Guide The Mysterious Guest: Folktales from Across America

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Out of the various Michigan urban legends, this one seems both ridiculous and feasible. Detroit is haunted by a small impish hobgoblin who predicts misfortune and has cursed the city.

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He was seen in the fire, which nearly destroyed the whole city, the riots, and the ice storm. Today, a banishment parade is thrown yearly. This is one of the oldest legendary monsters, dating back to the folklore of Native Americans, who hunted these foot-tall shape-shifting creatures even into the early 20 th century. Anyone who resorts to cannibalism and tastes human flesh will become one. Supposedly, a horrible outbreak wrecked much of a rural Mississippi town and was later covered up by the government and medical community.

Stories about strange deaths along the road as far back as Native American times and drownings in the nearby river made it a fun haunted spot for teenagers for decades, but many of them have perished in strange accidents, too. Today, dark shadows follow you here, seen only out of the corner of your eye. A Native American man with long black hair wearing an outdated, baggy jacket and jeans collides with cars, suddenly appearing on their windshield, only for him to vanish without a dent. This is a recent urban legend: After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the locals of Nebraska believed that mutant hornets from that area had grown to four times their normal size and were running rampant locally.

While Area 51 gets all the fame and glory for its supposed alien autopsies, fewer people know about the curse on Pyramid Lake, which happened after a Paiute man fell in love with a mermaid. His tribe rejected her and told him to throw her back in. She cursed the lake, brought the settlers, and ignited a war.

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Talk about spite! In modern times, the lake has drowned locals, spiting them out as far as Lake Tahoe. Some say she still pays a visit from time to time.


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She drives people insane, and if you see her, either you or someone you love will die. This escaped mental patient with a hook for a hand would snatch children in Staten Island, but the old legend became horrifyingly real when a killer named Andre Rand was caught in the s. Gruesome deaths in the s of mutilated livestock and dogs drained of blood led to reports of something vaguely feline and huge living near Bladenboro. The red bison-like water monster of the Missouri River travels upstream to break ice. Anyone who sees it alone in the daytime will go insane. Out of the various ghastly Ohio urban legends, this one may be the strangest: A humanoid, 4-foot frog apparently hangs out on the sides of roads in Loveland at night, and it will stand up on its hind legs, wave a wand over its head, and shoot sparks to deter humans.

In recent times, archaeologists have been chased away from the site by mysterious government officials. The ghost of a logger who died in a grisly sawmill accident attacks cars and terrorizes teenagers. The smell of rotting flesh predicts a visit. The legends stuck, however. While it was obviously superstition, the legend persisted. A 7-foot-tall specter whose job it is to collect the souls of suicide victims stalks lonely, depressed adolescents. Texas urban legends about monsters like the chupacabra or sites like the Alamo are creepy, sure, but have you heard about the lesser-known legend of an evil woman who lures children with candy?

Candy left out on the windowsill is meant to lure children so a spectral woman can pull out their teeth, kidnap them, or stab them in the eyes. Anyone who takes petrified wood from the state park risks bad luck, job loss, sickness, and accidents. Park managers claim they get dozens of packages every year sending back chunks of wood from regretful thieves. Frugal Vermonters facing extreme winters have been said to freeze their elderly and thaw them in the spring.

Is this more scary or utilitarian? Or both? On Halloween many years ago, a bus of transferring asylum inmates crashed, with one of the inmates escaping. Eventually, he allegedly attacked humans, too, leaving bodies strung up over the bridge. While the legendary Bigfoot gets a great deal of attention in this state, you might not have heard of Caddy short for Cadborosaurus , the local sea monster hanging out in Cadboro Bay. Mothman might be the more popular mystery, but rural West Virginia is also home to mysterious dog-like creatures the size of a lion with white shaggy fur.

An ugly, stumpy critter with a spiked tale, the hodag features in Paul Bunyan stories and reportedly likes to eat bulldogs. Through thick mist, usually in February, a ship can be seen sailing the Platte River, its phantom crew frosted over.

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Stories like this might keep you up at night, not because of the fanciful urban myths about monsters and witches but because of the grains of haunting truth … Without further ado, here is our list of urban legends in every state! Alaska: Kushtaka Shape-shifting creatures that are a cross between an otter and a man, the Kushtaka make noises that mimic children and wives to lure fishermen, though they are sometimes helpful tricksters. Arizona: Slaughterhouse Canyon One day, a father failed to return to his cabin during the s gold rush, and his family starved.

Arkansas: Dog Boy A werewolf-like ghost walks on all fours and haunts his childhood home. California: The Dark Watchers Featureless dark silhouettes, often with brimmed hats or walking sticks, stare down travelers during twilight and dawn in the Santa Lucia Mountains. Colorado: Riverdale Road Riverdale Road is home to a host of legends: While traveling down the road during a full moon, one can see the hanging bodies of slaves on the trees.

Connecticut: Annabelle the Demonic Doll The demonic doll in The Conjuring and Annabelle is inspired by a real-life Raggedy Ann doll supposedly inhabited by the spirit of a dead girl, which was given to two demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren, after some extremely malicious paranormal activity. Hawaii: Nightmarchers The deadly ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors march over the waters, chanting and blowing conch shells; if you hear them, run! Illinois: Ghost Elephants A real-life train wreck of circus cars leading to troop deaths has popularized the legend that elephants had to be buried where they fell.

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Indiana: The Green-Clawed Beast in the Ohio River With hairy arms, clawed hands, and green skin, this human-sized creature grabs unsuspecting women. Iowa: Villisca Axe Murder House Based on real events, this cold case features a whole family two parents, four children, and two house guests being bludgeoned to death in their sleep. Kansas: The Gateway to Hell One of the several gateways to hell in America, the stairs in an old demolished church open to the other side on Halloween and the spring equinox. Massachusetts: Pukwudgies Tiny gray tricksters resembling humanoid porcupines will supposedly lure people off cliffs or trap them in sand in the swampy regions of Massachusetts.

Michigan: The Nain Rouge Out of the various Michigan urban legends, this one seems both ridiculous and feasible.

Hungarian Folk Tales: The Water Fairy

Minnesota: Wendigo This is one of the oldest legendary monsters, dating back to the folklore of Native Americans, who hunted these foot-tall shape-shifting creatures even into the early 20 th century. Missouri: Zombie Road Stories about strange deaths along the road as far back as Native American times and drownings in the nearby river made it a fun haunted spot for teenagers for decades, but many of them have perished in strange accidents, too. Montana: The Phantom Hitchhiker of Black Horse Lake A Native American man with long black hair wearing an outdated, baggy jacket and jeans collides with cars, suddenly appearing on their windshield, only for him to vanish without a dent.

Nebraska: Radioactive Hornets This is a recent urban legend: After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the locals of Nebraska believed that mutant hornets from that area had grown to four times their normal size and were running rampant locally. Nevada: The Spiteful Mermaid of Pyramid Lake While Area 51 gets all the fame and glory for its supposed alien autopsies, fewer people know about the curse on Pyramid Lake, which happened after a Paiute man fell in love with a mermaid. New York: Cropsey This escaped mental patient with a hook for a hand would snatch children in Staten Island, but the old legend became horrifyingly real when a killer named Andre Rand was caught in the s.

North Carolina: The Vampire Beast of Bladenboro Gruesome deaths in the s of mutilated livestock and dogs drained of blood led to reports of something vaguely feline and huge living near Bladenboro. Ohio: The Loveland Frog Out of the various ghastly Ohio urban legends, this one may be the strangest: A humanoid, 4-foot frog apparently hangs out on the sides of roads in Loveland at night, and it will stand up on its hind legs, wave a wand over its head, and shoot sparks to deter humans. The poltergeist tormented the family living there by throwing stones and starting fires, among other things.

One of the most frequently reported ghost sightings in England dates back to the 16th century. Though many ghost sightings have been reported at the White House in Washington , D. Lincoln, formerly a lawyer and congresseman from Illinois , is said to have been seen wandering near the old Springfield capitol building, as well as his nearby law offices.

At the White House, everyone from first ladies to queens to prime ministers have reported seeing the ghost or feeling the presence of Honest Abe—particularly during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt , another president who guided the country through a time of great upheaval and war. Some locations simply seem to lend themselves to hauntings, perhaps due to the dramatic or grisly events that occurred there in the past.

Over the centuries, sightings of spectral armies have been reported on famous battlefields around the world, including important battle sites from the English Civil War in the 17th century, the bloody Civil War battlefield of Gettsyburg and the World War I sites of Gallipoli near Turkey and the Somme northern France. After serving in the British Royal Navy in World War II , the 81,ton ship retired in Long Beach, California in ; the plan was to turn it into a floating luxury hotel and resort. Since then, the Queen Mary has become notorious for its spectral presences, with more than 50 ghosts reported over the years.

Many visitors to the Queen Mary have reported seeing a phantom crewmember in blue overalls walking the decks. Among major cities, New York is especially rich with ghost stories. Perhaps the most famous New York ghost is that of Aaron Burr, who served as vice president under Thomas Jefferson but is best known for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel in But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. As with other cultures, tales of spooky visitors from the grave abound throughout American history. Some famous anecdotes relate the sighting of dead shipmen and another involves the portrait of a forgotten beauty, but many of the enduring ghost stories are about the famous men Presidents, first ladies, White House staff members and guests have reported feeling ghostly presences, hearing unexplained noises and even running into actual Trick-or-treating—going from house to house in search of candy and other goodies—has been a popular Halloween tradition in the United States and other countries for an estimated years.

But the origins of this community-based ritual, which costumed children typically savor Every October, carved pumpkins peer out from porches and doorsteps in the United States and other parts of the world. Gourd-like orange fruits inscribed with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign of the Halloween season.

Precursors in European Folklore

The practice of decorating Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated each year on October 31, and Halloween occurs on Thursday, October It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.

In the eighth century, Pope