Every state has its own urban legend. Many of these superstitious stories came about during a period of limited scientific investigation. A person trapped in a person's peripheral vision became something eerie and shady. The guttural sound of a wild beast transformed into the battle cry of an unknowable monster. We instinctively feared what we could not explain, and our overactive ideas did the rest.
See also: 10 scary urban legends from all over the world
But our willingness to believe urban legends once served to unite evolutionary advantages. These stories often had a true core and warned us of certain dangers in real life. In a world of few answers, it has always been more beneficial to exercise caution and avoid potential human enemies. It did not matter if this predator was a mythical sasquatch or just an oversized bear. All that mattered was survival.
Many urban legends are still popular today. While such stories are often told with a wink and a smile, some still believe them. From the Mothman from West Virginia to the Jersey Devil, so-called cryptozoologists always remain alert. So let's just explore some of these crazy and crazy urban legends.
0 The Dark Watchers (California)
The legend tells of shady figures who are following the Santa Lucia Mountains in Monterey County, California. Spanish conquerors, who explored the region for the first time in 1602, called these otherworldly creatures the Dark Guardians (Los Vigilantes Oscuros).
The late Thomas Steinbeck, son of the famous writer John Steinbeck, talked in detail about the Dark Watchers. He finally entrusted himself to his friend, the artist Benjamin Brode. "The details of the report were given as a child [Thomas] and authenticated by such credible sources as his grandmother Olive Hamilton and Billy Post, descendant of Rancher El Sur Grande," Brode claimed.
Thomas's fascination for Dark Watchers lay in the family. John Steinbeck mentioned the mysterious entities in "The Long Valley" – a collection of short stories published in 1938. "Flight" tells the story of Pepé, a young teenager who escapes after stabbing a local city dweller. Pepé meets the guards while fleeing to the mountains. From the story: "Nobody knew who the watchers were and where they lived, but it was better to ignore them and never show interest in them. They did not bother anyone who stayed on track and cared about their own affairs. "
John Steinbeck raised Thomas when he worked as a ranch worker in the mountainous region of Big Sur. The writer's understanding of the Dark Guardians reflected local stories. The humanoid figures usually appear in the morning or in the evening. And they immediately "disappear like fog" when someone looks at them directly.
Thomas made contact with the locals Billy and Luci Post, descendants of the Rancher El Sur Grande. Post claims that ranchers exhumed the remains of a young girl in the 1920s. After the desecration of the tomb, the Dark Guardians disappeared and the locals were struck by misfortune. According to the Post family, happiness was not restored until the ranchers returned the girl to her original resting place. 
9 The Haunted Pillar (Georgia)
In 1878, a violent storm moved through the city of Augusta, Georgia. The event killed two people and devastated the Old Market. There was only one pillar left. Some of the more superstitious natives believed that higher power was responsible for the devastation. However, interest soon subsided and the column became another landmark.
During the Great Depression, Lockhart International Inc. officials paid tens of thousands of dollars to boost tourism in the region. In addition, Lockhart spread rumors that the only pillar was hit. The company shared this fake news with national newspapers. The story goes that an angry preacher predicted the impending destruction of the market. He claimed that only one of the pillars would survive and anyone who tried to interfere with the structure would have a cruel end. The fraud worked. Tourists flocked to the area to hear about Georgia's "haunting pillar". The contractors even talked to the mayor of the city about the removal of the building.
The pillar was finally toppled after a vehicle crashed into it in 1935. The restoration was funded by a local market owner. In 1958, a large cotton ball fell off a passing truck and destroyed the column again. The city has restored it. But the column could not take a break. In December 2016, it was destroyed a third time. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the pillar is to return. The city is preparing drafts for the next pillar and has already provided funds. 
8 Nain Rouge (Michigan)
Every spring, a devilish monster makes its way through Midtown Detroit aboard a wagon of hairy cockroach legs. The bizarre spectacle ends with a speech by the Fanged Beast in front of the city's famous Masonic Temple. The amiable fellow introduces himself as Nain Rouge, the "harbinger of fate." During the 2015 celebrations, he told the vibrant crowd that he was the "living embodiment of everything Detroit holds back, the red prince of the persecution, Cadillac's folly, the destroyer of hope.
The appearance of the Nain is said to precede an impending catastrophe. According to local legend, the Nain Rouge (Red Dwarf) dates back to 1701. It is said that Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of the city, once defeated the creature in a fit of rage. The French explorer then endured decades of terrible calamity, as did his city.
Today, the Nain is blamed for all sorts of problems, from extreme weather conditions to the city's longstanding economic problems. Every year thousands of Detroit chase the villain out of town. It is to be hoped that the Nain's exile will bring luck to the city. The tradition began in 2010 with the celebrations of the brands du Nain Rouge. Shops, breweries and restaurants organized events throughout the week. Parade poses made their way through the city's rejuvenated Cass Corridor. And night owls in costumes to keep the Nain from recognizing them.
However, some demonstrators believe that Nain Rouge is merely trying to warn the city of its impending demise – not to cause it. Pro-Nainers take part in the parade every year and try to spread their own interpretation of the story. The leader of the group, John Tenney, claims that the Nain was originally a Native American spirit called Nanabozho. "When the French came here, it was obviously not a Judeo-Christian god," explained Tenney causing the problems in Detroit. 
7 The Ship of Death (Wyoming)
In the fall of 1862, an Indian Army scout named Leon Webber stood on the edge of the North Platte River in Wyoming. The Animal Trap built a log cabin six miles from Fort Laramie, a military outpost. Suddenly a dense fog rolled across the river. The mist took shape and gradually morphed into an ancient ship. The frost-covered sails glittered in the evening light. Webber was fixated. There, on the deck, the phantom crews surrounded a lifeless, young woman. The trapper dawned a terrible realization:
"The ship suddenly turned to my side of the river – and I recognized the corpse of Margaret Stanley, my best friend – that we should have marry early in the spring. "Margy!" I called, preparing to descend into the water.
When Webber plunged into the misty water, the ship disappeared, staying by the river at dusk, patiently waiting for signs from Margaret, but the ship never returned.Webber returned to the Stanley residence a month later noted that his lover had died.
Fate, a paranormal investigative magazine, reported that the vessel had been spotted on two more occasions, according to reports from the Cheyenne Bureau of Psychological Research, a local rancher claims to have sailed the ship in 1887 At the behest of the ship's captain, the crew members uncovered the body of the cattle rancher's wife, her face disfigured and burned, and the rancher returned home to find his wife's burned remains she tried to escape from a domestic fire.
The final sighting took place in 1903. Victo Heibe remembers seeing a dead man aboard the ship: "As the corpse swayed from the swing of the ship, it turned so I looked straight in the face. It was the blackened face of my dearest friend. Heibes friend Thomas Horn turned out to be a Cheyenne court condemning Horn for murder and sentencing him to hang Unknown to Heibe, Horn was hanged in a jail on the same day of ghostly premonition. 
6 Escalante Petrified Forest (Utah)
Tourists flock to the scenic nature trails of Garfield County, Utah, along the path of the Petrified Forest, where you can tour lava flows and along a series of canyons In the Wide Hollow Reservoir, fishermen can compete with the rainbow trout, and the mesa is covered with large deposits of beautiful petrified wood, but some visitors have kept part of the wood, much of which is over 130 million years old, as a keepsake. The curse of the petrified forest arose from this theft.
The force that drives the curse remains undefined. However, the forest has allegedly imposed a number of penalties, including marriage breakdowns and serious health problems. Many of the thieves finally confess they have taken the rocks in a desperate attempt to lift the curse. Park attendant Kendall Farnsworth receives about a dozen packages of stolen wood known as "stones of conscience" every year, along with letters of apology. A similar story has spread across the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Since the 1930s, the park has received apology letters worth about 1,200 pages.
Petrified wood is the result of permineralization. The trees were once part of an old meadow landscape. Millions of years ago they were buried by floods and covered with sediments. This stopped the normal decomposition process. Instead, the wood was gradually replaced by minerals and effectively turned into stone. The lush color of the sample is due to the deposition of minerals in the wood during preservation. For example, iron-bearing minerals produce a reddish hue while manganese deposits are pink. 
5 The Rhinelander Hodag (Wisconsin)
In 1893, Wisconsin businessman Eugene Shepard authored a newspaper article about his encounter with a mysterious dragon-like creature. The huge monster, known to the locals as the Rhinelander Hodag, trudged through the forest near the town of Rheinländer. Shepard said he worked with a group of hunters to cut the animal and sent it with dynamite. The whisper of the Hodag spread in the lumberjack camps. The city's lumberjacks believed that Hodags were malevolent demons. They emerged from the ashes of dead oxen and punished the workers for treating their livestock so badly.
Shepard's heroic tales did not end here. He announced the capture of a Hodag in a subsequent column. Only a few days later, he presented the creature at the Oneida County Fair. Of course, everything was a complicated joke. Shepard had a puppet made of wood and animal skins. As gullible fair visitors flocked into the dimly lit exhibition tent, the sons of the cheater did the rest. They moved the horned doll while they growled at the audience.
The spectacle made headlines across America. The Philadelphia Enquirer, who obviously was not convinced of the legitimacy of the story, wrote in the headline: "A monster with many horns." From the article: "That's not all that's wonderful about the Hodag, whose scientific name we know is: "cattle spiritualis. & # 39; It seems that this creature of the cattle type also lays eggs, some of which were found in their nest. & # 39;
Shepard's List served a larger purpose. He rightly predicted that the timber business in Wisconsin would go bankrupt. He therefore spread the message from the Hodag to put Rhinelander on the map. His bet has paid off. Today, Rhinelander High School uses the fictional creature as a mascot. Statues of the legendary monster are scattered throughout the city. Local shops sell a variety of Hodag goods, including t-shirts, masks, stuffed animals and bumper stickers. 
4 Buck's Cursed Tomb (Maine)
In 1763, Colonel Jonathan Buck founded a small settlement on the Penobscot River in Maine. Although the colonel has a long history, it's best to remember something he never worked on. Soon after Buck's death, bizarre stories spread. In 1852, his grandchildren erected a monument near his grave. But an unusual shape, vaguely reminiscent of a woman's leg, appeared in the rock. It was rumored that Colonel Buck had previously sentenced a witch to death. Before her death, the witch cursed Buck and said his tombstone would forever remind the world of his evil deeds: "But listen to this stone, the imprint of my feet will crop up a long time ago and [your] cursed race are from Died to earth, will people from near and far know that you have murdered a woman? Remember, Jonathan Buck, well remember. "
In reality, the colonel did not kill such a person. He was born decades after the hysteria of the witch trials. As a justice of the peace, he was not authorized to authorize executions. And the strange shape is probably the result of simple weathering.
Despite this, the legend has attracted much tourism. The locals even host an annual charity event called Jonathan Buck's Race to the Grave. Participants must build their own coffins to qualify for the race. Each team then pushes the casket towards the finish line. One of the competitors, a "Jonathan", has to stay in the coffin at all times.  3 Kushtakas (Alaska)
A number of indigenous tribes on the Pacific North Coast believe in a shapeshifter creature called Kushtaka (Landotter Man). According to the tribes Tsimshian and Tlingit, the huge swindler can turn into humans, otters and wolves. They hypothesize that all Landotters are aligned in a kind of mischievous conspiracy. They say, Otters transform humans into these half-eaters Kushtakas. Once shot, Kushtakas mimic the sounds of babies and children to lure their prey. Others pursue their goal and become a friend or family member. When a Kushtaka meets a lost person, he either takes their souls or turns them into a Kushtaka companion.
Navy Lieutenant George Thornton Emmons explored the Tlingit culture. Based on the work of Emmons, anthropologist and anthropologist Frederica de Laguna described the transformation as follows: "The transformation took place slowly: first, hair grew over the body, the language became confused, it began to run on knees and elbows, a tail grew out , and with time he became more otter than human.
There are very few ways to save the soul of the victim. If fast enough, an experienced shaman can hunt down a missing member of the tribe and undo the spell. Sometimes these mighty elders enter a Kushtaka and cut out their tongues. This is the source of the power of the creature. In the meantime, tribal members have to rely on dogs to protect themselves. Dogs see through the many forms of the Kushtaka, and their barking forces the shapeshifters to reveal their true form. 
2 The Tombstone Thunderbird (Arizona)
The legend of Tombstone Thunderbird began with a small newspaper in Arizona. In April 1890, the Tombstone Weekly Epitaph published the antics of two armed ranchers. The pair is said to have encountered a huge "wing monster" on a trek through a desert east of the former mining town of Tombstone. The men quickly grabbed their Winchester rifles and hunted on horseback. After a few kilometers, the ranchers caught up with the animal and killed it. On closer inspection, it should have looked like an alligator with wings.
Joshua Hawley, author of The Legend of the Tombstone Thunderbird, remains skeptical. He believes the story was invented in response to the economic downturn in the city. "Tombstone was a dusty little town where very few people lived, so writing good news articles was a bigger challenge," he said.
More recently, paranormal investigators have reported dozens of reports of Thunderbird sightings on the Pacific Coast and Midwest. It has been suggested that these witnesses only observed large birds that are already known to wildlife experts. Some describe the Thunderbird as a pterodactyl-like animal that might look like the Gray Heron. The original story of the Tombstone Weekly claimed somewhat implausibly that the Thunderbird has a wingspan of 49 meters and eyes that are "as big as a plate". Hawley said one of the ranchers finally came out and said the newspaper had published a misleading story. "They never shot it," Hawley said. "They never killed it … and it flew away." 
1 Spook Hill (Maryland)
In 1997, a group of amateur filmmakers in Maryland began filming The Blair Witch Project. The small village of Burkittsville, with less than 200 inhabitants, was the scene of disturbing events. Most scenes were actually shot in other parts of Maryland. But that did not stop legions of dizzying teenagers from landing in the surrounding woods with shaky cameras.
Although The Blair Witch is completely fictional, Burkittsville has another main attraction: Spook Hill. According to local legend, Spook Hill is haunted by the spirits of dead Civil War soldiers. In 1862, armed forces attacked Maryland under the command of Robert E. Lee. Most of the Confederate forces attacked West Maryland, while a small detachment was instructed to repel the strengthening of the Union from the East. The Confederates blocked a narrow passage in South Mountain, just outside Burkittsville. After a three-hour battle, the Confederates withdrew. Both sides suffered heavy losses and thousands more were injured. "Every house had six or seven wounded, and when they died, they had to be dragged out and taken to the fields. Well, it will create ghost stories, "said Paul Gilligan, the village's former mayor.
This story was Spook Hill, a short distance along Gapland Road in Burkittsville. When a ball is placed on the road surface, it seems to roll up the slope. Even an idle car rolls slowly up Spook Hill as if defying the laws of gravity. Some believe that the spirits of the dead soldiers pull the objects back towards the village.
In reality, Spook Hill is just an optical illusion. The objects actually roll downhill – not uphill. The driver thinks he is rolling up because he can not see the horizon around him. The surrounding trees and landscapes are often inclined at a steeper angle to the road. This, together with the fact that humans terribly assess the angle of inclination, produces an overwhelming effect. Essentially, our brain "creates" a new horizon because the surrounding landmarks are positioned as we are not accustomed to.