3 True Urban Legends

Every year on and around Halloween, families and kids look forward to Trick-or-Treating, Halloween parties, haunted houses, and other festivities to celebrate this ancient Wiccan holiday. Every year we also hear about the urban legends told by someone who swears they’re true. They heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend, who – you get the idea.

The majority of urban legends are false. After all, how can Goat Man be real? There are a few such urban legends that do have some truth to them, and you should be worried.


Slender Man

The origins of Slender Man tie directly back to the forums of Something Awful, a humor site for people who enjoy joking about Dungeons & Dragons, tricky Photoshopping, and general prankery. On June 8, 2009 Slender Man was created by Victor Surge when he Photoshopped an image of a tall, shadowy figure with tentacles for arms haunting two small children.

Since then, Slender Man has taken on a proverbial life of its own and has now become a true urban legend. In some stories Slender Man preys solely on children, in others he kills indiscriminately, disemboweling his victims and bagging up their organs. Still in others, Slender Man simply compels his victims to kill each other.

That’s just what happened in Waukesha, WI on May 31, 2014. Two 12-year-old girls lured another 12-year-old girl, their friend, into the woods and stabbed her 19 times with a large kitchen knife, allegedly in order to impress Slender Man and prove he was real. The 12-year-old girl survived the attack but it goes to show – an urban legend doesn’t have to be based on ancient myth or story to be taken seriously and be given a life of its own.


The Hitchhiker

We’ve all heard the stories. A woman stops at a gas station to get gas, goes inside to get something and then drives away not realizing a murderous hitchhiker has stowed away and is hiding in her backseat. She doesn’t realize it until it’s too late and her body is found several days later in a ditch nearby.

Versions of this story almost always stay true to the hitchhiker’s target being female. Some versions tell of a Good Samaritan driving behind her flashing his headlights and trying to warn her. Other versions involve some sort of gang initiation. Either way, this is something that does happen, just not the way you think. A woman was strangled to death in her car just after dropping off her daughter at daycare. A man snuck into the backseat of her car while it was unattended and waited for her to return. Once she did, he killed her and escaped with her car.

The moral? Always lock your doors.


Poisoned Halloween Candy

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare and a child’s deepest fear. Who doesn’t enjoy rummaging through their bag of goodies at the end of a good Halloween night, but fears not waking up the next morning after eating a few pieces of candy. Most of these stories consist of hidden razor blades and lacing candy with poison. Though this doesn’t happen as often as one would think, it has happened. Please be vigilant about checking your child’s candy.

In 1974 Ronald Clark O’Bryan of Waco, TX laced pieces of candy with cyanide. He, however, was no stranger to his victims. O’Bryan was having serious financial troubles and decided his way out from under his mountain of debt was collecting on a $20,000 life insurance policy he had taken out on his children. He gave the poisoned candy to his son, daughter, and two other children. He helped his son, Timothy O’Bryan, ingest the cyanide-laced Pixie Stick. Timothy died as a result. O’Bryan was nicknamed “The Candyman”, and was caught and put to death via lethal injection.