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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Urban Legends - Tales Of Terror ( 2 )

"Urban Legends" are tales that have been passed from person to person, town to town, over the years and told as true stories. They usually have happened to ones brother, sister, best friend, friend of a friend, relative, etc., to anyone but the person telling the story and they always insist that the story is true although no verification can be made. Here are a few of the best known tales of urban terror!
Find a dark lake and you'll find a story of a lake monster.

Champie is the name of the lake monster that inhabits Lake Champlain on the Vermont/Quebec/New York boarder. Champie is usually described as having a long neck and a flat head. Some descriptions have Champie with a thin body, others say it is more rounded. It is described as being anywhere from 10 to 30 feet long. It has been sighted since the 1600s. Photographs of Champie do exist, which may or may not be hoaxes. Some feel that Champie is a surviving prehistoric plesiosaur.

The Loch Ness Monster.
The Loch Ness Monster or "Nessie" is the name of the lake monster that inhabits Loch Ness in Scotland. Loch Ness is about 24 miles long, fairly narrow, and about 800 feet deep. Loch Ness connects to the North Sea by the Caledonian Canal. The water is very murky because of a high concentration of peat.

Nessie is usually described as having a long neck, with a wide body. It is about 40 feet in length. This description seems to suggest a prehistoric plesiosaur reptile type creature. Sonar used in 1972 and 1975 by Dr. Robert H. Rines of the Academy of applied science in Boston came up with what looked like the fin of a plesiosaur.

Nessie sightings have been reported as early as the 6th century with more recent sightings beginning in the 1930's. In 1933 Mr. and Mrs. John MacKay saw "an enormous animal rolling and plunging in the waters". Also in 1933 Mr. and Mrs. George Spicer reported seeing a creature out of the water which resembled a "prehistoric animal".

Many of the sightings have been recorded in the deep waters of Urquart Bay. The most famous picture of Nessie is the 13th century Urquart Castle in the foreground. Well over 3,000 people have reported seeing the monster since 1933, including police officers, scientists, local residents and tourists.

Despite all the sightings and the few photos, no hard evidence to totally prove Nessie's existence have been found.

Ogopogo is the name of the lake monster that inhabits Lake Okanagan in British Columbia, Canada. The monster is somewhat eel-like in appearance with a flatter head. It is from 15 to 20 feet in length. It has been reported since at least the early 1900s. It may have been sighted by pre-colonial Indians who described "the N'haaitk" in the lake. There are inconclusive photos of the creature. The creature has been reported by a great many people. Some hypothesize the Ogopogo may be a surviving prehistoric plesiosaur.

Slimy Slim.
The Slimy Slim is the name of the lake monster that inhabited Payette Lake in Idaho. The monster is usually described as having a long neck with a flatter head. Slimy Slim was sighted mostly in the 1930s, and has not been reported in the past 50 years. A very large crocodile was also reported in Payette Lake in the 1930s, which may have been the real Slimy Slim.
There are many legends of strange and unusual creatures from all over the globe.

Chupacabra, El Chupacabras, the Goatsucker.
A two legged upright "creature" that preys on goats and other farm animals. The Chupacabra is noted for draining an animal's blood from two small circular or triangular shaped holes near the base of the neck. It is often described as having glowing red eyes and being about four feet tall. El Chupacabra was first sighted in early 1995 in Puerto Rico. There have now been sightings reported in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Florida, California, and Texas. Instances of chupacabra have been associated with UFO sightings.

The Mothman story began with a strange being sighted in the area of Point Pleasant, West Virginia from November 15th 1966 to December 15th 1967. The Mothman was described as being about 7 feet tall with large wings with which he could fly. The creature had and enormous glowing red eyes. The only sound the mothman made was a piercing shrill cry. No one was ever harmed by the mothman, but the creature may have eaten a pet dog. The mothman generally made contact with people while they were in their cars or by looking into the windows of their homes.

Ozark Howler.
The Ozark Howler is a large "cat-like" creature sighted in the general area of the Ozark Mountains. The Ozark Howler is also known as the Black Howler or Howler. The animal is said to be an extremely large, heavy set black cat. The howler produces an eerie "howl", hence the name. Occasionally the animal is reported to have horns or glowing eyes.

Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Yeti.
Sasquatch, Bigfoot and Yeti are manlike or apelike creatures reported to inhabit the Northwestern United States, Western Canada and Himalayan Mountains. They are usually said to be six feet tall or taller. They have large feet, about 20 inches long, hence the name "Bigfoot". Sasquatch are covered with dark brown or reddish brown fur while Yeti are known to be covered in white or light tan fur. They are generally said to have an extremely musty or pungent aroma. Sasquatch are commonly said to travel in pairs.

Sasquatch activity is concentrated in North America. Sasquatch have been reported in all fifty of the United States and all Canadian Provinces. Sightings are mostly concentrated in British Columbia (Canada), Washington State, Oregon, and California. Florida and Pennsylvania are also Sasquatch hotspots. In Florida the Sasquatch are commonly referred to as the "Skunk Ape" - referring to the creature's aroma.

Film footage, photographs, and casts of footprints do exist. Skeptics insist these are hoaxes. In 1967 Roger Patterson took film footage of a large hairy creature reported to be a Sasquatch. If legitimate this is clearly the most extraordinary crypto zoological evidence yet. However, it may only be Roger's tall associate Jerry Romney in a fur suit.
Cast Deaths From The Poltergeist Films.

Urban Legend: The Spielberg film "Poltergeist" was cursed with the deaths of cast members. This isn't really an Urban Legend but it is interesting since it's true. The film "The Exorcist" was also plagued with problems but that's another story.

The Story: An unusual amount of deaths have occurred around the three "Poltergeist" films, including three of the stars. These incidence have given way to rumors that the films were cursed because of their content. This seems a little silly, there are always explanations to "curses" like this. Or are there??

Two of the stars from the first film have died at young ages, two from the second film at not so young ages.

22-year old Dominique Dunne, who played older daughter Dana Freeling, died on November 4th,1982, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. She had been choked into a coma by her boyfriend.

12-year-old Heather O'Rourke died of septic shock on February 1st., 1988, at the Children's Hospital in San Diego, California. What was thought to be the flu turned out to be a bowel obstruction which caused toxins to enter her system. She died at Children's Hospital while undergoing surgery to remove the obstruction.

60-year-old Julian Beck, who played the evil preacher Kane in the second film, died of stomach cancer on September 14th,1985, at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, NY. Like Heather O'Rourke, he died during the period between filming and release, but in his case the film in question was Poltergeist II, which was released in May 1986. O'Rourke died before the release of Poltergeist III.

53-year-old Will Sampson, who played Taylor in the second film, died on June 3rd., 1987, in a Houston, Texas hospital after receiving a heart-lung transplant 6 weeks earlier. The cause of his death was attributed to severe pre-operative malnutrition and post-operative kidney failure along with a fungal infection.
The "hanging man" in a funhouse turns out to be the corpse of an outlaw.

The Story: In December of 1976, a Universal Studios camera crew arrived at the Nu-Pike Amusement Park in Long Beach, California, to film an episode of the television action show, the Six Million Dollar Man. In preparing the set in a corner of the funhouse, a worker moved the "hanging man," causing one of this prop's arms to come off. Inside it was human bone. This was no mere prop; this was a dead guy!

The body was that of Elmer McCurdy, a young man who in 1911 had robbed a train of $46 and two jugs of whiskey in Oklahoma. He announced to the posse in pursuit of him that he would not be taken alive and the posse obliged by killing him in a shoot-out.

McCurdy's body became a sideshow attraction right after his embalming. It is claimed that the local undertaker though he had done such a wonderful job at restoring McCurdy that he let the towns folk see him for a nickel a piece. The nickels were dropped into the corpse's open mouth , later collected by the undertaker.

No one ever showed up to claim McCurdy's body, so, legend has it that undertaker kept him around to collect nickels for a few years after the embalming. Carnival promoters wanted to buy the stiff, but the undertaker turned them down. He didn't want to lose his most steady form of income.

In 1915 two men showed up, claiming that McCurdy was their long lost brother. They took McCurdy away, supposedly to give him a decent burial in the family plot. In actuality, the long lost McCurdy "brothers" were carnival promoters. It was a scam to get the body that they had wanted for years. They exhibited McCurdy throughout Texas under the same title that the undertaker had given him -- "The Bandit Who Wouldn't Give Up."

It seems that McCurdy's body popped up everywhere after that, in places such as an amusement park near Mount Rushmore, lying in an open casket in a Los Angeles wax museum, and in a few low-budget films. Before the Six Million Dollar Man crew discovered this prop to be a corpse, McCurdy had been hanging in a Long Beach funhouse for four years.

In April 1977, the much-traveled Elmer McCurdy was laid to final rest in Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie, Oklahoma. To make sure the corpse would not make its way back to the entertainment world, the state medical examiner ordered two cubic yards of cement poured over the coffin before the grave was closed. McCurdy hasn't been seen hanging around amusement parks since.

Whether all this is true or not, we don't know. Was there ever an amusement park in Long Beach, California called the Nu-Pike Amusement Park? This tale is just one of those that we'll never know the truth of or will we?.
Strange Smells From The Hotel Bed.

Urban Legend: A couple check into a remote hotel and smell a strange, rotting smell coming from the bed. After complaining to the desk clerk, they discover that a dead body has been stashed in the box springs. Unfortunately, this tale has true roots.

The Story:
Most of these stories take place at a Las Vegas, Nevada hotel either in the city or in the desert in a remote location. They have been around since the early 1990s. There have been cases like this actually happen around the country. Under the bed or in the pedestal for a matters makes a great quick hiding place for a dead body that needs to be stashed out of the way. In each case, it wasn't until the smell brought attention to the body, that it was discovered.

Some Examples:
On June10th, 1999, the rapidly decomposing body of a 64-year-old man was discovered inside the bed in Room 112 at the Burgundy Motor Inn in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A German couple on vacation had spent the night sleeping over the man's remains and had put up with a rank smell all night. It was their complaint to the manager about the smell which led to the discovery of the corpse.

In July of 1996, a woman's body was found under a mattress in the Colorado Boulevard Travelodge in Pasadena, CA. The motel's staff discovered her ten days after her death after a guest had complained for several days of a foul odor coming from that room.

In Virginia in 1989, a man, disposed of the remains of his two murder victims this way: the first was a 27-year-old woman, who was discovered in May under the floor of a motel room on Route 1, the second was a 29-year-old woman, who turned up in June under a bed in the Alexandria Econo Lodge. In the first case, the killer first kept her body partially hidden under his bed for two days, then subsequently placed it in the crawl space under the carpeted floor. Her presence seemingly didn't bother him, because he didn't move out of that room until three or four weeks later. Both girls' bodies were eventually found after other guests complained about the stink.

In Mineola, New York, motel in 1988, a body turned up in a box spring. The remains of a 29-year-old woman were found at the Oceanside Motel. Again, the body was discovered days later and only after other patrons complained about the smell. At least two other guests unknowingly cohabited with the body before it was found, and at least one guest refused to stay in that room because of the smell.
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