We all grew up with those creepy myths that scared the dickens out of us as kids. Truth be told, some of them still creep me out to this day. Imagine my horror when one of my kids came home totally freaked out because he heard one of these urban myths and was terrified to go to sleep that night. If your child suddenly can’t sleep, you might want to ask him if he’s heard something scary lately. In the meantime, read through these creepy myths so you have an idea of what you might be facing.
1. Bloody Mary
This is one of the creepy myths that totally scared the pants off me when I was a kid. The story goes that if you stand in a dark bathroom and say,” Bloody Mary,” three times, she will leap out of the mirror and kill you. It sounds pretty ridiculous, right? But I dare you to give it a try tonight when it gets dark outside. As your eyes adjust to the dark, you can start to see your own reflection in the mirror, which I think is where the creepiness comes in. Don’t worry – I’ve never known anyone who actually saw Bloody Mary, so go ahead and assure your kids that this is completely fake.
2. Under the Bed
What kid hasn’t been terrified of what might be lurking under the bed? I bought my kids beds that sit directly on the ground with drawers for their toys for this very reason. Even as an adult I still get nervous walking by my bed at night. What if something reached out and grabbed me? Well, this creepy story tells the tale of a family who checked into a hotel room, slept there all night and then discovered a dead body under the bed the following morning. If your child catches wind of this story, chances are she’ll be scared of getting near her bed.
3. La Mala Hora
Um, this is pretty freaky and I can just imagine some kid at school regaling the other poor, frightened students with it. I sincerely hope my children never hear this creepy myth. The story goes that if you come to a crossroads in the dark and a demon woman appears and tries to get into your car, that someone is going to die. Of course, in your head you know this isn’t true, but I dare you to try and stay calm next time you approach a crossroads at night, especially if you have your freaked out kid with you.
4. White Lady
In the late 1800s a poor mother lost her daughter. Convinced the child was kidnapped and killed, she threw herself off the cliff at Durand Lake, near Lake Ontario. It is reported that to this day, you can hear her roaming the area calling for her daughter. Legend has it that she is particularly aggressive toward males. If you live in this area, chances are your child will hear this story at some point. Be prepared to point out the complete lack of evidence to help calm his fears.
5. Cuco the Child Eater
This story is creepy, but what really blows my mind is that parents would actually threaten their children with Cuco the Child Eater. The tale is of Hispanic origin and parents would sing a song to their child that essentially said, “go to sleep or Cuco will get you.” Now I seriously hope that parents aren’t really telling their kids this and that most of them are hearing the story from their friends. If you ever hear the name Cuco, you may have some sleepless nights on your hands.
6. Sarah Jane
This is one of those stories that tempt older kids to do silly things. The story goes that Sarah Jane hid her baby in a basket on the river to keep him safe from Civil War soldiers. When she went back for him, the basket had floated away so she committed suicide. Legend says you can summon the ghost of Sarah Jane by standing on a bridge and telling her you’ve got her baby seven times. Again, totally silly and obviously fake, but it can be hard convincing a child of that next time you have to cross a bridge when it’s dark outside.
Talk about a story sure to make your child afraid of dogs. The story says that Meriden is a small, black dog that walks around without making any sound and without leaving any footprints. If someone crosses paths with the dog three times it ensures death. So if you live in a neighborhood with a black dog, or own one yourself, you might have some freaked out kids on your hands.
What creepy myth scared you most as a kid? Does it still scare you today?