Scary, But True: Stories That Are Supposedly  
           Based On Eyewitness Testimony


    You’re standing on a darkened corner. On the next block a street lamp basks
    the ground in a circular glow. Fallen leaves of liquidamber skitter across the
    corner of a well-trimmed lawn which is dotted with bright spots of orange and

    It's Halloween night and you’re waiting for the children who are making their
    way along the street toward you, each with a bulging bag of candy in tow. Their
    distant shrieks and shouts of joy get closer.

    An eerie feeling wells up in your gut telling you that someone is watching. Your
    mind uncontrollably drifts to the long held legend of a ghost that haunts the
    Agua Mansa Cemetery up the darkened street.  

    A ghostly figure has been reported by many to be wandering the cemetery and
    along the road after dark. The locals say it is the ghost of La Llorona, the
    Weeping Woman.

    As the story goes, the widowed La Llorona found a suitor, but was sure he’d
    reject her because she already had 3 children. She drowned them late one
    night after drinking a whole bottle of tequila.  The next morning, she saw the
    tiny, wet bodies of her beloved children laying on the porch. She screamed an
    ungodly sound and went completely mad with grief and guilt.

    Now, she spends her nights wandering and wailing, searching for her children.
    Some of the old local men say that she is likely to snatch other people’s young,
    living children if they misbehave or wander too far from a distracted parent.

                                                          The Dark Spell Around Us
    An Evil spell descended upon many of the students at Soda Springs High. It
    especially touched the most popular and talented kids at the small high school.
    An undefined supernatural force began causing mysterious "accidents" to
    happen at the local high school.

    As two friends stood near the bleachers watching the cheerleaders practice,
    screwdriver suddenly flew into the neck of Maria, as she talked about getting
    an A on her English paper. Her friend Sarah lets out a horrified scream when
    she sees a gush of blood squirting from Maria’s neck and down the front of her
    pretty new white blouse.  

    Sarah saw the blood. And then she saw the screwdriver. It went deep into the
    back of Maria’s neck. "Ohhhhh no!" Sarah squealed aloud. She knew at once
    what had happened. The screwdriver had fallen from the bleachers above. It
    had dropped straight down and now it was embedded in Maria’s neck.

    Maria had been holding a hair brush, which had fallen to the ground when the
    screw driver hit her. Sarah picked it up for Maria as paramedics wheeled
    Maria off to the ambulance. Sarah thought to herself, “Maria may not be
    herself for a long time.

    Not even the school’s best football player was immune from the Evil that
    seems to have invaded this tight knit high school. After the first football game
    of the year, James, the handsome new line-backer on the school's team makes
    a gruesome discovery. He was the last to leave the locker room. All the
    other guys had left for home.

    James stumbled upon Ken, the team’s star quarterback, who was lying near a
    tree moaning.
    He lifted his face which had been laying pressed against the
    cleated football shoes he wore for greater traction while running on grass.
    He had tied the shoe laces together and slung them over his shoulder.

    James let out a loud scream at the sight of Ken's face, dripping with blood
    and pocked with cleat-shapped holes. The holes took the form of a five-pointed
    pentagram. "He must have tripped," James said to himself.

    This Evil supernatural spell seamed to grow touching many of the students who
    attended the same school. A group of the teens had left before hearing about
    the frightful happenings. Although the cabin was scary and old, the kids were
    seeking a fun filled snowboarding weekend at a cabin retreat owned by one
    of the girl’s parents.

    The house was nestled high in the mountains. During the first evening someone
    suggested that they play a game called Truth or Dare. Darling, the girl whose
    parents owned the cabin (of coarse, they had gone to town for groceries), is
    about to reveal something embarrassing about Jason, her boyfriend. Jason was
    a quiet and shy boy.

    Suddenly, upset that Darling would tell others anything about him, Jason went
    into a frenzy of rage. He went berserk, charging at her with a fireplace poke.
    She let out a frightened shriek as she shot out her hands as if to shield herself.
    Jason stopped inches in front of her, breathing hard. He heaved the poker to
    the floor. And with a furious cry he spun around and ran to the hallway door
    leading out of the cabin.

    The next morning, Darling turns up dead. Angela and Brant discover the body
    when they went to wake her for breakfast. The rest of the teens left the
    immediately driving fast around each corner and down the mountain.

    When they went to school Monday morning they were shocked that so many
    bad, unnatural events had happened to their fellow school mates. The school
    counselor suggested that all the students meet that night at the local
    Christian church to seek help and solace from the minister.

    Luckily, Reverend Thomas had a ritual he learned from a Native American
    medicine man he roomed with at college. They all held hands in a circle as the
    Reverend chanted and smoke wafted from burning sage. This broke the Evil
    spell and the students could finally enjoy their last year of high school.

    The Hairy Hitchhiker

    A young woman is driving alone at night on a deserted stretch of road. She
    sees a female hitchhiker -- and stops. The hitchhiker tosses a bag onto the
    backseat and starts to get into the front. The driver notices that the
    hitchhiker's hand is large and hairy. The driver slams the door and drives off.
    Later, she opens the bag and finds a bloodstained axe.

    The Laughing Maniac

    A teenage girl is babysitting three children, who are upstairs asleep. She
    answers the phone and hears a man laughing hysterically. She hangs up. Fifteen
    minutes later, the phone rings again. It is the same laughing man. The
    babysitter phones the operator, who tells her that if he calls again, she should
    keep him on the line so that the operator can trace the call. The girl does so.
    The operator phones the babysitter and tells her to leave the house because
    the man is calling from an upstairs phone. As the girl runs out, she sees the
    man coming downstairs holding a bloody butcher knife, still laughing. She phones
    the police, who arrest the man and find the bodies of the three children.

    The Choking Dog

    A woman comes home and finds her dog lying on the floor, choking. She drives
    the dog to a veterinarian, who says that he will call her later. She returns
    home. The vet phones and tells her to leave the house immediately -- and that
    he has called the police. The woman runs outside. Later, she learns that the
    vet found two fingers lodged in the dog's throat. The police find a man missing
    two fingers, collapsed in shock in one of the woman's closets.

    Lovers' Lane

    One night, a man and woman drive to a secluded spot near a darkened,
    deserted house, which set next to a graveyard. While they are embracing, a
    bulletin comes over the radio that a dangerous, deranged man has escaped
    from a nearby institution. The man has an artificial arm. Later, they hear a
    noise outside the car. Terrified, the young man starts the car and speeds
    away. When they arrive at the woman's house, they discover a bloody hook
    hanging on one of the car's door handles.

    Granny's Vacation

    A family on vacation is driving in Mexico with a grandmother, who dies of an
    apparent heart attack. To avoid the red tape involved when a person dies in a
    foreign country, the family wraps her body in a blanket and ties it to the roof
    rack. On the way home, they stop at a restaurant. When they come out, the car
    is gone.

    The Jealous Husband

    A cement-mixer operator has a job in his own neighborhood and decides to pay
    a surprise visit to his wife. To his surprise, he sees an unfamiliar convertible
    in his driveway. He peeks through a window and sees his wife talking to a
    strange man. Assuming that she is having an affair, the husband fills up the
    convertible with cement. It turns out that the man was a car dealer and the
    convertible was a birthday present for the husband.

    The Underground Parking Lot

    A woman leaves work late and goes to the underground parking lot. She finds a
    woman in her car slumped over the steering wheel. The woman says that she is
    feeling sick and asks the other woman to drive her home. The nervous car
    owner excuses herself and goes to phone her husband. He tells her not to go
    back to the car and says that he is going to phone the police. They find that the
    woman in the car is really a man. They also find a bloody axe under the driver's

    The Vanishing Child

    A woman has taken her young son to Disneyland and, as she is standing in line to
    buy tickets, she briefly turns away from him. When she looks back, the child is
    gone. She alerts security. Twenty minutes later, a guard returns with the
    child, whose blond hair is now black. The guards have caught a man coming out
    of a washroom with the child and found a container of dye.

                                 More Places With Scary Legends

    Mellinger Death Ridge
    Great Smoky Mountains
    National Park

    It's just a ridge, like so many others in the rugged Smoky Mountains, but this
    one holds a gruesome tale. In 1903, blacksmith Jasper Mellinger was making
    his way across the mountains as he often did, crossing between Elkmont and
    Hazel Creek to visit friends or do a job for someone. The trails were faint,
    more often used by bears than by people, but Mellinger knew every inch of
    these woods, or at least that's what he thought.

    Near the top of the ridge, Mellinger stepped over a log, heard the sound of
    metal clicking, and suddenly felt incredible pain seize his leg. He had stepped
    directly into a bear trap set illegally by poachers.

    The steel jaws of the trap slammed shut on his leg with the sickening sound of
    splintering bone. Although he was strong from a lifetime of working the forge,
    the pain was intense and the blacksmith could not pry himself free from the
    trap that held him in a death grip. After hours of trying desperately to free
    himself, Mellinger began to weaken.

    Far from help, exposed to the weather, with no food or water, and expecting
    no one to look for him. Jasper Mellinger began to die.

    Days passed. Finally the poachers returned to check their trap for bears and
    instead found Mellinger, bloody, battered, and barely alive. The stories don't
    say whether he was conscious, but if he was, he was disappointed. The two men
    knew Mellinger was hurt badly and that without help he would not last long.

    They also knew that to bring him back to town was to admit they had been
    trapping bears illegally, a crime punishable by a fine or jail sentence. So they
    committed a worse crime, clubbing the trapped, semiconscious Mellinger to
    death and rolling his body over the ledge.

    The bones were discovered two years later and identified by the scraps of
    clothing and the contents of the pockets, although the cause of death was
    mistakenly recorded as a fall from the ridge.

    For decades, the Smokies held the gruesome secret and the mystery went
    unsolved. One of the poachers took the awful truth to his grave. But the other,
    sworn to secrecy so many years ago, was haunted by the deed. On his
    deathbed, overcome with guilt, he confessed to the crime and told the true
    story of Mellinger Death Ridge.

    Today, the ridge is rarely visited. There are just a few faint trails in the area
    and nothing but a name on the maps to mark the tale of Jasper Mellinger.

    Gunnison National Forest,

    In the winter of 1873, six men, including one Alfred Packer, walked into the
    teeth of a winter storm in Colorado's San Juan Mountains. The following spring
    only Packer walked out, telling a tale of starvation and death. But he didn't
    look like a man who had endured hunger and hardship.

    According to one witness,
    "His hair and beard were long and matted; but he showed little sign of
    having suffered from severe winter weather, lost in wild uninhabited
    country with the thermometer showing 30 and 50 degrees below zero on
    many mornings . . . here was the man alive and seemingly none the worse
    for his experiences."

    In short, Packer looked good, too good.

    Questions surfaced about the fate of the other five men. One traveler
    claimed to have come across mutilated bodies near the place where Packer
    said he and his companions were trapped by the storm. On May 4, 1874, Packer
    signed the following confession:

    "Old Man [Israel] Swan died first and was eaten by the other five persons
    about ten days out of camp. Four or five days afterwards [James] Humphreys
    died and was also eaten....

    Some time afterwards while I was carrying wood, the butcher [Frank Miller]
    was killed--as the others told me, accidently--and he was also eaten [Shannon]
    Bell shot California [George Noon] with Swan's gun and I killed Bell. Shot him.
    I covered up the remains and took a large piece along. Then traveled fourteen
    days to the Agency."

    Packer was promptly arrested but escaped a few months later. He was finally
    caught and on Friday the 13th, 1883, Alfred Packer was found guilty and
    sentenced to be hanged. A technicality prevented the order from being
    carried out and he was instead sentenced to 40 years in jail. On January 10,
    1901, he was I paroled. He died in 1907.

    Today, the place where Colorado's only convicted cannibal spent that fateful
    winter is part of one of the largest undisturbed stretches of alpine tundra in
    the country. Cannibal Plateau is part of a 70,000-acre wilderness study area,
    and its name commemorates the deeds of a Coloradoan who, as one politician
    put it, truly "served his fellow man."

    Yellowstone National Park,

    This small valley on upper Cache Creek is one of those places Jesuit missionary
    Pierre-Jean De Smet had in mind when he called Yellowstone "The abode of
    evil spirits . . . a kind of hell." In Death Gulch, when the wind blows just right,
    or more accurately when it doesn't blow at all, thermal activity from nearby
    geysers can brew up a noxious cloud of unbreathable gases.

    Although no human facilities are known to have occurred because of the gases,
    wildlife has at times paid an awful price. After a hike into the gulch in 1897,
    Dr. T.A. Jaggatt called the area "a frightfully weird and dismal place, utterly
    without life." After noticing what he termed "an appalling odor," his group
    encountered an unbelievable scene.

    He wrote:
    "We at length discovered some brown furry masses lying scattered
    about the floor of the ravine. Approaching cautiously, it became quickly
    evident that we had before us a large group of recumbent Rears; the
    one nearest to us was lying with his nose between his paws, facing us,
    and so exactly like a huge dog asleep that it did not seem possible that
    it was the sleep of death.... One huge grizzly was so recent a victim that
    its tracks were still visible in the white earthy slopes, leading down to
    the spot where he had met his death."

    No other cause of death was visible to Jaggar, and he concluded that "there
    can be no question that death was occasioned by the gas." The group departed
    quickly, not wanting to be exposed to the deadly air.

    Lake Superior, Minnesota

    In silhouette and from a distance it can look like a battered witch's broom. Up
    close its twisted roots clutching the bare rocks of the Lake Superior
    shoreline can look like the gnarled fingers of an old hag.

    But the name for this 400-year-old cedar that seems to spring directly from
    stone comes from none of these images. "Ma-ni-do-gee-zhi-ghance," the
    Chippewa called it, Spirit Little Cedar Tree.

    For perhaps thousands of years paddlers of all kinds, from Native Americans
    to the French-Canadian voyageurs to modern-day sea kayakers, have stopped
    at this lonely outpost and placed gifts in the roots of the Witch Tree,
    offerings for safe passage on Lake Superior's waters. It was someone who did
    not understand the sentiment behind these offerings who dubbed it "The
    Witch Tree."

    Hells Canyon National
    Recreation Area, Idaho

    A Native American legend tells of a Shoshone hunter who went searching for
    deer and elk among this maze of peaks and became lost. Night was falling and,
    fearful for his life, he shouted out for help. A devil appeared, giving him
    directions. The hunter ran. Another devil appeared, and another, and another,
    until there were seven devils in all. The hunter survived to tell the tale, and
    since that time these peaks have been known as The Seven Devils.

    A better Halloween spot is hard to imagine. You can hike beneath She Devil
    Peak, camp along the shore of He Devil Lake, listen to the wind whistle through
    Devils Tooth, sit on the edge of Devils Throne, fish on Devils Farm Creek 'n'
    gaze up at rock formations such as The Goblin, Twin Imps, and The Ogre.

    The range is part of the 652,488-acre Hells Canyon National Recreation Area,
    the second-largest NRA in the country. A proposal is in the works that would
    combine these mountains, Hells Canyon, the Wallowa Mountains, the Eagle Cap
    Wilderness, and other nearby lands to create the largest national park unit in
    the Lower 48 outside of Yellowstone Park.

    Isle Royale National Park,

    When the winds of October moan over Lake Superior, there are many voices
    behind the sound, from the famous wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald to the
    lesser known inhabitants of this small island on the southern shore of Isle
    Royale. Here, the fog mingles with the branches and shrouds several old grave
    sites among the trees.

    The graves mark the final resting place of miners and their families who
    worked the first of three copper booms on Isle Royale from about 1845 to
    1855. New grave markers have been installed by the National Park Service,
    but still carry the original epitaphs and dates. testimony to the hard life of
    the island a century ago.

    There may be another body, besides the mining families, buried somewhere on
    Cemetery Island. On September 19, 1891, a major storm swept in from Lake
    Superior. A watchdog (appropriately named "Watch") belonging to John Malone,
    the long-time keeper of the Isle Royale Lighthouse, broke free of its leash
    during the storm and was struck by lightning. In his journal, Keeper Malone
    tells of burying his trusty dog Watch on a nearby plot of land that may have
    been Cemetery Island.

    Tonto National Forest, Arizona

    These mountains hold solitude, mountain lions, black bears, incredible beauty
    and, just maybe, the Lost Dutchman gold mine. Back in the 1840s, according to
    the tale, a Spanish family by the name of Peralta had a gold mine on the
    western edge of these mountains.

    The mine was later rediscovered by an old dutchman named Jacob Waltz who
    guarded the location jealously. Many tried to follow the Dutchman, or trick the
    old man into letting the mine's location slip. Although some claim that Waltz
    gave confused details and directions to the mine to friends before his death,
    he took the exact location of the mine and the extent of its riches to his grave.

    Even today, it is not unheard of for hikers to see people leading burros off
    into these mountains, still searching for gold. Over the years, there have been
    several unexplained homicides that some feel were connected to the
    whereabouts of the Lost Dutchman Mine. For now, nobody knows, or at least no
    one is saying, whether this 159,757acre wilderness area holds more than just
    Brett, J. Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting. 1988.
    Brunvand, J. Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: The Book of Scary Urban Legends.
    Eng, J. C. Scary Urban Legends. 2010.
Halloween Brings Out Ghostly Spirits of the Night