ByOlivia van der Will, writer at

There are some truly terrifying ghost stories and folklore tales that have been passed down through generations. Sharing horror stories is a way of dealing with what scares us and people love scaring each other with tales. Such tales have become the perfect fuel for creepy horror films and some of these characters may seem familiar to you.

Be warned, the following scary urban legends may cause future sleepless nights and nightmares.

Take a look at these creepy tales if you dare...

1. The Slit-Mouthed woman a.k.a. Kuchisake-Onna


Kuchisake Onna is a spirit seeking revenge. She was killed by her husband in the most gruesome way. He slit her mouth from ear to ear and this violent act has made her return, seeking revenge. Kuchisake appears in dimly lit streets and dark alleys revealing herself mostly to children in Japan. Wearing a mask, she then asks those who are (un)lucky enough to meet her, "Am I pretty?." The victim can now chose their fate. If they answer "Yes," she will take off her mask revealing her gruesomely mutilated face underneath the mask. Kuchisake will then ask "How about now?" Either answer which you give her now is useless because if you say "No," she will cut you right in half with scissors, but if you say "Yes," she will slit your mouth so you can be a double of her. If you want to just get things over with more quickly, then when she asks "Am I pretty?" just say "no." This story may seem crazy, but there have been many reported sightings of her since 1979. The most recent one was in 2004 in Korea.

What to watch: Carved, if you dare!

2. La Llorona

The story goes that a lady named Maria drowned her children by throwing them into a river, and following this fateful event killed herself. Maria is now trapped between the living world and the spirit world. As she never was able to find the bodies of her children and now wanders endlessly searching for them. Legend says she seeks out children who resemble her own and kidnaps them and kills them too. Parents in Mexico fear this tale and their children are warned about La Llorona from a young age.

What to watch: The Curse of the Crying Woman, The Cry

3. Scottish Brownies

These little men are a legend hailing from the Scottish Lowlands. It is believed that they come in and help with household chores while you sleep, sounds good right? On farmland, these helpers are known as Hobs. But, there is a flip-side to their kindness. If you offend them you will find yourself surrounded by a world of trouble. They will turn into turbulent entities, throwing objects around and destroying anything in their path.

What to watch: The Gremlins are a more fuzzy version of the Brownies, causing all kinds of mischief! Just don't feed them after midnight !

4. The Sandman

The Sandman has two sides in central and northern European folklore. Some say he is the one who brings good dreams and sprinkles magical sand into our eyes as we sleep. But, this legend also has a much more sinister side too as told in 'Der Sandmann' by E.T.A Hoffman who created a terrifying tale.

He is a wicked man, who comes to children when they won't go to bed, and throws a handful of sand into their eyes, so that they start out bleeding from their heads. He puts their eyes in a bag and carries them to the crescent moon to feed his own children, who sit in the nest up there. They have crooked beaks like owls so that they can pick up the eyes of naughty human children

What to watch: Sleepstalker, The Sandman

5. Hanako-san


Children in Japan grow up hearing this terrifying tale of a girl named Hanako-san who can be found haunting any school toilet located on the third floor. If you are brave enough to try to summon Hanako, you must knock on the stall door three times and call out 'Are you there Hanako-San?'. If you are lucky, she will reply with 'Yes ,I am here'... If you haven't already bolted in terror you have two choices now: A) run for your life, or B) open the door. If you decide to roll with option B, you will find the creepy ghost girl staring right back at you behind the door. What follows next, the legend says, is that she will pull you into the stall and kill you, despite this warning, many Japanese children still try to summon her.

What to watch: Hanako of the Toilet

6. Dearg-Due

We all have heard of Bram Stokers' infamous vampire Dracula, but have you heard of the Dearg-Due? According to Celtic legend, there lived a beautiful woman in Strongbow's Tree in County Waterford, Ireland. This beautiful maiden fell in love with a local peasant, who her father wholeheartedly disapproved of. The poor girl was then forced into an arranged marriage with a man who treated her awfully. Consumed by her unhappiness, she committed suicide and was buried in Strongbow's Tree, County Waterford. All seemed well, until one night she rose from the grave to seek revenge on her father and husband, drinking their blood until their lives were ended. It is still believed that this vampire rises once a year, seducing men and taking their lives. There is a way to prevent this vampire lady from rising: Each year locals pile stones upon her grave so that she cannot rise.... but what if they forget this ritual? The Dearg-Due may strike again...welcoming men to their deaths through her beauty.

What to watch: So far, Dearg-Due does not have a starring role in a movie yet. Check out Queen of the Damned, for the alluringly beautiful yet ruthless vampire, Akasha.

7. Mare

The Mare (which can be found in the word "nightmare") is a type of demon known around the world by a variety of names. The Mare's favorite time is when its victim is asleep, they will come in and sit on their victim's chest in an attempt to suffocate them or to cause bad dreams. This terrifying creature is known to cause sleep paralysis or bring sudden death to their victims. In germanic folk-lore it is believed that even though all windows and doors may be tightly locked, the Mare can transform itself, sliding through key holes to find the unsuspecting sleeping person. So next time you have a nightmare or restless night, be aware, this malevolent creature may have paid you a visit in your slumber.

What to watch, if you dare: Marianne

8. Black Eyed Children

Black Eyed Children are anything but cute, they wander through the country side and knock on people's doors asking to come in. If you happen to meet one of these children, look closely, you will see that these terrifying beings have pitch black eyes. They have been sighted mostly in Cannock Chase, England.

YouTube user Furious Otter claims to have captured one of them, take a look at this spooky video. Do you believe it?

What to watch: The Black Eyed Children do not have their own movie yet, but if you want to get creeped out check out The Others.

9. Bloody Mary


In horror movies you know that when any character looks in the mirror the most scary scene is right about to happen. Well, for this next story you can't hide behind a pillow. Here is something that you can try at home, if you dare! First you need a candle. Now turn all the lights off in the most pitch black room with a mirror. Now, slowly spin around in the dark three times while saying 'Bloody Mary' three times. Then look in the mirror, is Bloody Mary staring back at you with her pale face and glowing eyes? Another line to say three times is 'Bloody Mary I stole your baby.' The story goes that this scary spirit is the ghost of Mary Tudor. Have you tried summoning Bloody Mary before?

What to watch: Bloody Mary

10. Slender Man

creepy pasta
creepy pasta

This creepy tale is supported by urban myths and legends and has found itself going viral throughout the Internet, with many people believing he is real. The idea of Slender Man is terrifying: a supernatural creature appearing pale, without eyes, mouth, or clearly defined features, who stands around 6-7 feet tall. The Slender man stalks, follows, and torments his victim and causes them to disappear without a trace. If you want to go looking for Slender Man, then head to deserted and derelict areas or forests, this is where he loves to be. Thankfully, this is just an Internet creation... but many do believe in The Slender Man. Do you? If you would like to read more about The Slender Man click here.

What to watch: The Slender Man


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