5 most terrifying legends on Earth

If you need some scary stories to tell on your next trip, go for the real ones, the ones backed up by many people in many places. These five folk legends will haunt you and make you wonder.


Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Everyone knows of Bloody Mary. There are many versions, but the most popular goes this way: you say the name “Bloody Mary” three times in front of a mirror, in a dimly lit room if possible, then the spirit of a woman takes shape in a body covered with blood and kills you, usually scratching your eyes out. Bloody Mary has many names: Mary Worth, Mary White, Hell Mary, etc, and her story is not clear: it goes from a bad haircut to a premature burial. Some people link her to Mary Tudor, and the adjective “bloody” certainly seems to fit her.
Bloody Mary is not only scary, she’s also international. In Japan they have Hanako-san, a girl from the Second World War who haunts school bathrooms. Apparently, she only needs to be mentioned once. Sometimes she’ll let you live and sometimes she’ll drown you in the toilet.
In Latin America Bloody Mary is called Veronica. She likes to kill her victims by throwing scissors at them. A curiosity: the name Veronica can be roughly translated as “true picture”. So, next time you look into a mirror, don’t try and see a true picture.
If so many people around the world have this ghost, well, it makes you wonder.

Santa Compana

Santa Compaña

Imagine that you’re going to bed at night, take a last glance out the window and you see a procession of people dressed in white robes with hoods, the first one carrying a cross and the rest holding lit candles. They are dead, except for the one carrying the cross, who is a living person doomed to do this job. Be careful and don’t stare, because you will fall dead or you’ll be doomed to carry the cross forever if they notice you. They will walk slowly and silently until they arrive to the door of a house where they’ll stay for a few minutes, without talking or moving. And in that house someone will die soon. In some traditions the ghosts are carrying a casket in which they will fit the dying person or -even worse- their soul.
This legend is found in the north of Spain. It’s very similar to the Irish banshee, a witch or spirit who hides in the roofs and wails when someone is going to die. If you hear her, it doesn’t bode well for you or someone next to you.
In Northern Europe, a very similar figure is called the Wild Hunt. But don’t think this is a phenomenon located in a specific place on Earth: the hawaiians, for example, have the Nightmarchers.

The Tsukumogami

The Tsukumogami

Did you know that Japanese people believe that inanimate objects become sentient on their hundredth birthday? They don’t exactly become haunted, it’s more than that: they get a soul of their own, with their own goals and wishes. Many times they are depicted as humorous, useful or kind, but other times they’re not so well-behaved. We have sake bottles that never get empty, or alternatively produce poison; we have lutes and gongs making eerie sounds; we have umbrellas that go about hopping on one leg, watching with an eye and wreaking havoc if they are discarded; we also have possessed kimonos that are worse than Venom. And we have a particularly unsettling one: walls with hundreds of eyes that are always watching you. Try to sleep after that.

Hantu Demon

Hantu Demon

Let’s go to Malaysia. Surely a place that has such beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters, a place with a tropical climate, lots of sun and hot temperatures has no scary demons, right? Wrong. The Hantu Demons are the stuff of nightmares: they possess animals or people, not just replacing their souls but killing them for good. And, then, like in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, they go about looking like the people they’ve killed but with a very different agenda.
They hide in all the usual places: dreams, mirrors, darkness, the corner of the eye… Places we have more or less under control. Places we expect them to be. But there is one of them, the Hantu Demon Caskey, that hides in a very peculiar place, a place you would have never guessed: déjà-vus. Déjà-vus are no longer Matrix glitches: they are the hunting field of a really nasty demon.
Now tell me where is your nonchalance going to be the next time you’re having a déjà-vu.

True Romanian vampires

True Romanian vampires

We all know vampires don’t exist. And, if they exist, they are romantic and beautiful creatures, a little misbehaved but loaded up with sexual energy, super strength and magic tricks. Who wouldn’t want to be one of them or, at least, interview them?
Bram Stoker based his novel Dracula on the old Romanian legends. Vampires there are called strigoi, and they share many of the features present in modern lore: they can transform into animals and they drink their victims’ blood; they also have a few characteristics of their own and one in particular is striking: they have the power of selective invisibility, that is, they can be invisible to some people while visible to others.
Bram Stoker took always very seriously the existence of vampires. According to a legend, in his deathbed he pointed at a corner of his room and muttered the words: “Strigoi, Strigoi, Strigoi…” His friends didn’t see a thing.
But, of course, that is just a legend.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.