All rumors and grand tales spark from some form of truth, at least that is what we're led to believe, and that is the most frightening idea of all. Scary rumors, such as urban legends seep into our minds and lay dormant until the noise in the dark or that shadow lurking behind us is too close. Who hasn't found themselves playing certain moments just a little safer when you think you can avoid conjuring the dark? That's why I never played 'Bloody Mary'... just in case. Y'all should follow suit.
Redditor u/knockerball wanted everyone to huddle up and share some scary tales by asking.... What is the creepiest or scariest folklore story you have heard and what from culture/region did it originate?
Hop Along Evil....
Pocong. They're wrapped corpses who hop because their feet are bound, and if one finds you it will follow you across the earth.
I made this post on mobile while trying to fall asleep (lmao) so I left out a LOT of stuff. I've read that it's an Indonesian/Singaporean ghost. A few people have already said it but they're wrapped for burial rites, and they're not malevolent in the slightest. They actually wander in search of someone to untie the top of the wrapping so they can pass on to the afterlife and once they find someone they will follow that particular person until untied. The Pocong is commonly described as having a pale green, shriveled and decaying face, with two deep empty holes where its eyes should be, and while it usually does the small hops it's capable of leaping 50 meters. Like someone else said, it can also fly or teleport. While not threatening and certainly not as scary as some things on this list, the Pocong has always been one of the creepiest/most unsettling thing I can imagine. owenbicker
The Man in Black....
My local english village has a large old mansion owned by a local family most of the rooms in the mansion haven't been touched for years (due to the size of the house) and the family refuse to go into them, partly due to the fact that theres' not enough people living in the house and partly due to hauntings.
The house apparently dates back to before the english civil war, and the family living there were a well known catholic family, so of course became a base for the king's soldiers (Cavaliers I think they were called). The king lost the civil war, and the family who live there say that they can hear the soldiers stomping around the hallways at night, and occasionally barking orders. They also claim theres a bunch of other ghosts, such as a veiled woman in black who only appears to you if you're ill in that house, a librarian who will shush people talking in the library room (yes its that big a house), a young girl who you can only see through some of the frosted glass doors in the house, banging noises and screaming coming from the sitting room at night, and finally a man dressed in black who wanders the gardens at midday. And these are just the few tales I remember.
Even if you don't believe in the ghosts theres still tonnes of creepy stuff about that house, such as tiny rooms hidden everywhere for priests to hide in (known as priest holes), a hidden room below the house that leads out to a nearby river, and hidden passageways all around the house. T_h_e_s_a_u_s_a_g_e
The Ring in Reverse?
An old Japanese lady told me this story. If you have two mirrors facing each other so the reflections make a tunnel, then you light a candle between them. If you look down the tunnel you'll see a demon putting out the candle in the mirrors as it gets closer by jumping forward a reflection every time you look away, and if it gets to you, it grabs you and pulls you into the mirror to become a demon and pull the next victim in. boredguy12
The Clothing Witch?
"If you hear the scream of a livid woman who is determined to kill you, strip your outer layer of clothing where you stand and sprint because the mountain witch will take your clothes as a tribute."
Adirondack mountains growing up. Turns out it was mountain lions. Way scarier than a witch. MothMonsterMan300
Get out of the Water!
When I was little my Grandma told me Kappas would pull your guts outta your butthole if you swam in the river too long. Legend from Japan obviously. Kappa are still creepy to me. japanesechallenged
Beware the Springs!
My hometown is named for the freshwater springs that bubble up everywhere in the woods around town. Obviously this was a perk for early people living there, and so the original settlers were surprised to see that the local Ojibwe avoided the area. They did this because they had a folk memory about a bad spirit that possessed members of the tribe (starting with children) and compelled them to enter into the springs and drown themselves.
Naturally they have a prophecy about it, too; one day or another, they say, "the springs will open again." ChanceList
The Parched Frog!
When I lived in an Australian outback town in the middle of nowhere our Indigenous Studies teacher, who is Aboriginal, loved to tell us stories. She scared all the first graders straight by telling us never to go out into the desert alone, because there lives a monster who is always thirsty. He's always trying to find water, but never can because it hardly rains. So when plump and juicy children become lost in the desert, he jumps on them and drinks all their blood. All he leaves behind are the dry husks of children for their parents to find.
I am sure she was just trying to deter us from wandering off into the bushland, but it left a memorable imprint. I've forgotten the monster's name. Another popular Aboriginal tale is the Tiddalik. Tiddalik was a giant frog who drank all the water in the world. As the other creatures began to die from thirst, they plotted to make Tiddalik laugh. Everyone failed except Nabunum, the eel, who dance and tied himself into knots. Tiddalik laughed uproariously, releasing all the water and filling the rivers and lakes. Many of the creatures drowned in the process or were left stranded on new islands. The concept of a giant, laughing frog scared the cookies off me as a six year old. manlikerealities
Fire in the Fields....
A bald man who comes at night to set fire to corn fields. You do not want him to get ahold of you, for he'll destroy your throat. People in Mexico call him El Pelón Quema Maiz. testoblerone
From ear to ear...
There's a Japanese ghost of a woman who wears a mask who approaches young children asking them if they thought she was beautiful. If the child answers yes, she removes her mask and asks again. This time her true nature is shown, having her mouth slit from ear to ear. If the child says no, she kills them. If the child says yes again, much in Japanese ghost fashion, she follows them home and kills them. Nixiey
Do you hear what I hear?
Our village has one called 'bilaas.' What makes it creepy is that she isn't some obscure, unidentified being, people know women who are called bilaas, they have normal families and stuff. So she's literally living amongst you. She stalks people at night, that's when she's usually in a ghoulish form, feet turned backwards and crap. She gets sick a day before someone in the vicinity is about to die, and then becomes very healthy the day they do die. She can turn into different creatures and attack you while you're alone. Then you will fall sick and if she visits you in her human form while you're sick, you'll die. And you can't refuse her coming in Sounds silly, and it is, but it is still creepy.
And there's another one about music of the dead. Our traditional music has flutes and some forms of drums in it. It's said that people will often hear the music coming from the distance, but the flute will be missing. You're supposed to ignore it because that's the music of dead/other worldly beings. If you don't ignore it, then they'll notice you too.
We have a lot of weird stuff like that, I guess people had to have good stories to keep themselves entertained. roronoazoroasura