Image: Carved by The-nightsister on Deviantart (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Growing up, most of us have already experienced camping out in the woods with our friends and family. A favorite pastime to do while out camping is gathering around a fire and listening to stories from each other. Smores and hot drinks make the experience warm and cozy.

So what exactly is an urban legend? By definition, an urban legend is a somewhat true story or has something that will make its listeners think hard. An urban legend doesn’t necessarily have to be scary. A particular trait that all urban legends share is that they get passed down to their listeners for them to tell it to others.

Because of the sharing, it gets, these urban legends often have twists and variations according to the storyteller’s preference or background. In this article, we’ll discuss the spookiest, scariest, mind-numbing urban legends. Oh, did we forget to say that urban legends don’t have to be scary? Yes? Let’s begin:

Bloody Mary

No list about urban legends would be complete without the infamous “Bloody Mary” urban legend. If you’re one of the rare ones that haven’t heard of Mary and her legend, here’s a brief overview of it:

“When a person goes inside a bathroom and stares at the mirror, preferably around midnight, they have a chance encounter to meet Bloody Mary. However, you only get to see her when you chant”Bloody Mary” repeatedly. No one exactly knows what happens when you see her, as no one ever did come back to tell the tale.”

Bloody Mary, Illustration by Daniella Urdinlaiz (CC BY 2.0)

Depending on the variation of the urban legend, Bloody Mary may or may not appear after chanting her name. Some differences often specify something else to be done. If she does appear, she can either be benign or malevolent. If you’re still wondering, then maybe you could try it later. Or maybe not.


Each country has its fair share of urban legends, and Japan has an abundance when it comes to horror stories. Kuchisake-onna is probably one of the scariest urban legends you’ll ever hear. As the legend goes, Kuchisake-onna was the unfaithful wife of a well-known samurai. As punishment for her crimes, the samurai slit the corners of her mouth up to her ears.

In other variations, Kuchisake-onna was a beautiful woman who was a victim of dental procedure that left her horrible look. The urban legend of Kuchisake-onna is malevolent. When someone is unfortunate enough to meet her, Kuchisake-onna asks the person if she’s
pretty or not.

When you say “No,” the evil spirit brings out a pair of giant scissors to kill you. If the person answers “Yes” Kuchisake-onna takes off her mask and shows you her grisly appearance and asks you again. If you still say yes, she’ll use her scissors to make you look like her. If you say no, she uses the scissors to cut you in half.

You can counter her by answering “You’re average” or if you give her money or hard candies. You can also say the word “pomade” three times to confuse her and give you time to run away. Hey, at least we can run away from her.

999 Instant Charge

See? Not all urban legends were made to scare people. The 999 phone charging myth is a popular urban legend wherein dialing “999” on your mobile phone when you’re running low on power can instantly charge it up. British police officers tried this myth and debunked it as false. They actually tried doing an urban legend?

Skeleton in a tree

This urban legend tells of a Captain Roger Vandberg and his skeleton being found inside a huge tree at Fort Recovery, Mercer County, Ohio. Aside from the skeleton, Captain Roger’s diary can also be found inside the tree. Myths and legends like these are from regional areas
all over the U.S. You can find other lists of haunted places on to know more.

The Licked Hand

Known as the “Doggy Lick or Humans Can Lick Too,” this urban legend is famous for teenagers. If you don’t know the story then read on:

A girl is finally home from work or school, and the only companion she has with her inside her house is her pet dog. As she turns on the T.V., she gets to see news of a serial killer running loose. As a precaution, the girl makes sure that every window and door is locked to keep her safe during the night.

Before she goes to bed, she lets her dog stay inside her bedroom. The girl eventually falls asleep. Initially, she is slightly woken by the dog licking her hand. She pays no attention to it and continues to sleep.

Come morning, she wakes up to see her dog, skinned and hanging from the ceiling. As she screams in horror, she sees a message on the wall, written with her dog’s blood, saying, “HUMANS CAN LICK TOO.”


Urban Legends are an excellent way to pass the time. They’re also a good way to scare your listeners whenever you want to tell a scary story. Urban legends don’t have to be scary, some like the 999 phone charger myth was made to fool people. However, urban legends such as Bloody Mary and “The Licked Hand” story are enough to keep young and old audiences alike a good scare.

Written by Noriel of Mysterious Heartland


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