Every town has its own legend. Some are weird, some are crazy, some are funny, but some do turn out to be true. So here are 10 Interesting Urban Legends From Around the World.
10Nazi Gold Train
The so-called Nazi gold train and Wałbrzych gold train concerns a local legend of a Nazi German-era train buried underground in Lower Silesia in January 1945 toward the end of World War II.
According to local legend, the train left Breslau (now Wroclaw) filled with gold and other treasures. It was driven into a system of tunnels under the Owl Mountains that were part of an unfinished Nazi secret Riese near Wałbrzych. There it was buried in a warren of tunnels and mines created by the Nazis. The train is rumored to hold up to 300 tons of gold, jewels, weapons and masterpieces.
During Napoleon war, a ship allegedly sank off the coast of Hartlepool, England, killing all crew members, only leaving a monkey who was dressed in a uniform. People of Hartlepool held a tribunal on the beach and sentenced the poor monkey to death by hanging for being a French Spy. What makes the legend more amusing is that the local football team mascot was a monkey and a guy in said outfit ran for mayor of the town and won.
There is a very popular local legend in San Antonio, Texas. According to it, a school bus stalled on the local railroad tracks and not all of the children escaped before a train that couldn’t stop in time hit the bus and killed 10 children and the bus driver. If you stop your car on those tracks, put it in neutral and put some powder on the back of your car, it will begin to roll across the tracks until it reaches the other side safely. You will also note small childlike handprints on your trunk.
The town of Basel, Switzerland has a very interesting legend that probably originated around the 11th century. It is said that that under a certain fountain there is a “Chamber of Secrets” where, once upon a time, a basilisk had made it nest. He had a chicken’s head and feet, and a lizard-ish body with Dragon-like wings. It was said that he was born when a chicken abandoned an egg, which got adopted and hatched by a snake. He used to roam the streets at night and hunt for his chicken mother who abandoned him, but wouldn’t leave humans alone either.
Some poems still survive describing it and it still is the city’s crest animal. The city has basilisk-statues on every one of their fountains.
Raymond “Ray” Robinson (October 29, 1910 – June 11, 1985) was a severely disfigured man whose years of nighttime walks made him into a figure of urban legend in western Pennsylvania. Robinson was so badly injured in a childhood electrical accident that he could not go out in public without fear of creating a panic, so he went for long walks at night. Local tourists, who would drive along his road in hopes of meeting him, called him The Green Man or Charlie No-Face. They passed on tales about him to their children and grandchildren, and people raised on these tales are sometimes surprised to discover that he was a real person who was liked by his family and neighbors.
In lower Bavaria, there is a city named Zulling which has a church. Next to the church, there are two spots in the grass, where nothing grows. According to legend, long time ago someone robbed the church and killed the pastor. He fled through the window and the moment he touched the ground, he got struck by lightning and died there.
4Old Man Belfield
The University College Dublin in Belfield, Ireland has an old homeless man that lives on it. He is harmless, never speaks but always gives the students a smile and a nod. He gets free meals and coffee in the canteen and spends his day ambling about the campus. There are loads of origin stories. Some say he was a professor who had a break down. Some say he saved a girl from being raped one night and has since been the silent guardian of the university.
When the restaurant came under new management they refused to feed him for free. Therefore the entire student body boycotted the place, the restaurant gave in and he now gets his dinners for free. No one knows who he is, what he did or why the university lets him stroll about. Every new generation has a new story and everyone loves the “old man Belfield”.
3The White Witch of Rose Hall
In Jamaica, the plantation in which the white witch supposedly lived in, is a big tourist attraction. She was the wife of a slave owner but all her husbands kept disappearing. Legend has it that she killed her first, second, and third husband along with several male slaves whom she would take to bed. She’d sleep with them and then kill them when she got bored and wanted another.
She is said to have practiced dark arts and voodoo to avoid getting caught. Some of her spells involved sacrificing infants to make them more effective. She also used her potions to kill her husbands in ways that seemed like natural causes like disease or heart attack. She was eventually killed by one of her male slave lovers “Takoo” and she still haunts the grounds of Rose Hall.
There’s an old house in Dunbartonshire, Scotland called Overtoun House. The legend goes that walking your dog along the bridge will cause it to spontaneously leap to death. This has actually happened over 50 times and several dogs have died from falling over the bridge. Some people say that they feel suddenly depressed after crossing the bridge.
There’s a man who is said to have thrown his baby son off the bridge claiming his son to be antichrist. There’s an old Scottish myth of a “Thin place” where the afterlife and the physical world are very close together and this bridge is said to be one of those places.
1The town that fooled the British
When the British came in the war of 1812, the townspeople of St. Michaels, Maryland hung their lanterns from the trees instead of our houses and therefore the British cannon fire overshot their town entirely. The only house hit, the “Cannonball House”, is a tourist destination. The town is referred to as “The Town That Fooled The British”. It says that right on their welcome sign as you enter the town.
Sadly, none of this happened. So the town probably fooled the tourists.