25 Most Popular Urban Legends Still Being Told

Posted by on October 29, 2012

Whether its an unsolved mystery, a popular misconception, or sometimes just a big hoax urban legends are an inevitable part of any culture. Usually they are handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation and many times have their origin in some vaguely twisted version of a true story. Regardless of their veracity, however, these are the 25 most popular urban legends still being told.


The 9/11 Tourist Guy

Shortly after 9/11 a photo began to circulate showing a tourist standing atop one of the World Trade Centers with one of the airplanes in the background of the shot about to strike the tower. The accompanying story explained how the camera was found in the wreckage but the tourist remained missing. Aside from all of the very inconsistent details in the picture the story already seemed completely improbable and several people came forward claiming to be the prankster responsible. It wasn’t until recently, however, that the real culprit was discovered in Hungary. He has since apologized to the families for making light of their situation.


USA, Japan

Yes, there is a town in Japan called Usa. No, the Japanese did not rename it after World War II so that they could legitimately stamp their exports with the phrase “Made in USA”.


The Poisonous Daddy Long Legs

There has been a persistent rumor circulating for some time that the daddy long legs spider is the most poisonous in the world but cannot kill humans because its fangs are too small. Where this rumor started no one knows but one thing is for sure, the daddy long legs is certainly not the most poisonous spider in the world. If you’re going to be careful around spiders we would advise keeping your eyes open for the brown recluse or the funnel web spider.


The Hook

This legend tells the story of a young boy and girl who drive off into the woods only to hear on the radio that a convicted killer with a hook for one of his arms has just escaped from a nearby mental facility. The boy simply locks the car door and insists they stay but the girl wants to leave. They boy then reluctantly takes off and when they return home, depending on the version of the story, there is a bloody hook hanging on the outside handle of the car door.


The Boyfriend’s Death

Very similar in style to the previous story about the hook this legend also involves two young lovers stopped on an abandoned country road. The boyfriend gets out of the car to use the bathroom but doesn’t come back for some time. The girl decides to get out and go looking for him only to see a dark figure in the shadows. She runs back to the car and tries to start it but realizes that the back bumper has been tied to a tree. She then hears a scream and after turning around sees her boyfriend hanging from the tree.


The Clown Statue

This urban legend tells the story of a girl babysitting for a family when she calls the parents to ask if she can cover up a disturbing clown statue in the corner of the living room. The dad tells her very seriously to grab the kids, go next door, and call 911 without any further explanation. Once she is next door and the police are on their way she calls the father back who then explains that they don’t have a clown statue. Furthermore, the kids had been complaining about a clown watching them in their sleep but the parents had written it off as nightmares. In most versions of the story the clown turns out to be a midget who had been living in their house for some time undetected. When the babysitter came over he didn’t have time to escape so he just froze in the corner.


The Fatal Hairdo

Although the hairstyle has changed with the times, the story has remained the same. A girl who is very concerned with her looks decides to wash her hair in sugar water and leave it wrapped in a towel overnight so that it will dry in the exact shape she wants. The next morning, however, she doesn’t come down for breakfast and when her mom goes to her room she finds her dead in her bed. Upon removing the towel it becomes apparent that she had been gnawed to death by either rats or bugs, depending on the version.


Dead Body Under The Mattress

This legend tells the story of a couple spending the night in a hotel room that is filled with a foul odor. After a while they can’t take it anymore and call the front office. When the staff arrive they discover the smell is coming from the bed after which they remove the mattress only to find a rotting body beneath it. As crazy as this story sounds, unlike the previous legends on this list, it has actually happened…and more than once.


The Halloween Hanging

Here’s another urban legend that is actually based on several very true stories. In it a boy doing a Halloween play for school accidentally ends up hanging himself from the “fake” gallows.


Buried Alive

This one can barely be considered an urban legend considering how often people have been buried alive. In fact, in the past many coffins were even equipped with strings that ran through the ground and were connected to a bell not far away. This way if anyone did happen to be buried alive they could pull the string and get the undertaker’s attention.