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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There are several things about wine that can confuse the average person. If you haven't spent the last few years of your life learning everything there is to know about wine, you can be forgiven for picking up a box of the good stuff every now and then. However, if you want to know a little bit more about how to choose a good bottle, we can help you out. We've created a beginner's guide to picking a bottle of wine so you can enjoy yourself a little more.

Know What Type of Wine To Choose

First things first, you're going to need to decide the type of wine that you're looking for in order to narrow your search. Are you looking for a red, white, sparkling, or rosé? The choices may seem overwhelming, but try to focus on what foods you'll be pairing the wine with. Reds go great with heavier meals like red meat, while whites tend to lend themselves towards lighter dishes like fish and cheeses. If you'll be drinking the wine on its own, consider what you've tried in the past and what type you tend to gravitate toward.

Know How Much You're Willing To Spend

It's no secret that a penchant for wine can become an expensive hobby. If you're just getting into the idea, don't waste your time or money with the extremely pricey bottles. A good place to start looking for decent bottles of wine is somewhere between the $10 and $30 price range. This will keep you from buying something too low quality without breaking your bank in the process.

Read the Labels Closely

A good bottle of wine will often give tasting notes right on the bottle. Because everyone's palette is different, you may not get the same notes when you try the wine, but it's a good place to start. Choose something with tasting notes that you already enjoy like berries or cocoa and try to see if you get any hints of that as you drink. The labels may also tell you about the wine's acidity, or how tart it is, and the wine's body, or the way it feels in your mouth.

A beginner's guide to picking a bottle of wine can only go so far without being overwhelming. The next part of your wine journey will need to be undertaken on your own. Try various types of wine and see what tastes best to you—that's what wine is really all about.

Distillery tours went on hiatus in 2020, but there are high hopes for 2021. While bourbon leaps immediately to mind when thoughts turn to distillery tours, interest in other spirits and how they're made is increasing. Here are a few of the best tours to thrill tequila lovers.

Tequila Herradura

Ride in style on the Herradura Express, a distillery sponsored train ride that runs from Guadalajara to the town of Amatitán for a distillery tour and tastings, followed by lunch featuring live entertainment. The train then takes visitors back to Guadalajara by evening. Herradura is housed in the last tequila-producing Hacienda in the world, Hacienda San Jose del Refugio. Casa Herradura will be closed for visits and tours until Mexican health officials declare the coronavirus emergency over.

La Rojeña

Producer of Jose Cuervo, La Rojeña has a train of its own called the Jose Cuervo Express (currently on hiatus due to COVID-19) to bring visitors to the oldest distillery in the town of Tequila. Jose Cuervo offers distillery tours, tastings, and tours of the agave fields. Mundo Cuervo (Cuervo world) also has its own hotel, Solar de las Animas. Check for COVID-19 hours and restrictions before booking.

Casa Sauza

Founded in 1873, Casa Sauza offers four levels of tours including a visit to the La Perseverancia distillery, a visit to the Quinta Sauza estate, and for those willing to spend more, barrel tastings and a barbeque or a three-course meal. Casa Sauza is on hiatus until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but should go on the distillery tour bucket list.

La Cofradia

The only tequila distillery with a hotel inside, La Cofradia offers many experiences in addition to distillery tours. Choose a hike through natural trails, biking, or horseback riding through the agave fields. Rooms made of giant tequila barrels sit among the agave plants for a unique stay. Visiting La Cofradia is sure to be a tour that thrills tequila lovers. Contact the hotel directly for information about lockdown closures.

A distillery tour offers education about tequila's history and manufacture. Bone up on your tequila terms and tips for choosing quality tequila before you go, so you'll understand what you're tasting.

We don't know how to feel about winter this year. Sure, nobody likes the cold and dreary months, but there's something special about the Holiday season that just seems to be missing. Maybe the thought of staying inside and cozying up to a nice book isn't very enticing given the last few months. The joyful winter wonderland that we usually associate with winter seems to be missing.

That's why our editors decided to take it upon themselves and spread some delight with seasonal meals, courtesy of HelloFresh. For those who don't know what HelloFresh is, it's a meal-kit delivery service with dozens of easy-to-prepare recipes to choose from. Simply select which meals you want as well as how many servings and a neatly organized cardboard box will arrive at your doorstep within the week. Nobody wants to go out in the Winter anyway, and with HelloFresh, you don't have to!

To celebrate the arrival of the coldest season, we decided to highlight some of our favorite (and heartiest) recipes from HelloFresh that are perfect for the Holiday season. Here are five wholesome and balanced meals that will warm you up in no time.

Veggie Loaded Kale & Risoni Soup

A hearty and warm soup is a Winter staple and this veggie loaded kale and risoni soup from HelloFresh absolutely hits it out of the park. All anybody wants during the colder months is to feel cozy and nurtured--just like the flavorful bowl of nutrients. Warm and creamy risoni compliments the seasonal veggies perfectly and the side of garlic bread is a sure-fire cure for any winter blues. With 22 meals to pick from each week, this one is sure to be a household favorite.

Cheesy Red Pesto Chicken Melts

Everyone is familiar with classic green pesto, but have you ever tried red pesto? Red pesto offers way more complexity and oomph than its green counterpart. It is incredibly bright with rich notes of umami, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and garlic. This rendition also features hits of chargrilled capsicum for a little extra zest. You get the exact amount of each ingredient and seasoning, as well as super detailed recipe cards, that make meal prep a breeze. Spread it over a glistening chicken bread and sprinkle with cheese for delectable chicken melts.

Winter Risotto

Risotto is a great winter warmer. It's packed full of veggies so your body will light up like fire, but it's also silky, sumptuous and a real crowd pleaser. HelloFresh's Winter Risotto features a heart helping of kale that pairs perfectly with nutty Parmesan and crunchy walnuts for a robust taste. Did we mention that it also comes with fennel seeds sprinkled throughout? This unique seasoning adds a distinctive, yet delicious flavor to this classic winter staple. We know these meals are pretty hardy, which is why we love having the option to pause our subscription or cancel a week when need be.

Cheat's Italian Pork & Veggie Bolognese

A bolognese that only takes 30 minutes to make? Sign us up! This one is chock full of all the rich flavors of a classic Italian sauce. In fact, we're getting some serious Italian grandmother vibes with this recipe. Silky baby Spanish and grated carrots melt into a hearty meat sauce, offering a mouth-watering meal for anyone looking for a little zest. It's delivery quality, but much more affordable, plus you get to cook it yourself!

Smokey Mild Chorizo & Bean Chilli

Yet another clever twist on a weekday favorite! The paprika and garlic flavored cured sausage is a staple in our chopping baskets since it goes well with practically anything. Not only is Chorizo loved for its taste, but also for its ability to infuse sauces with its tantalizing flavor. This time around, HelloFresh has decided to spice up a classic bowl of bean chili with Spanish styling of a smokey mild chorizo. The end result? A mix of chorizo, red kidney beans, corn and avocado, and an irresistible flavor that everyone will love. This is just one of dozens of unique HelloFresh recipes you won't find anywhere else!

Gone are the days of trekking through the frigid cold just for a few groceries. Sign-up for HelloFresh today and get your ingredients delivered right to your doorstep. Time to start cozying up the right way, with a delicious meal and a nice cup of hot cocoa.

Update: Our friends at HelloFresh are extending a special Black Friday offer to our readers. Follow this link to get $90 off across 4 boxes including free shipping!