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8 Eerie Urban Legends You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

by Estelle
fact checked by Jamie Frater

There likely isn’t a country, city, town, or village in the world that does not have some sort of scary legend that makes up part of its history. Whether loosely based on fact or a story from an imaginative mind, urban legends have been around for a long time.

They will probably continue to be told for generations. On this list are some lesser-known urban legends that may have the potential to raise the neck hairs of even the most fearless readers.

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8 The Drowned Boy Of Hawaii

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A small village on the Big Island of Hawaii is the center of paradise living as well as a tragedy that haunts its residents to this day. It is said that a group of children were playing alongside a pond in the village in 1947 when one boy lost his footing and fell into the water. His friends ran to get help immediately, and rescue divers were on the scene within minutes.[1]

When the divers located the boy at the bottom of the pond, they were shocked to see his lifeless body propped up on a rock. It was as though the boy was sitting calmly while waiting to be rescued. His eyes and mouth were wide open, and his body swayed along with the movement of the water. The divers shook off the chills creeping down their spines and brought the body back to the surface.

While the villagers tried to forget about the tragedy and move on with their lives, it seemed that the drowned boy refused to let them. Reports soon surfaced of unseen fingers tugging at the pants of those who walked alongside the pond. People became convinced that the spirit of the dead boy had remained in the water. They believed that he wanted to drag the living into the pond to join him in his watery grave.

Years passed without further incident. Then, one day, a young boy was strolling along the shore of the pond when something dragged him in. His father, who was walking ahead of the boy, turned to see his son disappearing into the water. When divers found the youngster, he was also perched on a rock with his eyes and mouth open. Fortunately, the boy was resuscitated once the divers brought him back to the surface.

After this incident, villagers started hearing a plaintive cry from the pond in the darkness of night. It is rumored that the crying will continue until the boy finds a substitute to replace his spirit in the depths of the pond.

7 Beware Of Long Ear

Somalia is famous for crime, piracy, kidnapping, and terrorist attacks. The country is one of the least developed in the world, and over 70 percent of its citizens live in poverty.

Mothers who raise children there go to extremes to keep their kids safe from the threats surrounding them. Hence, these ladies sometimes use the legend of Long Ear to dissuade children and teenagers from exploring the forests in Somalia, especially if they live nearby.

Long Ear (aka Dhegdheer) is a cannibalistic woman who is said to prefer lost children. She hangs around forests, keeping her one long ear on the ground to hear the sound of youngsters who can’t find their way out.[2]

Should she happen upon a lost young soul, she will eat that child alive in a matter of minutes. To make the story even more terrifying for Somali kids who are thinking of disobeying their parents’ warnings, it is said that Long Ear has a special penchant for eating children who have no manners and do not listen to their parents.

6 The Rolling Calves Of Jamaica

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Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean well known for its lush rain forests, fantastic beaches, pungent rum, and world-class coffee. People come from all over the world to experience all Jamaica has to offer, whether it is the breathtaking views or activities such as water sports and hikes in the beautiful greenery.

However, if you find yourself yearning for a nighttime stroll while in Jamaica, keep an eye out for rolling calves. They are said to be the spirits of people who were evil in life (for some reason, butchers in particular).

A rolling calf is exactly what it sounds like—a creature that resembles a calf and rolls along the road. One of its eyes is red and can spew fire. You’ll know a rolling calf is behind you when you hear the rattling of its chains.[3]

According to other versions of the legend, both eyes are red and fire spews from the creature’s nostrils. Sometimes, its hind legs are those of a goat while one foreleg is human and the other is that of a horse.

Rolling calves block the way of walking travelers. Once a traveler starts running away, the creature will chase the person down with the intent to torture him.

If you come face-to-face with a rolling calf, you can distract it by throwing objects on the ground for it to count. Or you can start running to the nearest crossroads and get there ahead of it.

Alternatively, you can find a tarred whip and keep it handy on those nighttime walks. Beating a rolling calf with a tarred whip held in your left hand will send it running (or rolling) for the hills.

5 ‘The Price Is Three Sacks’

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According to legend, a long time ago in an unnamed village in Scotland, a witch appeared from the surrounding forest to warn the villagers to stop cutting down the trees to make way for more farmland. She threatened to make all their land—as well as all the women in the village—infertile if they ignored her warning.

A deal was struck between the villagers and the witch that only a small part of the forest could be cleared. In return, the villagers had to leave one sack of produce at the edge of the forest after each harvest.[4]

Things remained peaceful for centuries. Then, one day, a new generation of villagers tore down almost the entire forest to build a mill.

The witch returned to promise suffering because of the broken treaty. The villagers grabbed the witch and hanged her. With her last breath, she exclaimed that the price was now three sacks of produce.

The owner of the mill was terrified of the witch even after her death and dutifully placed three sacks of produce at the edge of the forest after each harvest. His crops grew abundantly, and in time, he became a father to three beautiful daughters.

Eventually, however, the mill owner grew complacent and greedy. He stopped paying his due. The very next morning after he failed to pay the three sacks of produce for his harvest, his youngest daughter went missing.

While the village rallied to look for the girl, the mill started running. Suddenly, the workers cried out in alarm. Between the millstones ran rivulets of blood. The mill owner’s daughter was discovered caught and crushed between them.

By the 1960s, an old crumbling silo stood in place of the mill. A young boy was dared to stay in the silo overnight to determine if it was haunted by the witch or the young girl who had died in the mill.

When his friends found him the next morning, they were shocked to see that the boy had broken both his ankles when he jumped from the silo loft. Asked why he had done that, he said that several empty grain bags inside the mill had “come to life” and were dragging themselves toward him to overpower him.

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4 Eight Feet Tall

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Japan is the center of many creepy legends. Who can forget the Slit-Mouthed Woman or Teke Teke, the ghost of a young woman who fell onto a railway line and had her body cut in half by a train?

She drags the upper half of her body around on her elbows, all the while making a teke teke sound. She chases unwitting victims, and when she catches them, cuts them in half to make them suffer in the same way she did.

Children are seemingly not safe in Japan, either, especially since a demon named Eight Feet Tall uses a masculine voice to call out “Po . . . Po . . . Po” in an attempt to lure kids between the ages of 9 and 11.[5]

Eight Feet Tall (aka Hachishakusama) often takes the form of a 244-centimeter-tall (8’0”) woman with long black hair. She wears all white and no shoes.

Much like Slender Man, she stalks children for several days or even months. When she spots a gap, she grabs the child to torture and kill him. Sometimes, Eight Feet Tall takes the form of a trusted family member to lure a child away faster.

3 Seven Sisters Road

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In the early 1900s, a young man became enraged during a massive argument with his parents inside the house he shared with them and seven sisters. He stormed out without resolving the issue and paced the woods close to home.

A plan formed in his mind, and he waited until his parents left the house. He went back inside and led his sisters out one at a time, hanging each one by the neck from separate trees that stood in a perfect row.

Many years later, the seven trees had to be cut down to make way for a road just a few miles south of Nebraska City. This road became known as the Seven Sisters Road after reports emerged of screams echoing through the night and car headlights dimming on their own as motorists traveled along.

Some drivers claim to have heard bells ringing in the darkness. Others say they have seen red eyes staring at them from the shadows.[6]

Another version of the legend says that the father is the one who hanged his seven daughters from the trees to get back at his wife for allegedly cheating on him.

2 Check Behind You

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It seems like something straight out of a horror movie. Apparently, a legend from Sydney tries to teach drivers to check their rearview mirrors to see if any unwanted passengers have slipped into their back seats without the motorists knowing.

Along Wakehurst Parkway, which connects Seaforth to Narrabeen, lies Deep Creek Reserve. The reserve is known for unexplained murders and paranormal activity.

Several motorists who travel this road have reported their car radios suddenly malfunctioning or car doors locking for no apparent reason. One of the unexplained tales tells the story of Kelly, a girl who was attacked and murdered along Wakehurst Parkway in the 1970s.[7]

Kelly appears in the back seat of an unsuspecting driver’s vehicle and runs the car off the road if the driver does not notice her. If he does see her, he should yell “Get out, Kelly” to avoid becoming another road accident statistic.

During the filming of the movie The Parkway Hauntings, the cast and crew were left terrified after an encounter with Kelly. A deep glow appeared behind the actor portraying Kelly and remained even after all camera lights were switched off.

The actor started feeling extremely cold and said afterward that she felt frozen to the spot. Producer Bianca Biasi found the experience so disturbing that she vowed never to return to Deep Creek Reserve or drive along Wakehurst Parkway again.

1 The Vanishing Hotel Room

Photo credit: Karen Latchana Kenney

In 1889, a mother and daughter were traveling through Europe when the mother suddenly fell ill. After arriving in Paris, the duo booked a room in a luxury hotel and the mother went to bed immediately.

Her daughter was concerned and sent for the resident doctor. The physician gave the mother a prescription, and the daughter set off on a frustrating journey. She walked around the city, struggling to find an apothecary or anyone who spoke English as she did not speak French.

After finally returning to the hotel with the medicine, the daughter was astonished to find that the hotel room was empty and her mother was gone. What’s more, the room looked completely different.

The curtains, carpet, and wallpaper all sported different patterns. The daughter looked around for their luggage to confirm that she was in the right room. But it was nowhere to be found.

Finding a cleaning lady outside the room, the daughter asked if the woman had seen her mother. The cleaning lady simply stared at her and then turned around and walked away. Approaching other hotel staff elicited the same response. All the staff as well as the hotel manager denied ever having seen the mother and daughter before.

The daughter ran off to the embassy. She hoped that someone would be able to help her, but the officials there decided she was insane and sent her to a mental institution. Being trapped in the asylum with no one who would listen to her story, the daughter went insane for real and died a few years later.[8]

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fact checked by Jamie Frater

Estelle is a regular writer for Listverse.