Another dose of Strange
In the previous installments we explored various state occurrences that revolved around a lot of difficult to explain situations. This time around? About the same.
We'll explore roads drenched in nightmarish tales, states that are said to not really be in existence along with some interesting additions to mysteries of the cryptozoological realm. As an unplanned and even more so unpleasant bonus, a legend that started to unfold right before eyes while in mid-research. Without further ado, Urban Legends by State Part 3.
Sleepy Hollow Road
This is a road with interesting backdrops and history. Not sure why but legends involving roads are fascinating. This road harbors many tales ranging from pleasant drives (during the day) to horrors reminiscent of Jeepers Creepers and that Urban Legends movie.
Driving down the road at night is sure to be greeted with scary glimpses of headlights coming out of nowhere and eerie glows coming from deep within the woods. Rather than the headlights belonging to a truck or car, you discover that they are coming from a hearse that's dark all over; including the windows. The image of the road during the day is most serene. Unfortunately that serene atmosphere tends to disappear with the fall of night.
*The hearse story is quite disturbing especially when told in detail.
The Kentucky Incident
There are tales of UFO encounters that involve seeing strange objects in the sky and encounters with people. These encounters usually revolve around kidnappings (abductions) and or people getting attacked in their own home. The later story I have heard of before or rather have seen the story retold in a documentary of mysterious UFO encounters; it was either on History, Discovery or Travel Channel.
According to the documentation, the family was sitting at home one evening when strange lights appeared outside their home. These lights weren't from any known vehicle so they decided to investigate. Soon they discover some strange looking creatures approaching their home and described them as having metallic skin, large craniums and big ears.
Next came a commercial break which involved me leaving the room to grab a snack. Upon my return, the documentary had resumed and was currently showing the family feverishly fighting the creatures that were trying to gain entry into their home. The incident was reported to the local authorities but they weren't sure how to handle the account. [August 1955]
*UPDATE: Some time ago, Mysteries at the Museum aired an episode that highlighted this strange tale. All information and documents pertaining to the incident of aliens attacking a family are in storage at the Pennyroyal Area Museum.
Deadly Daddy Long Legs
This legend states that Daddy Long Leg spiders are very poisonous but have weak fangs that can't pierce flesh. After doing some researching I discovered, like the researcher I referenced, that there is a species of DLLs that possess a poison gland. However, no one has ever been bitten by this little fella so no research was ever done on the effects of their poison [Dogster, The Straight Dope dot com].
After some more researching, I came across another species of spider that looks similar to DLLs – the Brown Recluse. The search was done on a hunch and the fact that I saw them in action on an episode of Infested on Animal Planet. From afar, they look almost identical even down to their color.
Not only that, but the residence map shows that they do inhabit portions of the state. So chances are that this legend could be a case of mistaken identity.
Ref: The Straight Dope – I love their tagline.
There are a variety of stories from witnesses visiting this location that have seen strange and unusual things along the road. The one that talks about shadows among the trees has surfaced constantly. Encounters with these shadows vary per individual/group. Despite varying experiences, the feeling of chills is ever present.
Like other tales involving mysterious hitchhikers, this one is slightly different. This legend involves a hitchhiking couple. Picture this, you're driving down the road to or from wherever.
The drive seems uneventful enough till you see a pair of individuals along the side of the road looking for a lift. After this point one of two things will occur: a) the couple will mysteriously vanish right before your eyes or b) they enter your vehicle so you can take them wherever. Regardless of the after math, the end result will leave you wanting to get your brain and eyes examined.
Black Tram Bridge
My notes are kind of jumbled for this one because this is either a stand alone or is attached to legends for Upper Blackwell Road. With this particular location, there is a legend which seems to come straight from the Urban Legends movie and series of books on urban legends. Not entirely sure on the specific event trigger, but do know that a menacing tailgater will appear out of nowhere in hot pursuit of your vehicle.
Each person and group of persons that have experienced this phenomenon, have varying instances of how the initial chase begins. Regardless, two elements have remained the same: the vicious chase and foreboding fear afterwards.
Legends of Hummel Park
There are quite a few legends located within this particular area. From paranormal encounters to straight-up eerie tales that will have you bolting towards the nearest exit. There are rumors circulating about the park being on or near a Native American burial ground which is said to play host to paranormal events.
Gruesome rituals are also rumored to take part in strange occurrences at the park. There is a plethora of disturbing situations and instances that have and currently still are taking place within and around the area. The details are so R-rated that its impossible to tone it down.
The Wyoming Incident
Hold the tar and hold the feathers, please. While searching for legends within the state Slender Man found his way into the mix. There's a video and story tied to this legend but I can't seem to find it. I am aware of the SM mythos.
Despite the character being made up, his persona could have been based off of something or some one in real life. Remember, there are times when truth is stranger than fiction. Think back to the legends of the Richmond Vampyre, Mothman and even Bunnyman.
All have variations. Yet, there is info that remains the same throughout each retelling.
Platte River's Ship of Death
This legend caught my eye because it reminded me of the Mary Celeste. There are numerous events involving sightings of her one of which which featured in the movie called Ghost Ship. Though different, this phantom ship is a bit different.
The legend of the Platte River's Ship of Death has been around for many if not hundreds of years. Legend tells that for anyone who sees the ship, it will most certainly guarantee that someone will pass that very day of the sighting. Based on eyewitness accounts, those that have caught sight of the ship lost someone dear to them on the day of the sighting.
The Egyptian Theatre
A lovely location shrouded in we said/they said. Tales of hauntings and secret passage ways located beneath the property are prevalent. Secret passages are one thing but these passages are said to run from the theatre to neighboring businesses.
Its said the tunnels were constructed by Chinese immigrants who wished to travel from one place to the next undetected and safely. I get the story and reasoning of the tunnels because historians have documented such tunnels being constructed in a variety of locations especially ones near or within mining communities. Everyone knows of their existence in the past; however, there is no such evidence present to day.
Those involved in the construction of the theatre didn't come across any evidence of any underground tunnels. Despite claims and reports, no one to date has been able to provide solid evidence of these tunnels existence.
There was some trial and error during the initial research task. While researching, I came across a legend that revolved around a video game. No, this isn't another installment of Atari mysteries but something a bit more mind boggling.
Apparently, there was a game released some time in the 80s that was similar to Tempest. The legend starts with reports of players going into fits and developing strange and often hazardous reactions after playing. The name of the game is Polybius.
Despite the name and decade, not many people – gamers and non-gamers alike - have seen this game. A prominent gaming magazine even included it in a special article that focused on urban legends involving video games. Being in a gaming magazine* should solidify its existence right?
Not quite. Even with the intel provided, the existence of the game is heavily debated because little to no evidence is present; just word of mouth testimony. Plus, the reactions to the game sound too similar to what occurred to players when they played Tempest during its first release.
Since the details vary per story, Polybius definitely falls into the urban legend category.
However, since some have played the game but have no evidence since the game disappeared shortly after its release...the legend of Polybius (and the facts of its being) shall remain a mystery till further notice.
*Gaming magazine in question was either GameInformer or GamePro. I forgot to make note of this during the first draft but you might be able to find it in their archives.
Western State Mental Hospital
Probably wasn't a good idea to start reading that article on Western State Mental Hospital located within Pierce county in the city of Lakewood. What's the deal you ask? Well, the story contributor made mention of exploring the ruins at night with their trusty flashlight.
This is where one of the issues come in. Upon entering the basement his flashlight flickers and if that weren't horrific enough, he could sense someone behind him; he was there alone by the way. Now, I don't know why but the thoughts of Slenderman came to mind after reading the guy's (Tom) account.
I have never played the game but that image just...surfaced. The point of the tale? Well, he was exploring the basement because there were rumors about this area being utilized to lobotomize patients.
The Shunka Warak'in is a creature that is seen as a mystery to cryptozoologists. It is described as being a cross between a wolf (canine features) and hyena (down slope from head to hindquarters). There have been various sightings across the decades that go as far north as Canada and as low as the Northern US.
To clarify, sightings have taken place in Alberta, Montana, Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska. Normally with sightings and tales involving such a creature/group of creatures this wouldn't count as urban legend. Well, there is an issue that leaves much to be desired.
There have been at least two known incidents of this mysterious creature being killed by human hands. The first incident resulted in the animal being sent to a taxidermist to be preserved.
The Bleeding Sink
Students say its an urban legend because they supposedly made up the tale to try to explain why the door to one of the bathrooms was always locked. They weren't entirely sure of the reason behind the locked door so they did their best to compensate the facts. Or so was the initial thought.
A student that lived in the dorm where the bathroom was located scoffed at the reason behind the locked door and thought it was no big deal since his grandmother lived in a haunted castle; he wasn't joking. As a means of proving a point, he decides to visit this bathroom. After gaining entry, everything seems to check out as 'normal' and he is left with the idea of having a bathroom all to himself.
Well, the following evening he makes his way back to the bathroom only to be greeted with blood splattered walls, floor and sink. He was somewhat calm till he saw the apparition of the said victim that was mentioned in the reason for the initial lock down of the bathroom. At this point, he could care less what others thought of him for being scared witless; he bolted from that bathroom never to return.
This State Doesn't Exist
The legend revolves around the idea of North Dakota being a figment of the imagination; aka not real. The tale goes that anyone who says otherwise is a member of the group responsible for putting the idea into people's heads. There are various versions of this tale that isn't limited to states.
One of my favorite versions is the one from Germany where a group of people started going around saying that a particular location didn't exist and that those who say it does is with the group responsible for the supposed fib. What makes this incident memorable is that the government tried to retaliate by publishing a document proving the existence of said location. What made this published item noteworthy was the fact they published it on April Fool's Day.
There is a legend that involves the discovery of a frozen body found in the snow that was taken to a hospital for examination. The legend ends with the body thawing out and the person awakening and going about things as if nothing serious occurred. That was the legend portion of the story.
As far-fetched as it may sound, there is an actual story involving a woman that was found frozen in the snow. The doctors that examined her didn't hold much hope but decided to attempt a thaw-out using heated devices. Eventually, she thawed and returned to normal in perfect health.
When asked for an explanation, the doctors said something along the lines of 'some things are best left unexplained.'*
*I don't know the exact words of the doctors and I failed to write down the source of the tale.
3D render courtesy of dimelotu of deviantART. For more works explore [dimelotu dot deviantART dot com]
Before you ask, yes there is a legend that involves South Dakota being a figment of the imagination. Am I going to retell it? Nope.
Though this tale/legend I'm about to share may sound as such since it was mentioned several states ago and possibly in more than one state. Like the other legends, they are seen walking the road looking for a lift some where. What differs here is that the hitchhiker holds a conversation with said passengers only to end the ride by shouting something and then disappearing from the vehicle without a trace.
This legend is starting to become even more of a legend as I continue to type. I do a search for urban legends in South Dakota and came across another legend involving Slenderman. Well that's nothing new.
There's an issue with that statement. Now, the search result shows an excerpt that mentioned something about a wooded area in South Dakota and the mentioning of Slenderman. Upon entering the site, there was no mention of said preview information.
However; there was mention of how the legend of Slenderman is a lot older than many people have originally thought. The circumstances of his being vary yet behavioral traits remain the same.
These might as well be honorable mentions. I am not up for another scare so I didn't go back to do a search for that Slenderman site I referenced. There were too many strange occurrences that took place during the initial searches that kept turning up things about this guy.
- Random Websearches
- Snopes dot com -- pretty sure it surfaced at some point or other
- Game Informer or Game Pro magazine
*Background of Slendy image was accidental. Didn't realize transparencies were going to be an issue.
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