Category Archives: Legend

13 scary horror legends and myths from around the world

Horror-related urban legends from Singapore to Scotland; as told by Reddit users.

  1. Singapore

A user told the story of how he couldn’t sleep because of the sounds of dropping marbles:

“I grew up in Singapore. Almost every night, if you stay awake long enough, you can hear marbles being dropped on the floor of the apartment above you. This happens to almost everyone I know; we’ve just gotten so used to it that we don’t notice it anymore. It’s still really creepy though since most of the time the apartment above us is owned by an elderly couple who don’t have children (and who obviously don’t play with marbles at 3AM) or it’s empty. It’s just something that we can’t explain and it’s something that immigrants often ask us about.”

Another user attempted to explain this by saying that these sounds probably came from the water pipes, caused by a phenomenon known as water hammer. This however, proved to be a controversial explanation.

  1. Scotland

According to a legend, after someone found an underground passage beneath Edinburgh Castle and City Council, they sent a young boy to investigate:

“In Edinburgh, a passage was supposedly found underneath Edinburgh Castle and the City Council were obviously concerned about the security risk. The opening, however, was extremely small, so they decided to send down a young boy with a drum (so he could beat it and they’d know where it led.) The elders then followed the boy’s drumming from above ground as it led them down the High Street. The drumming stopped just next to the Tron Kirk. They decided just to block up the tunnel to prevent anything coming out of it, leaving the boy to his presumed fate. Apparently, to this day, on quiet nights, a faint drumming can be heard beneath the High Street just near the Tron…”

  1. England

An English user shared a horror story regarding the underground:

“A young woman gets on the last overground train out of central London that night. Most people are sleeping, nodding off, reading. She sits down on one of the few remaining seats and pulls out her book. After a little while she realises she’s being stared at intently by the girl opposite her. Sitting between 2 men, who themselves are staring at her, this girl continues to keep intensely staring at the woman. Unnerved but determined to keep her cool she continues reading and doing her best to ignore the people opposite.

A few minutes pass and they reach the next stop. A man walks on board and sits in the only remaining place – the seat next to the woman – pulls out a newspaper and starts doing a crossword. The train starts running again and she settles back into her book, still doing her best to ignore the 3 intimidating people opposite. The man doing the crossword lets a piece of his broadsheet paper flop onto her book. Annoyed, the woman is about to brush it off her page when she sees a message scrawled in pencil and underlined in such a way as to implore urgency: “get off train next stop”.

Her heart beating hard and feeling the tight walls of the train closing in on her, she decides to take heed of the message and hastily exits the train next stop, ready to attack the man if he attacks her.

As the train pulls away, the young woman and man stand on the platform. She turns to him and asks why she had to get off the train.

“That girl opposite you, staring at you… you didn’t notice?” he asks, visibly unnerved

‘Yea, some people are just like that I guess, it’s London bu-“

“She wasn’t staring” he interrupts “she wasn’t alive”

The next day 2 men were arrested for the murder of a 16 year old girl. They were taking her body out into Epping forest to dispose of her. Unable to find a car, they took her on the train, eyes rolled open, wedged inbetween them to keep upright.”

According to a different version of this story, there were only 5 people on the train: the victim, the killers, the girl and the stranger. There are other versions of this legend out there, too, some of which can be found on Snopes.

  1. Philippines

A university-related story from Philippines:

“One is at a medical school, where a student is about to go home after studying cadavers alone at night. As she enters the elevator (a man is already inside), they both hear a woman running, asking the student to wait and not close the elevator door as she will also use the elevator. But the student quickly pushes the button to close the door, prompting the other man inside the elevator to ask the student, “Why did you close the door? You just made her wait at the dark floor!” To which the student replied, “She’s wearing a red tag on her wrist! And that red tag is only for cadavers!” The man was shocked, then said, “Ohh… so something like this?” as he raised his arm to show the red tag on his wrist.”

  1. Brazil

“In Brazil there’s an urban legend about a man who kidnap children with a bag if you are not near your parents or alone, people call him “Homem do saco”, something similar to “Bag man” in a literal translation. If he got a children, you will never see that children again, some say he ate then.”

The “Homem do saco” stories seem to originate around the 19th century, with some saying that it was born of the fear of immigrating gypsies at the time.

  1. Poland/Russia/Ukraine

A kidnapping-related horror story from Eastern Europe, found on Wikipedia:

“Black Volga refers to an urban legend widespread in Poland, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Mongolia, mainly in the 1960s and 1970s. It was about a black (in some versions red) Volga limousine that was allegedly used to abduct people, especially children. According to different versions, it was driven by priests, nuns, Jews, vampires, satanists or Satan himself. Children were kidnapped to use their blood as a cure for rich westerners or Arabs suffering from leukemia; other variants used organ theft as the motive, combining it with another famous legend about kidney theft by the KGB.”

7-8. Sweden

Two short stories regarding immigrants:

“- Immigrants moving in to a new apartment, breaks up floor and starts growing potatoes there. Some might say this is based on one real incident, but I haven’t found any evidence of it. What’s funny about it is that the ethnicity of the immigrants change according to the latest big wave of immigrants, so chronologically: The immigrants of the story have been Greeks, Turks, Chileans, Yugoslavs and Arabs.

– Related legend, though more obscure: Immigrants raising pigs in the bathtub for food.”

  1. France

A French Reddit user told an old story from Orleans:

“It says that in the 60’s, there was a clothes and lingerie shop in Orleans where the fitting rooms were in fact traps. Women were kidnapped and sent to some prostitution network.”

Certain versions of this legend may include Jewish shop owners, crooked cops, secret tunnel systems and submarines.

  1. India

“In India there was this urban legend in Delhi about a mad scientist creating a monkey-man. This creature escaped and haunted Delhi for a long time. People were supposedly attacked. Nobody ever found out what happened. In the end, years later, we got a bunch of good movies and a comic book series on it.”

  1. South Korea

A story about a honeymoon gone wrong:

“There is a story about this newly weds who go on their honeymoon to either China or India. During the trip, the wife disappears without a trace, and the husband is forced come home, failed to find out anything about what happened to the love of his life. Couple years later, he goes to see a circus with friends, and there, he finds his missing wife, performing as a freak. Luckily, she was perfectly alright, except she now has no legs, arms, nor ability to speak.”

12-13. China

And last, but not least, two bus-related stories from China:

“One night around midnight, some drunk gets on a bus and falls asleep on his seat. There’re about a dozen people inside the bus. Nothing out of the ordinary. Then the drunk wakes up to an old guy getting on the bus. The old guy looks around the bus, and chooses to sit next to the drunk. The drunk is a bit annoyed, but doesn’t think too much of it. He then drifts off again. Suddenly, he wakes up again to the old guy grabbing his collar and shaking him violently. The old guy yells at him, “Little fucker pretended to be asleep and tried to steal my wallet!” Of course he does no such thing. So he defends himself, “No I didn’t! I was drunk and sleeping, you crazy old man!” They causes too much of a ruckus, so in the end, the driver has to throw them both off the bus. As soon as they get off, the guy immediately lashes out. Yet the old man holds up his hand and stops him. “I just saved both of our lives, young man,” he says. “You were too drunk to notice. None of the other passengers had feet!” (Here’s the deal with “no feet.” When Chinese ghosts “walk,” their heels don’t touch the floor, or they just downright flow).”

“One night, a young female driver is driving a bus full of passengers along a dark and quiet road in between cities. All of a sudden, three guys appear by the road asking for a ride. Since they are all willing to pay the fee, the driver has no choice but to let them in. However, as soon as she gets the money and is ready to take off again, one of the guys holds a knife against her side. And the other two starts to walk down the aisle, also with their knives out. Turns out they are robbers. After taking the passengers’ valuables, the robbers notice the driver is a young and attractive woman. So they rape her, in front of everybody. There is this one guy who tries to stop the rape from happening, but eventually gets beaten by the bad guys. After the rape, the bad guys demand the driver to keep driving. But the driver looks that the good Samaritan and screams, “I want him out of my bus!” The guy is dumbfounded. “You didn’t stop them, you useless piece of shit! Get off my bus!” So the poor guy is thrown off the bus by those robbers. He has to walk all night to get to a small town for help. While in the police station, the news is on the TV, saying that a bus full of passengers goes off a cliff, and no one on the bus, including the female driver, survives the crash.”

This story inspired an award-winning short film:

Photo: pexels.com

The legend of 221b Baker Street

In the past, a small legal battle ensued for the rights to answer letters sent to Sherlock Holmes, addressed to the fictive address of 211b Baker Street. For some time now, the “221b Baker Street” sign has been the property of the Sherlock Holmes Museum, found at 239 Baker Street.

“WE met next day as he had arranged, and inspected the rooms at No. 221b, Baker Street, of which he had spoken at our meeting. They consisted of a couple of comfortable bed-rooms and a single large airy sitting-room, cheerfully furnished, and illuminated by two broad windows. So desirable in every way were the apartments, and so moderate did the terms seem when divided between us, that the bargain was concluded upon the spot, and we at once entered into possession. That very evening I moved my things round from the hotel, and on the following morning Sherlock Holmes followed me with several boxes and portmanteaus. For a day or two we were busily employed in unpacking and laying out our property to the best advantage. That done, we gradually began to settle down and to accommodate ourselves to our new surroundings” (…).

“He threw the paper across to me and I glanced at the place indicated. It was the first announcement in the ‘Found’ column. ‘In Brixton Road, this morning,’ it ran, ‘a plain gold wedding ring, found in the roadway between the ‘White Hart’ Tavern and Holland Grove. Apply Dr. Watson, 221b, Baker Street, between eight and nine this evening.”

The address and brief description of Sherlock Holmes’ famous home and office made its first appearance on the first couple of pages of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes short, A Study in Scarlet.

However, when he penned these lines in 1886, this address didn’t even exist. The highest street address in Baker Street was 100 at the time, according to London (Amazing and Extraordinary Facts). Then, when Baker Street eventually expanded and the 221 address became available in 1932, Baker Street 219-229 was occupied by Abbey National.

This bank supposedly had a full-time employee whose job was to answer fan mail addressed to 221b Baker Street. Furthermore, the bank had the following plaque on its wall, marking the famous address:

gailf548 / flickr.com

In 1990, however, things got complicated when the Sherlock Holmes Museum (found at 239 Baker Street) decided to create its own “official 221b Baker Street” plaque. According to Wikipedia, this started a 15-year old legal dispute between Abbey National and the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

The bank, claiming that responding to mail has become part of the firm’s identity, didn’t want to let go of this tradition. They claimed that the Sherlock Holmes Museum was motivated by potential financial gains only, and that the museum planned to distribute promotional material when responding to letters.

Ralf Roletschek / Wikipedia

The mailmen supported Abbey National, and continued to deliver the letters to the bank. However, since the closure of Abbey National in 2005, the Sherlock Holmes Museum has taken over the “duty” of responding to fan mail.

In closing, it must be mentioned that this legendary fictive address has appeared as an easter egg in various movies and TV shows. For instance, in several episodes of House M.D., Dr. Gregory House is shown at home and his apartment number is 221B, a tribute to Sherlock Holmes famous London address.

Photo: gailf548 / flickr.com | Ralf Roletschek / Wikipedia

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Did a man really die while watching a horror movie, then disappear from the hospital?

A man died while watching The Conjuring 2 in an Indian cinema. His body was taken to a nearby hospital, from where it allegedly disappeared. I tried to investigate the story based on Indian newspaper articles.

According to a Times of India article, a 65-year old man started complaining about chest pain, then fainted after watching the movie. He was swiftly taken to a hospital, but they were not able to save him. After the man’s death, his body was sent to another hospital for post-mortem examination, but the body disappeared along with the person who was supposed to take it there. This story quickly started circulating around the world, with all sorts of paranormal explanations of how the body disappeared.

Since most media outlets contain no additional details beyond the information provided by the Times of India article, I decided to look into other Indian sources. It seems no other newspaper has presented this story quite as mysteriously and dramatically as Times of India; but then again, their reports didn’t end up getting picked up by half the world, either. The additional reports don’t contain many additional facts, but at least provide an alternative version of the story compared to “Shocking!! Two People Disappear without a Clue after Watching a Horror Movie”.

The Indian Express and the Hindustan Times, for instance, don’t even mention disappearance. They reported that the family of the deceased “did not prefer to file a case and the body was taken to Andhra Pradesh for last rites”. The Hindu reported that the accompanying man “took the body with the help of an auto rickshaw to the place where he was staying.”NDTV suggests that this accompanying man was indeed asked to take the body to another hospital, but he decided to take it home instead.

The New Indian Express reports that the two men watched the movie drunk, and the man left with the body after he was asked to transport it over to the other hospital “so that the police may file a case and send the body for autopsy”. However, he did not do this, and disappeared with the body. According to this report, “since no complaint was lodged, police can’t inquire into the issue”.

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