5 Urban Legend Monsters (that Turned out to Be Real People)

    June 13, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Scary monsters are the stuff created to keep small children away from a dangerous area (and to draw older children to it). Usually, these monsters are simply made up, like when our parents threatened that, if we ever wet our beds, the Boogeyman would come and kill us. But, once in a while a fasinating person or group of people is the inspiration for a scary legend:

    1. The Green Man

    The Story Goes Like This:

    Out near Pittsburgh there’s an old road that passes through a tunnel. It is haunted by the ghost of an electrocuted power company employee. If you drive through the tunnel at night, you have to honk your horn/flash your lights/don’t honk your horn/don’t flash your lights. Otherwise, a man with no face and green skin will get you.

    But, in Reality, It Turns out That:

    Some horribly disfigured man liked to walk the roads around Koppel, Pennsylvania.

    In 1918, Raymond Robinson was a little boy who longed to see a bird’s nest. Climbing up, he touched a high-voltage power line. Robinson survived, but was quite disfigured. He spent most of the next seventy years at home with his family, making wallets for spare cash.

    Impressed by the monstrous legend that had grown in the area, a journalist tracked down the source of the legend. Raymond Robinson, as an adult, was actually a shy, quiet man who was well liked by his friends and neighbors. He would even exchange a bit of conversation in exchange for beer or cigarettes. So, the next time a giant monster is chasing you (for us, it happens whenever we stop drinking), try smoking with it.

    2. The Bunnyman Axe Murderer

    The Story Goes Like This:

    In 1904, criminally insane prisoners were being transported between jails. Whatever they used to transport inmates back in the 1900s (tied to a horse?) crashed, killing all but one. Soon, half-eaten rabbit carcasses were found hanging from trees in the surrounding woods. Authorities tracked down the culprit, a man who killed his family on Easter Sunday. The perpetrator was struck by a train and killed. Now, every Halloween, rabbit carcasses hang from a nearby bridge.

    But, in Reality, It Turns out That:

    Some guy ran around hacking stuff up with a bunny suit.

    It’s a rare occasion that an urban legend turns out to be less interesting than its source. But the Bunnyman’s original inspiration was a bit more nutty. In 1969, a couple parked in the Virginia woods. A grown man wearing a bunny costume threw an axe through their window, screaming about trespassing. Over the next few weeks, more than 50 people called the cops about some crazy bunny man swinging an axe in the woods.

    Authorities never found the culprit, probably because the Virginia woods are unforgivingly thick . For fans of the film Donnie Darko, it’s interesting to note that Frank-the-bunnyman creator Richard Kelly grew up in a Virginia suburb in the 1970s.


    3. Mole People

    The Story Goes Like This:

    Underneath metropolitan cities dwell large societies of homeless sewer-dwellers.

    But, in Reality, It Turns out That:

    People are building surprisingly well-furnished pads in the underground storm channels of Las Vegas.

    They sleep on a bed that looks better than the ones in most college dorm rooms, we might add. It is estimated that, in addition to many venomous spiders, hundreds of people call the flood channels under Las Vegas casinos their home.

    It has also been frequently speculated that the sewers and subway tunnels of New York house an extensive society of homeless. However, that claim has been hotly discussed by people who, frankly, should have something better to talk about.

    4. Purple Aki

    The Story Goes Like This:

    IF you go out walking by the train tracks near Liverpool, an enormous man will grab you and feel your muscles. He will then ask you, “Pop or Slash?” This means the victim has either the choice of being raped or getting his initials carved into their buttocks.

    But, in Reality, It Turns out That:

    Some scary, 6’7″ guy goes around Liverpool feeling boys’ and men’s muscles and being sexually inappropriate.

    Akinwale Arobieke was brought to court in 2001 of fifty counts of indecent assault and harassment over a five year stretch. Arobieke liked to approach teenage boys, particularly those with muscles, and grope them without permission. Although he’s not purple. Damn, that’s racist.

    5. The Hobo in the Walls

    The Story Goes Like This:

    Two parents with a young child move into a large, old house. Soon, the child develops a new imaginary friend. The child soon grows terrified of the imaginary friend, prompting the parents to investigate. Turns out the “imaginary” friend was actually a deranged homeless man who lived between the walls.

    But, in Reality, It Turns out That:

    Some guy had a homeless lady secretly living in his house for a year.

    See those high cabinets, the ones that looked like they were never opened? That’s where a 58-year-old woman hid and slept. Eventually, the owner of the house noticed food was missing, caught the woman on camera, and called authorities. Police who found her described her as “neat and clean,” her having fastidiously used the shower while the owner of the house was out to work. We’ve already stolen the concept for our screenplay, except ours is a romantic comedy where the owner and homeless woman fall in love at the end.

    So, next time rumors surface about some deformed homeless man in a bunny costume who emerges from the sewer to assault people, there might be a kernel of truth to the story. Actually, come to think of it, that “monster” is probably just us after drinking too much Night Train on payday.

    Speak Your Mind
    Tell us what you're thinking... and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!