Urban legends from around the world

Each country has its own spooky urban legends, some of which become part of popular culture. Do you know these?

Lenka Minarovicova
29th October 2021
Image credit: pxfuel.com
The world is a wonderful place full of inexplicable things that always pique our interest. After all, humans are very curious creatures. So, to satisfy your curiosity, let me tell you some spooky urban legends that, unlike Yeti and Loch Ness Monster, you *might* not have heard of yet!

1/ Kuchisake-onna

This Japanese urban legend tells a story of a woman who cheated on her husband, who then sliced her mouth from ear to ear saying “Who will now think you’re beautiful?”. Therefore, she now goes around wearing a face mask (a safe Halloween costume idea?) asking whether she’s beautiful. If you say no, you’ll be killed, and if your answer is yes, she’ll reveal her face and ask again. If you now say no, you’ll die and in case of a yes, she’ll slices your face to resemble hers. The only way to get out of it is to confuse her by saying she’s average.

Image credit: flickr.com

2/ Kuldhara

This once prosperous Indian village was abandoned by early 19th century. It is claimed that it was because of the atrocities of the ruler at the time. According to a story, he was attracted to a beautiful girl from the village and sent guards to bring her to him. The villagers asked the guards to return next morning and left the village overnight. While deserting the village, a curse was imposed saying that no one could reoccupy the village; thus, it remains uninhabited to this day. After spending a night in the area, the Indian Paranormal Society reported paranormal activity including apparitions, strange noises, whispers, footsteps and unusual touches.

Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

3/ El Silbón

According to a Venezuelan tale, a young man, whose parents always fulfilled every one of his wishes, asked his father to hunt for a deer. As this hunt was unsuccessful, the son kills his father and has his mother cook his liver and heart. After she finds out those are her husband’s, she and young man's grandfather condemn him for all eternity to carry his father’s bones, releasing two starving dogs upon him. The legend says that the bones make a characteristic sound resembling whistle. If you hear the whistle nearby, there’s no need to worry, as El Silbón is faraway. The worse case is if you can hear the whistling in distance, because that means he is nearby. The only thing that can save you is a dog barking, a chilli or a whip so if you ever find yourself in Venezuela, better keep those close.  

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