Thursday, October 27, 2011

Local Urban Legends

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Today's question:

In the spirit of Halloween (muah-ah-ah) we're talking about local urban legends today! What are some of yours?

Our answers:

Sara: Bunny Man Bridge!! So, about fifteen minutes from where I live is a place called Clifton, where a lot of my friends in high school lived. There's an ancient urban legend about a Bunny Man, which sounds a WHOLE lot cuter than it actually is. There are lots of different twists, but they all revolve around a guy who wears a bunny costume and carries around an axe to attack anyone he runs into.

The specific spot, is a one-lane road that passes underneath a railroad track. It's surrounded by woods and is totally creepy. See?

Except when I was younger, it was totally covered in all this
creepy (and awesome) graffiti! Now it's painted over.
And the story goes that if you drive through the tunnel and over the wooden bridge just past it, and looking your rearview mirror, you'll see the ghost of someone hanging from the end of the tunnel. I've driven through the tunnel (not by myself, clearly) but I've never had the guts to turn around! And one time I was on a double date and the boys thought it'd be funny to force the girls out of the car and leave us there for five minutes by ourselves. Needless to say, neither one got a second date. Also, here's a link to the "real" legend. Though, don't be too scared. It's pretty much false :)

Copil: While Virginia has a number of interesting urban legends, including The Bunny Man and The Richmond Vampire, I'm partial to legends that defy geographical boundaries. For example, many states have some version of the Midgetville legend or the fabled Town of Little People. The story goes that there's a part of town few people have ever visited because of the impossible creatures sighted in the surrounding woods (elves, giants, two-headed beasts, gainfully employed Medieval History Majors - super-creepy stuff like that). Inevitably, some intrepid reporter will venture out to the mysterious neighborhood and find clean, orderly rows of picture perfect, half-scale homes and tidy lawns. After knocking on some doors, the reporter is shocked to find the town populated by little people, bearded ladies, a lobster boy, a strongman and other circus performers laid off when a nearby circus went bankrupt. Unwilling to tolerate the mean-spirited gossips in town, the circus folk build their own community in an out-of-the-way cul-de-sac. The reporter gets a reluctant interview only after pinky-swearing not to divulge the exact location of the town.

I'll give you the GPS coordinates for five bucks.

Cambria: There's an old abandoned mental institution in Ellicott City, MD that was shut down a long time ago after authorities found out about these crazy experiments they were doing on the patients there. There's a road that runs right by it that we call Seven Hills because, well, it has seven hills you have to drive over. The story is that if you slow down or stop on any part of that road, the ghosts of the tortured mental patients will kill you as retribution for the suffering they went through when they were alive. Needless to say, we used to drive really REALLY fast over Seven Hills when we were teenagers!

So, anyone up for a road trip? :)

Alexandra: The town I went to college in is pretty haunted, and there are many stories I could tell. But I'll stick to my favorite. Like Cam's, this story has to do with a haunted former insane asylum. While the asylum still housed patients, a deaf and dumb woman got lost in the attic. She couldn't find her way down, and she couldn't scream for help. She also couldn't hear the staff calling for her as they looked, and they never thought to look in the attic. Legend has it that she took off all her clothes, folded them up, and then lay down to die. As her body decomposed, she left a stain on the floor that won't come out. If you dare venture into the attic of the asylum and touch the stain, she'll haunt you forever.

Karen: At the southern end of Fort Desoto beach in St Petersburg, FL, if and when the moon is shining just right, you can see and hear mermaids in the waves, searching for human playmates. But they aren’t kind, pretty, Disney-ish mermaids. Observers have reported that they sing wordless songs, their skin looks like parchment paper, and their eyes are hollow and haunting. If you stare and listen long enough they’ll lure you into the ocean then try to take you under with them. They don’t care that humans can’t breathe underwater, so, um, you can figure out how that story would end. A few years ago photos circulated saying this mermaid skeleton washed up on shore, but turns out the body (artistic work) was created by artist, Juan Cabana. You can find lots of creepy looking mer-corpses on his website.

I may or may not have walked Fort Desoto beach at night looking for these mermaids.

And I may or may not have seen one.

Your turn!


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