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Seven scary historical facts

Updated on October 9, 2014

When we hear urban legends we think of spooky stories designed to teach a lesson or just generally scare a person. Stories about monsters and paranormal activities swim in a person’s head.

One usually doesn't take into account that most legends, myths and scary stories are based in truth. This isn't to say that all stories a person hears in true, but consider this: most stories are based in truth.

From vampires and zombies to dead being held under the bed, we have the stories you wished were not true

1. Finding deceased bodies under beds is not just an urban legend. There are more than 50 reported incidents across the U.S.A. of people finding others under hotel beds or rented rooms. The worldwide count has not been done, but it would not be surprising if that number was much, much larger. The famed assassin Richard “the ice man” Kuklinski admitted to hiding at least 2 dead bodies under hotel beds.

2. The creepy story “The hills have eyes” “Texas chainsaw massacre” and many others are loosely based off historical records in the United Kingdom. There are two different families that lived in caves in the hills of the U.K. One is the more famous Sawney Beane who bore 8 sons and 6 daughters, with a great number of grandchildren. The documents say that the family killed more than 1,000 people. The people were killed and used for food. The other family was run by a man called Christie Cleek. In times of hardship, he took to the hills and would survive off of passersby.


3. The fun-house mummy is not an urban legend. In spooky houses there is always the allure of the mummies or scary corpses. Elmer McCurdy, an outlaw was allegedly mummified by a malicious person whom he owed a debt, and promptly sold to a fun-house. The actual details of his death are fuzzy because no one wants to admit to killing him. However, they have said that he was shot. He was discovered decades later by the “six million dollar man” set crew.

4. Vampires & Zombies are based in truth. During the plague and the Black Death, people were dying so frequently that doctors did not have the time to invest in announcing death. They would often then bury the still alive. On several occasions these people would try to escape their shallow graves. People would see their allegedly dead loved ones and come up with stories to explain what happened. Hence, we get zombies and vampires.

which horrifying tidbits below are false?

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5. The legend of the phone calls beyond the grave is a true story. On September 12th, 2008, a California train missed a red warning light, crashed and killed 25 people. Charles Peck was one of the victims of that train. However, as his family watched in horror the events of the train, they received calls from him. A total of 35 calls were made from his cell phone. The cell phone calls helped the police find his body. The police could never create an explanation of how the calls were made.

6. There have been many “hells” on earth. A lot of different cultures that believed a cave lead to hell. However, the Mayans believed hell was a cave on earth in Middle America, and threw all of their dead into it. The Yucatan peninsula is home to a place the Mayan’s put their dead for a millennium. In 2008 it was discovered by students, and found later that the cave was identical to their pictures of “hell”.

deemed in the top 10 creepiest places on earth
deemed in the top 10 creepiest places on earth | Source

7. Shrunken heads was rare until 19th century tourists started paying good money for the heads. That’s right, not until the rest of the world interfered did the amazon jungle decide they should start making shrunken heads regularly. And, in a “clever” trade, the European tourists would offer guns in trade for a head, ensuring a constant flow of the shrunken heads. Even today, people will pay obscene amounts of money for the shrunken heads made by Amazonian tribes.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      You're on top of the game. Thanks for shnagri.

    • Karmallama profile imageAUTHOR

      Dreen Lucky 

      6 years ago from St. Paul, minnesota

      Thank you for your visit. I would have to agree with you, besides being trapped in a bit with spiders, I think being buried in the plague would certainly be terrifying!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Creepy and interesting. I love stuff like this. Perhaps the scariest of these would be being buried alive during the plague. That is one of my biggest fears. Well done. Up and shared.


    • Karmallama profile imageAUTHOR

      Dreen Lucky 

      6 years ago from St. Paul, minnesota

      I'm not sure what you meant there

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This not

    • Karmallama profile imageAUTHOR

      Dreen Lucky 

      6 years ago from St. Paul, minnesota

      Thank you for your visit and kind words!

    • Conservative Lady profile image


      6 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Scary stuff but - like the car wreck on the side of the road - I couldn't stop reading this fascinating hub. Voted interesting!


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