We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the most terrifying urban legends that originate from their hometowns. Here are the stories that'll definitely have you sleeping with the light on tonight.
1. The Trapped Cheerleaders:
I’m from a small town in North Carolina, and rumor has it that cheerleaders from back in the day used a room in my elementary school for practice. One day during practice, a fire broke out, killing everyone inside. Legend has it they can be seen in and around that old practice building — and if you look through the windows long enough, a cheerleader will pull you in.
2. Devil's Gate:
I’m from Libertyville, Illinois, where we have the Devil’s Gate. It's a large black cast iron gate with spikes on the top of it that opens up to an abandoned school. Legend has it that the headmaster of the school was a satanist who impaled several children on the gate, killing them. If you go to the gate in the middle of the night, you can hear the screams of the murdered children. On Halloween, you may even see their bodies still impaled on the gate.
3. Ghost Hill:
I live in a small town in Louisiana where we have Ghost Hill. If you drive on the hill and put your car in neutral, it rolls uphill on its own. It’s said there are ghosts pushing your car and if you put flour on it, you can see their handprints.
4. The Female Strangler:
In Old Town, Virginia, we have the Female Stranger. An unidentified woman and her husband checked into a hotel where she ended up dying a few days later. Legend has it if you look up at the window of the room she stayed in and see a lit candle, she's there — and she'll haunt you for the rest of your life.
5. The Mothman:
In Point Pleasant, West Virginia, we have the Mothman. He's a man-sized moth with glowing red-spotted eyes that can be seen just standing in the road, staring at people driving by. He's never hurt anyone, and he supposedly tried to help when a local bridge collapsed at Christmastime.
6. Oakhurst Sanatorium:
In Elma, Washington, we have the Oakhurst Sanatorium. It was mostly in use during the big tuberculosis outbreak in 1932 and legend has it the staff performed several unorthodox experiments on the patients. To top it off, they buried people on the grounds in unmarked graves. There's a new hospital there now, and people around town have reported feeling and/or seeing strange things when they stay the night.
7. The Cereal Factory:
I grew up in Northfield, Minnesota, where everyone knows the story of the cereal factory. One night, the owner brought his daughter to work, and she fell to her death down a flight of stairs. Since then, people have reported seeing her ghost turn machinery on and off as well as lights turning on and off while working.
8. The Bloody Bride Bridge:
I'm from a small town in Central Wisconsin that's known for the Bloody Bride Bridge. The story goes that a bride and her groom were driving over the bridge on their wedding night when they got into an accident and veered into the water, killing them both. People say if you stop your car on the bridge at night and look in your rearview mirror, you'll be able to see the bride in your backseat.
9. The Mad Scientist:
In Kirtland, Ohio, there’s an urban legend that there was once a mad scientist living in the country doing human experiments that produced “melon heads,” sadistic mutated humans who eventually escaped and would wander around the country roads at night looking for unsuspecting teenagers to torture. Legend has it that if you go looking for them, they'll find you first and you won't make it out alive.
10. Mary Jane's Grave:
In Lucas, Ohio, we have Mary Jane's grave. Supposedly, a witch was chained to a tree and tortured, leaving a big X burned into the bark. If you go at night and shut the lights off in your car, you can see her.
11. Constitution Road:
In Allentown, Pennsylvania, we have Constitution Road. It’s a completely wooded dirt road in the middle of the city. There are a few legends that surround it, but the most popular story involves an Albino family that live at the end of the road who were shunned by society. Seeking revenge, they now terrorize anybody that comes around looking for them.
12. Irma's Grave:
I live in Kaplan, Louisiana, where we have Irma's grave. Years ago, a woman who was thought to be a witch was killed by the townspeople and is now a vengeful spirit. Next to our cemetery, there's a thick patch of woods where she's supposedly buried. Every Halloween, people from Kaplan and surrounding areas gather around the woods. People who've gone to her grave have had car keys yanked out of ignitions, doors locking, and car engines dying once you get too close to the woods.
13. Clinton Road:
I live in Hewitt, New Jersey, where we have Clinton Road. Years ago, a boy was walking alongside the road — and when he bent down to pick up a coin, he was hit by a car, killing him. He was hit with such force that he was thrown into the reservoir below the street. Now, if you go out there at midnight and throw a coin down, he'll throw it back at you.
14. Crybaby Bridge:
In Columbus, Georgia, we have the Crybaby Bridge. As the legend goes, a young woman got pregnant out of wedlock and her family disowned her. After giving birth, she walked to a nearby bridge, threw her baby into the water, and hanged herself. Several people visiting the bridge have seen, felt, and heard a baby crying. If you park your car in the middle of the bridge, you not only hear the cries of the baby, but also the toes of a hanging woman scraping your car roof.
15. The Devil's Tree:
In Port St. Lucie, Florida, we have the Devil's Tree. In 1971, a man named Gerard John Schaefer (aka the Killer Deputy) captured two young girls, tied them to a tree, and hanged them. Since then, there's been sightings of hooded satanic worshipers dancing around the tree — and many say they can still hear the girls screaming. There were many attempts to burn and cut down the tree with chainsaws; however, the tree still stands to this day, and it's considered the Devil's personal tree.
16. Resurrection Mary:
In Chicago, I grew up hearing stories about Resurrection Mary. Legend has it she left the Willowbrook Ballroom late one night after fighting with her boyfriend but was hit by a car before she could make it home. Supposedly, she'll show up in her white dress on the side of the road and try to hitch a ride to her parents' house — which is right near Resurrection Cemetery.
17. And The Legend of Madame Delphine LaLaurie:
In New Orleans, we have the legend of Madame Delphine LaLaurie, which you may recognize from American Horror Story: Coven. At one of Madame Delphine's exclusive parties, a fire started. After the police investigated, it was discovered the fire was started by a kitchen slave chained to the stove — a slave who sacrificed herself to be freed from Madame LaLaurie’s torture. After the fire, Madame LaLaurie was never seen again. It's believed she escaped to Paris to live the rest of her life and eventually die.
For months after the fire, people wouldn't go anywhere near the house, claiming to hear the moans and cries of ghosts of the slaves who didn't make it out alive. The mansion was eventually searched again, and an officer discovered a loose board in the walls. When it was pried back, a secret room was found. The room was filled to the brim with tortured, dismembered, and otherwise mutilated slaves.