The United States is a relatively young country. But much of it’s culture is drawn from older nations. This is evident in its folklore, with myths and legends very similar to those in Europe. But some American legends are entirely unique, leading many to believe they have a real life origin. Today we look only at the darkest of such American legends. From strange monstrous creatures to things that should be impossible, here are ten dark American legends.
10: Mad Gasser of Mattoon
In 1944 a strange figure began to terrorize the small town of Mattoon. Tall and unusually thin, the man dressed in all black and prowled the streets at night holding a large flit gun. On choosing his victim he would pump some kind of toxic gas into their home before disappearing into the night. Dozens of people reported being attacked by the mad gasser, awakening at night to a strange smell. Some were unable to move – as if paralyzed by the gas. But others were able to reach a window, from which they witnessed their attacker escape. Before long locals took to patrolling the streets at night. Since then the Mad Gasser was not seen again.
9: Ludwig The Bloodsucker
1800s New York was a very dangerous place, with all kinds of criminals out on the streets. None were more notorious than Ludwig the Bloodsucker. Short and stocky, he was incredibly hairy, large bristles visible from his ears and nose. But despite his appearance Ludwig was not entirely human. Every night he preyed on drunken locals, waiting outside bars to lure his chosen victims somewhere quiet. When hidden he would cut their throat and drink their blood as if it were wine.
8: Water Babies of Utah Lake
On the banks of Utah Lake there once lived a small native community. But long ago a severe famine almost caused their extinction. There was simply not enough food to go around. And so a group decision was made to kill any new born baby. Following years would see dozens of babies thrown into the lake for a quick death. In time the famine passed and the babies’ sacrifice paid off. But eventually, the sound of crying babies began to be heard in the distance. It was as if the noise was emitting from the lake on cold mornings. Soon the long dead babies were even seen emerging from it’s waters, leaving footprints still visible now. There are many other native American legends in other parts of the continent.
7: The Hook
One dark evening decades ago a young couple were driving through a small forest road. Surrounded by woodland, they heard a loud scream nearby, as if someone was in trouble. Pulling over, the man got out and ran over to help, disappearing into the trees. Now alone in the car, his date simply waited for his return. But she had no watch and it seemed to go one for ages. Turning on the radio, she heard an emergency report that a lunatic had escaped from a local insane asylum. He was an especially violent man with a hook for a hand and no one knew where he was. The moment that news report ended she noticed a loud thudding noise on the car roof. Leaning out of the window, she looked up to see a naked hook handed man holding the severed head of her boyfriend.
In rural Virginia there once lived an old man and his dog. Waking up in the middle of the night, he saw a strange creature watching him. A little larger than his dog, the creature had thick brown fur, pointed ears, and bright red eyes Terrified, he slashed at it with a knife, cutting off it’s tail. In pain the creature ran out of the cabin. Still hearing it scream in the distance, he cooked up and ate the tail in a nice soup. Then the next morning he heard loud scratching on the outside of his cabin and a deep demonic voice. For hours he heard the same sentence repeated: “Give me back my tail”. Night after night he would be kept awake by this. Until one day he stepped outside to confront it and was never seen again.
5: Michigan Dogman
In 1887 two Michigan lumberjacks encountered a monstrous creature deep in the woods. Seven feet tall it was like a man-dog hybrid. It had the body of a human and a canine head. This was just the first on many encounters with the Michigan Dogman. Every ten years the creature re-emerges, prowling rural Michigan on the seventh year of each decade. At night it let’s out a loud hysterical howl, scaring all animals away from it’s general area. Then without competition from other predators it will stalk any human it sees.
4: Frozen Men of Vermont
In 1887 a small local newspaper in Northern Vermont published a bizarre story. It told of a poor family struggling to survive the oncoming winter. High up in the mountains and with little supplies, they decided to freeze their bodies until spring. Through some kind of folk magic, family members were frozen solid, to hibernate while the land around them is covered in snow. Only in spring did they begin to thaw and re-awaken, as the climate heated up. The story was printed as factual in a newspaper called the Montpelier Argus and Patriot, leading many to believe it.
3: Char Man
In the California town of Ojai there was once a terrible wildfire. Devastating the town, a father and son were trapped inside their cabin. Only the son survived, though severely burned and driven mad by what happened. With a knife he removed the burnt flesh from his father, hoping this would save him. By the time authorities arrived the son was gone and the father horrible mutilated. Since that day his location has been a mystery But many claim he is still out there, hiding in the woods and murdering any who see him.
2: Black Aggie
In 1925 the famous sculptor Felix Agnus died. Over his grave was placed an eerie statue now known as Black Aggie. In short time all kinds of dark rumor’s were told about Black Aggie. According to them it’s eyes glow bright red on certain dark nights. And if you look directly into them you will be blinded. Pregnant women who approach the statue will miscarry and anyone to touch it is ricking their death. Some even said ghosts from other graves would emerge on Halloween and gather around Black Aggie for some kind of ritual.
1: Nain Rouge
Last on our list of American legends is my personal favorite. In 1701 Fort Detroit was founded by the French explorer Antoine Laumet. But shortly before he met with a fortune teller who warned him of a strange red dwarf. The dwarf was a shy but powerful being, occupying the woods near Fort Detroit. She warned him never to insult or offend it – but that was easier said than done. When the dwarf eventually revealed itself to him Laumet was scared and stuck it with his cane. He would never see the dwarf again. But from that day both he and the settlement of Detroit were cursed.