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11 Stories That Happened to a Friend of a Friend

Urban Legends:

“An urban legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend is a genre of folklore comprising stories circulated as true, especially as having happened to a friend or family member, often with horrifying or humorous elements.”

Definition courtesy of Wikipedia

There are many urban legends – some are funny, some are in the ‘just desserts’ or instant karma vein. However, at Sci-Fi & Scary we’re more interested in the legends with a touch of the macabre to them.

The tales told ’round the campfire in the summer heat, the stories told at sleepovers with pillow forts and flashlights, usually ending in a dare to try summoning Bloody Mary from the mirror. The cautionary tales warning against sex, drugs and rock and roll (and running out of gas).

So, sit back, pull your blanket around you and check out this list of legends that are sure to give you chills and make you want to leave the lights on. Or not. For, as you’ll see, turning on the lights may not be the best thing to do sometimes.

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The Man in the Backseat (Also known as High Beams)

A woman driving alone at night starts being followed by another car, usually a pick-up or semi. It follows her very closely, flashing its high beams at random intervals. She makes it home, terrified of the unknown driver stalking her. She makes it home and her pursuer runs at her car, yelling at her to get to safety and to call the police. There was a man in the backseat and every time he would rise up to murder her, the man in the truck would flash his high beams nd the killer would hide again.

A variation shown on the Urban Legend movie is the woman pulls into a gas station and tries to pay with a credit card. The seemingly suspicious attendant tries various means to lure her into the gas station. When he finally does he locks the door and calls the police. There was a man hiding in her backseat.


Candyman is one of the more interesting ‘legends’ on this list as it originated with Clive Barker in his story The Forbidden. It was then adapted to the screen by Bernard Rose and came into a life of its own – much like Candyman himself. It combines elements of several legends to create the story of Daniel Robataille. When murdered by a lynch mob Daniel Robataille’s spirit became Candyman (from the honey he was smeared in), haunting the Cabrini-Green projects as a wraith in the shadows until awakened by a curious grad student, Helen Lyle.

Candyman has become such a myth in its own right that you’ll often see it on lists of urban legends, spoken about as though it were older. The other part of the Candyman myth is that he can be summoned by calling his name five times in a mirror. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Believe me, Gracie has tried. A lot.

The Cursed Tape

A disturbing videotape and if you watch it you will see a series of horrific images. After its over you’ll receive a phone call telling you that you only have seven days to live. After those seven days are over your television turns on, Samara crawls out and kills you.

Again, even though it started with the book, Ring by Koji Suzuki, got adapted for the big screen by Hiroshi Takahashi and Hideo Nakata and gained popularity in the U.S. with the adaptation The Ring it has still become a standard urban legend. It has evolved with the changing forms of media but still seems to be enduring.

Screaming Tunnel

Legend has it that the tunnel is haunted by the screams of a young woman who burned to death within its walls. There are several variations on the how she came to be burned to death in the tunnel but they all end with the girl’s screams filling the tunnel.

Hold Your Breath Going by a Graveyard

As kids we were told if you didn’t hold your breath when passing a graveyard, you’d inhale a ghost that would possess/kill/otherwise do not nice things to your poor little innocent soul and body. I got REALLY good at holding my breath. – JB Rockwell

Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn on the Light?

Two dormmates, Jenny and Marcia, are worrying about midterms coming up. Jenny, however, decides to go out to a party that night, figuring she’ll cram in the morning. She tries to talk her friend into going with her but Marcia says she’ll just stay home and study. Jenny goes out and has a lovely time. When she gets home she sees that Marcia has fallen asleep. Not wanting to wake her friend, Jenny changes in the dark and goes to sleep without turning on the light. In the morning she sees her friend is still sleeping. She hears Marcia struggling to breathe and is just about to go check on her when it seems to stop and she can hear even breathing again. She goes to wake Marcia and finds her dead. Her throat had been slashed and she was violently stabbed to death. On the wall, painted in Marcia’s blood are the words “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?”

The Boyfriend

A girl goes on a date. The car runs out of gas. At first she’s suspicious of her boyfriend’s motives but he grabs the gas can and starts walking, telling her to stay in the car until he gets back and lock the doors. He’s gone for a very long time. After awhile she thinks the wind is blowing because she keeps hearing a patter of rain and thump, thump, scratch on the roof of the car. When she awakens in the morning she’s confronted by police officers with a horn, telling her to walk toward them and do not turn around. Of course she does and she sees her boyfriend hanging upside down. His throat slit and his knuckles going thump thump on the roof of the car.

Gore Orphanage in Ohio

According to local legends, the Gore Orphanage is haunted by the ghosts of children who died an untimely death. The Gore Orphanage is possibly an amalgamation of several local areas rolled into one. There was a Swift mansion that was turned into The Light of Hope Orphanage. There is evidence that a fire may have happened there, causing the deaths of children.

Bloody Mary

Probably one of the most well-known and often tried urban legends on this list. It’s simple to do. Light a few candles (or have absolute darkness), stand in front of a mirror and chant Bloody Mary’s name three times.

The story of Bloody Mary changes and shifts with who is telling the story and the rules of the ritual may vary as well.

Hell Town – Ohio

Hell Town is a ghost town in Ohio that was abandoned after being bought out by the government. However, it is rumoured that it was closed because of a chemical accident that caused citizens to mutate. There are also rumours of an abandoned church with an upside down cross, possibly used for Satanic worship.

Singing Bridge

If you drive over a singing bridge you should hum with it until you’re over it.

I have no idea what will happen to me if I don’t hum but…dammit, I still do it! – JB Rockwell

I hope you’ve enjoyed this minor list of interesting legends, stories and superstitions! Tell us any that you might have!

Published inTop Ten Tuesday


    • If I were a bit more on the wealthy traveler side I would definitely visit all of the Gates to Hell and test them out, lol

      • The closest I’ve gotten is the thermal region near Rotorua, New Zealand. I’d like to tackle Iceland’s as well.

  1. How about the young couple that is out and parked for snoggin’, when they hear on the radio a report of a murderous madman on the loose. He has one hand. and the other has been replaced by a hook. The couple are so scared that they immediately race away back home, and what do you know, there was a hook, dangling from the door handle of the car! Those poor kids just barely escaped with their lives!

    {All the amputees I know are actually very nice people.}

    • *smacks forehead* I can’t believe I forgot The Hook story!!

  2. Lol! I think I was in highschool when the Ring came out. Oh man! We all refused to answer the phone after watching that movie. Lol!

    • I thought it would be interesting to set it up to give the phone a ring when the viewer was done watching it, lol

      • Trust me, it’s scary. I watched it with a couple friends back then at a friend’s house and the phone rang at the same moment in the movie. It was hilarious because my friend kept telling us to answer it. Lol! It was her mom.

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