7 Creepy Urban Legends That Happen to be True (Part 5!)

#3. The Revenge of the Killer Bird

The Legend:

Ever since the curse in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was brought on by shooting an albatross with a crossbow, the darker realms of the human imagination have been obsessed with birds haunting people. There's something creepy about birds. Poe didn't need a revenge motive to turn a raven into a nightmare specter. And Hitchcock only proves this truth is timeless: Mad geniuses know that birds have direct access to the irrational fear in our subconscious.

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Fun fact: The average crow can fit four eyeballs in its stomach.

The Truth:

There's nothing irrational about our fear of birds. Make no mistake, they are just dinosaurs wearing ridiculous disguises until we drop our guard. A series of real-life feathered revenge killings seem to be channeling the birds of our collective nightmares.

We've already told you how crows have been found to remember human faces and hold a grudge better than humans can.

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And Intel warns us that they've recently made peace overtures to the seagulls.

But you probably never thought to be afraid of roosters. They're not the spookiest of creatures, which is probably why cock fighting enthusiasts didn't see the problem with giving them back their razor-sharp dinosaur claws. One gamecock trainer was killed when his prize rooster slashed his throat.

But Jose Luis Ochoa became the true modern day Ancient Mariner. Like the star of Colridge's poem, he had plenty of forewarning that he shouldn't be messing with the bird that would do him in. He persisted with cock fighting despite having been arrested and fined for owning and training fighting cocks in the past. But that didn't stop him from attaching razor blades to his cock and throwing it into the ring on a fateful late January day.

© Superbass / CC-BY-SA-3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)
If we can make this article the #1 Google result for the term "attach razor blades to his cock," we will have made the world a less scary place.

Due to an anonymous tip, the police stormed this particular cockfight. And just like a prison yard shanking, one of the roosters used the chaotic distraction to cut Ochoa. Ochoa fled the scene of the crime with what looked like a minor leg wound, but the razor blade had severed an artery in his leg. By the time he got to the hospital, it was too late for him. While the police never said who phoned in the anonymous tip that eventually led to the raid, we're pretty sure they don't have to.

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Somebody get Christopher Nolan on the phone.

#2. The Skeleton in the Wall

The Legend:

While renovating an old building, a construction worker pulls down a wall and finds himself face to face with a human skeleton. It's identified as the body of some person who'd vanished years before. Like a real-life The Casque of Amontillado, the poor guy had been walled in and never heard from again. While his family searched for him, he was just feet away, trapped, then rotting, then presumably making a spooky sound as the wind whistled through his bones. OK, but clearly this one is bullshit. How does someone get trapped in a not abandoned building without anyone noticing? Wouldn't they hear his cries for help? This scary story isn't really very well thought out, is it?

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Faaaake!

The Truth:

The Abeville National Bank had always used the second floor of their building for storage, but when they found themselves in need of some office space, a crew of construction workers began renovating the second level. When one of them removed a metal plate that had been fastened to the wall, they discovered a long out of use fireplace containing a pile of old rags and tiny bones at the bottom.

Any hopes that these were merely left over from the days when it was customary for rich bankers to use orphans as kindling were quickly dashed when the remainder of an adult skeleton was found just above the fireplace in the narrow flue. Through DNA testing, the remains were identified as those of Joseph Schexnider.

Daily Mail
"The 'X' stands for 'eXceptionally bad chimney sweep'."

Thanks to being on the mostly abandoned floor, his body wasn't discovered when he got stuck in the walls of the local bank, nore was it discovered when he started to stink up the joint. In fact, he had been wedged behind the brick walls of the bank for 27 freaking years as his friends and fellow townspeople did their banking below. So yeah, add "your neighbor who went missing may be decomposing somewhere in the building" to the list of reasons why you hate going to the bank.

We may never know exactly why Schexnider decided to crawl into the chimney space of the local bank. One thing we do know is that space isn't the only place they can't hear you scream.

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Just stay out of these things.

#1. The Worst Possible Place to Wake Up

The Legend:

The mourners pass by the casket, giving their last respects. It's your turn, and as you look down into the coffin you think, "Wow, they did a great job, she almost looks like she's still alive!"

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"You'd think the funeral director would have at least shaved off the unibrow."

That's when the corpse starts screaming.

The Truth:

It all started when Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov, a woman from the northern Russian city of Kazan, suffered a heart attack, and was rushed to the hospital by her husband. At the hospital she was declared dead by a crack team of physicians, who we suspect were only like a minute away from their lunch break, because it turns out she wasn't dead at all.

Daily Mail
If Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov appears to be alive to you in this picture, you're probably not a Russian doctor.

That didn't stop the woman's family from quickly putting together a funeral for her -- a funeral she rudely interrupted with her screams of terror when she awoke and realized where she was. But hey, while having the body at a funeral sit up and start wailing like a banshee is a bit freaky, in the end your loved one isn't dead after all! That's good news, right?

Right! Except in this case Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov promptly died again. For real this time. The shock of waking up at her own funeral was simply too much for the poor woman and she suffered a second heart attack that totally, 100 percent for-sure killer her for good. At least according to the excellent medical staff that declared her dead the first time. Apparently in Russia the safety coffin is still considered an in-demand technology.

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"Should we poke grandma with a stick to make sure?"

Nathan Birch also works for IGN, creates his own frightfully cute webcomic Zoology and can always use a few extra Twitter followers.

For more myths that could end you, check out 5 Drinking Myths That Can Kill You. Or learn why your mom is the greatest source of urban legends in 5 Common Body Myths Debunked.

And stop by LinkSTORM to learn why the monster under your bed is real.

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