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9 Of The Most Terrifying Scary Stories From All Over The World

These stories are collected from around the world, but they all have one thing in common: they'll make you want to sleep with the lights on tonight.

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This Halloween, Buzzfeed writers from around the world have come together to bring you nine of the scariest stories from their countries.

Some are urban legends, some are a part of each country's folklore, and some are just sad reminders of humanity's cruelty... but they'll all keep you up in fear tonight.

Curiously, many of the stories have their own versions in each country, such as the US's tale of Bloody Mary, who in Brazil is known as "Loira do Banheiro" (The Bathroom's Blond Woman).

We tried to pull together a good selection, but this list could be a lot longer! If you have a good ghost story from your own region, please tell it in the comment section below!

O Corpo Seco (or "The Dried Body")

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This creature was once described as having a "shriveled body with an ugly face full of pustules" and has been sighted in several cities in southeast Brazil.

A few years ago, the Corpo Seco (which roughly translates to dried body in English) was seen on top of a wall in a cemetery in Mogi Guaçu, São Paulo. "I always thought this was just an old story linked to cemeteries, but no, I saw with my own two eyes that the Corpo Seco exists, and I don't want to go near that cemetery again," retiree Maria Aparecida Soares Branco told her local paper.

There are many different versions of the origins of Corpo Seco (also known as Unhudo or Big Nails), but it is consensus that he was once human, and was a very cruel man when he was alive, with some stories calming that he even beat his own mother. When he died, the ground rejected his buried body, and his corpse kept returning to the surface. After having his eternal rest denied, he turned into the Corpo Seco.

The Corpo Seco is thought to have the power to dry out and kill trees, but also to suck the blood of humans on deserted roads in the dead of the night.

Mary-san no Denwa (or "Phone Call from Mary")

Rebekkah_ann / Getty Images

This popular Japanese urban legend is about a porcelain doll that, after being abandoned by her owner, decides to murder her. For every step she takes, getting closer and closer to her victim, she greets the girl with a phone call. What sounds like a prank at the beginning of the story grows darker and darker in tone as the story goes on:

A family is moving houses and their daughter throws away a porcelan doll she named Mary. That night, the girl gets a phone call.

"Hi, it's Mary. I'm at the garbage dump now."

The girl hangs up, but the phone rings again. "Hi, it's Mary. I’m at the corner store now.”

The phone rings a third time and a voice says, "Hi, it's Mary. I'm in front of your house now."

The girl works up the courage to open the front door but sees nobody there. Must be a prank, she thinks–and then the phone rings.

"Hi, it's Mary. I'm right behind you."

Bloody Mary

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This urban legend is about a young girl named Mary Worth, who was very pretty and would spend hours admiring herself in her bathroom mirror.

But one day, she suffered a terrible accident, and her face became so disfigured that nobody could stand to look at her. One night, after deciding she had to see the damage for herself, she crept into the bathroom, stared at herself in the mirror, and broke down screaming and crying. She wanted her old face back so badly that she walked into the mirror, vowing to find it, and was never seen again.

To this day, she haunts mirrors, and young girls can summon her — if they dare — by turning off the bathroom lights, turning around three times, reciting “Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary” and looking into the mirror, where the gruesomely disfigured Mary Worth will appear.

Hotel Cecil

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The Cecil Hotel opened in 1924 in Los Angeles, where it became a notorious site for crime and tragedy. It became residence to at least two serial killers and a place where many guests committed suicide by jumping out of the windows.

In 2013, for example, one tourist, Elisa Lam, was discovered drowned in the water tank on the roof of the hotel. Her death was ruled as an accident, but elevator security footage showed that Lam had been acting erratically in the corner of the elevator, almost as if she were hiding from someone.

Throughout the years, people have continued to report strange happenings at the hotel, which went on to inspire the TV show American Horror Story: sightings of a little boy appearing outside windows on the fourth floor, a guest saying that he felt like he was being choked while trying to sleep, and guests also encountering cold spots in various locations throughout the building.


Nastco / Getty Images / Via

There’s an old myth in the eastern parts of Russia – across the Ural mountains and far away in Siberia – about a creature called Antsybal (or Achibal), an evil spirit who lives in swamps.

Nobody who has ever seen him has survived to tell the story, so his appearance changes depending on who you talk to: a tall creature, covered in wet swamp water, with legs, arms and other parts covered and protected by plants and wood.

Antsybal makes venturing into the swamp very dangerous. He's mostly active at night, and he lives in swampy areas because it’s neither land nor water — it's unstable, just like himself.

Although Atsybal doesn't hunt people, when someone approaches the place where he has settled, he will try to kill them. He can make people go deaf, he can can strike people blind, and he can disorient people who get too close. He'll do anything in his power to ensure that you get lost and drown in his swamp if he feels threatened.

Depending on the region, people also believe that Atsybal doesn't have any eyes, and that he can mimic any animal sound, such as ducks and birds, drawing in local hunters.

La Maison Sanglante (The Bleeding House)


The Bleeding House was located in Saint Quentin, a small city in the Aisne region of France. Its story begins in 1986, when a family moved to the property and, after a month, started to hear strange noises (such as moans and clanging pots) coming from the ground level.

At first, they thought it was just the neighbors, but then things became weirder and weirder. One day, the wife witnessed a strange and viscous red substance dripping down the walls of the kitchen. Was it blood? Her husband dismissed her concerns, saying that it was probably just old paint that was returning to the surface. But then it started happening in other parts of the house, so the couple decided to call the police. The investigation led to a creepy conclusion: it was not paint at all, but human blood. 

The family decided to leave the house for a week, after spreading flour on the ground (in hopes of catching someone pranking them). When they returned, there were no footprints, but all the walls of the house were totally covered in blood. A priest was called and gave a verdict: this was the work of a demon, and the house should be demolished at once.

When they tore the house down, the corpses of about 50 German soldiers from the first World War were discovered beneath the building. The photo above is actually of the house that was built to replace the Bleeding House.

Waldniel Hoster

Waldniel Hostert / Via

The Waldniel-Hostert was built by the Franciscan order in 1913 in Schwalmtal, Germany as a hospital-school-church complex that sheltered around 600 disabled and learning impaired people.

During the rise of the Nazi regime, the Franciscans were expelled and the function of the institution changed dramatically. At first, its adult inmates were sent for mandatory sterilization – a common fate for those who were considered by Hitler’s followers to be unwanted sectors of society, including alcoholics, schizophrenics, and people with “congenital weaknesses.” After the "euthanasia decree" of 1939, the adult inmates were sent to gas chambers.

That same decree stated that all babies born with "incurable" disabilities should also be euthanized, and the Waldniel-Hostert also became a killing center for mentally handicapped children.

It's thought that at least 97 children died at Waldniel-Hostert, most of them were killed using a large dose of sleeping medication administered one after the other in a long row. The process was slow and agonizing, taking up to eight days to finally kill some of the children. They would also develop dyspnoea, and their breath would rattle as mucous discharged from their mouths and noses.

After the end of World War II, the facility was returned to the Franciscans, who in turn sold the property to the federal government, and large sections of the building were used by the British Army as a military hospital, and then as a school beginning in 1963.

The entire complex has been empty and for sale since 1991, and people who visit the building insist that they can sometimes hear the sound of children screaming and crying in the empty corridors.

La Llorona (The Weeping Woman)

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La llorona, or The Weeping Woman, is the story of a poor Mexican woman who married a rich Spaniard. After they had children, the Spaniard started losing interest in his wife and was embarrassed to be married to a woman without prestige.

In a rage, the woman took all of her children to the river and drowned them thinking that would appease the Spaniard, but she was instantly hit with regret. She started screaming "Mis hijos, mis hijos," which means "My children, my children."

People say that to this day, La Llorona wanders near river banks looking for her children. If La Llorona finds any children near the river alone, she lures them to the water, and drowns them.

Chupacabra (The Goat-Sucker)

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The chupacabra, or goat-sucker in English, is probably the most famous urban legend in Latin America. It all started in the small town of Moca, Puerto Rico, where a lot of people in rural areas started complaining about finding several dead sheep and goats with their blood completely drained out through two small holes in their necks.

After the story hit the news, people from all throughout Latin America started reporting similar cases, and some even believed to have seen the creature that was killing their sheep and goats.

According to multiple sightings, the chupacabra is said to be around 3 to 4 feet tall and has spines growing down its back from the neck to the tail. Although some sightings are still reported today, no one has been able to prove that the Chupacabra actually exists.

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