6 Urban Legends Based on True Events

From Charlie No-Face to the wandering mummy, here are six bone-chilling urban legends that are even more horrifying because they're rooted in true events.

Urban legends are terrifying, though fortunately most of them aren't true...right?

Actually, more urban legends than you might think are rooted in true events. Sometimes knowing the truth about our favorite stories makes them even sadder; often it shows that the stories were born more out of fear than actual horror.

Here are six urban legends rooted in true events.

1. Charlie No-Face

Charlie No-Face

Charlie No-Face


This is a particularly sad story. Many people in Western Pennsylvania today tell stories about a horrifying man who haunts an abandoned train tunnel. In some stories, the man glows; in others, his skin emanates radiation.

Actually, the legend is most likely based on the fate of a poor boy named Ray Robinson, who was electrocuted by a trolley wire. As a result, his face was forever disfigured. He would sometimes take walks at night, and when villagers saw him they sometimes spun wild tales about his identity, turning him into a Boo Radley-esque figure even though really the guy was probably just trying to get some air.

2. Corpses Rotting in Hotel Rooms

Body Found In Hotel Room

Body Found In Hotel Room


You've probably heard some version of the story: A tired traveler enters a hotel room, only to smell something awful coming from under the bed, or out of the sink…

Unfortunately, these legends are somewhat rooted in reality. At Los Angeles's Cecil Hotel in 2013, guests complained of a terrible smell coming from the water for days before the body of 21-year-old Elisa Lam was discovered, having been decomposing in the hotel's water tank for two weeks.

Then there was the time when a couple in Atlantic City discovered a dead body in their mattress—and the time guests at the Budget Motel in Memphis discovered the body of a missing person named Sony Millbrook under their bed… Maybe we'll just stay away from hotels for now.

3. Subterranean Cities and Tunnels

Atlas Obscura - Puebla Tunnels

Atlas Obscura - Puebla Tunnels

Atlas Obscura

Many places have rumours about underground cities that exist just below ground, and the underground city concept has been fodder for countless fairytales (i.e. Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere).

But sometimes, just sometimes, there actually is an underground city humming just a few hundred feet below. Though most conspiracy theories about an underground city below Denver Airport have been debunked, Las Vegas actually has an underground city—which is sadly meant to shield tourists from the city's unhoused population.

As police's limitations prevented unhoused people from camping aboveground, more and more people began living in the city's underground flood tunnels. Pretty damn devastating if you ask me.

In slightly better news, for hundreds of years, residents of Puebla City, Mexico had told tales of an underground city that existed just beneath theirs. In 2015, a construction crew discovered a vast network of tunnels underneath the city's streets, which were believed to have been constructed in the 16th century and which are now open to tourists today.

4. The Killer Who Comes in Through the Bathroom Mirror

They Came In Through the Bathroom Mirror

They Came In Through the Bathroom Mirror

Chicago Reader

The movie Candyman features a famous scene in which old medicine cabinets connect two apartments, allowing an interloper to enter through the mirror. This actually happened in real life.

In 1987, a woman named Ruthie Ann McCoy was shot to death by an intruder who came in through her medicine cabinet.

Tragically, Ruthie Ann called the police before she died, telling them that there was someone trying to knock down her medicine cabinet. The cops arrived, but when she didn't answer, they left—only to return to a grisly scene the next day.

5. The Funhouse Mummy



First to Know

Children have long been entertained by stories of haunted house mummies actually being real corpses. Horrifyingly, this story is rooted in reality. In 1976, a movie crew filming The Six Million Dollar Man attempted to move what they thought was a prop corpse in a haunted house—and its arm came off, revealing human bone.

The body belonged to criminal mastermind Elmer McCurdy, who had been killed after robbing a train in 1911. McCurdy was embalmed and propped up in the funeral home as an exemplary showcase of the embalmer's work. After a while, two people who claimed to be family members showed up—but they were actually wily carnival workers looking to score a spooky attraction. McCurdy's body was shown all around the country on carnival tours before settling at the haunted house in Long Beach. Finally, after all these years, McCurdy's body is underground—but his legend lives on.

6. Staten Island's Cropsey

Cropsey Staten Island

Cropsey Staten Island

The Lineup

A legendary boogeyman supposedly living in a condemned asylum on Staten Island turned out to be...real.

Rumours said Cropsey lived in the woods and murdered children, bringing them back to the remains of an old tuberculosis sanatorium where he lived. In actuality, the boogeyman was a former employee of the Willowbrook School, which was condemned in 1987. It had been home to over 6,000 developmentally challenged people (as opposed to the 2,000 it was supposed to hold). Cropsey was actually Andre Rand, a janitor who was arrested in connection with a number of disappearances shortly after the school closed. Rand has been linked to at least five murders.

So there you have it. The rumors of the boogeyman living in your walls might not be rumou]rs at all. Of course, if you really wanted true horror stories, you could just turn on the news.

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Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

Hostelworld HostelworldHostelworld.com


A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.


A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainierthebesttravelplaces.com

Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place Marketseattle.eater.com

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.

Space Needlegetyourguide.com

Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Gardensfodors.com

Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop Culturesmithsonianmag.org

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.

Fremont Trollsillyamerica.com

You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park Arboretumtriposo.com

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.

Alki BeachMetropolitangardens.blogspot.com

Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip savvy.com

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve Roasterydesigner.com

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.

What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!


Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.