe of Native Americans was so named the Gabrileños after converting to Christianity through the San Gabriel Mission. Back in this time, it was not uncommon that Spanish missionaries would kill those who refused to convert. Legend has it that many of these killings took place in the canyon itself. The idea that the spirits of these murdered Natives have lingered lends credence to the belief that the canyon is haunted.

Fast forward to the 1930s. During the Great Depression, the canyon was used for dark and mysterious purposes. Back in that time, it was common for families to send their children to orphanages because they simply did not have the food to feed them. Local legend says that a cult would adopt the children through these orphanages and sacrifice them to Satan in the canyon. Locals have claimed to see the ghosts of these children, as well as hooded figures walking the trails at night. These sightings still occur today.

Within Turnbull Canyon, there is a tree referred to as The Hanging Tree. It is so named because of a man who was found hanging from one of its limbs. Witnesses have said that you can still see this man hanging from the tree at the time of his death. There is no information as to what time of day this might have occurred. I also have no information as to when in history this might have taken place.

In 1952, there was a plane crash, causing 29 deaths, 21 of which were children. An American Airlines plane crashed into the tallest hill of the canyon. There is no record of an American Airlines flight in that area at all and no planes were missing from their fleet. No one on board had identification, including the pilot. The only record of the crash even happening was a small article in the Wittier Daily News. Locals believe that the dark magic that lingers in the canyon caused this horrifying crash to happen.

In 1962, a bizarre death took place. In the ruins of a mental institution that had burned down in the 1940s, a group of teenagers were having a party. One of the boys found an old electroshock machine. When he picked it up, he was electrocuted with a voltage strong enough to be fatal. The bizarre part of the death comes when we find out that the electricity had been shut off after the fire 20 years previously.

In 2002, a young woman by the name of Gloria Gaxiola was murdered on Turnbull Canyon Rd. She was shot, then dragged behind a car down this road for 5 miles. The police caught the killers and administered justice. Being a popular road for racing, there have been other unfortunate auto-related deaths, including that of a CHP motorcycle Officer in Sept. 2005, who was struck by drifters.

Believe it or not, there are even more stories associated with this terrifying location. Located just an hour or so outside of Los Angeles, Turnbull canyon is one of the scariest places I’ve ever researched. Home to ghosts, evil spirits, cults, and other strange occurrences, this canyon just screams “Stay Away!” So, naturally, I want to go there.

wolfout

Sources:
Weird California
Haunted Los Angeles Blogspot
DBLACKTHORNE Livejournal

Photo Source:
Yelp

The Legend of Being Buried Alive

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2015 by Xander Woolf

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the fear of being buried alive was at its peak. Back in those days, embalming had not yet become a common practice, so many corpses were simply placed in their coffins shortly following being pronounced dead. Also, at the time, it was common for poorer families to bury their deceased family members in a plot in their very own backyard. Now that we know this information, this particular legend goes as follows:

In the early 1800s, there lived an old man who had been happily married to his wife for over 50 years. When his wife was pronounced dead by the doctor, he could not believe it true and had to be dragged from the body. The old man was so upset and hysterical – screaming that his wife was not dead – that he had to be heavily sedated so that they could continue with the burial in his very own backyard.

That night, the old man had a vivid dream that his wife was not only still alive, but also clawing frantically at the inside of the coffin. He awoke, alarmed, and called the doctor immediately. To put the old man’s mind at ease, the doctor agreed to exhume the body the following morning.

Once the coffin was dug up, they were met with a horrific sight. The old lady’s face was distorted into an eternal scream; her hands were facing upwards, bloody, with the fingernails completely bent backwards. On the inside of the coffin, there were bloody, frantic scratches. It was the determination of the old man and the doctor that the poor woman had been buried alive.

The origin of this Urban Legend is unknown, but it is likely to be linked to the late 18th to early 19th centuries, when the fear of being buried alive was very prevalent. This fear is likely to have surfaced due to medical breakthroughs, such as the technique of resuscitation, which allowed for patients thought dead to be “brought back to life.” This technique was not understood by the poorer, uneducated population, thus creating the fear of being pronounced dead while still alive.

Because of this widespread panic, many bodies were dug up. To the dismay of the people, scratches or other marks of disturbance were found on the inside of several coffins. While we now know that these could have been caused by postmortem muscle contractions or the release of gasses from the body itself, it was seen then as proof that too many people were being buried alive. This conclusion caused family members to start installing signaling devices in the graves, such as a bell connected to a pull rope that ran down into the coffin.

While there are now advanced techniques to ensure a deceased party is actually dead, the fear of being buried alive is still prevalent in today’s society. You can see this trope used in many horror movies and crime TV shows released recently. Even though we no longer instal signaling devices in the graves of our loved ones, it is still the biggest fear of a good portion of the population.

Tell me, are you afraid of being buried alive?

wolfout

The Legend of “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?”

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , on August 9, 2015 by Xander Woolf

Today’s legend is going to be short and sweet, but no less creepy. This is a story that seems to be told at the vast majority of college campuses around the US.

Pulling an all-nighter is a common custom on university campuses. The legend says that one night, a young woman came home late after pulling an all-nighter, studying. When she arrived in her dorm, she decided not to disturb her roommate, so she didn’t turn on the lights. Instead, she just went straight to bed. The next morning, however, when the young woman awoke, she found that her roommate had been brutally murdered. But that’s not all the young woman saw. Scrawled across the wall, written in blood, were the words “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?”

As far as creepy stories go, this is the type that always gets me. Just the idea of having a psychopathic stranger in my bedroom at night sends chills down my spine.

wolfout

The Legend of The Black-Eyed Kids

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2015 by Xander Woolf

The legend of the Black-Eyed Children tells of paranormal creatures that resemble children with pale skin and black eyes. These creatures are usually seen hitchhiking, panhandling or just standing on the doorsteps of residential homes. These children are usually asking for help, a ride home or to be let inside out of the cold.

Those who have reported encounters with the Black-Eyed Kids (BEKs) often describe a feeling of danger or dread. They report that the BEKs feel supernatural and unsafe, though they can never explain why.

In the encounters, they usually appear in pairs, are confident, yet avoid eye-contact, and keep their faces turned down. It is also said that they speak with a maturity far beyond their age. Not only do these children possess the mannerisms and speech patters of adults, but they also sometimes possess the voice of an adult.

All reports of BEKs have the same thing in common: these Black-Eyed Kids and their requests for help create an unsettling sense of danger in the adults with whom they speak. Some people even believe that the children may use low-level mind control to try to get their victims to comply with their demands.

Many people believe that the BEKs are spirits of lost or murdered children that are the “harbingers of ill will and personal doom.” Many others believe that they are vampires, as it does appear that they cannot enter a house or vehicle without the owner’s permission. Some even believe that they are extraterrestrials trying to blend into society.

There are no accounts as to what happens should one actually let a BEK into their home or car, which could possibly mean that those who do are killed.

Would you help a BEK in need?