True Urban Legends That Will Keep You Up All Night

It’s really not that hard for an urban legend to be born – people retell stories, add a bit of their personal touch, and as the tale spreads like wildfire, the final version is a far cry from what actually happened. It wouldn’t surprise me that the actual boogeyman was simply a grumpy neighbour who got too drunk one day and wound up sleeping under the wrong bed. People love to exaggerate things, and after a year or so, children are scared of an entity that magically appears in their room under the shroud of darkness.  

There are stories that are far creepier than a boogeyman, of course, and a lot of them were inspirations for B-rated horror movies. Still, even if the real event wasn’t as gruesome as the movies we saw, it doesn’t change the fact that it actually happened. So, here are some of the urban legends that happened at some point in the past.

1. Buried Alive

There was a movie starring Ryan Reynolds and there was a scene in Kill Bill, when a character wakes up and realizes he or she was better off sleeping forever. This is so scary that it was actually used as a punishment at some point. To make matters worse, it did not end there. People were buried in different ways, sometimes in thorns, all to make this horrible experience even more uncomfortable.

You think we have left this nasty custom behind, but unfortunately burying people alive is still a thing of the present. Only, nowadays it is unintentional, mostly because of clinical deaths that people snap out of at some point. The most recent case of vivisepulture happened in 2014 in Macedonia, when children were playing near the cemetery and heard screams coming from underneath the earth; spooky things I know. The police managed to dig her up, albeit too late, it was proven that the women did die from asphyxiation, since she was buried alive.

A fun fact about vivisepulture; since it wasn’t that uncommon in the past for someone to be buried alive, the person was buried along with a tube that reached out from the ground, so that if a corpse was to wake up, the person could scream and be dug up. Someone always needed to keep watch at night for these occurrences and this is how the phrase graveyard shift got started.    

2. Waking up in a Body Bag


That dreadful experience when you check into the hospital, but never check out. It’s quite similar to being buried alive, but a bit worse. You do not wake up in the coffin, you wake up in a body bag inside the freezer. You’d think that a body bag is not too much of a challenge when it comes to escaping, but think again. These are not made to be opened from the inside, and I personally blame the show “The Walking Dead”, because everyone is afraid of zombies nowadays, apparently.

Maria de Jesus Arroyo, an 80-year old granny experienced such a fate, since the doctors had done a rather sloppy job. It was on July 26th 2011, when she was brought to the hospital, and once the doctors heard how old she was, they declared her dead on the spot. She was actually unconscious, but ended up being frozen alive, all the same. When funeral home employees came to pick the body up, they found her bag on the ground, partially unzipped, with cuts and bruises on her body, since she panicked and tried to escape.    

3. There’s a Dead Body in my Mattress

Looking under the bed
Scene Louisiana

You check into a hotel or motel, you enter your room, unpack your suitcase, when suddenly there is an awful smell. You think it will go away soon, but it actually lingers for quite some time. You call the hotel staff to make a complaint, everyone tries to pinpoint the location of the foul odour and bippity boppity boo, there is a dead body under your freakin’ mattress!

Oh, if this was only a creepy story. Unfortunately it happened on multiple occasions. Nobody got the memo about this being a trend, but maybe it’s a good thing we didn’t know. If everybody knew just how easy it is to get rid of dead bodies, people would go on killing sprees much more often. If I worked at the hotel, I would start paying more attention to my regulars “Oh! Mr. Shady Figure, such a big bag, your wife kicked you out of the house again huh?”  

4. Death by Wedgie

Wedgies can be brutal

Bullies always had an array of different moves – swirly, titty twister, nut cracker – but the wedgie has remained a signature finisher at the end of a schoolyard torture session. But, did you know that a wedgie can result in a fatality? No kids actually died due to a wedgie- someone else did, it was 58 year old Denver St. Clair. He was arguing with his 34 year old stepson Brad Davis, and Brad decided to end the argument by pulling his stepfather’s underwear over his face. Davis never intended to kill his stepfather, but the old man died of asphyxiation. Davis also said how he was bullied his entire life by his stepfather, so in way, this was poetic justice at work. The wedgie giveth and the wedgie taketh away.     

5. Rats in Your Toilet

Rats are gross
Bullets First

Luckily, the crocodiles in the sewers are not something anyone should worry about, however rats crawling out of your toilet are totally worth the drama. Even though it does not happen that often, it is not impossible for a rat to climb all the way up from the pipes into your toilet. Considering what they use it as their entry point, it can be quite frightening to sit down, and finish your “business” knowing that there can be a rat who is curious enough to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes. True story, it happened to guy name Ian, and if you want more details you can read it here. Basically, he went to the bathroom, lifted the toilet seat and saw a wet rat inside.

6. Dr. Lecter

Dr Lector

Dr. Lecter Hannibal the cannibal – we have all either seen movies or TV show about the man who enjoys preparing meals out of human flesh. Who can blame him, you get a nice meal and you get rid of evidence, two birds one stone, right? Well, these things never stay in the world of fiction for too long. A man name David Viens, who was an abusive husband, ended up killing his wife, Dawn Viens. When he discovered that she was actually dead, he panicked and decided to cook her body. This terrifying event happened in 2009, and poor 39- year old Dawn was cooked for four days. He then used the grease dump behind his restaurant to dispose of the remains.  

As you can see, some stories are not just things we tell kids to scare them – people are capable of making tragic mistakes and committing creative crimes. Also, we must never forget about the murky sewers and just how many secrets lurk underneath the ground. Bear in mind, these are just the tip of the iceberg, and there are a lot more urban legends and scary stories that are based on real events.

Can you think of any other weird urban legends that are actually true? Share them in the comments section below.

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Matthew Santoro