They may seem ridiculous now.
But back when we were little and before the age of our spirit guide and truth-checking Siri, we believed what our parents, our cousins and the neighbor down the street told us.
We could have believed these spooky Halloween urban legends for years. Maybe decades.
Even if we didn’t truly believe, we feared some part of it could be true.
Here are 5 creepy classic urban legends to take you back to the years we donned our flammable costumes and asphyxiating Hulk and Bionic Woman masks and hoped someone might drop some candy cigarettes in our pillowcases.
And just for fun we added a few recent Halloween urban legends, showing that there’s no end to the crazy crap people will believe and share. Who knows? Maybe one will appear again in your Facebook feed this year.
1. Spider wig
When you’re leaning into the mirror to make sure your killer clown makeup is threatening enough or your lady of the Nile isn’t instead too lady of the night, remember the spider wig.
This is the tale of the creative, homemade costume and the person who fetches grandma’s wig from the attic. Once it’s in place with some bobby pins and the costume is set, the person may notice that it itches. But what wig doesn’t?
Anywho, onto the Halloween party. The wig really starts to itch so our bewigged party goer starts some furious scratching and people begin to notice something. Lots of things, actually. Dozens — no, let’s make that hundreds of arachnids fleeing from the confines of the wig and crawling all over the party goer’s face and out onto the black-lit dance floor.
Scalp feels a bit itchy now doesn’t it?
2. Hallucinogenic Tattoos
Take the candy that will rot your teeth, but leave the reported “fun” tattoos that people will be passing out on Halloween because they’ll make you want to jump off a building. So mom said, anyway. These rub-on tattoos are laced with LSD or rat poison. That’s one version of the hallucinogenic tattoos urban legend that have been circulating since the ’70s, according to Snopes.com.
Another is that a drug dealer will approach with a, “pssst, kid,’’ hawking a very innocent looking Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse or a blue star rub-on tattoo. The urban legend has run strong from the start of the school through Halloween for thirty years and still surfaces occasionally.
3. Bloody Mary
You can summon Bloody Mary anytime, but Halloween is THE time. Some urban legends have Bloody Mary as one peeved witch from the Salem witch trials come to seek her revenge, others say she’s Queen Mary I of England, royally upset with her inability to have children and taking it out on precocious brats taunting her.
Chant “Bloody Mary” in front of a mirror while staring at your reflection, in the dark preferably. She may bloody, but she’s certainly not happy. Depending on the version you were given, when Mary appears, she may pull you across the mirror with her or simply possess you.
4. Bloody hook Halloween
This one’s almost too embarrassing to even type. Why? It’s SO NOT scary (at least now, in retrospect.) But back in the ‘70s and ‘80s this tale of the man with the hook had us all saying hell to the naw.
A young couple has snuck off to a remote area for some canoodling in the backseat of a car — cause that’s how us old folks phrased it in the way back, The couple is suddenly interrupted by a screech, screech, screech. Whatever could that be? Why it was a scary man with a bloody hook clawing at the side of the car window.
The man with the hook eventually busted through the window and made short shrift of the naughty teens.
5. Campus Halloween Murders
A psychic — way back in the day it was Jeanne Dixon — foretold mass murder on campus on Halloween. Versions of this tale have the psychic making the prediction on an unaired “Montel Williams” or “Oprah” show.
Up to 20 college women were going to die at the hands of someone costumed like Bo Peep or wearing a Scream mask with an ax, hatchet or knife. This would happen on a Big 10 or Big 12 campus. Or a Florida college. Or a school that started with an M or W or with the school colors orange or black or by some railroad tracks or a pond, lake or river.
To recap: psychic, afternoon talk shows, co-eds, alphabet soup, colors of the rainbow, bodies of water, Bo Peep, pointy objects, murder.
This urban legend has been around since 1968 and resurfaced in 1998 according to Snopes.
Fresh urban legends
Onto some more recent urban legends that have popped up and been knocked down by Snopes and other sources
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups gone
Right before Halloween, one of the most popular candies ever is discontinued. Nope. The story was put out by breakingnews365.net about two weeks into September, but Hershey’s assures us this was false.
Halloween Happy Meals
There was not, nor do we suspect there will ever be, a McDonald’s Happy Meal that either includes a Ouija board (as posted on Facebook in 2014) or a “The Nightmare Before Christmas” theme as was circulated around Facebook in 2015.
Prop or corpse?
This 2014 story said a 71-year-old man went undiscovered for two weeks in a haunted house attraction in Illinois because people just thought he was a prop. The story by fake news site Empire News also created the fictional story about pumpkin-spice tampons, which racked up thousands of Facebook shares, according to Snopes.
But like most urban legends, there is a grain of truth in the story in that a hanging man prop used in a fun house in 1976 did turn out to be a corpse.