10 Unbelievable Urban Legends That Are Actually True
Urban legends are the stories told around the campfire or the subject matter of your favorite horror flick, but the one thing you don’t expect them to be is true. Here are 10 stories that will creep you out once you realize they are actually all fact.
On September 12, 2008, at 4:22 p.m. an incident known as the Chatsworth crash occurred which killed 25 people. A commuter train collided with a freight train, and the scene left 135 people injured as well. One of the deceased was 49 -year-old Charles E. Peck. He had come to L.A. wed his fiancée, Andrea Katz, who was on the way to the station to pick him up. Peck’s body was recovered from the wreckage 12 hours after the accident. However, for eleven hours prior, his cell phone placed call after call to his loved ones, calling his son, his brother, his stepmother, his sister, and his fiancée. In all, his various family members received 35 calls from his cell phone. When they answered, all they heard was static; when they called back, their calls went to voice mail. But the calls gave them hope that the man was still alive, just trapped somewhere in the wreckage. Search crews continued to trace the whereabouts of the phone through its signal and to once again look through what was left of the first train, the location the calls were coming from. They only found Peck’s body about an hour after the calls from his cell phone stopped. He had died on impact. They never found Peck’s cell phone.
You see this in every horror movie. Some unfortunate souls are stuck in an elevator and one of them decides to hop out only to get split in half just as the elevator starts to move again. Unfortunately, that’s just what happened to Dr. Hitoshi Nikaidoh. He was a 35-year-old surgical resident decapitated on August 16, 2003, in a freakish elevator accident at Christus St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, Texas. The circumstances of the accident were certainly strange. As we’ve all experienced, elevators should not shut when something is blocking the way due to the sensors mounted in the doors. Also, a set of contacts in the door should keep the elevator from moving if the doors are not closed. Yet both these things reportedly happened.
Another fright night flick favorite is the amusement park scare, but for Danielle Foti, a fifth grader at East Bridgewater Middle School, it became a reality. She was severely injured when her hair caught in a motor behind the seat on the Mini Himalaya ride at the now-defunct Bonkers 19 park in Weymouth. Her head was reeled in with such force that it smashed the back of her fiberglass seat. A piece of her scalp was caught in the motor and she had to undergo four rounds of reconstructive surgery. Fortunately, she was awarded $7.5 million in an out-of-court settlement.
It was Halloween and the stunt had worked on other nights, but things did not go as expected for Brian Jewell. There was no indication of foul play, prosecutor James Holzapfel said. “He’s supposed to have the noose around his neck, but it’s not a noose that tightens,” said Holzapfel. Jewell would step down about one foot to the ground, making it appear he had been hanged, Holzapfel said. During the ride, about 40 people drive past, but the tractor driver became concerned when Jewell failed to give a speech he normally made.
Imagine your medical diagnosis being the real life inspiration for an episode of the X-Files. Unfortunately, for Gloria Ramirez this was the case and she became known as “the toxic lady”. Several Riverside General Hospital workers became ill after exposure to her body and blood. She was brought into the ER of Riverside General Hospital suffering from the effects of advanced cervical cancer. The ER staff noticed an oily sheen covering Ramirez’s body, and some noticed a fruity, garlic-like odor that they thought was coming from her mouth. A registered nurse named Susan Kane attempted to draw blood from Ramirez’s arm, and noticed an ammonia-like smell coming from the tube. She passed the syringe to Julie Gorchynski, a medical resident who noticed manila-colored particles floating in the blood. At this point, Kane fainted and was removed from the room. Shortly thereafter, Gorchynski began to feel nauseated. Overall, 23 people became ill and 5 were hospitalized. A skeleton crew stayed behind to stabilize Ramirez who later died from kidney failure. They never came to a solid conclusion as to why she caused such a mass illness in the ER.
Snakes, rats, and a whole lot more can be found in your toilet lines apparently. Every year, the Roto-Rooter Corp. collects stories from its people about the goodies they find on house calls in the United States and Canada. Tree roots are the most common, however, they have heard 7-foot boa constrictor, 8-foot rattlesnake, a complete bedspread, women’s lingerie, long underwear (two sets), assorted automobile parts, 2.5 lb trout, 20 sets of false teeth, a six-pack of Budweiser, keys and, vibrators
Jean Hilliard was literally frozen stiff, ”like a piece of meat out of a deep freeze,” when a friend found her in the snow after a night of 22-below-zero temperatures. Her body was so stiff that Mr. Nelson loaded her ”diagonally” in the back seat of his car and headed for the hospital. However, she made an unusual recovery.
Her skin was too hard to pierce with a hypodermic needle, and her temperature was too low to register on a thermometer. Her face was ashen and her eyes were solid and did not respond to light. Her pulse, hardly registering through her frozen skin, was about 12 beats a minute. Regardless they wrapped her in an electric heating pad and she began to revive. Even more remarkable, she didn’t lose any digits to frostbite.
Gerald Bettis was known as Dog Boy and was always known as a difficult child. “His parents were good people, but Gerald was a brat, vicious and cruel,” Holabird said. Bettis also developed some unusual habits early on, including collecting cats and dogs which lead to his nickname. “He would catch stray animals and torture them. We could hear them howl, “said Holabird. Bettis’ actions allegedly turned more sinister. “He kept his parents virtually imprisoned in the upstairs part of that house,” Holabird said. “He would feed them, but only when he decided it was time for them to eat,” she said. By the time he was an adult, locals say Bettis towered over his elderly parents at 6’4′, and weighed close to 300 pounds. It was also regularly reported that he beat up his father and even threw him out of an upstairs window one time during his teen years. Although he was in his 70s at the time, the elder Bettis hung onto the ledge until the local police showed up, Holabird said. According to the Heber Springs Sun Times, Floyd Bettis died in 1981 after an illness at his home. Others say he was pushed down the staircase and died of a broken neck. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette archives confirm Gerald Floyd Bettis death in May 1988 at age 34.
Another feature of the fireside horror story is the perpetrator is calling from within the house. This time a man in Japan found out this was actually the case. The man installed security cameras after becoming puzzled by missing food. It turns out, a homeless woman was living in the top compartment of the man’s closet. The camera captured her crawling down and moving inside his home after he left. The police found the woman later and arrested her for trespassing.
This is a real life nightmare and the worst way to lose weight. Supposedly a gang in the remote Peruvian jungle was killing people for their fat and draining it from their corpses. The gang confessed to cutting off its victims’ heads, arms, and legs, removing the organs, then suspending the torsos from hooks above candles that warmed the flesh as the fat dripped into tubs below. They told the police it was worth $60,000 a gallon in the cosmetics industry, but medical experts doubted their story.