Category: New Urban Legend

New Urban Legend: The Pale Child


Another urban legend for your perusal:

A tale told between parents and children alike, the myth of the pale child is commonly found anywhere both groups gather – while many variations exist, the most common began spreading sometime in the late 1960s.

It’s said that, should a young son or daughter be left to play untended upon a deserted playground, they may encounter an ashen lad, whose age has been reported as between eight and twelve. Accounts often state that the boy appears suddenly, as if he’d remained hidden within a covered “tube slide” while awaiting a companion’s arrival.

His approach is always friendly, and he seems pleased to have encountered a new friend. If he finds himself rebuked in this phase, by a shy or otherwise disinterested child, the intruder retreats by clambering up the structure from which he first emerged.

When welcomed, though, mischief soon follows.

Little ones are found, alone, panicked, and weeping, on swings that have somehow been wrapped about their supporting bar to such an extent as the rider can no longer dismount without risking a broken limb, or bound by hand and foot to equipment, with their own shoelaces, so that they may not return home without assistance in unknotting their constraints.

Some parents have gone so far as to assert that the stripling has embedded their offspring up to their neck – in the sands frequently found in such areas – only to have the process interrupted by an adult discovering the scene.

The story goes, however, that not all incidents end so harmlessly: In those cases where the pale child is invoked in a disappearance, (regularly believed, by authorities, to be a mundane runaway or kidnapping,) it’s usually alleged that the missing remains at the site, buried beneath the playground’s soft turf.



Urban Legend: The Final Broadcast

1930, Radio Cast - Source Unknown

Sometimes told in response to the legend of Midnight Tales with Cassandra, The Final Broadcast is a much older bit of folklore which started appearing around Southern California in the late 1930s. No record can be found of any of the events in question, although many aging former residents of the area claim to have witnessed the incident personally.

It’s said to have happened at a radio station in Riverside, or possibly Long Beach, on a sweltering summer-night. A live recording of an episode of The Detective Miles Archer Mystery Hour was in progress when the lead actress, Archer’s love interest, went suddenly off script. Millicent Herb, who played Rebecca Diamond, had been caught up in an affair with Chuck Moxon, who played Archer. Although a married woman, she’d fallen for her co-star, and the two had carried on behind the closed doors of the station, well away from Herb’s husband. Unbeknownst to her, however, Moxon felt differently about the situation, and was apparently also carrying on a sexual relationship with Stephen Terry, who played Archer’s arch-nemesis, the villainous Dr. Fang.

Supposedly, although she’d been hearing rumours, Herb had refused to believe the truth about her lover, until, during a commercial break, Moxon – who had little interest in hiding his conquests – engaged Terry in a passionate embrace.

It’s said that, upon the return from the advertising interruption, the actress retrieved a handgun from her purse and held it on the man she felt had betrayed her. Although the dialogue that followed was somewhat confusing to the listeners at home, fans of Detective Miles Archer were used to having to wait untill the climax of an adventure for clarification of plot points, and considered the heated exchange to be simply a part of the production.

The tip off came when Moxon cussed vigorously, and at length. His crude response to a question from Millicent brought on a flood of calls to the station, and, when a secretary ran into the small studio to inform the show’s producer of the complaints, the sudden entrance was enough to set off the already jumpy gun-woman.

In a blaze, she killed her three fellow cast members, the Mystery Hour’s Foley artist, the producer, and two sound engineers.

For the next five minutes she shrieked and wept into the open mics, which were finally disengaged once the first patrol car arrived on the scene – it was only then that, realizing it was no dramatic production, many parents of the members of the Miles Archer Fan Club fully comprehended the reality of what had happened, and thought to bundle their children off to bed.


Children Listening to Radio - Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

The Electrocutioners

Power Outage: found at urban legend for your perusal:

Originally sourced to Maltbury, Ohio, the myth of the Electrocutioners has been spreading since its earliest known tellings, in the mid-1980s. It’s no surprise that the town, which is well known for its high-winds, would be the spawning ground of a legend relating to electrical outages.

It’s said that, when power is interrupted, and the family within a suburban home is suddenly left in the dark, a knock may come at the door.

The two visitors, dressed in blue overalls and black hardhats, are described as large men, bald beneath their head-ware, with perfectly shaven faces. Purveyors of the myth say that this is the only time at which you might avoid tragedy – that you MUST tell the workmen at the door that you are quite happy with your situation, and that you are sure their efforts would be better spent at some other home.

To invite them in is to call down disaster.

Over the interceding years, many back-stories have been applied to the Electrocutioners – that they are the spiritual remnants of technicians who’d gone overseas, only to be kidnapped and beheaded; that they are a ghostly pair of local workers who were electrocuted by a downed power-line during a storm; that they are madmen, escaped from a local institution, out on a stormy night with the intention of creating mischief.

Whatever the case, their mode of operation, once allowed in, is always described as the same: heavy dirt tracks are left behind their boot-falls as the pair diverge and begin to search the house. Moving with a frenetic speed, they work high-intensity flashlights over the area – leaving observers temporarily blinded with their beams – and all the while spouting nonsensical reasons as to why the power is out.

As the pseudo-technical gibberish reaches its peak, the duo will begin to move furniture away from wall plugs, disconnect electronics, or strip light bulbs from their sockets. Then, as suddenly as the assault began, they will meet at the front door and disappear into the shadows beyond.

The true repercussions are often left undiscovered until well after the mess has been tidied and service is restored. A member of the family, forgotten in the bustle, will inevitably be found in a quiet corner of the house, (often the bathtub, although some versions mention toddler’s cribs or back bedrooms,) with no obvious source on hand to explain their apparent death by electrocution.


LIFE Electrician

Urban Legend: Cassandra's Radio Tales

Hawesca Radio Tower

The legend of Midnight Tales with Cassandra still abounds on the American East Coast. It’s said that, in the summer of 1973, a radio drama began appearing on an otherwise unoccupied AM band – while most believed the show to be a pirate broadcast, all seem to agree on the surprisingly high level of production values that went into the fourteen known episodes. Although the audio is reported to have been extremely crisp, most also cite their belief, at the time, that the shows were presented as artistic endeavors involving very little standard plotting, and heavily relying on incidental, naturalistic, dialog to explain the events as they unfolded.

Hosted by Cassandra, a sensuously-voiced woman, each episode opened with a theme played on pipe-organ, followed by a brief introduction by the hostess herself. While no transcripts remain of her prefaces, the apparent tag-line “listen now, or be doomed to repeat it,” is usually ascribed by those who claimed to have tuned in.

Not much attention was paid to the transmissions, as interest in radio as a method of telling stories had long been superseded by rock & talk programming blocks. This lack of relevance is also often cited as the reason why none of Cassandra’s tales were recorded. The only physical evidence that the broadcasts happened rests on then fourteen-year-old Benjamin Earl, who states that he happened across the show at the midway point of its first broadcast, and was careful to record each successive title, provided by the hostess, in his diary.

  1. The Murder of Selma Tyrone
  2. Saigon Follies
  3. The Three Mile Problem
  4. Flight 191
  5. St. Helen’s Warning
  6. The Fall of the Hyatt Regency
  7. The Lost Return of the Challenger
  8. The Preacher’s Swagger
  9. The Rise of the Mississippi
  10. Terror Comes To Oklahoma
  11. The Library Massacre
  12. The Waning Towers
  13. The Heat of Okuma
  14. Finale

It was only after The Three Mile Problem was realized to be an eerily faithful enumeration of the events that took place, in 1979, at a nuclear plant in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania – six years after the broadcasts – that listeners began to attempt to piece together the chronology presented by Cassandra.

While most of the episodes have now been linked (retroactively, skeptics argue,) with real life events, the fourteenth presentation, Finale, has yet to be solved out to an actual happening. The episode, remembered as fifteen minutes of a large group weeping and screaming, followed by a bassy rumble, then ten minutes of a lone child’s sobs, leaves few clues for those active in the forums and blogs that have sprung up around the mystery.


New Urban Legend: The Pool Boy

A new myth for you:

Mundin's PoolIn the small town of Mundin – although the story has spread to most of its neighbours, and beyond – is a public swimming pool housed in a squat red-brick building.

On a warm summer’s day in 1987, Mitchell Dugas, known-drunk and the custodian in charge of maintaining the facility, over-compensated for a recent lack of maintenance by saturating the water’s chlorine level well beyond safe levels. Although the problem was not immediately obvious to those swimming, accounts of the incident say that Matty Smith, a boy of seven, was pushed into the deep end by an unidentified ruffian, and, in his panic, drank several mouthfuls of the tainted liquid.

Although he was quickly pulled from the water by the lifeguard on duty, blood was soon seen to be running from his nose, and, before any further first aid could be applied, he expired on the damp tiles at the pool’s edge.

Less verifiable is what happened some months later. With the coming of fall, and the lingering stigma of the death, the facility was seeing considerably less use. One September evening a side access door was left accidentally unlocked, and a trio of teenagers gained entry.

Intending only to dip her feet, one of the youths discovered that, despite the intensity of the smell of chlorine, the pool seemed to have been covered over with glass. Standing, she realized it could easily manage her weight. Soon all three were atop the invisible layer, running and cartwheeling. It was only when they’d gathered at the deepest portion, however, that the support gave way to a sudden bath.

It would have been little issue, as all three were capable swimmers, but the barricade had apparently returned, entrapping them beneath.

It was only the lucky approach of Dugas’ replacement, who’d realized he’d likely missed securing one of the entrances, that saved them. It’s said he swears the pool’s surface was undisturbed although he could clearly see the teens thrashing beneath, but, as his hand touched the cold damp, the barrier seemed to disappear.

Many who’ve visited the deep-end since have claimed the feeling of child-like fingers upon their ankles, but no further deaths have been identified as anything more than accidental.


Swimming Pool

Urban Legend: Phlegm Mites

Still from the great short film, Water Brain (Click through for video)Another improbable legend:

Tales of phlegm mites, tiny parasites mainly preoccupied with the consumption of mucus, are common in elementary classrooms. The problem is said to begin when a chronic nose-miner – the tales often use the name Katie or Kathy – unknowingly leaves a green deposit beneath their fingernail. At some point during the child’s muck-handed schoolyard explorations, the mites discover the tempting goo and dig in.

Phlegm MiteThe trouble begins when the finger returns to her nostril.

The unfortunate goes to bed that evening complaining of a persistent itch, and her unsuspecting parents attempt to placate her with some nasal decongestant – unbeknownst to the family, the mites frenzy at the introduction of the chemicals, (and at their suddenly decreasing meal supply.) By morning the tiny insects have eaten through her flesh, creating a large, red and ragged gap.

In other versions of the story, the nose is consumed entirely, leaving only protruding bone.


The Haunted Mixed Tape

Another urban myth for your perusal:

I'm Sorry Mixed TapeThe legend says that, in the wee hours of an early-90s Saturday morning, an eighteen year old boy went to his girlfriend’s house with the intention of wooing her back after a quarrel the evening before. He’d spent a restless night with his music collection, and had perfected a mixed tape he thought would win her heart, despite the angry words they’d exchanged.

As he was climbing the latticework beneath her window, however, the girl’s father, a former marine, came suddenly awake, thinking that a burglar, or worse, was attempting to enter the room of his sleeping daughter.

As the boy’s face cleared the windowsill, the father burst into the girl’s room, firing his hunting rifle once.

Before dying in the ambulance, the erstwhile Romeo attempted to convey some of his story to the paramedic at hand, and passed the tape on in the hopes that it would eventually reach his beloved. It didn’t. Instead, the tape was left in a locker, with the best of intentions, and forgotten in a blur of emergency calls. It was only a year later that the cassette’s keeper noticed he was still in possession of the musical apology.

Some tellings claim the man was supernaturally compelled, other variations say he was simply curious, but all agree that he then listened to the tape. The opening of the A-side was the trembling voice of the dead boy, weepily saying “I’m sorry,” followed by a scratchy recording of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, which the couple had discovered a mutual love for.

The EMT had heard the song before, but there was something about the boy’s words, followed by that specific recording, that became lodged in his brain. For two weeks, no matter what he was doing, his mind played back the words of remorse and the haunted melody – at the end of those two weeks, he was found dead from a self-inflicted opioid overdose. The cassette was playing in the background when his roommate made the grisly discovery.

Somehow the tape found its way into the roomie’s possession, and, less than a month later, he too was dead.

They say the tape has floated about since, from estate sales to second-hand stores, and that each listener unlucky enough to hear it will be unable to escape the disquieting tune through any means but death. – source

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