When my brother and I were young, my mom decided to pass the time driving us to our Taekwondo lessons by making up a super spooky story about an abandoned warehouse we always passed along the way.
The entertaining and terrifying tale not only helped keep us from bickering in the backseat and distracting her from the road, but it became something we looked forward to, even more than the martial arts classes we begged to be signed up for. I was always so impressed by how creative she could get with the eerie details!
And while I thought my mom’s story was frightening at the time, these scary pieces of folklore from across the globe definitely take things up a notch.
I had never heard any of these before, but each one truly makes my skin crawl.
Did we miss any terrifying stories that you’ve been spooked by? Let us know in the comments and be sure to SHARE with your friends!
1. The Not-So-Friendly Face Of Skogsrå
According to tales from Sweden, this mythical creature is said to appear as a beautiful, kind woman near the edge of a forest. She then lures her victims deep into the trees, where they are overwhelmed by a feeling of being lost and are never heard from again.
2. Black Annis' Terrifying Appetite
Also known as Black Agnes, this spooky legend comes from Leicestershire in England, where the locals have claimed for years that this crone with a blue face and iron claws prefers to dine on children.
3. Drekavac's Fatal Predictions
Slavic countries tell stories of this ghost of unbaptized children who leaps on the backs of adults, screaming predictions about not only their own death, but — as odd as it may seem — the death of their farm’s cattle.
4. Näkki Snatching
This make-believe water spirit from Finland was likely conjured by parents to keep their children from leaning in too close to ponds and lakes, claiming the creature would reach out and pull them into the depths.
5. Vengeful Faeries
Contrary to the more whimsical interpretation of these sprites, Irish folklore paints a more vindictive portrait of these human-like magical beings, who purposely cause harm for their own entertainment and also really hold a grudge.
6. Will-O'-The-Wisp's Terrible Temptations
In England, this ghostly light has long been rumored to coax travelers away from their safe path until they’ve strayed so far they remain lost forever.
7. Wendigo's Deadly Dining
Largely discussed in areas of Canada, this Algonquin legend tells of a cannibalistic former human, who tainted his soul by eating human flesh and is never satiated.
8. The Nightmare Of Tikoloshe
Down in South Africa, Zulu tribes still keep their beds raised high on bricks, as they believe this will keep the short-statured mythical beast from jumping onto their chests at night and stealing their breath.
9. The Untouchable Nykur
Nykur is another imaginary water demon, this time taking the form of a horse who hangs around lakes in Iceland. According to lore, if you touch one, you’re instantly stuck to him, and anyone who tries to release you will become affixed and doomed to drown, too.
10. The Jumpy Jiangshi
In China, these mummified zombies are said to be looking to snack on your flesh, wanting to drain you of your “qi” or life force. They are also unable to bend their legs due to rigor mortis, so they hop around to find their prey.
11. Hungry Baba Yaga
As one of the oldest eerie legends, this Russian tale tells of a flying, deformed woman with the legs of a chicken and iron teeth, who will either eat you for coming near her dwelling or force you to endure arduous tasks before allowing you to ask her a question.
Did we miss an even creepier piece of folklore from around the world? Let us know in the comments and be sure to SHARE with your friends!