13 Really Scary Urban Legends to Send Shivers Down Your Spine

Updated September 28, 2021
Man standing on foggy empty road

Is there any more scary fun than hearing a terrifying urban legend? If you love the thrill you get from a creepy tale, then these terrifying urban legends are sure to give you plenty of chills.


A couple hiking in the mountains suddenly realized they were no longer on the trail. They checked their phones, but neither had a signal. When the guy pulled out a compass, the needle just spun. The sun was beginning to set, and they tried to remain calm, knowing they were ill-prepared to spend the night in the forest. They didn't even have a flashlight or matches.

They decided to keep walking and try to pick up the trail once more. However, the world quickly turned dark, and the couple didn't know what to do. Surprisingly, they stumbled upon a dilapidated cabin. At least it would provide them with shelter for the night.

Cabin by the woods

They entered the cabin. The moon shone through the windows, revealing upturned furniture and layers of dust and neglect. Eventually, the couple settled in for the night and fell asleep. Around midnight, they woke from a loud noise coming from outside the cabin.

Not knowing what or who was outside, they listened, but couldn't determine what the strange sounds were. Mustering his courage, the man called out to whoever was there, but there was no response.

He then said, "If anyone is out there, clap one time for yes."

They heard the distinct sound of a clap. The woman encouraged him to ask more questions.

"Are you a man?" he asked. "Clap once for yes and twice for no."

Clap-Clap was the reply.

"So, you're a woman," he said with relief edging his voice.


The man and woman gasped.

"Are you a man or a woman?"


By now the couple were panicking.

"Are you human?" The woman asked with her voice quivering.


She whimpered at the response. The couple backed into a corner, feeling the intense presence of evil.

"Are you alone?" The man asked.


"How many are with you?" he asked, not wanting to know the answer.

"Clap once for each of you," the woman said.

The couple counted 50 claps. When the last clap echoed in the cabin. Shadow figures darkened the windows, blotting out the moonlight. The woman screamed, and the door flew open!

Unwanted Passenger

It was Christmas break, and a young woman was traveling home from college. It was late, and she just wanted to get home and be with her family. As she entered one particularly long, dark stretch of forest, a car that had been following her suddenly raced up close, and the driver flashed the car headlights. She accelerated to pull away, but the car kept pace and again the headlights flashed on high beam. She accelerated again, but the driver was now tailgating her and flashing the lights on and off high beam.

Car Lights in Fog

She reached for her phone to call 911, but the familiar strobing of blue lights from an approaching police car made her sigh with relief. The police officer must have seen what was going on. She pulled over onto the shoulder of the road, as did the car behind her. She watched as the police car stopped immediately behind her car and a police officer quickly exited, running towards her.

Without a word, he threw open her car door and jerked her out of the car. Grabbing her by the arm, he handed her over to the man who had been following her. Confused, and before she could ask what was happening, the police officer ran back to her car with his gun drawn.

He opened the back car door and shouted, "Get out of the car slowly with your hands in the air."

The college student watched as a man holding a knife got out of the back seat of her car. Her knees buckled under her, but the man who'd been following her supported her. As they watched her unwanted passenger handcuffed, the man described how each time her unwanted passenger rose up from the back seat with the knife poised to stab her, he flashed the headlight on high beam. Every time, the man retreated behind her.

Creepy Clown Statue

A couple left for a dinner party, leaving the babysitter to watch over their two children. It was the babysitter's first time working for the family and she was surprised by the overwhelming clown motif throughout the house, including multiple statues in the living room. While the children were playing there, the babysitter became aware of one of the life-size clown statues placed in a rocking chair. It was extremely lifelike, and its gaze seemed focused on the children. She could have sworn she saw the eyes move each time the children moved in the room.

Creepy Clown

Finally, the babysitter became concerned by its presence enough to call the parents. She spoke with the mom and asked if she could put it in another room while she was there. She explained how the clown was really creeping her out. Upon hearing the babysitter's description of the clown, the mother ordered the babysitter to grab the children, immediately leave the house and head for the house next door.

The babysitter grabbed each child by the hand and ran out the front door and to the neighbor's house. The neighbors, an elderly couple, ushered the three of them inside and locked the door. The elderly woman was on the phone with the mother, who reassured her that the police were on their way. Apparently, a mentally ill neighbor had been threatening to murder the family. He had dressed as a clown and was sitting in the living room, just waiting for the right moment.

Glass in the Fried Rice

A young couple had a tradition of ordering Chinese food every Friday night from their favorite local restaurant. They would sit in their den watching a movie while they ate. On this particular Friday night, they ordered early. Their usual order always came with a large order of fried rice.

The couple chowed down on the food while watching a movie on TV. Halfway through the movie, the wife started having excruciating stomach pains. The husband was soon also in agony. The wife was gagging and bleeding from her mouth. The husband managed to call 911 and by the time the two ambulances arrived, the couple were writhing on the floor of their living room.

The EMTs collected samples of the Chinese food the couple had eaten earlier that night. Neither the husband nor wife made it to the hospital; they both died of internal bleeding en route. An analysis of the Chinese food turned up tiny fragments of glass throughout the fried rice. A subsequent inspection of the Chinese restaurant revealed a disgruntled employee had broken a drinking glass and ground it up in the food processor. He then tossed the glass into a random batch of fried rice. The employee was arrested for the two deaths.

The Dead Dog

A woman often woke in the middle of the night and would hold her arm over the mattress, so her dog, lying on the floor by her bed, could lick her hand. This small gesture by her companion was reassuring and helped her go back to sleep.

One night, she was awakened several times by what sounded like a dripping faucet. Each time she awoke, she put her hand down for her dog to lick. She was too tired to go into the bathroom to turn off the faucet. Each time her dog licked her hand, she would fall back asleep.

When she woke up the following morning, she went into the bathroom to find out what was causing the dripping. She screamed when she saw her dead dog hanging from the shower rod with blood dripping from its slashed neck into the drain. When she returned to her room, she discovered a note on the floor by her bed, "Humans can lick, too."

The Curse of the Mummy

It's long been rumored the Titanic carried a cursed mummy, Amen-Ra onboard. The body was being shipped to an American museum. The mummy had previously brought grave misfortune upon all who owned it. And, it turned out that the Titanic was no exception when the Amen-Ra curse brought death to over 1,500 passengers aboard the ill-fated vessel.

Sinking Titanic

Although the Titanic was an English ship, she was built in Ireland. When the workers painted the hull numbers 3909 04 onto the ship, the Catholic crew stared in disbelief at the reflection the numbers made on a piece of metal in the shipyard. Those numbers, shining backwards in the reflection, appeared to spell the words NO POPE. Terrified, the men quickly warned their supervisors that the ship was cursed, for the devil had put his stamp on the numbers. The supervisor laughed at the men and ordered them to get back to work. Later, those same supervisors wished they hadn't been so dismissive of the dire warning.

Amityville Horror

In 1977, America was captivated by the "true" story of a haunted house in Amityville, New York. The legend of the house, as revealed in the book The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson, told the story of the Lutz family who unwittingly purchased the haunted house as their dream home nestled in a peaceful Long Island town.

The family was blissfully unaware the house was the home of the infamous DeFeo murders (Ronald, Jr. "Butch" murdered all six members of his family). Within days of moving in, the Lutz family was terrorized by all sorts of frightening demonic and poltergeist activity, including floating red eyes outside of the windows, a pit to hell in the basement, black ooze coming out of the toilets, and a voice that told them to "GET OUT!"

While it has never been conclusively proven that the story of the Amityville Horror is untrue, subsequent owners of the home had no paranormal experiences while living in the house. The Lutz family now says that their story is "mostly true." There are a number of experts who believe the story was a hoax, while a number of others feel that the house is, indeed, haunted. Chances are that the story of the Amityville Horror has some elements of truth that were greatly embellished in the retelling over the years.

Resurrection Mary

You don't have to be driving down Archer Avenue in Chicago and passing Resurrection Cemetery, to see the ghost known as Resurrection Mary. She's no longer geographically confined. This ghost walks up and down streets and past graveyards all over the United States in her prom dress, seeking a ride home.

The Resurrection Mary legend originated in Chicago, sometime in the 1930s. A number of motorists driving down Archer Avenue passed by Resurrection Cemetery and claimed a young woman jumped onto the running boards of their cars, only to vanish as abruptly as she had appeared.

There is a good chance the legend arose from a real tale of a young woman from the 1930s who had been dancing with a boyfriend in a nearby Chicago ballroom. Unfortunately, the boyfriend was being a boor, so the young woman decided she'd rather brave a walk home in the cold and dark than spend another minute with the lout. While walking along Chicago's Archer Avenue, she was struck by a vehicle and died instantly. According to the legend, she was buried in Resurrection Cemetery in a white dress and dancing shoes. Shortly after her death, reports of her ghostly appearance to passing motorists began to surface.

Resurrection Mary sightings in Chicago continue to this day, leading some to believe that Mary is, indeed, a ghost that hangs out at the gates of Resurrection Cemetery. The story of Mary is a tale told now as an urban legend - happening to a friend of a friend driving along an unnamed dark road near an unnamed cemetery.

The Small Woman in Grey

Two men who ran a general store one day in a small town had the monotony of their daily chores interrupted by a woman dressed all in grey. She entered the store, picked up a glass container of milk from the dairy case, and then promptly walked out the door. Frozen for a few moments at the audacity of this woman, the two men finally collected their wits and dashed out the door after her, but she was gone.

Hand grabbing milk bottle

Two days later, the woman dressed in grey returned and once more she walked out of the store without paying for a glass bottle of milk. The third time, the men were prepared. When she entered the store, they watched as she picked up the bottle of milk and again walked out the door. This time they raced after her, chased her down the street, and finally down a dirt path at the edge of town where they lost sight of her. However, upon further exploration, the two men discovered an old cemetery. Hearing a baby crying, they discovered a freshly dug grave. The headstone revealed a mother and her baby had been buried together. They discovered the crying was coming from the grave.

The men found shovels lying on the ground and quickly began digging. As they unearth the coffin, the infant's cries were louder. Finally, they the coffin was exposed, and they opened the lid. Inside, they discovered the same small woman in grey that visited their store, only she was dead. In her arms was a live, crying infant and three empty bottles of milk. The child was inadvertently buried alive, and the spirit of the mother had kept the baby alive for several days until the men saved the baby.

The Texas Candy Lady

A malevolent female ghost witch lures innocent children into her clutches by leaving candy on the kids' bedroom windowsills. She tells the children to wait until their parents are asleep to eat the candy. When the children open their windows to retrieve the candy, the ghost witch captures them. Soon, there are several children missing from the town. The ghost witch takes the children to her underground torture chamber, where she pulls out their teeth and stabs them in the eyes.

When one kid escapes, he tells about the candy lure and how the ghost witch had left a note, The Candy Lady. Terrified, parents worried that someone was trying to poison their children. However, no children were poisoned, just several kidnapped and never heard from again. A sheriff's deputy was found in his squad car. His eyes were gouged out with a fork and candy stuffed in his pockets.

There was a real candy related murder in Texas. Clara Crane was convicted of murdering her husband with candy laced with poison.

The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs

Late one night, a babysitter was by herself downstairs after putting the children to bed. The phone rang. Thinking it might be the children's parents, she answered it. Instead of identifying himself, the caller merely breathed heavily into the phone for a few moments. She hung up, but the phone rang again. The babysitter answered it, only to hear the same breathing. But, this time, a deep, frightening male voice asked, "Have you checked on the children, lately?" His evil laughter sent chills down her spine.

The babysitter was alone in the house with the children upstairs and frightened, so she called the operator and asked that the call be traced. When it rang a third time, she heard the same breathing and laughter before the caller hung up. The operator called back almost immediately, frightening the babysitter by telling her the call was coming from inside the house.

The babysitter ran outside while the operator called the police. When they arrived, they discovered a man and the children he had murdered. The man was waiting to murder the babysitter when she came upstairs.

The legend is based on the real-life murder of a 13-year-old babysitter named Janett Christman. She was babysitting for the 3-year-old son of a couple named Romack. Later that night, she called the police, but the only thing they could hear were her desperate pleas to "Come quick!" followed by her horrified screams. Janett's body was found on the floor in the Romack's living room. She had been brutally attacked, raped, and killed. The toddler was found unharmed, having slept through the entire attack. Although the police had a suspect, no one was ever charged.

Baby boy is sleeping at night

Demonic Raggedy Ann Doll

If you were spooked by the legendary demonic doll portrayed in the movies Annabelle and The Conjuring, you should be. The story of the possessed evil doll is based on a real-life incident. In 1970, a student nurse was gifted with the doll. Soon, the student nurse and her roommate noticed the doll seemed to be animated at times and had a very odd behavior. The two women consulted a psychic medium, who claimed the spirit of a young girl named Annabelle possessed the doll. The two women were terrified of the doll's malicious behavior. They called the Warrens, who placed the doll in their occult museum. According to the Warrens, the doll was possessed, but not by a child. They declared it was possessed by a demon.

Charlie No Face

If you wander outside at night, you may just run into Charlie No Face! This faceless entity wanders about towns, neighborhoods, abandoned train stations, and creepy tunnels. Eyewitnesses are terrified and describe an entity that either has no face or one so badly disfigured they begin to have nightmares. The real story is about Raymond Robinson. Poor Raymond was the victim of an electrical line accident. His face was severely disfigured. As you might imagine, he avoided being in the public and only ventured out late at night to stroll about his neighborhood and town.

Spine Tingling Really Scary Urban Legends

Scary urban legends will send chills down your spine, especially when told in a dark room or around a campfire. These stories are told and retold, with more frightening details added with each retelling.

13 Really Scary Urban Legends to Send Shivers Down Your Spine