The 20 Scariest Urban Legends

Urban legends are rarely strictly, factually true, but they do reveal important truths about our deepest, darkest fears. Embracing these fears by sharing them in a group is a way of confronting and coping with what we’re afraid of. So on some dark night, maybe around a campfire, during a sleepover, or just a quiet evening with friends, try telling one of these tales of terror…if you dare!

01
of 20

THE CLOWN STATUE

Scary Clown

Willi Schubert / EyeEm / Getty Images

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.More »

02 of 20

THE DEAD BOYFRIEND

The Dead Boyfriend

Color Day Production/The image Bank/Getty Images

A teenage couple is parked late at night on lovers’ lane. The boy gets out of the car and heads for the bushes to go to the bathroom, but doesn’t return. After waiting what seems like an eternity, his girlfriend finally hears what she thinks are his footsteps approaching. Only it’s not footsteps. It’s something scraping back and forth across the roof of the vehicle. More »

03 of 20

AREN’T YOU GLAD YOU DIDN’T TURN ON THE LIGHT?

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

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

As if we needed proof that scary things happen in the dark, this unnerving tale about a murderous madman lurking unseen in a dark dormitory bedroom proves that sometimes what you don’t know can hurt you — even if it chooses for the moment to hide and wait. More »

04 of 20

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. More »

05 of 20

THE RUSSIAN SLEEP EXPERIMENT

Russian Sleep Experiment

James Bruntz/Moment/Getty Images

Not long after the end of World War II, Russian researchers conducted an experiment in which five prison inmates were confined in a sealed chamber and exposed to a powerful stimulant gas to test the effects of long-term sleep deprivation on human subjects. The inmates had been promised their freedom if they could stay awake for 30 days straight. What could possibly go wrong? More »

06 of 20

BLOODY MARY

Bloody Mary

Alain Daussin/Image Bank/Getty Images

Five young girls stood before the bathroom mirror in dim 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 through it. Some of those who did wished they hadn’t. More »

07 of 20

THE SPIDER BITE

Laurie Noble/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

While vacationing in a tropical clime, a young woman went sunbathing on the beach and fell 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, then it began to swell and grew into an unsightly boil. Except it wasn’t a boil. More »

The 20 Scariest Urban Legends

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