Recently we asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the creepiest urban legend from their country. There were so many responses – here are some of the downright spookiest.
1. Hanako-San, Japan
"The story is about a elementary school girl who committed suicide from being bullied. The way Hanako-San works is to go to the third stall in the girls bathroom and summon her by knocking on the door three times, saying 'Hanako-San asobimashou' which means 'let's play, Hanako-San'. It usually becomes really quiet and you hear 'hai' which is yes. Then she will either drag the person into the stall and kill them, or the door opens a little so the person can reveal Hanako-San." –EmmaCalvet
2. La Dame Blanche, France
"You're driving at night and you see a hitchhiker dressed in all white. You let her enter your car. She's nice and friendly, and she tells you she wants to go to a house in particular, but acts more and more nervous. She tells you to be careful on the road. Suddenly the road reaches a dangerous turn. She shouts in fear. You glance at her and you realise that she's gone and the car is locked from the inside.
You remember the house she wanted to reach. The day after, you go to that house and you meet a friendly elderly couple. You tell them about the lady and you describe her. They become sad and they say: 'Well, you just described our daughter but she died on the road five years ago.'" –silencesilence
3. The Tokoloshe, South Africa
"It’s a poltergeist that looks like a gremlin. They are said to have been created by Zulu Shaman whenever someone offended them. Tokoloshe become invisible by drinking water and the legends were that they caused mischief, bit off people's toes in their sleep, and raped women. The only way to keep away the Tokoloshe is to put a brick under each leg of the bed." –Belllaaa
4. "Gloomy Sunday" aka the "Hungarian Suicide Song", Hungary
"This song has been linked to 18 suicides, including the composer's after his 69th birthday. The man who wrote the lyrics talks of depression and suicide. I used to fear that I was subconsciously being exposed to the song and being tricked into committing my own suicide, until finding out that practically nobody else I knew had even heard about it. The dissonant chords still haunt me to this day, though." –nicksalfai
5. The Bunyip, Australia
"The Bunyip is an Australian mythological creature, like if you crossed Bigfoot with the Loch Ness Monster. It lives in billabongs, which are small waterholes. Some Indigenous Australians tell a story that its feet are backwards. So while you might think you're tracking the Bunyip, really you've already crossed paths with it and it was watching you the whole time. Just concealed in the bush. THAT'S the part that freaked me out as a kid, who spent a lot of time in the wilderness alone." –June Byron, Facebook
6. Schmutzli, Switzerland
"A pitch-black demon who accompanied Samichlaus (Santa) and kidnapped the naughty kids. He would force them into his sack and abandon them in the woods, never to be seen again." –Erin Boyle, Facebook
7. The Jersey Devil, USA
"The legend states that his mother, Mother Leeds, had 12 children and when she found out she was pregnant, she 'cursed' the baby. On the night her 13th child was born, it was born as the Jersey Devil and it flew out of the chimney. According to the legend, Mother Leeds was a witch and the father was the devil." –itsbreaa
8. A Loira do Banheiro, Brazil
"In Brazil, all the kids are scared of 'The blonde lady that lives in the bathroom'. They say that if you flush three times and call her name, she will come to get you." –s44d19cc88
9. Manananggal, Philippines
"They are most comparable to vampires as they do suck blood, but eat the insides right after. It is said that at night, these monsters separate their torso from their legs and kinda just leave it there, then fly off into the night with their bat-like wings in search of children.
In the day, they appear as normal village women who act like regular women. The only way to kill them is by looking for their legs at night, and sprinkling a bunch of salt over their unattended body parts. They used to keep children at home quite effectively. –a478cd55fc
10. Näkki, Finland
"In Finland we have the legend of 'Näkki', a shapeshifting water spirit who lives in murky pools and under bridges. According to legend, Näkki will pull children, who lean over the bridge railings to look at their reflection, under water. Although Näkki is a part of Finnish mythology, I definitely believed he was real as a child." –jasminw413ff8fe1
11. Wewe Gombel, Indonesia
"Wewe means girl, and Gombel is a hill in a city called Semarang. Wewe Gombel is a haunted spirit that takes the form of a girl with a very long boobs, longer than her legs. Wewe Gombel was a wife who caught her husband cheating before she killed him. She believed her husband cheated on her because she was sterile, starting her hatred towards kids. Right after she murdered her husband, the people from her village chased her away before she decided to end her life.
Legend has it that if children go outside at dusk, she will kidnap them. She turns fecal matter into her victims' favourite foods, then feed her victims it so they become mute when people eventually find them. Local adult people sing a special song when they go around the village to find the kidnapped children who suddenly appear out of thin air when Wewe Gombel decides to return them." –ChortlingChode
12. La Llorona, Mexico
"In Mexican folklore, The Weeping Woman is a ghost of a woman who lost her children and now cries while looking for them in the river. She often causes misfortune to those who are near or who hear her. In some variations, she even steals children and drowns them in the lake." –xxcrimsonquillxx
13. Soucouyant, Trinidad and Tobago
"A soucouyant is essentially a shapeshifter who appears as a lonely old lady during the day, but by night sheds her skin and transforms into a fireball. It is said that the soucouyant preys on first-borns or newborn babies, and sucks the blood out of them to regain youthfulness and maintain immortality.
If the soucouyant draws enough blood, the victim will die and have to assume her skin. If not, the victim usually wakes up with a blue bruise on some part of their body. Luckily, there are ways to repel the soucouyant, like placing a plate of rice outside your door, because she will have to count every grain before entering, and if she miscounts, she will have to re-count." –dimplesarecute
14. Baba Yaga, Russia
"I was terrified of Baba Yaga, the story of a women who ate children and lived in a house held up off the ground with chicken feet. My great-aunt used to tell me that if I didn't go to sleep, she would get me." –mriemer
15. Banshee, Ireland
"The scariest urban legend that I heard growing up has to be the Banshee. The Banshee is basically a ghost who screams to symbolise that a family member or someone close to you is going to die. So now whenever I hear a woman scream, I get SO SCARED." –Gibbyboi
16. The Hawaiian Night Marchers, USA
"In Hawai’i, there are believed to be night marchers who walk through certain sacred pathways. They’re a large group of people who once protected sacred Hawaiian Ali’i (chiefs). During that time if you were to catch even a glimpse of them you’d be punished by death, or if you touched their shadow you’d be killed.
This stays true even in the afterlife, as the ghosts of these people continue to march across O'ahu. You can tell when they’re approaching because the sound of drums can be heard, as well as a conch shell, and the light of torches can be seen. But if you look at them you will be killed. To avoid this, some believe you must play dead or strip naked and lie face down." –maria49527676a
17. La Carreta Sin Bueyes, Costa Rica
"The Wagon Without Oxen is about a witch who fell in love with a strict Christian man who wanted nothing to to with her. The witch used some magic to make him fall in love, and the town priest did not approve of it. When the man was going to die, he told her to take his body to the church for his body to be blessed.
But when the witch did so, his request was denied because of the sin he carried. So she took the box the body was in, fixed an oxen to a wagon, and went to the church. The priest said 'stop in the name of God' and pardoned the oxen, but the wagon didn't stop. People say you can hear it creaking through town, pulled by the devil's hand." –SirDinosaur405
18. Witte Wieven, Netherlands
"As told, the Witte Wieven were mysterious creatures who would dance in circles and tried to mislead men and women. They could not bear the sun and had a kind of ghostly appearance. It freaked me out so much, that I couldn't sleep in total darkness for a week." –Maudleeft
19. Belsnickel, Germany
"My nana used to always scare me with stories of Belsnickel around Christmas when I was little. She told me that the Belsnickel came a few days before Christmas, kidnapping naughty children, putting them in a sack, and beating them. I learned later in life he was also supposed to leave candy for good children, but nana always left that part out." –Delphine08
20. La Chupacabra, Puerto Rico
"Growing up we were all terrified of 'La Chupacabra' or 'The Goat Sucker'. It was supposed to be this scary little creature that killed small farm animals who also came for children. My whole damn family swears they all saw him, but the worst was one summer morning we woke up and there were two dead chickens in the yard!!" –allpinkkeverything
21. Orang Minyak, Malaysia
"Orang Minyak, or 'Oily Man', is a man covered head-to-toe in black, crude oil. Supposedly virgins who sleep alone at night, and don’t cover up their bodies, will be raped by him. Pretty disturbing, but there were actually cases of women being raped by who they believed to be the Orang Minyak." –sarahn43be5c392
22. La Chasse-Galerie, Canada
"It's about lumberjacks, who sold their souls to Satan so that they could travel quickly on New Year’s Eve to be with their families, paddling a canoe through the air. During their trip, one of them got drunk and steered them into a snow bank, and the rest of the travellers killed him so the devil wouldn’t take them away." –minnie394
23. Silver Arrow, Sweden
"There's an urban legend about a platform on Stockholm's blue metro line at Kymlinge, and a train called the Silver Arrow. It's a platform that is no longer in use, and I believe that it never has been. It's known as a ghost station, where only dead people get off the train.
The Silver Arrow is a train that is said to be the only train that stops in Kymlinge. The dead people on the train have supposedly died somewhere in the Metro system and legend has it that if you get on the Silver Arrow, you won't come back." –saueho
Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.