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Urban Legends: The Creepiest Stories from Major Cities Around the World
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By Associated Press
Published 2 weeks ago on
June 29, 2024

Urban legends from around the world reveal chilling tales of ghostly encounters and demonic presences. (Depositphotos)

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Monsters don’t just exist under your bed, they roam the streets of cities around the world, tormenting innocent souls. Whether you’re a skeptic or not, it’s worth hearing about the warnings of evil spirits that have been passed down generations. From ghostly parks in San Francisco to reports of demons haunting the streets in Mexico City, here are some of the world’s spookiest urban legends.

The Phantom Hitchhiker of Paris, France

One rainy night, you are driving down the highway when you see a woman dressed in white flagging down cars. Despite your instincts telling you to keep going, you stop out of pity. Little did you know, you have just let the Phantom Hitchhiker into your backseat.

For years, a ghostly figure has been haunting the streets of Paris. Drivers who have given her a ride reported that she disappears out of thin air before reaching the destination. All that’s left behind is a cold atmosphere and an intense feeling of dread. Rumor has it that the ghost is a woman who was killed in a car accident several years ago. Before offering a ride to a stranger, make sure it’s not a creepy woman dressed in white.

The Black-Eyed Children of London, England

It’s nighttime in London, and the foggy streets make it hard to see. You spot a group of kids on the street and suspect they’re just breaking their curfews. That’s until they approach you, and something seems off – their eyes are completely black.

These black-eyed children appear at night, asking people to let them into their homes or vehicles. They seem to have an ability to make their targets feel compelled to obey. Even if every bone in their body tells you to run, you’ll find yourself stepping aside from your door, welcoming this entity into your house.

The Disappearing Taxi Driver of Tokyo, Japan

The streets of Tokyo are often bustling with taxis taking people to their next destination. Some rides come with chatty drivers, while other times, you’ll end up with silent but polite drivers. Tokyo may surprise you with an unexpected twist – a driver who disappears mid-journey.

Passengers who hail a cab late at night in Tokyo to take them to the airport or any other destination might end up with the ride of their life if a silent driver with a pale complexion picks them up. As the journey progresses, the driver begins to appear more and more translucent. By the end of the ride to catch your flight to Toronto or any other city, you will look up from your phone only to find that the driver has vanished, but the car continues to move. Although you will safely arrive at your destination, you’ll be shaken up by the realization that you have just caught a ride from a ghost.

The Ghost of Stow Lake in San Francisco, USA

Imagine you’re taking a late-night walk by the picturesque Stow Lake after a delicious meal of fresh seafood at a local restaurant when suddenly your peace is interrupted by the eerie cries of a distraught mother looking for her child. Dressed in white, the pale-faced lady has long, wet hair and a presence that sends shivers down your spine.

Legends say that this is the ghost of a woman who tragically lost her child in the early 1900s. One day, while she was walking with her child, she ran into a friend. Caught up in the conversation, she didn’t notice that her child wandered off. The mother was frantic in her search, screaming for her child. She was last seen running into the lake when she realized that her child must have gone into the water and drowned while looking for them. Since that day, the White Lady of Stow Lake has haunted the shores, approaching visitors and begging them to help find her child.

The Curse of the Bell Witch in Adams, Tennessee, USA

In the middle of the night, you awake to the sounds of chains dragging on the floor and knocking on the door and windows. Heart racing, you desperately hope you’re in a nightmare, but as hard as you try, you can’t wake up and escape from reality.

That’s exactly the form of psychological torture John Bell and his family endured. The torment from a spirit began after John encountered a dog-like creature and shot at it. What started as strange sounds in the house escalated to physical abuse. This evil spirit, later named the Bell Witch, can shapeshift and speak and was attributed as the cause of John Bell’s death. The legend of the Bell Witch has attracted curious tourists from across the country to visit the small town where the hauntings occurred.

The Demon of Avenida Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, Mexico

Running through the heart of Mexico City is a famous avenue, Paseo de la Reforma. Here, you can find tourist attractions, including statues paying homage to the Mexican Revolution and luxurious buildings and restaurants serving traditional fare like birria de res. At night, the vibrant atmosphere turns sinister as the streets become possessed by a demonic entity that targets late-night drivers.

As you drive through Paseo de la Reforma, be cautioned that a dark creature with wings may swoop in from the sky and land on your vehicle in an attempt to cause an accident. The high number of crashes on this iconic road is said to be the fault of this demon.

The Haunted Subway of Moscow, Russia

If you’re on the platform in Moscow after midnight and a ghostly train arrives, don’t get on unless you want to be transported back in time. The passengers look translucent and grim – some say they’re the souls of people who died building the metro, while others suspect that the train has a malicious intention of collecting new souls. Either way, don’t step into the cursed subway, or you’ll be exposed to the wrath of the underworld beneath Moscow.

Myth or Real?

Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, you can’t deny that stories of the supernatural are unsettling. Despite being terrifying, these legends have been woven into history and folklore and survive through the storytelling of brave individuals who are willing to share the chilling details of evil beings. Keep urban legends alive by sharing them around a dark campfire at night, and watch as your friends glance over their shoulders in fear at every rustle in the darkness.

Jennifer Allen is a retired professional chef and long-time writer. Her writing appears in dozens of publications, and she has two cookbooks, Keto Soup Cookbook and Keto Diabetic Cookbook and Meal Plan. These days, she’s busy in the kitchen, developing recipes for various publications and traveling. You can find all her best recipes at Cook What You Love.

 

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