There are many places around the world, and each one has different urban legends meant to excite, scare, and enthrall the listeners and readers who run across them. The top ten Most Scary Urban Legends that make our list are from a variety of places including the south of the United States of America, chain letters, bus rides, and many more.
1. Ghost Rider
Number one on our list of the scary urban legends is the tale of the Ghost Rider. I heard this first when I was around thirteen years old at a slumber party. When I grew older I realized that this was an old Southern American story that has been told and retold several times with different variations over the years. A young girl, jilted by her prom date, was walking home from the school she was attending when she was hit by a drunk driver and killed immediately. To this day, her soul wanders the road she was killed on, looking for someone to take her home, only to vanish as soon as she crosses the property line.
See Also: Scary Urban Myths and Legends Around the World
2. Bus Killer
The second scary urban legend takes place in the time of speak easy’s. It is equally scary when you live in a major city where buses are the only way to travel. A renowned serial killer was on the loose and the police couldn’t find him. They knew he traveled the bus routes, but the thing that tripped the officers up was the difference between each route. No one murder was committed consistently enough to pinpoint the killer’s location. One salesman/father/mother/sister/brother got on the bus after losing track of time at work/school/hanging out with friends and was sitting towards the back, looking to catch some sleep before their stop came up.
A sudden jolt woke them up and they realized that there were two passengers on the bus with them and both were staring at them. The one passenger in front of the sleepy passenger kept leaning forwards to get their attention. Finally, completely freaked out, the passenger decides to get off two stops at their designated stop. The next day the newspapers reported that a passenger on the bus that was trying to get the sleepy passengers’ attention was found dead, stabbed in the back through the seat. The only witness was able to pinpoint the killer’s looks, but the man described was dead for several years.
3. Slit-Mouth Woman
The third urban legend took place in both China and Japanese folklore. It’s about a slit-mouthed woman who was rumored to be a samurai’s wife. When she was discovered cheating on him, the husband slit her mouth from ear to ear and cursed her to never be able to die. According to rumor, she still wonders around asking people if she is pretty to them, and if they claim she is, she reveals her scar but if they say she isn’t they are found dead not long after the sighting.
See Also: 5 of the Creepiest African Legends and Myths
4. White Story
This urban legend was told to me by my adopted sister, it took place in Scotland and she claims is a true story. She says that there was a little girl who hated living so much, she decided to cause her own death. In an effort to erase every hint of her life, her ghost then went and killed everyone in her family a couple of days after her death. According to legend, when you hear of this story, the girl’s ghost will find you and begin knocking loudly on your door. As the knocking gets louder you are eventually forced to answer the door, only to find her ghost attacking you in an effort to make sure her existence is never known by anyone ever again.
5. Winstead Letter
The fifth story I ran across seemed to be reminiscent of the hit movie, The Ring in which a young girl, tortured and killed by someone else, is killed in a water death, only to return to kill those who do not pass along the chain letter retelling the tortures of her death in an equally watery death.
6. Greek Soldier
The sixth legend I came across, comes from Greece. It is not as well-known as some of the other ones from other places of the world, but in some ways, a little romantic in it’s telling. According to legend, a Greek soldier from WWII was captured and killed by other Greeks who disapproved of the political beliefs of the side our soldier was fighting for. He was killed before he could return to his fiancé, and because of that, his ghost travels the cities close to where he lived, seducing and impregnating beautiful women and virgins. After the birth of each child, the mothers find a note written by the man who impregnated them stating that he came back from the dead long enough to impregnate women so that his children can avenge his murder.
7. Bloody Mary
This legend I ran across actually was one I had heard before, but never counted as scary; even after family members reported it as true and showed “scars” proving their words. It’s the story of Bloody Mary. The legend seems to have started in the 1960’s even though the exact location isn’t known. Though some researchers believe this legend may be as old as the Snow White fairy tale. Basically, it’s a legend that if you cut out all the lights, leaving only candles lit in the room in front of a mirror and you chant “Bloody Mary” repeatedly Mary will appear and kill you before midnight of that night. To me, this speaks of a summoning spell gone wrong and the castor being punished for not performing the spell correctly.
8. Rose Bride
The eighth urban legend I found was one that was again reminiscent of a popular movie, The Corpse Bride in this case. It takes place in medieval Europe where there was a young woman called Elisa Day who was more beautiful than the roses that grew along the river of the town she lived in. One day a newcomer to the town met and fell deeply in love with Elisa and dated her for only three consecutive days. On day one he came to her residence. On day two he bought her a red rose as well as asking her to meet him at the river. On the final day of their courtship, he killed her after waiting for her back to be turned sliding her body in the river. To this day locals claim that she still wanders the riverbank, a rose between her fingers.
9. Choking Dog
In this Australian legend, a young couple comes home to discover their dog, a Doberman, choking on something that neither person could identify. Concerned, they rush their dog to a twenty-four-hour animal clinic. Upon arriving home, their phone is ringing and it is the vet calling them about their dog. He tells them to leave the house immediately and that he has called the police to go to their house. Apparently, the dog had bitten off the finger of a robber who was prepared to kill the couple to obtain their wealth. The robber was found passed out in their bedroom, where he was waiting for them to go to sleep before killing them.
Bonus: Strange Unsolved Mysteries of the World
10. Well to Hell
The tenth and final scary urban legend I found is one that is still repeated by many Christians to this day. This legend started off in 1989 when a group of Russian scientists drilled a hole in Siberia, 14.5 kilometers into the Earth’s crust. After lowering equipment down into the hole to record temperature and possible life forms found in the Earth’s crust, the scientists reported recorded the sounds of screams. They claimed that a cloud of gas erupted out of the hole is shaped like a large winged demon with its wings unfurled. Many people believe in this “Well to Hell” legend and repeat it as factual, though there is no evidence of this event occurring.
There is so many other good and scary urban legends throughout the cultures of the world to choose from. Just follow one piece of advice, don’t read these stories in the dark.