We can laugh at Bigfoot believers and Loch Ness loyalists all we want, but if they ever turn out to be right, we’re going to look like idiots. Oh, how the tables would turn.
And it wouldn’t be the first time. Here are a few urban legends that people once thought were bogus, but actually ended up being true.
The Green Man
If you’re from western Pennsylvania, then you may know about the legends surrounding The Green Man, also known as Charlie No Face. As the legend goes, a man with green skin stalked the night because he was too hideous to be seen during the day. You can imagine everyone’s terror when they realized he was real.
His name was Raymond Robinson. When Robinson was a boy in the early 1900s, he was disfigured by an electrical line on Morado Bridge. He was so deformed, in fact, that he spent his days inside in an effort to avoid frightening people. At night, Robinson could be seen taking long walks down Route 351. Local teenagers figured it out, so they started giving him beer and cigarettes.
Elmer McCurdy’s Body
Elmer McCurdy was killed in a shootout with police after robbing a train in 1911. Throughout the 1920s, sideshows displayed what they claimed to be McCurdy’s mummified body. In 1976, the body found its way to an amusement park in Long Beach, where it was used as a prop.Someone accidentally broke a finger off the body, and to the surprise of everyone around, it revealed a human bone. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that it really was the robber’s body.
The Dog Boy of Arkansas
The Dog Boy of Arkansas kept a secret shelter full of dogs that he tortured, and some people believed that the boy was actually part canine. In reality, Gerald Floyd Bettis was just an abuser and a bully. Throughout his childhood and into early adulthood, Bettis imprisoned his parents in the back room of their own house, only feeding them when he wanted them to be fed as if they were dogs. In the end, he was arrested, released, and eventually found dead.
Staten Island’s Real-Life Boogeyman
Staten Island has its own version of the boogeyman, and he goes by the name of Cropsey, who’s said to lure children into the woods and kill them. Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, many children in the area had gone missing, which eventually led police to a man named Andre Rand, who worked at a children’s mental institution. Rand was convicted for kidnapping two children, but people believe that he actually took more.
The Halloween Decoration
Seeing a woman hanging from a noose is usually enough to get people’s attention, but because this particular hanging happened on Halloween, adults and children completely ignored it for hours. A 42-year-old woman in Frederica, Delaware, hung herself from a tree. Despite being seen by passersby, it took three hours for someone to call the police. People later claimed that they thought it was a Halloween decoration.
Urban legends often feed off of local superstitions, but real stories often end up being even more unsettling than the folktales they inspire.
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