In Ask the Bones, master storytellers Arielle North Olson and Howard Schwartz retell a varied selection of the world's most frightening folktales. The same folktale somehow has different versions all over a country, and most revolve around acts of heroism. All around the world, there are lots of urban legends that had been told most of which are centuries old but are still as popular as ever today. But he doesn’t always wear it! Many stories of the Deer woman painted her as an entity that helped women who were having difficulty conceiving. He still is attracted to the smell of his prey and will take away naughty children forever. Insider rounded up the scariest urban legends from around the world, from Hawaii to Scandinavia to Egypt. This scary story is very similar to the Bogeyman, but it originates in Spain. This same Davy Jones, according to sailors, is the fiend that presides over all the evil spirits of the deep, and is often seen in various shapes, perching among the rigging on the eve of hurricanes:, ship-wrecks, and other disasters to which sea-faring life is exposed, warning the devoted wretch of death and woe. If a child is still up past their bedtime, then he’ll place them in his sack and kidnaps them. Wherever he goes, he’s ready to take sailors down to the deep with him. As humans, we have an innate morbid curiosity. This half-goat, half-demon originates in European pagan culture and he scares naughty children each Christmas. Like many boogeyman, he is also a shape-shifter. Theodoros II. Another common folk tale that we see in many cultures throughout the world is that of a bogeyman figure. He drags chains behind him as he walks and rattles them ominously. Here are 10 of the scariest creatures from global folklore to prove it. This Haitian monster scoops up children who are out after dark. Do not use or reproduce without permission. Sustainable Clothing Hacks to Breathe New Life Into Old Clothes. 1.The Laughing Prince - The Story of the Boy Who Could Talk Nonsense. Jesse Tabit ... smiles all around, a palpable kindness and warmth in the air. In many European countries, Saint Nicholas has companions who act as a negative counterpart. Below are some of the 10 creepiest urban legends from around the world. Babaroga doesn’t have a strict routine when it comes to grabbing children. 9 Mermaid Legends From Around the World. Krampus is like the anti-Santa Claus. The monster, who can also control water, plucks kids and drags them right down his well with his calloused toes. The former would send the creature back into the water (sans the rider) while the latter would allow it to be ridden like a normal horse. ... this monster found in Japanese folklore is described as a giant fish … Snippets of folk-belief can be seen in the written record of … ... Christmas, Holidays, Legends, Scary, Spooky. Others say she attacks cheating husbands. Ivan Bilibin/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain. Adze Togo, Ghana Vampire that transforms into a firefly, biting people in their sleep and - killing them. Hanako-san has become a fixture of Japanese urban folklore over the last 70 years. Kludde is a Belgian demon that looks a lot like a dog – except with bear claws, scales, and bat wings. Il-Belliegha lives in wells, according to Maltese folklore. This Algerian creature is a combination of several animals including a monkey, a mountain goat, and a chimera. There are lighthearted tales, romantic ones, holiday tales, war stories, and more, all told with great gusto around dinner tables that host generations of the same families. #10: Breaking a Mirror Is Bad Luck One of the scary urban legends that has been around since at least the time of the Romans is that breaking a mirror will cause bad luck. If she doesn’t pull kids through the ceiling, she’ll throw them into bags to take them home for dinner. The only way to tell him apart from the real deal is the twin blue flames that hover underneath him. He often steals away under children’s beds or in the darkest corners of a room. Have you ever found yourself drawn to a horrifying or thrilling movie even though you don’t like to be scared? A shapeshifting creature that most often took the form of a strangely shaped horse, the Nykur’s method of dispatching its victims was to lure them into mounting it, whereupon it would ride into a lake and drown its unfortunate rider. Your Kitchen Will Never Be The Same With These Amazing Gadgets! Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool — it’s impossible to keep such eerie tales to ourselves. According to Brabant and Flanders folklore, Kludde can shapeshift into anything that can lure potential victims in. Discover more than 3,800 classic tales plus new stories by fairy tale fans. “Sleep child, sleep now, else Cuco will eat you,” is the most well-known lullaby. 45 Scary and Disturbing Mythical Creatures from Around the World. According to the mythos of several Native American of the eastern Woodlands and Central Plains (and even the Northwest), the Deer Woman is a beautiful, young maiden with the legs and hooves of a deer. 7 Spooky Christmas Legends From Around the World. Tata Duende is very good at covering his tracks. Author: El Cuco can take the form of a shadow or an animal. Cultures all around the world have vast traditions of telling creepy stories. But it doesn’t always work. The scary stories in this list are enough to scare kids into behaving, and they’ll probably scare you, too. In many versions of the story, Baba Yaga cooks children and eats them to fatten herself up, which really sounds like a horrible way to go. He also has piercing, terrifying eyes that keep children from running away. According to the sightings, it’s a humanoid creature almost as tall as an average human, with ghoulish, hairless skin and wide, hollow eyes. Killer in the Backseat. Back in the 18th century, sailors came up with a new scary way to describe drowning: Sinking down to Davy Jones’ Locker. In Paraguay, there’s the tale of Jasy Jatere. Fairytalez.com is the world's largest collection of fairy tales, fables and folktales. Lifestyle. The Ev… We will treat your information with respect. Clicking “Subscribe” allows us to send you these emails. "In Mexican folklore, The Weeping Woman is a ghost of a woman who lost her children and now cries while looking for them in the river. The story of La Llorona, or “The Weeping Woman,” hails from Mexico. When parents in the Congo want to make sure that their children don’t talk to strangers, they tell them to be careful, or else Dongola Miso might snatch them up. The Anthrotorian is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Be warned-these stories could scare you to death! 11 Terrifying Folk Tales From Around The World That You've Never Heard Before. They then haunt people at the very locations where they perished. Author: Parker Fillmore Published: 1921 Publisher: Harcourt, Brace And Company, USA . Because of this, she wasn’t allowed in heaven. Learn more about the world with me! And she did – and continues to do so. His name originates with the German word “krampen,” which means “claw.” According to German folklore, St. Nick gives good children presents, and Krampus takes away bad children in a sack to his evil lair. But you don’t want to hear her cries: They say if you hear her, she’s chosen you. Embracing these fears by sharing them with a group is a way of confronting and coping with those things that scare us most. Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia that has a rich culture, a long history, and quite a few creepy urban legends. The French word “bonhomme” translates to “good man,” which, according to Strange New England, was a common practice in Franco-American/Quebecois. Check out below for the top 10 scary urban legends, many of which are still practiced today! A local superstition is that the Nykur is also associated with ice… He’s also known for stalking children through the fields in order to capture them. In fact, many cultures have told different scary folktales to scare kids throughout history. 2.Beauty and the Horns - The Story of an Enchanted Maiden. According to some versions of the legend, she was assaulted by young men and granted the power to seek vengeance. by Lindsay Shapka in Culture, History, People. The Rake – also known as the Fallen Angel in some regions – shows up in urban legends around the world, though its most recent sightings have largely been in Europe. Check your email to confirm your subscription. Folklore is the memory of a people. The Baubas hails from Lithuania and is known for its spindly arms, wrinkles, and red eyes. Telling spooky and scary stories has long been a part of human culture. Francisco Goya/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain. They also have blood-sucking suction cups on their hands, and have a snake-like mouth that can swallow a grown man whole. John Tenniel/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain. But the stories that don't revolve around these heroes are downright disturbing. Indigenous Aboriginal children are warned not to wander into the outback or else they’ll be taken by a small red frog-man called Yra-ma-yha-who. The most popular origin story for the tale holds that during World War … According to this urban legend, the many ghosts that wander around Vietnam are desperately searching for somewhere to live. James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell of Dragsholm Castle, Denmark Myling, a child ghost Once the H’awouahoua ends the children’s lives, it skins the children and creates clothing out of them. El Cuco is a monster that haunts children at night. The French-Canadian version of the Bogeyman literally translates to “7 o’clock Man,” which describes him well. Such stories of an evil man or creature are intended to scare children into behaving. The Whistler is usually described as a very emaciated man dressed in cowboy's rags, with a wide-brim hat that hides his skeletal face. People travel through haunted houses and watch gory movies for the express purpose of inducing some fear all through October. Join now to publish your own tales, get feedback from readers, and enter writing competitions. His name means “Master of Midnight,” a nod to his preference for nighttime strolls. This means there is never a shortage of demons ready to hunt down little children who don’t listen to their parents and stay away from the bush. Her name means “wicked old woman,” which describes her very well. Saint Nick is the benevolent Good Cop; you donot want to meet the Bad Cop. Children who fall down wells are said to be lost to Il-Belliegha forever. He eats eels and worms instead. He’s a monster who got burnt as a child because he didn’t obey his parents. This Halloween, Buzzfeed writers from around the world have come together to bring you nine of the scariest stories from their countries. Creative Ways to Snack With Goldfish® x Blossom, Host the Absolut® Best Holiday Party This Season. 3.The Pigeon's Bride - The Story of a Princess Who Kissed and Told But, it’s said that if you point out that her feet aren’t human, she’ll run away, so at least there’s a way to defeat her. She lives in the forest and watches people move in and out. TAGS: Halloween Infographic, Halloween for older kids, scary folktales, creepy creatures, cursed objects, world folktales, folktale infographic, stories from different cultures, Botan Doro, Japanese folktales, Story of Headless Horseman, Jasy Jatere, Jiangshi, Chinese folktales, La Llorona, Banshee, El Chupacabra, Deer Woman, Hawaiian Nightmarchers, El Ciguapa, About    Contact Newsletter Archive    Press/CV. And it’s all because of a character named Kesh Chandra who promised bad kids to the man-eating giant in exchange for helping him carry home heavy gold. She’s now forced to wander the world aimlessly. Throw The Best BBQ With These 5 Upcycling Ideas! However, there is also a very dark side to folklore, as evidenced by the entries on this list. He’ll grab children who look down wells, so little ones were warned not to get to close to them and peer their heads in. Enjoy these amazing short Folktales Stories and Legends from Around the World. This particular spooky tale hales from Europe, and London to be exact, and it’s particularly gruesome because it is based on historic reality. To defend yourself, you had to yell its name or make the sign of a cross over its rear. This Japanese legend tells the story of a one-eyed monk who kidnaps children who don’t go straight home after school. If sinister fables pique your interest (as they naturally should), check out the spooky infographic below that Invaluable created showing 15 ominous folktales, creatures, and objects from around the world. Castles, bridges, museums have interesting facts, some funny, some scary. Passed down orally over many centuries, even millennia, it reveals how ordinary people – often marginalised or ignored in written chronicles – interpreted the world around them. The Anthrotorian will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you through monthly email newsletters. Jack the Ripper. 10 Creepy Urban Legends From Around The World. He’s a man who comes out after 7 o’clock and takes away children who are still awake. Although in some versions of the story, he has thumbs but still likes to steal children. Tata Duende is actually usually pretty friendly.In Belize, he’s the traditional guardian of the forest, tending to animals, plants, and people. Grootslang South Africa Massive serpentine elephant that plagues a deep cave in Richtersveld. One particularly bad cop is Krampus, a demonic half-goat monster with horns and a long tongue. Subscribe to The Anthrotorian’s Newsletter. Baba Yaga is one of the classic scary folktales in Slavic culture. But, the truth is, the entire year can be the scary season if you let it be. Copyright © 2012–2021 The Anthrotorian. The story goes that this woman named Maria married a rich man and had two children. Not all scary folktales are rooted in antiquity. All rights reserved. To lure in victims, he whistles. In Nepali folklore, Gurumapa is a sort of ogre who steals misbehaving children away after they’ve disobeyed their elders. Other strands of the scary story interpret the Baba Yaga into three separate sisters who all share the same name. Some versions of the story says she kidnaps kids to replace her own. She is a witchy woman who flies around in a mortar and snatches up children who misbehave. Legends of wandering spirits of Native Americans are pretty prevalent in this part of the country, too, so chances are the hitcher lore and the native stuff just mated logically. He carries a birch to whip bad children and sometimes a basket or sack for kidnappingthem. The killer in this legend always lounges in the backseat of the victim's vehicle, waiting for an opportunity to kill. 8 of Halloween's Most Hair-Raising Folk Legends From witches to zombies to creepy clowns, the season's scary legends all formed from decades—to centuries—of lore. Here are some of the best spooky folktales from around the world that will send shivers up your spine. The Laughing Prince - Jugoslav Folk and Fairy Tales . His tall, gangly appearance draws a lot of comparisons to Slender Man, the creepypasta that took the internet by storm in the 2010s. That’s why kids are told to keep their hands in their pockets when traveling. He’s often seen around shipwrecks or on his own ship, The Flying Dutchman. They believed that by giving demons like Bonhomme Sept-Heures pleasant names, they would not disturb or anger the demon in question. This near obsession with dark legends can be seen in chilling folklore that exists in different cultures across the globe. The Baubas’ terrorizing method of choice is pulling children’s hair. She often … In some versions recorded by Invaluable, he’s a short man. She’s also known for her signature horn – in fact, her name roughly translates to “old lady with horns.”. February 29, 2016. It enjoys hiding in homes. 10. Other versions, like the Brazilian one, go like, “Sleep little baby, that Cuca comes to get you, Daddy went to the farm, Mommy went to work.” Not at all horrifying! Notes: Contains 14 folktales of the Slavic people.. No matter his form, he can snatch children if he’s hiding nearby. Frank Vincentz/Wikimedia Common/CC BY-SA 3.0. One urban legend involves the lush greenery in the country. Some are urban legends… Scary urban legends are rarely factually verified but do reveal important truths about our deepest, darkest fears. Toriyama Sekien/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain. Halloween season is the time spooky stories abound. Tata Duende is typically described as an old, short, ugly man. Whatever the case, you don’t want to her a woman crying near a body of water. They either help lost travelers and children – or devour them – depending on how they are feeling. Also known as "High Beams," the legend of the "Killer in the Backseat" is a common urban legend told across the US and UK. Keep Your Halloween Spirit Alive With These Spooktacular Dinner Party Ideas! Sometimes when she is hungry, she will reach through the ceiling and grab misbehaving children as a snack. Life-changing Kitchen Gadgets from Amazon (Part 2). The Knights of Ålleberg are the ghosts of twelve knights that died in the Battle of Ålleberg in 1389. New Kludde demons are always spawned from cremated witches and wizards, so there are always more of them lurking and ready to attack. Amazing Amazon Products You Didn't Know Existed! Just like a lot of these other scary folktales, this one ends with the creature cooking and eating the bad-behaving children. If the children are caught by the Yara-ma-yha-who too many times, they will start to transform into the creatures themselves. Babaroga is a Bosnian witch who pulls children through holes in the ceiling. In India, Skondhokatas are headless ghosts that died in accidental train decapitations. She is a witchy woman who flies around in a mortar and snatches up children who misbehave. Brainybakerdee/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain. As her story traveled, Native populations in Oklahoma started likening the Deer Woman to a type of succubus. We are universally fascinated with the macabre — this is one of the reasons ghost stories are so popular. We’ve been telling all kinds of stories since our most distant ancestors drew rudimentary pictures on cave walls, but the most intriguing tales are the ones that raise the hairs on the back of your neck. "There's an urban legend in Venezuela surrounding 'El Silbón' (The Whistler), a figure known in the wetland plains and prairies regions called 'Llanos.' This Egyptian creature’s name means “the man with the burnt leg,” which pretty accurately describes his story. It also has a scorpion tail and hair made out of snakes. 15 Spooky Folktales, Creatures & Objects From Around The World [Infographic], Your Guide to Christmas Traditions Around The World, Banned Books in The USA: Top Books Banned + Why they’re Banned. No one knows what happens to the children that are stolen – or at least that is what Maltese parents have told their children. The gjengangers are thought to be murderous ghosts that can touch people and mark them for death, according to Viking legend. Folklore is woven into the fabric of most countries around the world. Especially captivating myths have even extended across cultures, like El Chupacabra and the Headless Horseman. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at TheAnthrotorian@gmail.com. You’re almost done! If sinister fables pique your interest (as they naturally should), check out the spooky infographic below that Invaluable created showing 15 ominous folktales, creatures, and objects from around the world. Some believe water babies can be found throughout the US, but most famously in Utah and Idaho. Tata Duende can throw his whistle, and when it sounds far away, he is actually very close. His feet face backwards, which helps him stay hidden and hide his actual whereabouts. The world's a scary place. So she drowned her children in a jealous fit of rage. Children often have wild imaginations, which makes them the perfect audience for scary folktales. A lot of these spooky stories from all around the world serve more than one purpose; they scare children, but they also usually teach them a lesson. She’s always portrayed as skinny, bony, and frightfully ugly. Baba Yaga is one of the classic scary folktales in Slavic culture. Spooky paintings are credited with fires and mortality while ancient objects are believed to be cursed. She’s always portrayed as skinny, bony, and frightfully ugly. What’s more, some creepy objects are said to be cursed, usually causing harm or death to those that come into contact with the item. She often resides in a hut surrounded by a fence of human bones. BY Gillian Finklea. He traditionally comes out on December 5 (some stories say December 6) and acts as “the yin to St. Nick’s yang,” according to Jeremy Seghers, who organized a Krampus festival in Florida. Urban legends are often thrilling stories, which contain many folkloric elements; and so they often spread quickly through a community or society. Each night,he  roams the streets in search of prey. Sources: BBC | Bustle | Daily Infographic | World of Tales | Listverse | NPR | Oxford Dictionaries | Blessed Beyond a Doubt, 8 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Halloween, Your Guide to Christmas Traditions Around The World [Infographic], The Most Epic Road Trips In The World [Infographic], Banned Books in The USA: Top Books Banned + Why they’re Banned [Infographic], Dining In New York City By The Numbers [Infographic]. Dongolo Miso carries toys and candy for children so he can easily take them. Ivan Ilibin/Wiikimedia Commons/Public Domain. They’re violent, but they’re easy to outwit since they don’t have heads… or brains. And Company, USA witch who pulls children through the ceiling because he didn ’ t have a mouth! Arms, wrinkles, and have a snake-like mouth that can touch people and mark them for,! Around, a mountain goat, and enter writing competitions still practiced today he goes, ’. Kidnaps children who misbehave away after they ’ ve disobeyed their elders amazing folktales... Tales plus new stories by Fairy tale fans interpret the baba Yaga into three separate sisters who all the... Down to the scary folktales from around the world ’ s ready to attack to her a woman crying near a of... Victim 's vehicle, waiting for an opportunity to kill through holes in the forest and watches people in! But they ’ ve disobeyed their elders often seen around shipwrecks or on his own,! Kitchen Gadgets from Amazon ( Part 2 ) are thought to be in touch with you monthly! To her a woman crying near a body of water sack for kidnappingthem to yell its or! Is, the truth is, the entire year can be the scary season if you let it be didn..., Ghana Vampire that transforms into a firefly, biting people in their pockets when traveling discover than. Says she kidnaps kids to replace her own Tabit... smiles all around, a demonic half-goat with... Drags chains behind him as he walks and rattles them ominously how they are feeling according Viking... 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