Creepy Urban Legends From Each State

When there's something strange in your neighborhood ...

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A praying statue kneels on top of a tomb in New Orleans under moody skies.  High point of view to contain the cemetery landscape in the background.

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A praying statue kneels on top of a tomb in New Orleans under moody skies. High point of view to contain the cemetery landscape in the background.

Photo by: Amanda Cotton

Amanda Cotton

Get ready for Halloween with a comprehensive list of some of the creepiest urban legends from around the country.

Alaska

According to Inuit legend, the Qalupalik is a woman-like creature with long hair and long nails who lives in the water and tries to lure children in so she can kidnap them.

Alabama

There’s a dead children’s playground next to the Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville, where swings move on their own, and abducted children may have been buried in the 1960s.

Arkansas

A Hot Springs theatre is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman in the audience who vanished during a performance in the late 1800s. She was never seen again, but some say they’ve heard her scream when the theatre is empty.

Arizona

Arizona has its own version of Bigfoot called the Mogollon Monster. It’s said to be more than 7 feet tall with deep-set red eyes and very long fur. Sightings date back to 1908.

California

The spirit of early 1900s actress Peg Entwistle haunts the Hollywood sign and the surrounding area. Legend has it she committed suicide by jumping off the large H after a bad review of one of her performances. She may even try to entice hikers to leap from the sign themselves.

Colorado

There’s a vampire buried in the Lafayette Municipal Cemetery, and the surrounding town has always had strange lights and odd voices heard in the shadows. During a paranormal investigation, the grave’s occupant apparently offered to show his stake to the people gathered.

Connecticut

Union Cemetery at the crossroads in Easton has been the site of unexplained paranormal activity for more than 400 years. Legend has it that one of the spirits will leap in front of cars driving by at night.

Delaware

The Rockwood Museum in Wilmington is home to several ghosts connected to a family of merchant bankers. Employees have seen the ghost of a man in a red jacket and a ghostly dog.

Florida

Drivers should put their car in neutral at Spook Hill in Lake Wales. A spirit lurking nearby pushes cars uphill.

Georgia

Lake Lanier outside of Atlanta was created by flooding a valley that swallowed at least one cemetery, and the spirits of the people who are now in watery graves apparently reach out to swimmers spending a day at the lake.

Hawaii

Drivers along Pali Highway in Oahu should be wary if they travel with pork. The food displeases a pig-man god, and cars will stall and refuse to start if anyone tries to sneak pork past the god.

Iowa

A deadly train crash outside Charles City left a permanent mark on the land when several children were burned to death. Visitors to the site say they’ve smelled the faint smell of burning wood and found charred children’s toys.

Idaho

Watch yourself in Payette Lake — Idaho has its very own version of the Loch Ness Monster with sightings reported for at least the last hundred years.

Illinois

Don’t stop for the hitchhiker near the old Willowbrook Ballroom on Archer Avenue near Chicago … she’ll disappear from your vehicle as you pass the Resurrection Cemetery. According to local lore, Resurrection Mary loved to go dancing and is still searching for a dance partner even in death.

Indiana

Follow the rules in the 100 Step Cemetary in Brazil, Ind. You must count as you use the steps, or you will guarantee your demise, but you can’t skip the steps either — the spirits will push you if you try to walk uphill in the grass.

Kansas

Fort Leavenworth National Cemetary is rife with the spirits of the soldiers buried across the 36-acre cemetery. It’s common to see the ghosts of men wearing uniforms from several different wars walking through the tombstones.

Kentucky

If you check your rearview mirror while driving along Sleepy Hollow Road in Oldham County, you will be shocked to see who is tailgating you.

Louisiana

If you leave a rose on the grave of VooDoo practitioner Marie LeVeau at the St. Louis Cemetery, she may use her magic to make you levitate.

Massachusetts

The train tunnel between the towns of Florida and North Adams is haunted by the spirits of the more than 200 people who died during its construction. If you get close enough, you can hear their whispers.

Maryland

The Goatman is lurking in the forest outside Bowie. The creature, said to be an experiment gone horrifically wrong, has the head of a goat and the body of a man and chases intruders away with his ax.

Maine

A teen was transformed into a babbling, white-haired shadow of himself after he was lowered into a wishing well in Sabattus. Legend has it you can still hear him screaming in a nearby asylum.

Michigan

There’s a mysterious light that appears almost every night near Paulding—it’s the lantern from a train brakeman who died in an accident, but he’s still on the job.

Minnesota

Pub 112 in Stillwater, Minnesota’s oldest town, is home to the ghost of a heartbroken woman who threw herself into the nearby St. Croix River.

Missouri

Sit in the Baird Chair at the Highland Park cemetery if you dare. It’s a toss-up whether you will be punished or rewarded for your bravery.

Mississippi

Just ignore that song coming from the Pascagoula River. It’s a jealous siren who has been luring people into the water since Catholic missionaries arrived in the 17th century.

Montana

According to Native American folklore, the large cliff above Billings is the site where two members of the Crow tribe rode their horses over the edge after the entire village died from a smallpox outbreak.

North Carolina

There’s a perfect circle in the woods outside Siler City, NC, where grass won’t grow, and the soil in the center looks as if it’s been burned black. Some say it’s the devil’s tramping grounds.

North Dakota

The 15-foot-tall Wendigo was once human, but he was cursed to be a giant shapeshifter after resorting to cannibalism.

Nebraska

Stay out of Hummell Park in Omaha. Legend has it that there are albino cannibals living in the forest, and they have no qualms about snacking on park visitors after dark.

New Hampshire

The forest around Archer’s Pond in Ossipee is haunted by the tortured souls of a husband and wife who died in a horrific murder-suicide. They both wander the woods, unable to rest their souls.

New Jersey

Stop by the Broad Street Station in Newark around midnight on the 10th of every month. You’ll probably hear the engine and squealing wheels of the ghost train. If it stops, do not get on.

New Mexico

Urraca Mesa was considered to be a portal to the demon world by Native Americans because it always felt like something was wrong with the area. Imagine how surprised ancient tribes would have been to know the Mesa looks like a human skull when viewed from the air.

Nevada

The bodies of four murder victims were found in Robb Canyon in the early 1970s, and the crime was never solved. Their spirits haunt the canyon and torment those who dare venture through.

New York

Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow may be one of the most famous New York legends. Does the headless horseman still pursue drivers through the woods?

Ohio

There’s a tunnel to hell in Blue Ash, but it’s on private property. The tunnel is actually a drainage ditch, and visitors who trespass to get there report seeing satanic symbols painted on the drain’s walls. Some visitors say they’ve seen a shadowy demon lurking inside.

Oklahoma

Talihina holds the distinction of being home of the Green Hill Monster — which is likely a Bigfoot. When police investigated initial reports, they found several dead animals in the vicinity.

Oregon

The ghost of a logger who was fatally injured in an accident appears along Cannon Beach. The ghost is bandaged, bloodied, and the scent of rotting flesh wafts around him. He may even leave a bandage on your car.

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia’s bus to nowhere is said to be a mystical bus where all the passengers sit in a daze, and no one speaks. The bus apparently only stops for people who have suffered a tragedy, and some say once you get on the bus, you never get off.

Rhode Island

Tower Hill Road in Cumberland is a popular haunt for a ghost boy and his ghost dog on a walk. Multiple people have reported seeing the same thing without having any prior knowledge of the area’s spooky story.

South Carolina

Horry County has more UFO sightings per capita, according to recent data. If you look up while you’re at Myrtle Beach, you just might catch a glimpse of an alien craft.

South Dakota

Spook Road near Brandon is apparently enchanted. If you head out of town and count the number of turns, you will get a different number if you turn around and head back into town.

Tennessee

The Old Gray Cemetery in Knoxville is home to Black Aggie, a cloaked figure who appears between the tombstones. The cemetery is the final resting place of cholera patients, Union soldiers, and train crash victims. Is Black Aggie one of them?

Texas

Bowden Road in Huntsville leads to Martha’s Chapel Cemetery, and it seems as if the spirits are desperate to hitch a ride back to town with the graveyard’s visitors.

Utah

Beware the Skinwalker Ranch near Ballard. Beyond the skinwalker sightings, the area is prone to large amounts of UFO sightings. What if the skinwalkers are actually aliens?

Virginia

Don’t get skinned by the Bunny Man near Clifton. Legend has it that a crashed transport van from a shuttered mental asylum killed most of the inmates. Not long after, dead rabbits began appearing in the trees, and authorities finally found an inmate living in the woods. As they chased the inmate to capture him, he was struck by a train. The bunny man can be seen on the train bridge where he died.

Vermont

The Golden Bridge (also known as Emily’s Bridge) near Stowe is haunted by the ghost of a woman who died of heartbreak. If you stop on the bridge, Emily may scratch your car, or you may hear dragging across the roof of your vehicle.

Washington

The mining town of Monte Cristo was doomed from the start due to the rough winters in the Cascades. There are still whispers of the old mining town, and the ghosts of the townspeople who tried to make it work are still walking the abandoned streets.

Wisconsin

A tragic accident involving a troop of boy scouts means a road in Stevens Point is rife with ghost stories. Visitors to the area report hearing footsteps in the woods around them and seeing children’s handprints on their vehicles.

West Virginia

The spirits of two West Virginia University Students who were murdered and found decapitated in the 1970s are said to be searching the woods for their missing heads near where their bodies were discovered.

Wyoming

The Sheridan Inn in Sheridan is watched over by a woman who lived and worked at the end for almost her entire adult life. When she died, her ashes were scattered in the building’s walls, and she takes her job as guardian very seriously.

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