20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are True

The Texarkana Moonlight Murders

The Texarkana Moonlight Murder... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are (Mostly) True
Photo:  American International Pictures

A series of murders that occurred in the Texarkana region of the Texas/Arkansas border in 1946 is most certainly one of the catalysts for lover’s lane urban legends (the hook hand, hanging boyfriend, etc). In a period of three months, (an) unknown criminal(s) murdered five people and seriously injured three more in attacks on couples in their cars and homes.

Most historians believe The Phantom Killer (the mysterious perpetrator of the crimes) was able to get in and out of town without being caught thanks to a railway hub that once sat in the middle of Texarkana. Regardless of where the killer went, the city owns its legacy. Every year, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, a ’70s exploitation movie about the killings, is shown in Spring Lake Park, where most of the crimes took place.

The Hinterkaifeck Murders

The Hinterkaifeck Murders is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are (Mostly) True
Photo: Andreas Biegleder/Public Domain

You know that urban legend about a killer hiding in a family’s home for weeks, learning their movements, and waiting for the opportune moment to kill them in their sleep? Well, get freaked out, because it actually happened to family in 1922, in the rural town of Hinterkaifeck, in Bavaria, Germany.

The story begins six months prior to the murder of the Gruber family, when the maid quit because she believed the family’s house was haunted. When a new maid was brought on, she mentioned hearing footsteps in the attic. More bizarre things happened that winter – footprints in the snow leading from the woods to the house appeared one day, as did a strange newspaper, found in the house. Someone tried to break into a tool shed on the farm, too. But in the end, nothing seemed to come of it.

At least not until March 6, 1922, when each family member was lured to the barn, where they were killed one by one with a mattock. The bodies were discovered a week later, and the crime was never solved. If that weren’t creepy enough, the weekend of the murders, neighbors reported that someone fed the cows and let the dog out, and smoke was seen rising from the chimney.

Spitman Pays for Watersports and Footjobs in London Council Estates
Spitman Pays for Watersports a... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are (Mostly) True
Photo:  Channel 4

A character known as Spitman (linked video has some NSFW material) haunts the urban council estates of West London, where he pays teenage boys and young men for bizarre sexual favors, which range from garden variety water sports (Spitman likes to be pissed on) to all manner of foot fetishism (he enjoys simply being rubbed by bare feet).

Marlon Tavares made a Vice documentary on the subject, after overhearing talk of Spitman at a pizza place. In the short, various anonymous young men talk about the things they’ve done for Spitman, and how it works; he gives out a fiver (£5; about $6.50) every three minutes while the favors last. According to Tavares, there were whispers of Spitman’s debauchery reaching back decades.

Is it possible there have been multiple iterations of Spitman over the years? Something similar happened in Philadelphia in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Ted Bundy’s Trip to Florida

Ted Bundy's Trip to Florida is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are (Mostly) True
Photo: Donn Dughi/State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory/Public Domain

Everyone knows Ted Bundy was a heinous serial killer who would pretend to have a broken leg in order to trick women into approaching him. But in his final crime spree before he was arrested, Bundy brutally ripped through an Florida State University sorority, attacking four women in 15 minutes, and killing two of them. If there weren’t reams of evidence for Bundy’s trip to Florida, during which he also smashed a dancer’s skull, ruining her equilibrium and destroying her career, and tried to assault a 14-year-old girl before her older brother showed up, it would sound like something college freshmen tell each other on Halloween.

Stalker Hides Under Teen Girl&... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are (Mostly) True
Photo:  20th Century Fox

If you’ve ever wanted to live in a real-life horror movie, get jealous, because this girl did it. In July 2014, a teenager living in Ellesmere Port, England received texts from a random creeper named Kyle Ravensport, who claimed he was watching her. Ravensport also told the girl he would hang himself outside her window, so she would wake up to see his dead body swaying in the breeze.

Over the course of his creepezoid texting spree, Ravensport scared the girl so badly she slept in her mom’s room that night. Good thing, because the next morning she discovered Ravensport sleeping under her bed. Heinous.

Man Dies from Atomic Wedgie

Man Dies from Atomic Wedgie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are (Mostly) True
Photo: National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office/Public Domain

Stories of kids dying from atomic wedgies are about as believable as that story of a guy dying from breathing his own farts. However, as it turns out, at least one unlucky wedgie recipient died from the childish prank. In December 2013, Brad Lee Davis and his stepdad, Denver Lee St. Clair, got into an argument that culminated with Davis giving St. Clair an atomic wedgie so brutal he was choked to death by the elastic band on his manties.

Davis, a former Marine, pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter in 2015. As per an article in The Oklahoman, “The man who killed his stepfather with an ‘atomic wedgie’ told a judge Wednesday, ‘It’s like a bad dream.'”

20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are True

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