reeltoreel: What's your favorite urban legend, cryptid and creeypasta?
Oh man… Yet another really tough question, because the world of urban legends and cryptozoology is so rich and plentiful with stories from all around the world. Every culture, every continent - everywhere you go, you run into local legends, “old wives’ tales”, and spooky tales of old. Creepypastas I may have to address at another time (actually… I may have addressed it before, but forgotten. There might be something tagged “creepypasta” on my blog somewhere). In any case, the bizarre and the unknown hold endless fascination for me, so this is still a very tough challenge.
The best I could do is - yes, yet again - try to narrow it down to a list.
In no particular order:
- Gloria Ramirez - the “Toxic Lady”. This is one I’ve been meaning to post about, because it fascinates me. An extremely specific set of circumstances collided with one another in a one-in-a-million incident that went down in medical history. This poor woman became the biological equivalent of Pig-Pen from the Peanuts comics - a walking cloud of toxic disaster. A strange sheen of oil formed on her body, a garlic-like smell emitted from her orifices, and her blood was laden with bizarre particulate, and smelled like ammonia. The nurses who tended to her became ill, as well as anyone else that came within two feet of her in the hospital. Sadly, Gloria passed away that day, but her bizarre story will live on for eternity.
- Polybius. This is one that I have posted about before. An alleged video game that caused whoever played it to go insane. What makes it so fascinating are all the little pockets of actual truth to it.
- Snuff films. Yet another one that I’ve posted about previously. It is a concept that both intrigues and frightens me, and I’m quite glad to say that there has yet been no recorded evidence of the existence of a single, genuine snuff film (but a hell of a lot of films that were either accused of it, or used the idea as a publicity stunt).
- Human organ trafficking. This is one urban legend, I’m quite saddened to say, that is actually very, very true.
- Mothman. Ever since I was little, I’ve been intrigued with this story. Now that I’m older, I’m aware of the possibility that the alleged creature could easily have been a large, misidentified bird of prey. Nonetheless, the strange circumstances that also occurred during this time period set it apart from other cryptids.
- Red Rain. This one is particularly fascinating, but also a little worrisome. The titular substance fell from the skies of India in 2001, and again in 2012, and were first hypothesized to be fallout from a meteor burst, then spores from terrestrial algae. However, there has also been the claim that the cells contained within the red rain contained DNA, and could possibly be of extraterrestrial origins (again dependent on the theory that it had something to do with meteor fallout). The origin, and identification, of the substance within the red rain remains a mystery.
- Feral children. This one is a particularly touchy subject; any research of which is often referred to as “The Forbidden Experiment”. There have been cases of alleged “feral children” throughout history, and even in mythologies (Greek brothers Romulus and Remus were said to have been raised by a mother wolf, who apparently did a damn good job, since Romulus went on to found the city of Rome). As for real-life accounts, there was the famous case of Victor of Aveyron, and, more recently, the case of Oxana Malaya in the Ukraine, whose neglectful, alcoholic parents left her outside with the dogs. While she has been taught to control her dog-like mannerisms, she is still developmentally disabled. Many supposed “feral” children suffer the same fate - some are never able to learn human speech. The existence of these cases forces us to consider the “Nature vs Nurture” argument, and how much of who we are is learned, and not inherent.
- Bat bombs. I suppose this is less of an urban legend as a piece of “crazy, but true” trivia. This is also one I’ve posted about before. During World War II, the U.S. military truly did use bats to disperse small, incendiary bombs. While the project was scrapped before it could be put to use on the Japanese and their highly-flammable houses, an accidental release of the bats over New Mexico did humorously manage to set a general’s car on fire.
- Spontaneous Human Combustion. The idea of spontaneously bursting into flames from the inside is a truly terrifying one. Not one that has been scientifically proven, but enough of one that scenes of death by fire with seemingly unknown origins, and which often leave entire rooms untouched, and even completely unburned limbs among the ashes continue to leave a spooky impression. Nowadays, modern science is aware of the “wick effect”, in which a fire from an outside source that reaches a human body will quickly burn away fat (which is highly flammable), but has a tough time consuming muscle, resulting in the fire petering out upon reaching the arms or legs - the most frequently-used parts of our bodies. Thus, the resulting macabre scene of a pile of ashes with a pair of legs sticking out is created.
- Cattle Mutilations. While I will admit to being both fascinated and disturbed by this concept when I was younger, I remain more fascinated and disturbed by the fact that this phenomenon continues to be reported, and treated as a “mystery”, even though it was shown way back in the 70’s that the natural progression of decay, with the aid of normal scavenging birds and other animals, and the proliferation of insect life, can account for all the alleged “surgical” cuts, and “disappearance” of eyes, and other organs. I guess sometimes, the lie is just so spooky, you don’t want to kill it with the truth.
Those are about the only things I can think of for now. Also, thank you - now I’m considerably spooked as shit right before bed time after finishing this.
bee-cake: What is that film in the doll with one eye gif that you reblogged and what is it about? It looks pretty interesting from the gif!
Oh gosh, it’s lovely. It’s a horror/fantasy film from Hong Kong called Re-Cycle (Cantonese: 鬼域 Gwai wik) (2006).
It’s about a novelist stricken by writer’s block that is being pressured to come up with a new novel by her publisher, which they’ve already got a name for, and insist upon it dealing with the supernatural.
She begins trying to flesh out a story, but is frustrated with the progress, and deletes it.
Unfortunately for her, unfinished things don’t like being discarded, and she finds herself trapped in a world of everything ever lost, or forgotten.
It’s visually magnificent, even if it doesn’t match the standards of big-budget Hollywood fare, and it has a fascinating story. I highly recommend it to anyone if they get the chance to see it. It’s marvelous.
HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!
ionxtreme: You a fan of David Lynch's work?
I personally rank him among the top directors of horror/thriller films. His movies are so bizarre and dream-like, and really a style all their own. He also created Twin Peaks, which I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that it’s one of the most influential television shows of all time (its influence can be seen regularly in Disney’s Gravity Falls).
While he isn’t quite as prolific as other directors, he puts a lot into the films he does put out there, and it shows.
Goddammit, I really wish I didn’t have to be doing another obituary trailer already, but yesterday we saw the sad loss of Everett De Roche, one of the best screenwriters Australian cinema has ever had. He screenwrote a lot of films and TV shows, with a really strong knack for characterisation and the set-up for great suspense sequences. One of the better known ones he wrote is this attempt to bring Jaws on land in the form of a tonne of pissed-off bacon. While doing a movie where the monster is a really big piggie seems absurd, the very astute script helps make it work, notably by having it lurking off-screen for so long (let’s face it, in the Outback there’s plenty of space for something like that to hide). Add to that the very stylish direction of Russell Mulcahy (who’d follow this up with Highlander!), and you’ve got one of the most gorgeous to watch horror movies of the 80s (which I do not say lightly!). De Roche was a legend for writing this, Road Games, Harlequin, Lost Weekend, Patrick and much, MUCH more. Here’s hoping that there still is someone of his like out there, helping to keep up that sort of standard.