More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – Urban Legends (that might be true)

scary image for scary stories in the darl
This might keep you up at night.

Guillermo del Toro’s new movie Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark — an adaptation of Alvin Schwartz’s book series — haunts theaters this week. I didn’t read the books growing up as a child. I was too much of a scaredy cat.

But then I studied collections of Urban Legends by Jan Harold Brunvand — one of Schwartz’s influences — when I was in my twenties. It may not be Halloween yet, but it’s the perfect time to swap scary stories. Here are some of my favorites, and some are actually true.

Tell me which I of your stories I missed in the comments section below..

Note: In true Urban Legend fashion, I elected not to reread any versions of these stories, but to tell them as well as I can from my own memory. This is how stories grow and change from one teller to the next.

The New Pet

On a trip to Mexico, a woman found a sickly, abandoned dog. She snuck it back across the border with her and nursed it back to health. However, she became very concerned about her new pet. It had a nasty temper, often tried to bite her, and had a voracious appetite. She finally took her new dog to the vet. After a while, the veterinarian came out and asked her, “Where did you get that thing?”

“I found that dog in an alley in Mexico,” she confessed. “He was very sick. I couldn’t leave him there.”

“That’s no dog,” the vet told her. “That’s a Mexican sewer rat!”

She nearly fainted.

(This is the first urban legend I ever heard.)

scared woman and scary stories to tell in the dark
Urban legends…are sometimes true.

 

Kidnappers!

This is a legend that constantly gets told about a certain theme park. Brunvand has tried to track down anyone who can verify it. But everyone always claims it happened to a “friend of a friend.” It’s why he likes to call these FOAF stories.

“If you ever go to [World Famous Theme Park I’m Not Getting Sued By], keep a close eye on your children. If you lose a child, report it to an employee immediately. Time is of the essence.

Security will take you to an underground room with monitors that show you the entire park. They’ll tell you to search for your child’s face. Their clothing and hairstyle may have already been altered by the kidnappers.

True story: my cousin’s friends got lucky. They were able to recognize their kid and stop the kidnapper. The little boy’s head had been shaved, and he was dressed differently. I hate to think about what happens to other families. Something shady is going on there. If you vacation there, be careful.

(It’s never made sense to me that you would lose valuable getting away time to shave the child’s head. When I discovered this was an urban legend, I thought it would bring my sister some relief, as this is one of her greatest fears every time we visit this park. Instead, she double downed on her belief that this story is 100% true. Some people don’t want to hear that their kid isn’t the most valuable thing on Earth.)

The Killer With the Hook

Several variants on this story. Here’s one: A couple was parked out on Lover’s Lane one night. They kept hearing this “scratch, scratch, scratch” noise. When the man got out to investigate, he saw a hooded figure with a hook for a hand, scraping away at the roof of the car. The hook-handed fiend swiped at the man, nearly taking his head off. The man got back in the car and locked the doors. He started the car and gunned it, but the killer hung on, crawling down onto the hood of the car and shaking his deadly hook at them. The woman shrieked. The killer crawled back up the car and began trying to punch his way through the back windshield. The driver sped up and finally lost the killer on a sharp curve.

Later, when he got home, he tried to convince himself it had all been a bad dream. But the next morning, when he came outside, he found a hook caught in the car window.

[Ed Note: I STILL find this one scary….shudders.]

A Scary Drive

A woman was driving alone at night. A large truck came behind her, all of a sudden. It flashed its lights at her and honked, but refused to pass her. She became nervous because of the other vehicle’s aggressive actions. She sped up a little but every time she sped up, so did the truck. Every now and then, it would honk and flash its lights again.

She tried to motion for the truck to go around her, but the driver stayed on her tail as if he were stalking her. When she finally came to a gas station, she pulled over and jumped out of the car, yelling for help. When the truck pulled in, the driver yelled out the window, “There’s someone else in the car!”

Moments later, the truck driver and the service station manager, both armed, approached the woman’s car. In the backseat, they found a killer with a knife. He’d snuck into the car at the last gas station she stopped at. Every time the killer had reared up to stab the woman, the heroic trucker flashed his lights to blind him.

(This story is the reason I look in my backseat EVERY time I get into my car. The opening scene of the movie Urban Legend does a good adaptation of this one.) [Ed Note: Also the 10th Rule in ZombieLand.]

The Babysitter

This Urban Legend pops up in a lot of horror movies and surely you’ve seen this terrifying idea or a variant of it: 

One night, a young woman was babysitting her neighbors’ kids. All night long, she kept getting creepy phone calls. “You’re all going to die,” the voice on the other line would say. Thirty minutes later, she would receive another call, “I’m going to slit your throats.” After she put the children to bed, she got a third nasty phone call. So she dialed the operator to see if they could trace the calls.

When the threatening voice called again, it was followed by another call from the operator. “Get out! Quick! The call’s coming from inside the house!”

Don’t miss the best frights from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Use the RunPee app. We’ve got Peetimes for Midsommar and Crawl and we’ll be adding new ones for 47 Meters Down: Uncaged and IT: Chapter 2. You can also keep up with the latest movie news and reviews by following us on Twitter @RunPee and liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RunPee/.

Movie Review – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

http://runpee.com/ranking-the-chucky-movies-from-a-true-horror-fan/stories.

19 Entry-Level Horror Movies for the Squeamish

The Origin of Slender Man

I can’t wait to see Slender Man. My adult daughter and I have been hearing stories about “The Slender Man” for years, and my inquiring mind wanted to know more.

Origins
Believe it or not, he isn’t centuries old, being kept alive by generations of families passing down the warnings and stories around a candlelit table. No,  this phenomenon was created on the Internet.  He was envisioned on June 10, 2009 by Eric Knudsen (aka Victor Surge), for a Photoshop contest. Something Awful Internet Forum challenged people to create a paranormal image. Knudsen knocked it out of the park with his submission. Because of one man’s vision, countless Slender Man tales were created to horrify anyone gullible enough to “embrace” the myth. (Of course I never fell for it. Nope, not even once.) And it doesn’t stop with stories. He’s spawned books, video games, and now a movie.

What is Slender Man?
In the dark forest, shrouded in mist and fog, stands a man. He is extraordinarily tall, with a featureless face. His arms are notably longer than any humans’ should ever be. With these branch-like upper limbs, he is able to extend them to taunt, or capture his victims. Slender Man always wears a dark suit and tie, easily blending in with the darkness he prefers. You are most likely to encounter him in the forest, or even an abandoned building, if you dare to seek him. But beware. Anyone brave enough to try and meet him will most likely develop what they call, “Slender Sickness.” Proximity to Slender Man causes a rapid onset of paranoia, nightmares, and delusions that are accompanied with nose bleeds. Are you interested yet? Perhaps a nice moonlit walk through the forest tonight?? Let me warn you: he seems to cause chaos no matter where he appears. This leads me into my next story.

On May 31, 2014, two 12 year old girls from Waukesha, Wisconsin took a fellow classmate out into the woods and stabbed her 19 times. That’s a lot of stabbing, folks. These girls claim that they were doing it as the first step to becoming proxies for the Slender Man. Have they never heard of gift baskets? I mean dang, 19 times? Perhaps a monthly delivery of some Omaha Steaks? It’s fairly priced. But no, they chose that method. But here’s the cool part: that little girl, dripping in her own blood, crawled out of that forest, by God, and made it to a road and was found. Yep, she’s alive. She’s ALIVE! Needless to say those messed up little girls are now staying for a very long time in a mental hospital in Wisconsin. There is a plethora of information on this if you want more details. It was a really sad event. Wikipedia is the best place to start.

Back to more of what one photo created. In 2012, a game called Slender: The Eight Pages, was released. In its first month it had over two million downloads. Can we say instant hit? There are games that have developed from that game. The list goes on and on. Many movies and documentaries have been done over the years, but I am waiting for one thing. Slender Man. In theaters tomorrow. I will be there front and center, waiting to see what they have come up with now. 

Movie review: The Strangers: Prey at Night

The Strangers: Prey At Night…where to begin? Let’s start off on a positive note. I’m fairly convinced the makers of this movie fully intended on wanting you to hate the lead female role. Boy,oh boy, they nailed that one. Her character made my blood pressure rise. I was rooting for The Strangers to take care of her quickly. I’m not going to spoil it and tell you if I was given what I was hoping for.

What I really want to know is why in the world were The Strangers doing this? Back story, much? Nope, not here. You should just prepare yourself to wonder why throughout the entire movie. Perhaps the makers are just going off on what society is showing us lately. People will do what they want just because. No reasons or motives anymore, just plain self entitlement at its finest.

Here’s another thought that puzzled me. When the potential victims are literally holding a gun on the bad guy, and has the opportunity to unload on the freak, why, oh why, do they stand there like an idiot? If it were me, I would have killed them, buried the body, and left town, by the time it took them to cry and look helpless. You were holding a gun!

Let’s wrap this up. I did not, in any way, shape, or form, enjoy this movie. When I got home, I ran my nails down a chalkboard so I could relax.

 

Grade: D-