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3 Urban Legends That Turned Out To Be True

Updated on April 18, 2021
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Guilherme Radaeli is a lawyer, writer and blogger born in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Part-time techie and overall mad lad.

No, that doesn't mean tinfoil hats are fashionable.
No, that doesn't mean tinfoil hats are fashionable. | Source

If you don't happen to live under a rock, you've probably heard about it somewhere. A UFO here, some chemtrail there, etc. I mean, the internet has been swirling with craze ever since those Sky Trumpet videos got posted on youtube and showcased on news around the world.

Urban legends and conspiracy theories have always been a thing of entertainment for most of us (and of serious consideration to more impressionable individuals), but what happens when some of these crazy stuff turns out to be true, or at least has a drop of reality to it?

Read on to find out a few conspiracy theories and urban legends that turned out to be very real.

1 Human Halloween Prop

While not an actual horror prop, this unfortunately odd looking wax figure of MJ certainly fits the bill
While not an actual horror prop, this unfortunately odd looking wax figure of MJ certainly fits the bill | Source

So, have you ever visited one of those "haunted mansion" theme park attractions, which often have fake dead bodies with gory details hanging around and sometimes spring loaded to catch you and your friends unaware and give you the heebie jeebies? Remember how your parents and/or your older siblings loved to mess around with you by telling you these were real human bodies of tortured people that got put here by the psychopathic owners of the park?

Yeeeea... Turns out that, in this specific case, they would be horribly right.

Around 1976, the crew of the show "The Six Million Dollar Man" were filming an episode in the old Nu-Pike amusement part in California. Part of the filming took place in the local haunted house attraction.

Inside, the camera crew accidentally bumped onto what they recognized as a prop of the haunted house, a hanged man type figure covered with fake bloody cloth and kept suspended with ropes. When a crewman bumped on it, one of the figure's arms fell off. Wanting to try and fix the problem, the crew picked the arm up, only to realize, much to their horror, that the arm had real bones and flesh inside it!

Meet Elmer Mccurdy

After a police investigation, it turned out that cadaver was none other then notorious criminal Elmer Mccurdy, an American bank robber from the late 19th century.

How did the corpse eventually become part of an amusement part attraction? Well, you see, it turns out that, when Mccurdy died in a shootout with the police around 1911, his body got embalmed by the local undertaker, who apparently was so proud of his work that he displayed it in front of his shop as proof of his mastery.

Some amount of time later, a bunch of men showed up at the undertaker's shop, claiming to be Mccurdy's brothers, saying they had the right to have his body buried. The undertaker agreed and gave them the corpse.

Turns out that these men weren't related to Mccurdy at all, and instead were just amusement park entrepreneurs, who were planning of making a haunted house attraction, and didn't feel like hiring someone to make fake bodies, and so they saw a great opportunity in Mccurdy's exceptionally well embalmed corpse, which would eventually become a prop in the Nu-Pike amusement park.

So, the next time you go to a haunted house attraction thing, you might want to look a bit closer at those props!

2 Things In Water Tanks

These two things are unfortunely related
These two things are unfortunely related | Source

You know, if you ever lived in an apartment building as a kid, or anywhere close to one of those big water tanks buildings tend to have, you know that you or probably your friends had joked or told stories about how there's really terrible things inside of it, like dead pigeons, stashes of money, drugs and even people.

Its completely natural for kids who see an enclosed space and that do not understand its nature and purpose to make up stories and theories like that. I mean, when I was a kid in my school, my friends would always talk about how they didn't want to drink from the school's water fountains because kids always said there were horrible things inside the tank (which, thankfully, never turned out to be true).

But how do you react when it turns out such stories were completely true in this specific case?

The Elisa Lam Case

The video above is from surveillance camera footage of the Cecil Hotel, where young Elisa Lam was staying.

Elisa Lam (Lam Ho Li in Cantonese) was a friendly and outgoing Chinese Canadian student of the University of British Columbia, who was staying at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles at the time of her disappearance. She contacted with her family in British Columbia on a daily basis, so when she didn't call, her parents knew something was up.

After contacting the LAPD and flying to Los Angeles to help on the search, but after a searching the hotel to the extent they were legally allowed to, no sign of Lam was found, apart from the stuff that she left on her apartment. The surveillance footage didn't help either. It just showed a very nervous Elisa who seemed to be trying to avoid something or someone by hiding on the elevator. The footage was released on the internet by the LAPD a week after finding nothing. The video got dozens of thousands of views per day.

Some time after the video got released, some hotel guests started complaining about the water coming out of their taps having rather low pressure and being oddly colored and tasting funny. After checking the water tank, the naked body of Elisa Lam was finally found. She had been dead for weeks and her body was partially decomposed.

Imagine it. Dozens of people bathing, brushing their teeth, cleaning their things and possibly drinking the water filled with the decomposing fluids or Lam's corpse. Stuff of nightmares indeed.

To this day, nobody knows who or what (or if) Lam was trying to hide from, or even how she got into the water tank. The tank needed a ladder to be accessed and was covered with very heavy lids, and had no signs of being forcefully opened. The doors to the roof were always locked and only employees had access to it. Not only that, but Lam's body showed no signs of violence, having apparently drowned to death.

Eventually it was concluded that Lam had committed suicide, which wouldn't be an outlandish claim, considering Lam suffered from bipolar disorder and had several emotional problems, but nobody has ever found out how she got into the water tank. The roof was actually searched with police dogs before, but they didn't detect anything.

To this day, Elisa Lam's death remains a terrifying unsolved mystery turned into Urban Legend.

The Green Man

No, not THAT green man.
No, not THAT green man. | Source

In western Pennsylvania there is this local legend of a strange man that walks along the road during the late hours of the night. He is called the "Green Man" or "Charlie No-Face" because he is depicted as a man with green skin or that appears to glow green in the dark, and that has a very deformed, scary looking face.

For many years during the 50s, people would talk about meeting the Green Man on the road. The man would do nothing with them, but his appearance would terrify them. It was also said that the man's touch could disrupt a car's electric systems, and that he was the ghost of an electrician who died on the road.

The grave of Raymond Robinson, the real "Green Man"
The grave of Raymond Robinson, the real "Green Man"

Turned out the story had a grain of truth to it. Raymond "Ray" Robinson was a local who, as an 8 year old child, suffered a terrible accident on Morado Bridge, around Beaver Falls. The bridge had a trolley that crossed it, and its electric lines were incredibly dangerous. Before Ray's injury, a boy was killed by the electric lines less then a year before.

The accident left Ray severely disfigured (warning: may be disturbing to some people), having lost both eyes, nose, part of his lips and one arm. Ray, however, survived, and grew up learning how to deal with his scars and their consequences. Since the medicine of the time couldn't offer much to Ray in regards to reconstructive surgery, It is also said that the skin of his face gained a slight greenish hue as a result of his burns.

Ray eventually accepted his appearance, although he knew the general populace wouldn't be so accepting. He knew it would shock people and cause inconveniences to him, so Ray chose to only take walks during the night, along the road and through a tunnel, where he was less likely to be seen by anyone. Unknowingly, through this practice, Ray ended up creating the Green Man myth, by unwillingly scaring people that drove along the road.

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