The folks at Thrillist have tracked down the creepiest urban legends in all 50 states and some of these stories are certain to freak you out, no matter where you live.
I tried to explain to Sue about Zombie Road this morning but she says she’d never heard of it. Growing up with older siblings, I had.
The creepiest urban legend for Missouri:
Why it’s creepy: The dark, canopied trail running through Wildwood, Missouri, just outside St. Louis, has been a hotbed of creepy tales for ages, often revolving around shadowy human figures following and frightening those along the trail.
Where it came from: Originally built as an access road for the gravel quarries along the Meramec River, the road fell into disuse and disrepair in the ’70s and saw an increase in teenagers flocking to the area to party/scare the scare out of each other. The origin stories of the trail’s haunting varies widely, from the kind of plausible (railway accidents, executed Civil War spies) to the more sensational (sadistic children’s hospital). Several years ago the pathway was paved so it might be used as a bike path, but that hasn’t done much to slow the legend.
“The Italian Bride”
Why it’s creepy: An elaborate marble statue of a woman in a wedding dress is bound to stand out in a cemetery as it is, but that’s not what’s driven The Italian Bride to be a subject of local fascination. Upon closer inspection, there is an actual photo plaque on the gravesite of a woman in a casket, looking perfectly preserved even though, as an inscription notes, the photo was taken six years after burial after the body was exhumed. Reports of unusual activity cover everything from the smell of fresh flowers near the gravesite in the dead of winter to the ghostly figure of a woman in white roaming the cemetery (or the halls of nearby Proviso West High School) in the dead of night.
Where it came from: In 1921, recently married Julia Buccola Petta died in childbirth and was buried in her wedding dress. Legend has it her mother immediately began experiencing nightmares that Julia was demanding her grave be reopened. The source of the distress varies depending on the storyteller, often relating to some sort of discontent with Julia’s new husband, but what isn’t in dispute is that six years later the mother got her wish and Julia’s pristine condition inspired her to raise funds for the statue that’s been creeping out generations ever since.
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