Some Urban Legends that Are True (Part 1)

So much for the urban legend status. Information travels fast, and over the length of all ages of mankind, word of mouth made sure that everyone was aware of the craziest, most attention worthy events that came up in people’s lives. In an age ruled by internet, information is even more ridiculously easy to come across – including erroneous, false affirmations that one or another came up with to serve their own purposes; or simply for fun. But at times, things can go the other way around: something that has always been considered a simple urban legend suddenly receives ground and proof that it is in fact, true. Sit down and grab your blanky, because this is going to be scary.

1. Carnivorous escalators

Something that our parents told us when we were kids, right? Tie your shoelace so you don’t end up like those boys on the news that got eaten by the escalator because they didn’t. Yeah, sure. You grow up, it never happens to you, and probably even end up telling your kids the same. And thank god you do because that couldn’t be a more real danger.

There have been several cases throughout the world of people getting literally chewed up by escalators. The rogue shoelace getting stuck in the gritty, metallic stairs going up with no possible stop idea couldn’t be more terrifying until you actually think about it a little. Once the shoelace is in, there’s no getting it out – trying to take your shoe off becomes a little difficult when the caught shoelace keeps tightening around your ankle. What happens after? Well, documented cases speak of toes and feet partially getting chewed off by escalators; upon trying to free themselves, victims also risked other parts of their body – most often their hands. In one case, a man got strangled by an escalator as he bent down to free his shoelace and got his hoodie caught in it as well.

2. Beware of your local mall and/or leveled hyper store.

Ever got the feeling you were being watched?

This is inadvertently becoming a “creepy” list of things that happen to be true too soon and too fast, but that’s urban legends to you. This one might be familiar to many people as it has circulated on the internet quite a lot and falls into the urban legends king category. I have personally never felt like I was being watched but many individuals claim it’s a real thing – not just something you have seen in movies. So the urban legend says that your 6th “someone’s watching me” sense starts tingling before you discover that despite your home security, a malicious stranger has in fact invaded your home and definitely did not bring banana bread to repay your hospitality.

In most cases, that is surely only Hollywood movie material. In one particular case however, it turned out it wasn’t. Few years ago in Japan, a man (although not claiming any 6th sense tingles) kept finding things amiss in his home such as missing food, objects not where he’d put them despite his home being safe and no hint suggesting there had been a break-in at any point. Out on a whim, the man proceeded to set up cameras in his home to clear out the mystery; after everything was set and done, he checked the footage the next morning.

To his horror, the video entailed a woman crawling out of one of his cupboards and going around his home to only return to the cupboard after everything was over. Upon the police’s arrival, a homeless woman was indeed found hiding in the house, in the very cupboard that she had crawled out from on video. While you’d think that’s pretty bad, turns out she had been living in the man’s house for nearly a year, eating, sleeping and even bathing there whenever he left.

3. Shrunken head tales were actually inspired from reality. Amazonian reality.

While everyone uses the shrunken head thing as a fun – or scary, depending on genre – element addition to their stories and voodoo-themed media, very few actually ask themselves where the trend actually started from. And that’s the case with so many thematic appearances in a lot of videos, films, books and whatnot.

Such goes the story of the shrunken heads. How WOULD you get a shrunken head anyway? There’s no way that was real at any point in history. Well, surprise, it was. In tribes from around the Amazon more specifically. While it wasn’t a very broadly popular practice and was barely seen anywhere else across the planet, head shrinking seems to have taken place until late 19th century in said tribes.

The way they did it was cutting the back of the severed head, skinning the skull, sewing the eyes and mouth shut, boiling it and then drying it with hot rocks until it became a mass of… tissue that you could mold into a head-like shape. While these were kept as trophies most likely, it soon became more of a sport and trade as tribes started hunting and killing enemy tribes just for head-collecting – all because of traders offering guns in exchange for the tokens. This trade actually continued until the 1940s until it was finally outlawed. That’s awfully late if you ask me.

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