We did the first run down of urban legends in every U.S. State. Now, we’re back for round two and boy does it get spooky. Of course, it’s not all frights and fears in this list. We also have some adorable stories, and some sad historical stories. Because, as we said before, the United States is rich with weird history, full of ghouls, goblins, and killer maniacs. From Montana to Wyoming, we’ve selected the best urban legends from each state for you, and if you’re into the supernatural, there are literally thousands more to explore. Here are 25 urban legends in every U.S. State (Part 2).
Montana - Phantom Hitchhiker of Black Horse Lake, Great Falls
There have been many, many reported sightings of this particular spook. Supposedly, when you’re driving along Black Horse Lake, you may see a hitchhiker who’s there and then isn’t; or, he’ll suddenly appear on your windshield as if you’ve just hit him, but when you pull over, he’s gone. According to reports, he’s wearing either jeans or overalls and has long black hair. Perhaps the ghost is stuck in a loop of his last moments on earth. Poor dude.
Nebraska - Cannibalistic Albinos, Hummel Park
In general, people believe that Hummel Park is haunted. People hear voices, see disembodied orbs of light, cursed stairs that number differently going up and going down, and there’s a general sense of isolation and “are we the stupid people in the horror movie”? But the creepiest urban legend in this 202 acre wooded park started in the 1960s. It goes as follows: there’s a group of cannibalistic albinos that have lived in the park for decades. During the day they hide among the trees, or up in the trees, and if you stay after dark, well, you’re staying for dinner.
Nevada - The Water Babies of Pyramid Lake, Washoe County
Nevada is home to not only Las Vegas, but also Area 51. Since everyone knows about the aliens, today we’re talking about spirits of dead babies that steal at least one fisherman a year. Known as The Water Babies of Pyramid Lake, legend says they’re ill or deformed babies that were thrown into the lake by a local Indian tribe so they wouldn’t be a burden on the tribe in winter or when food was scarce. Their spirits decided to linger. People have reported hearing cries at the water’s edge, and if you hear a baby’s cry during spring, run the other way. This story is based at least partly in truth, local Paiute tribes actually did this to some of their children, and the children are understandably angry.
New Hampshire - Wood Devils of Coos County
Seven feet tall, covered with greyish fir and thin enough to hide behind trees, the Wood Devils of Coos County walk upright on two feet and stick to the woods or northern New Hampshire near the Canadian border. Think of a tall, thin, pale Big Foot type creature that stands really still and runs really fast. Though there have been many reported sightings, it seems that the Wood Devils mostly want to be left alone and avoid human contact rather than violently maiming any hapless hikers who come across their path. Thanks, Wood Devils!
New Jersey - The Watcher, Westfield
So, in 2014, a nice and well-off family moved into their dream home that had been built in 1905, in an upper class New Jersey town. Good for them! Then they started getting really creepy letters. Like…really…just awful letters. This is from the first one, which arrived in June of that year: “My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time. Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard? Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Better for me.”
They had children, which just ups the creep factor. The neighbors decided, instead of installing shiny new door locks and a neighborhood watch, to vilify the new family. Apparently the previous owners of the home had received letters a well, and just refrained from putting that in the listing. Because who wouldn’t disclose getting love notes from strangers like this?
“Who has the bedrooms facing the street? I’ll know as soon as you move in. It will help me to know who is in which bedroom. Then I can plan better.” The family that moved in 2014 has been unable to sell the home, even at a loss.
New Mexico - UFO crash, Hart Canyon
In 1949, a UFO crash supposedly happened not in Rosewell, but in Aztec, New Mexico. Supposedly, the crash site was intact enough that bodies of otherworld beings were recovered by the U.S. Government. While this was “proved” to be a hoax in the ’70s, the investigation was reopened in 2013 by the FBI. Kinda makes us question the whole “it’s totally a hoax” thing, guys.
New York - Buried Treasure, Liberty Island
Once upon a time, when pirates – like Captain Kidd – roamed the seas, Liberty Island was known as Bedloe’s Island, and there was no lady upon it. Kidd was hanged in 1701, and eventually Fort Hood made the island home. In the 1800s, a psychic told two soldiers stationed there that there was buried treasure. Her instructions were to find the largest flat rock at midnight on a full moon and to bring a divining rod. Supposedly, the boys found the treasure, along with a pirate ghost. The ghost was somewhat less than friendly, and when the boys returned with fresh pants, both the treasure and the ghost were gone.
North Carolina - The Beast of Bladenboro
In the early 1950s, dogs were found dead, drained of their blood, in Bladenboro. In 1953, a woman went out to investigate why her neighbor’s dogs were whining, and she claims she saw a “large, cat like creature” feeling the yard. Over the next few days, over half a dozen dogs died, including one by decapitation. Eventually, a human was attacked by said beast, but the person lived and said beast fled into the woods. The town has now embraced their urban legend, hosting a “Beast Fest” every year. Beastfest boasts a weird black cat mascot thing in a hot pink tee shirt, country music, and special guest appearances by Miss North Carolina.
North Dakota - San Haven Sanatorium, San Haven
Once, when you got Tuberculosis, there was a 50/50 chance you’d die. Because of this, people ill with TB shipped off to places like San Haven Sanatorium. San Haven was a TB sanatorium until the epidemic died down in the 1940s, when it became a sanatorium for the developmentally disabled. If you’re a fan of American Horror Story, the parallels between the second season and San Haven might keep you up at night. The complex is made up of over a dozen different buildings connected by underground tunnels, and was closed in 1987 (that’s only 30 years ago) by the local government after stories of abuse. Locals still argue about why it was shut down. You don’t have to try hard to imagine the angry and frustrated ghosts that roam the complex, including one of a teenage boy who died after the place was closed down while he was exploring. Apparently the patients missed their last feeding.
Ohio - Brubaker Road Bridge,
There are three ghost stories associated with this bridge: 1) A woman had a baby out of wedlock, and in her shame threw the baby into the river, only to realize what she’d done and jump off the bridge herself. If you visit the bridge at night, supposedly you’ll hear a baby crying. 2) Many many years ago a 6 year old boy was kidnapped and murdered on the bridge. His ghost is very quiet. 3) A car full of teenagers crashed and they all died. Sometimes, driving across the bridge, cars will stall out, and in the quiet, you’ll hear someone knocking on the window.
…that sounds really crowded, guys.
Oklahoma - Hex House, Tulsa
A woman named Carol Ann Smith (this was one of several names she went by) kept “religious slaves” in 1944. She had convinced them, somehow, to go live in cages in the basement, without heat or light, and let them out to go to work and then they came back. They came back. They even gave Carol their paychecks.
Carol also lived off of some dubiously collected life insurance policies of her late husband, dad and maid, who all died mysteriously. Carol was eventually jailed and fled the state upon her release, but the shocking case, including why these people came back. Witchcraft? Probably. Most locals still believe it was a hex.
Oregon - Polybius, Portland
In 1891, black video game boxes with no name on them started appearing in Portland arcades. Given the name “Polybius” by players (after the Greek historian), the video game supposedly doesn’t exist.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t a disturbing number of people who remember playing it, though. Some people claim they were kidnapped and found 60 miles from where they’d been abducted, with mental side effects from whatever happened to them. The game involved shapes, colors and geometric patterns and was only ever serviced by men in suits who didn’t talk.
Many believe that it was part of the CIA’s MKUltra program. And yes, this might sound like an internet rumor gone amok, but considering what we do know about the CIA…seems more likely to be true than not.
Pennsylvania - The Seven Gates of Hell, York County
There are two versions of the gates of hell: In the first one, there were seven gates around an insane asylum, and when the asylum caught fire, patients were trapped inside a very literally burning hell. If you go to the site now, only one of the gates is visible before dark.
The second version is that an eccentric local man built seven gates leading deeper and deeper into the forest. The whole town rejects these rumors, claiming there was never an asylum, much less gates to Hell itself in the town of …Hellam.
Rhode Island - The Fountain, Providence Athenauem
If you really enjoy Rhode Island, this isn’t such a bad curse for you. If you’re not a fan, stay away. Supposedly if you drink from the fountain that was put in in 1873, you are guaranteed to always return to Rhode Island. The Athenauem (which is a fancy word for library or place of study) is also where Edgar Allen Poe and Sarah Helen Whitman would hang out when they were courting.
They were engaged, but a condition of the engagement was that Poe stopped drinking. Anyone who knows anything about Poe knows that didn’t stick, and Edgar and Sarah were sitting in the Athenauem when some jerk, who couldn’t mind his own business, delivered Sarah a note telling her that Edgar had been drinking. Engagement and heart broken, Poe placed a curse on the fountain that whoever drinks from it shall never leave. Though he died a year later, his ghost still visits on occasion.
South Carolina - Boo Hags
According to legend, Boo Hags are a super gross combination of Succubus and Vampire, with the attractive sexuality of neither. They are skinless beings who sneak into your house while you sleep, and gain their life from sucking out your breath, and sometimes tear off a piece of your skin and wear it to keep themselves warm. You know, as you do when you’re a hideous nocturnal supernatural being who has to steal the lifeforce of others to survive.
South Dakota - Walking Sam
Over one hundred suicide attempts happened between December 2014 and mid-2015 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Though, some witnesses claim it was as high as over 200. Nine people succeeded in taking their own loves, some as young as 12, and this is not legend. This is fact. These attempts were attributed to “Walking Sam,” a figure from folklore described as being over 7 feet tall, very slim, has no mouth, and carries the bodies of men and women off. If this sounds like “Slenderman” or the more well known Bogeyman, you aren’t wrong, but the locals and Native Americans have talked about “Walking Sam” since long before Slenderman was created in 2008. When Walking Sam is spotted, a surge of teenage suicide follows.
Tennessee - Mausoleum at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Cleveland
Originally called St Alban’s, St Luke’s was established in 1867. In October of 1871, on St Luke’s day, John Craigmiles, the patriarch of a prominent local family, took his granddaughter Nina for a carriage ride. They were killed at a railroad crossing because John was an idiot and tried to race a train. With a horse carriage.
The Craigmiles decided to pay for a larger, fancier church to be build with a marble mausoleum for Nina, John and the rest of the family. They even commissioned a white marble bust of Nina from overseas, to be kept in a niche behind the pulpit. Sadly, the bust never made it to it’s new home as the sculptor shipped it aboard the HMS Titanic (40 years later. Some people have trouble moving on).
The most interesting thing about this whole thing is the mausoleum build for Nina and her family. White carrera marble shouldn’t have blood red streaks running through it, and yet, it does.
Texas - Headless Horseman, South Texas
Back in 1850, in the literal wild west, a man named Vidal was a cattle thief, who mistakenly stole a herd or horses containing some prized mustangs belonging to a well known Texas Ranger. When Rangers found thieves, merely killing them was not good enough. Vital was beheaded and his body tied upright in the saddle to a wild pony, attaching his sombrero adorned head to the back of the horse.
Stories abounded about the headless horseman who eventually became known as El Muerto. Eventually, the pony was caught, and Vidal was laid to rest, but people never stopped seeing El Muerto roaming South Texas on clear nights.
Utah - American Fork Canyon
American Fork Canyon is full of ghosts, apparently. To be fair, many have died here, from car accidents, suicides and unplanned falls off cliffs. There’s a cave haunted by young lovers who died tragically that even the park employees have reported experiencing strange and explainable things – hands brushing your face in the dark, whispering and approaching voices, and locking doors to the cave only to hear voices begging to be let out on the other side, but no one was there.
The trail to that cave was also haunted, having cold spots even in the middle of summer, and whispers and laughter in the early morning. A ghost of a lost little boy of about 4 years old appears on one of the trails, a man who’s not yet realized he’s dead stomps through the brush before glaring at hikers on another.
If you stay at the campground, you can supposedly summon a ghost hearse by driving your car in a circle three times. You can also possibly take an apparition home via hitchhiking ghost, that’s if he’s kind enough to stick around after your headlights have illuminated him. He usually just disappears.
Vermont - Black Agnes, Montpelier
“Black Agnes” is the name given to a copper statue in Green Mount Cemetery. It’s a man sitting in repose with his head tilted back, dressed in flowing cloth. Just to clarify, despite the name, “Agnes” is a statue of a man, and if you sit on his inviting lap, some pretty bad stuff is gonna happen to you.
The statue sits atop the grave of a greedy man named John Hubbard. Other oddities recorded at the statue include screams, glowing red eyes, and death within a week after sitting upon it’s lap. The actual name of the statue is Thanatos, which is Greek for “death.”
Virginia - The Richmond Vampire, Richmond
In Richmond, Virginia, there’s a beautiful old cemetery called Hollywood. It’s now home to some fascinating people, and apparently, a vampire. W.W. Pool was a bookkeeper who died in the early 1920s at the age of 80. Good life, good work, basic mausoleum. In 1925, a railway tunnel near Hollywood collapsed during refurbishment, killing some of the workers. Supposedly, a creature dripping in blood emerged from the accident, ran straight for Mr Pool’s resting place, and disappeared inside.
When people checked the mausoleum, it wasn’t there, and there’s no back door. Sometimes a man is seen walking out of the mausoleum after dark. One more creepy thing about the tunnel accident (that did really happen) – they only ever found one of the bodies. Many men never made it out of the tunnel, but only one body was found? Perhaps Richmond has more than one resident vampire.
Washington - Steps To Hell, Maltby
For reasons unclear, a tomb of a wealthy family buried in Maltby, Washington decided that said tomb needed an escape route. So, they had a rear exit and steps build into the back. Thirteen steps, to be exact. Which is either a very spooky happenstance, or they knew full well what they were doing and did it on purpose. Either way, if you go to the cemetery at night, descend the 13 steps and turn around, you’ll experience a vision of hell.
Several people have reported going at night, shining a flashlight and not being able to see the bottom when they should, and one person claimed that they went down when they were 16, only to come back up and realize their friends were screaming at them.
According to the stepper, he only went down 6 steps because he started to feel sick. According to his friends, he went down all 13 and disappeared for a time. He said that when he left, he felt hands shoving him out of the darkness. That’s kinda sweet; ghosts pushing you out of possible gateways to hell.
West Virginia - The Mothman
That’s right folks, one of the most famous mythical creatures in North America was first spotted in Clendenin in 1966 while some men were digging a grave. He’s described as a large winged man-like creature with glowing red eyes. It’s still not clear how “man-like with wings and red eyes” translated to “mothman,” but Batman was already copyrighted, so…
Wisconsin - Maribel Caves Hotel, Maribel
First opened in 1900 as a therapeutic hotel and spa due to the natural springs, Maribel Caves Hotel is now known to the locals as “Hotel Hell.” Everyone died in a fire in the 1930s and you can still find some remains on the third floor, which is inaccessible due to a tornado destroying a lot of what was left.
Yeah, that sounds like hell. Hell is accurate. This wasn’t the first fire, either; it was the third. Other rumors surrounding the property are plentiful— murdering psychopath killing guests before committing suicide, Al Capone being a frequent guest, bootleggers regularly stopping by during prohibition—one can only imagine the ghosts that call Maribel Caves Hotel home. Sounds like someone or something otherworldly really had it out for this place.
Wyoming - Jackalopes
After two lists of creepy things to keep you awake at night, we’re ending this on a high note, and my personal very favorite urban legend or cryptid—THE JACKALOPE. (Cryptids are animals thought to be mythical, like Unicorns, the Loch Ness Monster, etc). The Jackalope is an adorable wild hare – with antlers. YES. They’re thought to be vicious when cornered and will defend themselves with their antlers. In addition, they can run up to 90 miles per hour. That’s faster than a cheetah! They’ve most commonly been sighted in Wyoming, and were FIRST sighted in the 1800s in what would eventually become Wyoming, by famous western guide John Colter.