There's nothing quite like a good urban legend to put a chill into your bones. One of my favorites? The story about the babysitter and the man upstairs. You know the one. The creepy phone calls begin. The words, "Have you checked on the children?" Unnerving stuff. It's that story that gave us movies like Black Christmas and When a Stranger Calls. I still get a chill up my spine when I think about that story.
It's not just murderers either. Monsters, spirits... Urban legends––and folklore as a whole––have for time immemorial been a part of our consciousness.
After Redditor BeardedDragonzRMine asked the online community, "What monster/urban legend is in your town?" people shared their stories.
"When I was in middle school..."
The Jersey Devil. When I was in middle school my grade went on a trip to a camp in the Pine Barrens where the jersey devil presumably is. I cried when my parents said they didn't want me to go.
The Pine Barrens is a freaky place.
Don't believe me? Watch that one episode of The Sopranos.
"She's the mistress..."
La Llorona. She's the mistress of a Spanish conquistador. When he left her to return to his wife, she went mad from grief and drowned the two children she had out of wedlock with him and killed herself. She arrived at the entrance to Heaven and God asked her what she did with her children. She lied and said she didn't know. So God doomed her to forever wander the Earth looking for their bodies.
This one is a classic.
And there has yet to be a good movie made about her.
"If you're canoeing..."
We have a river that's popular for canoes and paddle boats. Some kids stole a paddle boat one night from the rental place, flipped it over, and drowned.
If you're canoeing on the river and see what looks like an abandoned teal-colored paddle boat with a boat rental decal stuck in the weeds on the river bank, don't approach it. If you report the sighting to the boat rental place they won't bother sending someone out to recover it, because they know the boat won't be there when they arrive.
"He grew up in the Everglades..."
My hometown has the Skunk Ape. A distant cousin to the Sasquatch. He grew up in the Everglades and had long matted, moss-covered fur. Stinks like a skunk. Has been seen crossing back roads in the middle of the night and disappearing into the darkness
Not something I'd want to run into at night.
I've seen enough horror films to know that the one rule is to keep driving.
"All of my neighbors..."
I live in West Africa near a rainforest. All of my neighbors believe there is a "giant pangolin" that lives in the forest (bigger than a man). There have even been some cryptozoologists that have come out to try to find it.
"Rumors of a murderous faceless man..."
Rumors of a murderous faceless man roaming the streets at night were based on a real-life person who'd suffered an extreme accident that destroyed his face. He wasn't, as it turns out, a murderer; he walked at night because he wanted to get fresh air and be left alone.
Well, that ended well.
No reason to spread a rumor about the guy if all he wanted was to enjoy a walk by himself!
"People that cross the bridge..."
I live in St. Petersburg, Florida and the urban legend here has to do with the Skyway Bridge. There have been about 200 suicides. People that cross the bridge claim to see a blonde woman standing in the middle of the road and even sitting in the backseats of their cars. Caring people that got out of their car to help the woman claim that she vanished into thin air. I have crossed the bridge a couple of times and have not seen any sort of thing. I guess she was one of the people that took their own lives by jumping off the 200-foot drop into the water or died when the bridge collapsed ages ago.
"A headless French soldier..."
A headless French soldier from the Napoleonic time is said to ride in our local forest at night. It is an older legend.
"Here in southern Wisconsin..."
Here in southern Wisconsin, we have the Beast of Bray Road, a large canid/werewolf creature that's been sighted several times.
This one has had a crappy movie about it.
The SyFy channel is great like that.
"Years and years ago..."
The White Lady. Years and years ago this woman's daughter got kidnapped by a man and disappeared into the woods of one of our parks. She went out with her dog, searching and searching but never found her. Eventually, the White Lady disappeared as well. For hundreds of years, people claimed to see her ghost and the dog's ghost wandering the park at night. And any man would get chased into the lake by her ghost. Four years ago we had a major windstorm that did a lot of tree damage and this actually happened Scary coincidence?
Creeped out yet?
If not, get to reading. The Dúllahan, a scary headless creature from Irish folklore, beckons. I personally wouldn't want to run into the berbelangs, vampirish creatures that feature in Filipino culture and that are said to dig up graves to feast on corpses.
Have some of your stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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Advancements in science happen every day in every way.
But often it feels like we are still so far behind.
How have we not cured so many diseases?
Shouldn't we know more about space?
What is Jello really made of?
So much to ponder and understand.
Maybe one day.
We all have a bucket list of what we'd like to see cured or invented before our last breaths.
Redditor yoda2060wanted to discuss all the science that needs to be devoured before the sand runs out of the hourglass. They asked:
"What scientific achievement you would like to see before you die?"
Life is infinite and we'll never know everything that is possible. But let's dream of what could be...
MiraclesMood Grandma GIFGiphy
"Cure for Alzheimer's. It sucks."
"I want to see us grow hearts, kidneys, livers, etc... In labs and end the need for donations and waiting lists for transplants."
"I waited for a heart/bilateral lung transplant for over a year and I spent 8 months living in the hospital waiting for it. You’re basically waiting for someone to die."
"Which feels all kinds of wrong… but my therapist (all transplant patients sees a transplant therapist) kept reminding me that me needing a heart and lungs doesn’t cause someone to die…"
"And what made even harder was that my mom died of Covid about 5 weeks before my transplant happened. So while I was praying and hoping so hard my mom wouldn’t die… I was also praying for my transplant to happen. I had a lot of mixed and confusing feelings. My transplant happened last November."
"Idiot Bottom Line"
"To build an environment friendly world."
"That depends entirely on how far you want to go with 'environmentally friendly.' Some amateurish pseudo-intellectuals will say that humanity itself is devastating the planet by it's very existence so we'll call that the 'Idiot Bottom Line."'
"So you have to find an acceptable level above that to declare environmentally friendly. For example can we still have hear exchangers? Space debris? Artificial Electromagnetic radiation? There has to be a level before you can declare such and so far no one agrees."
“20 years, tops”
"Viable nuclear fusion."
"Nuclear Astrophysicist here. I know the joke is that we been saying '20 years, tops' for 50 years now - who do you think came up with that joke? But seriously, we are really close."
"We need a reaction that is self-sustaining and puts out more energy than we put in. We can easily do a reaction that’s one or the other, just getting one that’s both is hard. And with recent updates to the Greenwald limit we found some relatively minor tweaks that doubles previous theoretical max output."
Deep Withinblack hole animation GIF by rotomanglerGiphy
"Figuring out what Dark Matter is, solving the mysteries of black holes. Proper thorough investigation of our own oceans."
So far, so interesting. We have so much to learn.
let me dream...news tech GIFGiphy
"Prosthetic limbs and organs that can work just as well as real ones. Affordably too. A cure for total nerve damage. Carbon neutral liquid fuel. FTL travel (let me dream)."
"Making contact with another intelligent species in another solar system."
"That's probably not going to happen. I'd be overjoyed though if we discovered even just microbial life in the oceans of Europa or Enceladus. They'd be the first true extra-terrestrials ever encountered."
"If we had teleports then we might also have other technologies integrated with it like instant dental work, instant food, instant surgery, things just unthinkable without the technology but before the steam engine travel was by horse so they could not imagine traveling cross country in any other way besides ships. Maybe with teleports we wouldn't need energy, just an infinite loop of the first spark."
Sickness be gone...
"Cure for all cancer forms."
"I approached a nursing assistant with the question. They could describe it as trying to go after the stick of a lollipop. The treatments are mostly concerned with favors, not sticks. If they can discover a way to deal with the stick, then you may be able to treat cancer from there."
"I think it is important to add that there won’t be ONE cure to all cancers. Cancer is such a broad spectrum of diseases that sometimes have next to nothing in common. But hopefully we will keep getting the survival rates up with different medications for different cancer types."
SimplicityGet Ready Pain GIF by Rodney DangerfieldGiphy
"Solve back pain please. We can do crazy sh*t like nuclear bombs, new fancy vaccines and space exploration, yet we don't have a solution to one of the biggest and most common ailments that existed though all of humanity."
I want to see all of this happen! Fingers crossed.
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Fast fashion is terrible for the environment, one of the largest polluters of clean water globally because of its all too common use of cheap, toxic textile dyes.
It also places producers under more and more pressure to manufacture more and more clothes on masse–the people working in the factories that make this stuff are being paid a pittance, contributing to much of the wealth inequality in less developed nations.
Additionally, it's estimated that the textiles industry produces 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 per year and that just two percent of all fast fashion emissions can be reduced through recycling. Ouch. Time to change habits, right?
People shared their thoughts on this and other topics after Redditor urmomsucked asked the online community,
"What should people seriously stop buying?"
"Pets they can’t take care of."
I have known several people who got puppies, decided they couldn't handle them, and dumped them. It's rage-inducing.
"Nestle products. Literally the most evil company currently in business. Unfortunately it's really hard to tell what brands they own."
Nestle is responsible for the deaths of babies in undeveloped nations. It's sick.
"Designer clothes and accessories with logos slapped all over them. It wastes your money and makes you look idiotic."
The funny thing is, the designer clothes/accessories with logos slapped all over them are typically the cheapest options from said designer.
"Simple syrup. It’s sugar water with an $8 price tag."
It's easy enough to make your own. Your iced tea will never be the same again.
"Cheap belts. A quality leather belt will last you decades."
I have a few (quality leather belts, that is) and they've lasted for years and years. Can confirm.
"Cigarettes. To anyone reading this, please just don't start even if it's out of curiosity. I'm 20 years deep into this and it's hell."
Smoking is a brutal addiction to break. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed rules prohibiting menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars to stop young people from picking up the habit.
"Fast fashion. Garment workers get paid s*it, the environment suffers and you look like everybody else on the street with no personality or sense of individualism."
This should be up at the top. The environmental impact is terrible.
"Unnecessarily large vehicles..."
"Unnecessarily large vehicles, which they'll then inevitably complain cost too much to fill the gas tank."
Gas guzzlers need to go. It's far past time that they be phased out.
"Anything advertised on Instagram. It’s a scam and those influencers are just making it look cheap AF."
Or just avoid Instagram in general. That would solve a lot.
"New phones when their current is just as good."
You've got that right. People buy a new one for the hell of it without even thinking about it.
It's pretty clear that many of us need to change our habits now. Our wallets will thank us later.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
If you make too many funny faces, your face will stay that way permanently.
Watch too much tv and your eyes will fall out.
Break a mirror and it's seven years of bad luck.
These are among the many myths and superstitions we heard as children, more often than not from our parents and teachers as a way of scaring us into behaving.
But while there is not one ounce of truth to any of these tall tales, there are many who still believe them, and many more.
Redditor RedditPersonIf was curious to learn what superstitions people continue to believe are true, leading them to ask:
"What myths are obviously false, yet most people still believe they are true?"
When they fly the coop...
"If you take care of a baby bird, the mother won’t want it anymore because it’ll smell like a human."- GreatXs
No amount of fiber can help you
"If you swallow gum, it'll stay in your digestive tract for 7 years."- stinky_cheese33
It was every other subjects he had trouble with
"Albert Einstein failed math in school."- Nothingreallyendalbert einstein GIFGiphy
Though it does make shampooing easier
"Shaving your hair will make the hair grow back thicker.'- RunWithScissorsss
Sleep with your mouth closed
"The amount of spiders you eat while being asleep."- pantsofafatman
"That you are supposed to pee on a jellyfish sting to ease the pain."- Actuarybajellyfish burn GIF by Monterey Bay AquariumGiphy
"Bulls not liking the color red."
"Bulls are partially color blind and can only see yellow, green, blue, and violet."- Rogurzz
Call a Lyft instead
"Coffee, speed, and uppers sober you up."
"Too drunk to drive?"
"Now you're drunk AND on drugs, you just don't feel the effects of the booze but your motor skills, reaction time and decision making are all still drunk AF."- kirkrjordan
Best let nature run its course
"The damn alpha wolf."
"It was one study under captivity, the poor researcher made it his life's work to try and set it right."
"If you want a brutal hierarchy where everyone pecks down, what you're looking for is chickens."- raxeira-etterathdog lol GIF by Regal CinemasGiphy
Give this one some thought
"We can only use 10% of our brain."- UnbearableHuman
A little bit of research will clear up any doubt you have on these old superstitions and beliefs.
And for anyone who helped out a friend who got stung by a jellyfish, no need to be embarrassed.
Who hasn't looked at a scarf someone knitted for a loved one, a flawless homemade birthday cake, or an immaculately planted garden and thought, "I wish I could do that"?
But you'd never dare try to attempt it yourself, knowing that it's well beyond your personal skill set.
But is it?
Intimidating as they may seem, some skills might be deceptively easier than they appear to be, or might come more naturally to you than to many others.
Redditor halfmoon599 was curious to hear what skills people believed to be much easier than they seem, leading them to ask:
"What skill is actually easier to learn than what other people think?"
Everyone can be ambidextrous!
"I'm left handed and and I wanted to learn to write with my right hand."
"it was much easier than I thought and now I can write with it making it look somewhat decent."- JE3V4N_
"Using your off hand skillfully."
"I worked on this when I owned a woodworking business and it has helped so many times over the years."- karg_the_fergus
Should you ever forget your keys...
"Picking a lock."
"It only takes about 1 or 2 hours to learn, contrary to popular belief." - DifficultAd5113frustrated frustration GIFGiphy
Can't get to the genius stand? No problem!
"It's just a lot of googling and YouTubing."- theassassintherapist
"Basic IT troubleshooting."- usmarine7041
You'll have a blanket done in no time!
"It looked really difficult to me but I was really pleased how easy it was to pick up."
"Especially with YouTube tutorials."- geeltulpenCrochet GIF by Twin_MadeGiphy
But do get a license first...
"Flying a small airplane is actually very simple."
"It's everything else like weather and flight planning, emergency mindfulness, airspace and traffic, and confidence in yourself that gets tricky, but any person with eyeballs and a pulse could fly a plane."- Clyde-MacTavish
With practice, of course
"Parallel parking."- Feels2old
Give your arms a rest!
"It takes just 10-20 minutes a day for 3-10 days.'
"Find a railing you can lean on to start."
"At some point, you'll be able to let go and ride!'- Vegan_BTW_VRJuggling Unicycle GIF by Derek TeeGiphy
... Is it though?...
"Driving a stick shift."- fantazja1
Next time you think, "aw, I wish I could do that," rather than keep wishing, why not just give it a try?