“The Grifter” is a horrific Internet urban legend which was first posted in 2009. It’s about a video clip which apparently is so disturbing that it traumatizes everyone who watches it. Apparently, the video clip featured scenes of dying children, excruciating screams, and close-ups of exorcisms and corpses.Although something like the Grifter would indeed be horrifying to watch, thankfully it’s entirely a work of fiction. The person who started the legend admitted in 2009 that the so-called “screenshots” of the video were actually taken from the movie Little Otik. Although most people now know that it’s a hoax, it’s still a terrifying story to tell around a campfire. Some have even gone the extra mile and recreated the video themselves in order to try and pass it off as the real thing.
The Angel Statue
This story begins with a couple who decided that they wanted to go out for the night, so they called up their usual babysitter to take care of the kids. When the babysitter arrived, the children were already asleep, so she decided that she would pass the time by watching some TV. However, the only TV in the house that had cable was situated inside the parents’ bedroom, so she called them to see if it was cool with them.
The Legend of “Dog Boy”
The legend of “Dog Boy” originates out of Arkansas. While it does not involve the mythological chupacabra as featured above, it does feature a sinister little boy who spent his childhood years ruthlessly torturing and experimenting on local dogs and cats. Legend has it the boy had paranormal powers, too. Incredibly, the Dog Boy legend is (mostly) real and is based on the life of Gerald Floyd Bettis, who actually added on to the family home so that he could store more stray dogs and cats to torture. Bettis was also a tyrant when it came to his parents. “He kept [them] virtually imprisoned in the upstairs part of that house,” a neighbor said. “He would feed them, but only when he decided it was time for them to eat.” While there’s no proof Bettis had any kind of paranormal forces at work with him, he was 6’4″ and weighed close to 300 pounds, which must have made his sadistic behavior all the more terrifying to his victims.
The Homemade Self-Decapitation Machine
THE LEGEND: As humans, we’re pretty emotionally attached to our heads, which probably explains why there are so many urban legends that incorporate accidental or intentional decapitation (“Then the man fell out of the elevator … WITHOUT HIS HEAD!”). But if some guy around the water cooler were to insist that he once heard about a guy who TOTALLY committed suicide by BEHEADING HIMSELF with a COMPLICATED SAW-LIKE BOOBY TRAP DEVICE and that he TOTALLY SAW IT ON THE NEWS, DUDE, you’d tag him as one of those people who can’t separate reality from low-budget torture porn.
THE TRUTH: Usually, when cops get a call about a domestic disturbance, it’s just another day at the office. You show up, make Cletus put his pants back on, confiscate the bath salts, the usual. Not for the poor guys who responded to a disturbance in Yorktown, Virginia, in 2011. For one thing, the guy they were there to help was sitting in a car with a trailer attached. A flaming trailer. For another, the guy in the car attached to the burning trailer refused to get out, not for the police or for the firemen or for the promise of a Big Gulp, a trick that usually works with these types. And that’s when one of the firefighters noticed the wire around the driver’s neck … the wire that went out the back window and was snugly tied to a tree 10 feet away. This was no ordinary domestic disturbance. This dude wasn’t just a troubled soul having a freakout at the trailer park; he was going out like the shiniest star in the crazysphere. Before anyone could stop him, the driver stepped on the gas, the car zoomed forward and the wire snapped. The unnamed victim was whipped out the rear window and his head was removed. And the whole ordeal wasn’t even over — the trailer detached from the truck and kept rolling, flames sky high in the air, head and body both left behind. Here’s the ABC News link if you don’t believe us. Welcome to the goddamned Cracked Halloween Real Urban Legends list, baby.
The Very Unhappy Ending
THE LEGEND: A man falls passionately in love with a beautiful, exciting woman. After a whirlwind romance, he permanently seals the deal with a wedding. It’s only then that he discovers that he has married THE DEVIL. Wait, we’re going to say that there is such a thing as marrying a she-devil?
THE TRUTH: Newlyweds Shriya and Bimal Patel had spent most of their first year as man and wife with him in Austin and her in Dubai. You’d think that once they were reunited, some freaky sex stuff would get started. That’s probably what Mr. Patel pictured when his wife offered to give him a hot oil massage in the bathtub. She even set the scene — romantic candles, a faint scent of gasoline … The hopeless romantic was already in the tub when he realized that the oil she was pouring wasn’t so much oil as it was gas, and the candles weren’t there for ambience. For all we know, he didn’t figure it out until he found himself bathing in a roaring tub of hellfire. Shriya fled the scene, jamming the bathroom door on her way out. If Mr. Patel had been paying attention, he would have noticed that the fire alarm was off the wall and the apartment sprinklers were wrapped in plastic bags. In other words, this wasn’t a spontaneous “douse my husband in gas and burn him alive” impulse that had hit her in the heat of the moment — she had planned it out to the last detail, and during the entire process never stopped to think that maybe there were easier ways to break it off. Shriya was, as you can imagine, charged with murder
The Milwaukee Mangler
THE LEGEND: Every day, millions of us put our lives in the hands of skilled physicians, dentists and white van tattoo artists. Whether we’re getting wisdom teeth removed or our boobs corrected so they’re the same size, we’re working under two assumptions: A) The doctor in charge knows what he’s doing and B) he’s not a psychopath who just went through medical school so he’d have an excuse to mutilate people.
THE TRUTH: Glen Tucker was a terrible plastic surgeon. In fact, he was worse than that — he was sadistically incompetent and left a trail of mangled patients behind him wherever he went. Like the man who came to see him with arm spasms and ended up having his arm amputated. Or the woman who went in for breast implants and somehow, against all odds and laws of physics, ended up with square breasts, covered in Frankenstein-like scars. So Tucker’s faults went far beyond just being a crappy doctor. Take the story of Jan Lehman, who had nothing more than a broken nose when she came to see Tucker. Midway through surgery, she WOKE UP to find the “doctor” wheeling her into a strangely dark and deserted operating room. She then passed out, but awoke again as Tucker brutally tore tubing from her nose, destroying her stitches. Later, after filing a complaint against Tucker, Lehman reported seeing him following her in his car. He wasn’t just inept — he was Cape Fear crazy. The complaints and lawsuits mounted, and then one day Tucker tragically drowned in a boating accident. Except of course he didn’t actually drown, and even if he did, it probably wouldn’t have been that tragic. No, he just flew the coop to Florida, leaving numerous barely stitched together patients in his wake. Years later, a TV producer tracked Tucker to Florida, and the doctor gave this eerie statement: “If I get driven too far into a corner, if it got to the point where life was no longer worth living, then I would not want to go alone.” He didn’t. Several years later, Tucker loaded his .45 and killed his wife, himself and, yes, even the cat.
The Corpse in the Deep End
THE LEGEND: Public pools are gross. We’ve all heard stories of people finding various things floating in the pool, but hey, not all of us can afford a private oasis in our backyard. So we put up with an occasional Band-Aid or dirty diaper every now and then. It’s not like, say, you could go swimming and find your foot being caressed by a cold, dead hand. That’s just the kind of shit teenagers spread around to scare the little kids. Right?
THE TRUTH: You bet it could. In Fall River, Massachusetts, some kids had sneaked into a public pool for a late-night swim when they saw something big float to the surface: the very waterlogged corpse of a missing woman. It had been rotting there for almost three days, just below the surface, where toddlers had been unknowingly doing the dog paddle in corpse soup. The body was a 36-year-old woman named Marie Joseph. She was chaperoning at a crowded pool that not only boasted a 12-foot-deep section, but was also cloudy as all get out. You might recoil at the thought of swimming in cloudy water, but with dozens of kids Marco Polo-ing it up, the pool water was probably as churned as Niagara Falls. So when Joseph went underwater but didn’t come back up, the six (six!) lifeguards on duty just missed her, thanks to not being able to see to the bottom of the pool. Or maybe they did see her, but thought she was a great swimmer, since moving water gives the illusion of movement — even when you’re dead. So day one passes. Marie’s friends at the pool just assumed that she went home. TWO HEALTH INSPECTORS stop by to check the water; still no clue that there is a woman metaphorically sleeping with the fishes on the concrete bottom. Not until a couple of kids went for a midnight swim and got a lifetime’s worth of trauma instead. Oh, hey, speaking of spending time with corpse
The Real-Life Weekend at Bernie’s
THE LEGEND: Aside from being a madcap romp featuring the incorrigible Andrew McCarthy and the insatiably rakish Jonathan Silverman, the “But it turned out he was actually dead the whole time!” stories are pure nightmare fuel. Usually in movies this plays out with somebody talking to an unresponsive person who has his back to them, then they turn the chair around and realize HE WAS DEAD THE WHOLE TIME. Or maybe the “dozing” passenger next to you on the six-hour flight turns out to be a corpse who died upon takeoff, or the still figure you wake up next to in bed doesn’t wake up … THE LEGEND: Robert Young and Mark Rubinson arrived at their friend Jeffrey Jarrett’s house to find him dead of an accidental overdose, except according to Young and Rubinson, they thought he was just drunk. Lack of breathing and rigor mortis are common side effects of being drunk, right? Totally. Like anyone else with a dead drunk friend and a dream, Tweedledee and Tweedledum loaded their pal into the car and went out on the town. It seems like the natural thing to do when this is what you face in the mirror every morning: Jarrett didn’t seem much interested in fun, but surely he’d sober up soon, so Young and Rubinson left him to decompose in the back seat while they hit four different bars and strip clubs — all on Jarrett’s tab, of course. All while Jarrett was supposedly sleeping off his liquor in the backseat of the car. Finally, they took him home, kept his credit card and kept on partying. It wasn’t until the wee hours of the morning that one of them realized that their buddy might have been dead all along. Like Bruce Willis, but less handsome. Thankfully, in the end some mob guy took the fall and Young and Rubinson lived happily ever after, even reuniting for a sequel! Oh no, wait. Actually, the Wonder Twins were charged with identity theft, criminal impersonation and abusing a corpse. Haha, that was a fun one, right? Well, that’s clearly the end of the article, best to just quit now on that light-hearted story about the two dumbasses. Yep, there are no more disturbing stories out there, none at all. We’ll all be happier if we don’t keep reading about …
The Collector urban legend is really a catch-all legend for creepy hermetic neighbors that may be doing something horrifying inside their dungeon-like basements. The most common “Collector” legend is the neighbor who collects human body parts and proudly displays them in mason jars. In Russia, the Collector urban legend has a bright future because it played out in real life. Its new mascot is local Russian historian Anatoly Moskvin, who stole corpses from cemeteries in dozens of towns east of Moscow. According to police, he dug up at least 29 corpses and made dolls out of them–life-sized faceless female dolls with platinum blond wigs. Your neighbor may be up to no good, but it’s likely not as creepy as Russia’s notorious historian-turned-body-part-collector.