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10 Nightmarish Legends You Might Not Know Anything About

by Estelle
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

The legends of Bloody Mary and the Hook Man have been discussed and dissected to death, and no one gets even a single chill from hearing those stories anymore. But, around the world, there are still legends and stories creepy enough to motivate you to read them with the lights blazing while the rain trickles down your bedroom window, blurring the face peeking in from outside…

Related: Top 10 Mysterious Nautical Legends and Superstitions

10 Romblon Triangle

The Mysterious History of the Romblon Triangle | Bites | Esquire Philippines

Let’s start with the “tamer” story of the lot. Taking after the infamous Bermuda Triangle, another eerie triangle exists in Philippine urban folklore. The Romblon Triangle is situated between the islands of Mindoro and the Dos Hermanas and Sibuyan Islands within the Romblon province.

Also, as with the Bermuda Triangle, there have been several maritime accidents and disappearances inside the Philippine version. These include the world’s worst peacetime maritime disaster when the MV Dona Paz inexplicably collided with an oil tanker in 1987 and sank with 4,000 people on board. In 1980, the MV Don Juan sank there, killing 176 passengers. And in 2008, the MV Princess of the Stars capsized during Typhoon Fengshen. Only 32 of the 851 passengers survived.

While it is noted that the rip tides inside the triangle make it dangerous for ships to travel through it, there have been several rumors of a ghost ship appearing just before tragedy strikes. It is said that the ghost ship is made of pure gold and is captained by Lolo Amang, who used to live among werewolves in the nearby Sibale Island. This ship allegedly appeared shortly before the MV Don Juan sank.[1]

9 The Black Ambulance

🚑 Unveiling the Haunting Secret of the Black Ambulance!

In the ’90s, there were a lot of rumors about AIDS-infected needles being left on cinema seats. This caused parents to freak out and children to miss out on big-screen movies. In Romania, another health-related legend spread like wildfire, scaring kids and parents alike. The legend had it that a “black ambulance” roamed the streets looking for kids who walked alone. Whoever was inside would grab the kids and then steal their organs to sell to rich people. The bodies would be left in a field alongside a small pile of money for the funeral.

Sometimes, these types of legends also cause mass hysteria. In 2018, a Romanian writer was traveling around Bucharest in her customized van, trying to cut down on the expenses of a book tour, when she was surrounded by a mob of people who were convinced that she was the driver of the mythical black ambulance.

Those who encircled the van eventually got inside and started rummaging through the writer’s belongings. One person put a cigarette out on her cheek while another stole the plates off the van. Fortunately, police acted swiftly and dispersed the crowd. They detained three people for acts of violence and threatening behavior.[2]

8 Sesame Seed Bath

Sesame Seeds | Korean Urban Legend | Ominous Archives

Korea is home to some of the creepiest legends in the world. One of these describes a young woman becoming increasingly worried about growing old and having wrinkly skin. She listened to any advice on keeping her skin looking youthful and eventually decided to try sesame seed therapy. Apparently, adding sesame seeds to bathwater ensures younger-looking skin.

After a couple of hours, the woman’s mother started getting worried when her daughter wouldn’t get out of the tub. She’d asked a couple of times whether everything was all right, upon which her daughter replied, “Just a moment.”

When she finally forced the door open, a gruesome sight greeted the mother. Her daughter, still in the tub, was frantically trying to pick the sesame seeds from her skin, which had somehow become attached to her pores and started growing roots. How was she attempting to remove it, you may ask?

By sticking a toothpick into her pores and trying to pop the seeds out…[3]

7 100 Steps Cemetery

Report It Wrap: 100 Steps Cemetery

I’ve never met anyone who would wilfully traipse around in a cemetery at night. Still, it seems that there are brave souls out there willing to do just about anything to meet an urban legend head-on.

The 100 Steps Cemetery near Brazil, Indiana, is the location of many a spooky tale as told by those who counted the steps as they walked up the hill where the cemetery sits. It is said that when you get to 100, the spirit of the original caretaker will appear and tell you the date and manner of your death. You should then return the same way you came, counting again. However, if you don’t get to 100, the caretaker will reappear and kill you right there and then. Rumor has it that because of some paranormal magick, there are 100 steps going up but only 99 coming down, which ensures the poor victim’s direct passage into hell.

However, should you try and ascend the hill another way, for instance, by walking alongside the steps, a ghostly hand will smack you to the ground, and you will have a red imprint on your back for many days afterward.[4]

6 Wolves of Pavagada

Unsolved Mysteries: Unexplained Voicemails & The Wolves Of Pavagada

In April 1983, a five-year-old girl went missing from Pavagada in Karnataka, India. Villagers claimed to have seen a dog-like creature carrying the child away. Ten days later, another child disappeared. And then another and another and another. After the disappearance of the five children, the vanishings stopped for two months. Then, in July 1983, a three-year-old girl disappeared from the room she shared with her mother. Villagers found blood and the clothes the girl was wearing the next morning scattered over the footprints of a large animal.

Police were called, and soon, rumors (started by the officers) began to fly about man-eating wolves taking the children. It was confirmed that all the missing children were girls, and all of them had been taken at night while sleeping near their parents. There were also whispers of black magic being practiced in the region of Madakshira, which separates Pavagada from the rest of Karnataka. Taxi drivers stopped driving into Madakshira after dark, and by the time seven children had vanished, rumors of werewolves were circulating everywhere.

The mystery of the missing children remains, as does the urban legend of the werewolves of Pavagada. Some human remains have been found during searches, but it remains unclear what exactly was responsible for the deaths.[5]

5 Kate Blood

The Haunting of Kate Blood’s Grave / (Appleton’s Riverside Cemetery) Wisconsin Haunts

A graveyard is just a graveyard, right? They’re all pretty creepy, but that’s where it ends. In the case of Kate Blood, however, that is not where it ends in the Riverside Cemetery in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Kate Blood is rumored to have been a cold-hearted witch who murdered her children and her husband with an axe. Now, on full-moon nights, her tombstone drips with blood to the horror of those who have allegedly witnessed this spectacle.

In reality, 23-year-old Kate Blood died of tuberculosis in 1874 and left behind a two-year-old daughter. Her husband remarried and lived forty-two years after his first wife’s death. Both he and his second wife are buried in the same plot as Kate.

Where did the legend of the dripping headstone come from then? Well, Kate’s last name was Blood, after all. Her grave is separated from others and lies on a hill near the Fox River. Perfect fodder for a creepy legend.[6]

4 Tomino’s Hell

The Unsettling Cursed Japanese Poem: Tomino’s Hell

Japanese poet Saijo Yaso authored a dark poem after the end of WWI, which seemingly depicted his suffering when his father died during battle. The poem “Tomino’s Hell” was soon attributed several other meanings, including one that says the poet described Tomino’s descent to hell after dying during the war.

A legend began making the rounds that whoever reads the poem out loud would put their own lives in danger. This came after allegations of personal losses and even death after reading the poem. A young girl allegedly read the lines and died a few seconds after uttering the last word.

So it seems that reading it silently would be the way to go in this case. Or, you know, don’t read it at all.[7]

3 Candlelight Prowler

What’s scarier than a creepy urban legend? An urban legend that turns out to be true. Children were told (and terrified by) the story of the candlelight prowler many years ago. The prowler was said to break into houses at night, stand in front of children’s beds, and stare at them, candle in hand. Those who woke up and saw the prowler were so terrified that they stayed perfectly still until morning arrived and he vanished. Then, they would run screaming to their parents’ bedroom and relate the scary tale. The only proof that the candlelight prowler was ever in a child’s room was several drops of wax on the floor.

In 2012, police arrested a man named Darren James McDonald, who was charged with indecent acts involving children, aggravated burglary, and theft. Turns out McDonald had invaded a series of homes in Ballarat, Australia, between July and August 2001. In one of the homes, he sexually assaulted two young sisters. In another, he used a candle to navigate his way through the house while the family was sleeping, dropping wax on the floor as he went.[8]

2 Bridge of Witches

The Penitent Bridge and Towers, Wroclaw, Poland with the Tower Hunters

Some accounts say that the Penitent Bridge in Wroclaw, Poland, was used to identify medieval witches. Women accused of practicing witchcraft would be forced to walk across the bridge (there were no guardrails at the time). If they lost their balance, they would fall to their deaths but be exonerated. If they made it all the way across, they would be burned at the stake for being witches.

A legend started making the rounds during the 15th century that the restless souls of frivolous women would float around on the bridge at night, sweeping it clean. These women shunned their earthly “duties” such as childcare and housekeeping in favor of coquetry and laziness. Enraged, their parents cursed them, and the spirits of the women must now sweep the bridge for eternity as penance.[9]

1 The Hellfire Club

Dublin Hellfire Club Stories & Paranormal Investigation | Haunted Ireland

In honor of the excellent fourth season of Stranger Things, here is the story of the Hellfire Club in Dublin, Ireland.

Many clubs of the same name were established across Britain and Ireland during the 17th and 18th centuries. These clubs were meant to serve as meeting places for the most powerful society people living in Ireland and Britain at the time. It soon became the preferred hangout for young men who wanted to indulge in drinking, partying, and sex.

After a while, rumors abounded of unnatural behavior happening at the clubs, including dark magic and satanic rituals.

One of the most infamous Hellfire Clubs started as a hunting lodge, which still stands on Montpelier Hill in Ireland. The construction of this lodge included the demolition of an ancient cairn stone that had locals up in arms. They believed that the destruction of the stone aggravated the spirits in the area, which meant the site would be haunted forever. So, even before a Hellfire Club was set up at the lodge, paranormal sightings occurred here.

Needless to say, the church and the club clashed, which led to negative attention for the club. More urban legends swirled, including one that said a member of the club had played cards with the devil and a cat had to be exorcised after attacking another member. Other stories said that Black Masses were held here and that the devil himself blew the roof off the lodge during a storm.

Today, it is said the possessed cat still lurks at the site of the lodge, his ears like horns and his eyes blazing red in the dark.[10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

Estelle is a regular writer for Listverse.