Last week you got to read 50 ghost stories, one from each of the US states. Now we have another round of stories, all different as far as I can tell. These are urban legends (even though some are rural). They are stories passed down to scare folks, sometimes based on a true story that's been twisted in the telling, sometimes embellished tales about real people, and sometimes just pure fiction. The trouble is, we often don't know what category a story fits into. The details are either fuzzy or else happened so long ago that records are gone. But mostly, they survive because people like to tell a good story, and those who hear it won't bother to look up the truth. In Minnesota, you might hear the story of The Hairy Man of Vergas Trail.
Why it's creepy: What’s not to be creeped out about? An 8-foot, musty-smelling, barefoot man with a reputation for being unnaturally aggressive is a hell of a thing to consider encountering in the woods. Some reported sightings were just that: sightings. However, reports like Ken Zitzow’s made the Hairy Man more than an apparition, but something to fear. Zitzow returned from driving in the woods with dents all over his car hood and said the Hairy Man jumped onto the road and began pounding the hood.
Where it came from: Nobody really knows. Sightings trace back to the '60s, had a significant increase in the '70s, and still happen from time to time. Some say it’s a legend. Some say there was an old hermit living in the woods who wasn’t too keen on your rascally kids wandering his land. Others say the Hairy Man is real and point to a mysterious skull discovered in the Vergas Trail area that is human-like, but not hominid. It was discovered by a private citizen who didn’t turn it over, so no one knows if it’s human, Bigfoot, animal, or hoax. -- Dustin Nelson
Read the creepiest urban legend from your state and all the others at Thrillist.
(Image credit: Daniel Fishel/Thrillist)
The linked article begins a month of posts about urban legends at Thrillist.