The 19 Scariest Urban Legends

Stories You Don't Dare Share in the Dark

Scary urban legends are rarely factually verified but do reveal important truths about our deepest, darkest fears. Embracing these fears by sharing them with a group is a way of confronting and coping with those things that scare us most.

So, one dark night -- maybe by the light of a campfire, during a sleepover, or just enjoying a quiet evening with friends -- try sharing one of these tales of terror... if you dare!

of 19

The Clown Statue


CC0 Public Domain


An adolescent babysitter caring for two small children phoned their parents late in the evening to ask for permission to cover up the life-size clown statue in the corner of the family room.
"It's not that I don't like it," she said. "It just kind of freaks me out. I can't watch TV with that thing in the room." 

Their reaction freaked her out even more.

of 19

Lovers' Lane

Lovers' lane, Fort William Henry Hotel, Lake George, N.Y.

 Detroit Publishing Co.//

A teenage couple is parked late at night on lovers' lane. The boy gets out of the car, heading for the bushes to go to the bathroom, but he doesn't return. After waiting what seemed an eternity, his girlfriend finally hears what she thinks is his footsteps approaching. 

Only it's not footsteps. 

It's something scraping back and forth across the roof of the vehicle.

of 19

Aren't You Glad You Didn't Turn on the Light?

In the dark

 RFO "Ona"//Tumblr

As if any of us needs proof that scary things happen in the dark, this unnerving tale about a murderous madman lurking unseen in a dark dorm room proves that what you don't know can hurt you — even if, for the moment, it chooses to hide and wait.

of 19

The Vanishing Hitchhiker

Vanishing Hitchhiker
M. Eric Honeycutt/Vetta/Getty Images

As darkness fell, the honeymooners came upon a female hitchhiker in a tattered white dress. She begged them to take her home. They obliged. Then a strange thing happened as they pulled into the driveway of the address she had given them.

It was a moment they'd never forget.

of 19

The Russian Sleep Experiment

Russian Political Prisoners


Not long after the end of World War II, Russian researchers launched an experiment to test the effects of long-term sleep deprivation on human subjects. 

Five prison inmates were enlisted and promised their freedom if they could stay awake for 30 days and nights straight. The inmates were confined to a sealed chamber and exposed to a powerful stimulant gas. 

What could possibly go wrong?

of 19

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary
Alain Daussin/Image Bank/Getty Images

Five young girls stood before the bathroom mirror in the dim glow of candlelight, chanting together: "Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary." 

The thirteenth time they said it something very odd and very frightening happened.

Not all of the girls lived to tell the tale.
Some of those who did wish they hadn't.

of 19

The Spider Bite

Cerbalus aravaensis -- Middle Eastern Huntsman Spider

Mickey Samuni-Blank//WikiMedia Commons

While vacationing in a tropical clime, a young woman went sunbathing on the beach, soon falling asleep. She woke up a short while later and noticed a stinging sensation on her cheek. 

At first, she attributed the irritated patch of skin to sunburn, but it soon began to swell, growing into an unsightly boil. 

Except it wasn't a boil at all.

of 19

The Hook

Hook For A Hand
David Emery

A teenage boy drives his date to a dark and deserted lovers' lane for a make-out session. He turns the radio on, setting the mood and leaning in for a kiss. 

Suddenly the announcer's voice breaks through the music with a dire warning: "Ladies and gentleman, a convicted murderer has just escaped from a nearby asylum..."

of 19

The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs

Scared babysitter answering telephone
Nick Koudis/Photodisc/Getty Images

In this classic urban legend dating back to the 1960s, a young babysitter calls the police after receiving prank calls from a creepy stranger who keeps asking if she's checked the children. 

As she waits for police to arrive, the caller rings again -- this time tipping the babysitter to a terrifying realization.

of 19

Humans Can Lick, Too

dog with tongue out
Evan Kafka/Stone/Getty Images

There was once a beautiful young girl in a small town just south of Farmersburg. Her parents decided to go out one evening, leaving her home alone, protected by the faithful family dog.

"Lock all the doors," they said as they left. 

She did as she was told, nervous about being left alone, but confident that her faithful dog would protect her.

of 19

The Killer in the Window

silhouette of killer in the window
Carlos Gomez Bové/Getty Images

One cold, dark, wintry night, a 15-year-old girl babysitting her little sister while her parents attend a party curls up on the couch to watch TV. 

As she settles in, she notices a tall figure approaching the sliding glass door. Grabbing the phone to call for help, she looks back up to see a wrinkled old man standing, staring at her. He pulls a shiny, metallic object from his pocket, and...

of 19

Ants in the Brain

Ants swarm a sweet

 Zainichi Gaikokujin//WikiMedia Commons

A young boy complained of severe headaches and facial itching, so he was taken to a hospital. Upon examining him and taking X-rays of his skull, the doctor's discovery was a cautionary tale for anyone who dares to eat sweets in bed...

of 19

The Body Under the Bed

Man Looking Under the Bed
Ryan McVay / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Honeymooners notice a strange odor in their hotel suite and call the front desk to see if they can switch rooms. No, front desk advises, the hotel is full -- regrettably, they'll have to sleep at least one night in the smelly room. 

Housekeepers arrive the next morning to clean the room, making a grisly discovery no one would ever expect, but which they would also never forget.

of 19

The Fatal Hairdo

Woman with Beehive Hair Style
H. Armstrong Roberts / Retrofile / Getty Images

A stylish high school girl who has grown tired of spending hours a day teasing and lacquering her hair to attain the "beehive" hairdo so popular in the 1960s decides instead to wash it in sugar water and let it harden into the preferred style. Before going to bed each night, she wrapped a towel around her sugared hair and slept on a special pillow.

Then one morning she failed to come downstairs for breakfast...

of 19

The Choking Doberman

Doberman dog

A family comes home to find their Doberman Pinscher choking in the living room. They take the dog to an emergency veterinarian and return home, only to receive a frantic call from the vet, "Get out of the house. GET OUT NOW!" 

...but why??!

of 19

The Missing Bride

bride with bouquet walking out of church

Following a lavish wedding at a stately mansion, members of the wedding party launch a spirited game of hide-and-seek.

It doesn't take long before everyone is found.

Everyone, that is, except for the bride. 

Twenty-four hours later, amid an increasingly frantic and futile search, she's still missing. 

What happened to the bride?

of 19

The Knife in the Briefcase

Man With a Briefcase
Stockbyte/Getty Images

He helped her fix a flat tire, so giving him a ride instead of making him walk into the city seemed the least she could do. 

As she dropped him off at the corner of Third and Brine, her cell phone rang. She picked up the call, waving a distracted but grateful goodbye as he exited the car, ducking into a bodega.

Later that day, she finds the man has left his briefcase in the back seat of her car. She opens it and receives the shock of her life.

of 19

The Breast Infestation

Doctor consutation
Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Returning home from an expedition in South America, anthropologist Susan McKinley noticed a strange rash on her left breast. Not knowing what it was and not sure she was yet ready to learn, she dismissed it, believing that the unusual appearance would clear up in time. 

It didn't. 

When she finally saw a doctor, the diagnosis was more shocking than she could ever have imagined.

of 19

Bunny Man Bridge

Michael Hipple/Moment/Getty Images

Have you heard of Bunny Man Bridge? It's a secluded overpass near Clifton, Virginia. 

Many years ago, a deranged escapee from the local asylum took refuge there. 

That's when half-eaten rabbit carcasses started popping up everywhere. 

And then it was people.

Forget the Big Bad Wolf -- the one you should be afraid of is The Bunnyman.