The Internet at the Speed of Thought

Creepy Urban Legends That Have Ties To Real Life

at 6:13 pm | By

The Dead Body in the Funhouse

elmer mccurdy


Whenever you go into a carnival funhouse, or a haunted house around Halloween time, you’re bound to be warned that there are actual dead people inside.

This actually happened in the ’70s, when the mummified body of the criminal Elmer McCurdy—who died in 1911—was discovered inside a California funhouse. Someone went to move what they thought was a wax dummy, and when its arm ripped off, they saw human bone and tissue. Disgusting!

Gang Initiations

urban legends gang initiation


Since the 1990s and early 2000s, an urban legend around the U.S. has stated that when gangs are initiating new members, the newbie must drive around with their headlights off at night. The first car that flashes their brights as a courtesy then becomes the victims the potential gang member must kill in order to join the gang.

Though similar legends and scares date back to the 1980s, a 1992 incident in Stockton, California likely fueled the rumor, which peaked in the ’90s. A passenger was shot to death by teenagers after the driver of her car signaled for the teens to turn their headlights on. My high school always sent flyers home around Halloween warning us about potential gang activity and practices such as these, showing the deep impact that this tale has had in reality.

Slender Man

Relatively speaking, Slender Man is a newcomer to the urban legends scene. He was created as an online meme in 2009 and went on to appear in other internet media. The tall, lanky, faceless man in a suit is usually seen preparing to abduct children.

In 2014, Slender Man generated international news after two Wisconsin girls tried stabbing their friend to death, hoping that Slender Man would reward them for their deed. With enough belief, it does seem that even fictitious characters have the power to become a very real threat.