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Freaky Urban Legends That Turned Out To Be Real



Urban legends are created when horror stories and real events enter echo chambers together; they come out on the other side as freakish archetypes, creepy symbols from our collective subconscious terror. On rare occasions, an urban legend will turn out to be true–and that’s when things get truly disturbing.

We’ve collected here 8 powerfully frightening instances when urban legends turned out to be based in reality:

The Green Man, or Charlie No-Face

If you go to a highway diner in western Pennsylvania and ask if they’ve seen the Green Man, you might hear some silverware clanking to the floor. The “Green Man,” or “Charlie No Face” is a long-standing urban legend of a green-glowing supernatural entity or demon that wanders the backcountry roads at night.
Raymond Robinson
Raymond Robinson
The legend is based on a real person: Raymond Robinson, who was nearly fatally injured in an electrical accident when he was young and lost his eyes, nose, one ear, and one arm.
His skin was so badly damaged, it gave off a strange hue, which is where the “green” in Green Man originated. Ostracized from society, Raymond walked the country roads of western Pennsylvania by night because this was the only time he could go outside without causing mass hysteria.

The Collector

The Collector urban legend is really a catch-all legend for creepy hermetic neighbors that may be doing something horrifying inside their dungeon-like basements. The most common “Collector” legend is the neighbor who collects human body parts and proudly displays them in mason jars.
In Russia, the Collector urban legend has a bright future because it played out in real life. Its new mascot is local Russian historian Anatoly Moskvin, who stole corpses from cemeteries in dozens of towns east of Moscow.
According to police, he dug up at least 29 corpses and made dolls out of them–life-sized faceless female dolls with platinum blond wigs.
Your neighbor may be up to no good, but it’s likely not as creepy as Russia’s notorious historian-turned-body-part-collector.

The Legend of “Dog Boy”

The legend of “Dog Boy” originates out of Arkansas. While it does not involve the mythological chupacabra as featured above, it does feature a sinister little boy who spent his childhood years ruthlessly torturing and experimenting on local dogs and cats. Legend has it the boy had paranormal powers, too.
Incredibly, the Dog Boy legend is (mostly) real and is based on the life of Gerald Floyd Bettis, who actually added on to the family home so that he could store more stray dogs and cats to torture. Bettis was also a tyrant when it came to his parents.
“He kept [them] virtually imprisoned in the upstairs part of that house,” a neighbor said. “He would feed them, but only when he decided it was time for them to eat.”
While there’s no proof Bettis had any kind of paranormal forces at work with him, he was 6’4″ and weighed close to 300 pounds, which must have made his sadistic behavior all the more terrifying to his victims.

Cropsey: A Real Life Boogeyman

The Cropsey urban legend developed throughout the 70s and 80s after several children went missing from Staten Island.
The story, told powerfully in the recent documentary entitled Cropsey, initially revolved around a classic but creepy boogeyman-type figure who stole children.
Cropsey director Joshua Zeman remembers when he was young and growing up in Staten Island. “Our counselors would lead us through the woods, past Seaview, and we’d beg to go in there. Inevitably, one of them would come out with an ax yelling that he was Cropsey.”
Meanwhile, nestled in the woods nearby was the Willowbrook State facility for mentally challenged children–an institution now notorious for squalid living conditions.
In the late 80s, police finally began to hone in on a man named Andre Rand, a former Willowbrook employee, who had since lived out in the woods. He was a drug user and possibly an occultist with a lengthy rap cheat–the perfect candidate for our real-life boogeyman.
Though he was never officially charged with the Staten Island child murders, Rand is currently serving 50 years to life for kidnapping and first-degree murder and is still the top suspect in the Cropsey disappearances.

The Human Fat Vampires

This is a particularly grisly story. I will spare you some of the details, which are similar in scope to the human kidney trafficking legend.
The ‘human fat vampire’ legend actually 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.
It turns out the legend may 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, Gen. Eusebio Félix Murga, director of Peru’s criminal investigations unit, announced they had broken up a criminal gang that “traffics human fat.”

The Exploding Whale That Rained Blubber

You might have heard this one or you might not have. Many Oregonians most likely grew up doubting its authenticity, but it was true all along. As it turns out, a beached whale + shoddy explosives=bloody whale blubber falling from the sky.
In 1970, a dead sperm whale washed up on the coast of Oregon. Logically, the Oregon Highway Division deemed that the best way to remove the whale would be to blow it up with dynamite.

Frozen Solid and Surviving

Legends of people being frozen solid and somehow living have persisted over the centuries, with scientists steadfastly maintaining it is not medically possible.
In 1981, North Dakota proved these scientists wrong with an incredible true story of a young woman named Jean Hilliard who was found frozen solid after getting trapped in 22 below zero temperatures.
“When she arrived at the Fosston, Minn., hospital, her skin was too hard to pierce with a hypodermic needle. Her temperature was too low to register on a thermometer. Her face was ashen and her eyes were solid and did not respond to light.”
“I can’t explain why she’s alive,” said Dr. George Sather, who treated Jean.

Real Life “Shadow People”

The Shadow People lineage or urban legends encompasses an entire universe of creepy folklore revolving around obscured visions or shadows of people that appear and disappear quickly.
Unsurprisingly, the people who report such occurrences are often sleep deprived or in a state of sleep paralysis. For years, thousands of people have sworn to waking up in the middle of the night to a shadowy figure bearing down on them, or staring from across the room.

At least in one case, this turned out to be true. In Fukuoka, Japan, a man who lived “alone” in his apartment began to suspect that something else was present there with him, moving things around and stealing food.
He decided to set up surveillance cameras and, sure enough, he captured footage of an old woman slithering out of his cupboard.
The woman was 58-year-old Tatsuko Horikawa, who was homeless and admitted to police that she had lived in the man’s home for about a year, lurking just beyond his eyesight in closets and cupboards.
Obviously, this story doesn’t prove that Shadow People are real, but it could certainly make you think twice the next time you casually dismiss a paranoid fear of someone watching you from the shadows.

Originally published on by GD writer Jake Anderson
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The Dark and Mysterious History of Yosemite’s Tenaya Canyon




Tenaya Canyon is a trail-less and treacherous part of Yosemite
National Park that runs from Tenaya Lake down to Yosemite Valley. It is
known as the “Bermuda Triangle of Yosemite” because of the many
accidents, injuries and deaths that have occurred there over the years.

people even believe that the canyon is cursed by the spirits of the
original inhabitants of Yosemite, who were violently displaced by the
Mariposa Indian War in the 1850s.

The canyon is a challenging and
risky route for adventurous hikers and climbers, who have to navigate
smooth granite slabs, steep rappels, mandatory swims and precarious
ledges. The canyon also offers stunning views of waterfalls, swimming
holes and rock formations.

However, the park officials warn that
“a trip into the unforgiving terrain of Tenaya Canyon…should not be
taken lightly.” There is a sign at the entrance of the canyon that

of the most famous incidents in Tenaya Canyon happened in 1918, when
John Muir, the “Father of the National Parks,” fell and was knocked
unconscious while exploring the canyon.

He later wrote: “I was
suddenly brought to a standstill by a blow on the head that confused my
senses for a moment or two without wholly stunning me.” He managed to
recover and continue his journey, but he never returned to the canyon.

Yosemite National Park, Mariposa County, CA

“Tenaya Canyon is one of those places where you can feel history all
around you,” said Scott Gediman, a park ranger at Yosemite National
Park. “It’s a very powerful place.”

Another notable explorer of
Tenaya Canyon was Ron Kauk, a legendary climber who lived in Yosemite
for decades and scaled some of its most challenging walls.

He camped on the side of a rock face in Tenaya Canyon and felt a mysterious force pulling on his sleeping bag.

He told SFGATE:
“It was like something that came around in a teasing kind of way or
something. It wasn’t anything too dramatic, no lights flashing around or
flying by you. Just to acknowledge that there was something else

He speculated that the canyon might be “the holding place for the original spirit of the place and the people (of Yosemite).”

Canyon is named after Chief Tenaya, the leader of the Ahwahneechee
tribe that lived in Yosemite Valley before they were driven out by the
Mariposa Battalion, a group of armed volunteers sent by California’s
governor to subdue the Native Americans in the area.

battalion captured Chief Tenaya and his people and forced them to
relocate to a reservation near Fresno. However, some of them escaped and
returned to Yosemite Valley, where they were attacked again by the

Chief Tenaya’s son was killed in the battle, and he
reportedly cursed his enemies and his homeland before fleeing into
Tenaya Canyon. He was later killed by a rival tribe near Mono Lake.

historians and locals believe that Chief Tenaya’s curse still lingers
in Tenaya Canyon, causing misfortune and tragedy for those who enter it.
Others think that the canyon is simply a dangerous place that requires
caution and respect.

Tenaya Canyon has had more than 110 people
killed there and many more injured. It is known to the Park Service as
the Bermuda Triangle of Yosemite.

of people go missing at national parks across the United States every
year. Some of these disappearances are never solved. Yosemite National
Park holds the notorious position as the national park with the third
most missing persons per year (233).

Either way, Tenaya Canyon
remains one of Yosemite’s most fascinating and mysterious places, where
nature’s beauty and history’s brutality collide.

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Vatican investigates potential miracle at Connecticut church




The Catholic Church is reportedly investigating a potential miracle that occurred at a church in Connecticut, reports

The supposed miracle took place at St Thomas Church in Thomaston, Connecticut, according to the Hartford Courant.

Revered Joseph Crowley, who heads St Maximilian Kolbe Parish, which
includes St Thomas Church, reported that the wafers distributed during
the observation of communion multiplied while sitting inside the

“God duplicated himself in the ciborium,” Rev Crowley
said after communion, referencing the metal storage containers used to
house the communion wafers. “God provides and it’s strange how God does
that. And that happened.”

response, the Archdiocese of Hartford began an investigation to
determine whether or not a miracle had occurred at the church.

then, the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith, a group dating
back to the 1500’s tasked with promoting and defending the Catholic
faith throughout the world, has been notified and has begun its own

A spokesman for the archdiocese, David Elliott,
issued a statement to the Hartford Courant saying that “reports such as
the alleged miracle in Thomaston require referral to the Dicastery for
the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. The Archdiocese has proceeded
accordingly, and will await a response in due time.”

Miracles are
an important part of the process of becoming a saint within the Catholic
Church. Sainthood considerations typically begin five years after the
death of an exceptional Catholic.

number of criteria must be met, including “verified miracles” — Vatican
officials must determine that the miracles are a direct result of an
individual praying to the candidate saint. They must come to the
decision that the miracle was a result of the dead potential saint
interceding between the petitioner and God, causing the miracle.

Catholic Church defines a miracle as a “sign of wonder such as a
healing, or control of nature, which can only be attributed to divine

While duplicating thin bread wafers may seem like a minor
use of divine power to those unfamiliar with Catholic theology, the
Eucharist — often called communion or the lord’s supper — is arguably
the holiest and most important sacrament — or ritual — in the faith.

typically believe in the idea of transubstantiation, or the idea that
the bread and wine given during the ritual literally become the body and
blood of Jesus Christ upon consecration, as opposed to simply symbols
of his presence.

O’Neil, who goes by the moniker Miracle Hunter, authored a book called
Science and the Miraculous: How the Church Investigates the
Supernatural, spoke to the Hartford Courant and gave examples of
previous eucharistic miracles.

“There are various types of
eucharistic miracles, but the ones that are most remarkable, in my
opinion, were on some rare occasions, the host is said to bleed human
blood,” he said.

Reverend Michael McGivney, the founder of the
Knights of Columbus, ended his clerical career at St Thomas, where the
alleged communion miracle took place. He has been in consideration for
sainthood and requires one more verified miracle before he moves on to
final consideration for sainthood within the Catholic Church.

Leonard Blair explained to the Hartford Courant that “what has been
reported to have occurred at our parish church in Thomaston, of which
Blessed Michael McGivney was once pastor, if verified, would constitute a
sign or wonder that can only be attributed to divine power to
strengthen our faith in the daily miracle of the Most Holy Eucharist.

would also be a source of blessing from Heaven for the effort that the
US Bishops are making to renew and deepen the faith and practice of our
Catholic people with regard to this great Sacrament.”

“Blessed” is a title given to saint candidates who have had “verified” miracles attributed to them by the Vatican.

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