Author Topic: Weird urban legends/surreal mysteries you know?  (Read 1600 times)

BunnyShoggoth

  • Founder of Toon Thriller Productions
    • BunnyShoggoth worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Hi, I'm now working on the concept of a Lucas (Sam & Max, DOTT)-style game, inspired by John Keel's books, about the protagonist who investigates various supernatural phenomena in his home town that appear and then disappear into nowhere, without a trace. So far I have thought about the following ideas:

1) A monster (a bigfoot, a Spring-heeled Jack or something like that) behind a local diner, inspired by Mulholland Drive
2) A garden with gnomes and strange roses (blue, striped, polka-dotted, etc.) that glow in the dark, in the city park
3) A haunted arcade game, inspired by Polybius urban legend

I wanted to ask you whether you have heard urban legends/can think of some other surreal stuff; what I'm looking for is something in the vein of Twilight Zone or Stine's Goosebumps. The storyline is such that the exact type of strange phenomena is not crucial, they serve more to create the general atmosphere of "weirdness alongside the ordinary".

Thank you in advance!

Re: Weird urban legends/surreal mysteries you know?
« Reply #1 on: 24 Jul 2017, 21:57 »
Elisa Lam

She was a woman who went missing and was later found dead in the water tank of the hotel she'd been staying at (residents had been reporting black water coming out of their taps - they'd been drinking her). No one knows how she got there and to make matters creepier, there's this weird video of her in the hotel elevator acting pretty wierdly.

Some people think she might have been playing "The Elevator Game" whereby you must follow a series of steps in order to have the chance to visit an alternative plane, but if you make a mistake it can all go wrong and you will go insane.

Cracking mystery.
« Last Edit: 24 Jul 2017, 22:00 by Stupot+ »

Re: Weird urban legends/surreal mysteries you know?
« Reply #2 on: 24 Jul 2017, 22:54 »
I've also read about Elisa Lam, an interesting mystery, Stupot+.

I've always been interested in myths, legends and folklore, and I remember a few, though most of them are not supernatural. I still hope any of them can be of inspiration to you:

One urban legend goes that a mother bought a pack of bananas home, and gave one to her toddler. After a while, she hears her child cry and say
"Mommy, the banana bit me!". She thought the child was just making it up, but a few hours later the child falls to the floor in cramps,
they rush to the hospital but it's too late. Later it turns out that the child succumbed to the poison of an exotic spider that lays its eggs inside bananas.
In some older versions of the story, it's a snake that's somehow hidden inside the banana peel.

Another urban legend takes place in post-war Germany, when times were very harsh and food was scarce. Some young kids made money from running errands for people,
and one man offered young boys money if they agreed to take folded notes to the local butcher, but those boys were never seen again. After a few disappearances,
one boy actually opened the note from the stranger, and it simply read "Here is the veal. Bring me the payment tomorrow."

I remember another story that takes place in WW2, where an american officer recently stationed in Britain sees the lights of a little cottage standing on a hill. Since there is orders of a blackout, and all citizens must cover their windows with black curtains, he walks up to the cottage and an old lady opens. She laments that she always forgets about the blackout and promises to put up curtains as soon as he's left. After the officer leaves her, he turns his eyes back towards the hill and sees nothing but darkness. He's surprised that the old woman put the curtains up so quickly, but doesn't think more about it. Later, when he tells a British colleague about it, the Englishman is surprised and tells him that that old cottage on the hill was bombed during the blitz, leaving no survivors.

There is another WW2 story, about a married couple travelling through Sweden by car in the year 1939. During one of their stops in a rural village, a very old woman tells them
"As true as Hitler will lose the coming war, you will have a corpse in your car when you reach your destination." They scoff and laugh at her prophesy. Later, they pick up a young man hitchhiking. He tells them that Hitler has declared war on Polen and he and many other young men has been called into the military in case the war spreads to Sweden too. Then the young man goes to sleep in the backseat of the car. The couple drive to their destination, but when they try to wake the young man up, it's to no avail. He's dead.

There is also a ghost story that exists in many variations, but it always starts with a motorist picking up a beautiful young woman hitchhiking. They drive for a bit, until she suddenly screams and disappears from the car. Confused, the motorist drives to the nearest house and asks bout the woman. It then turns out that a woman who used to look exactly like her died in a car crash in the exact same spot as the one where she screamed and disappeared from the car. This is a very old legend (in some versions it's a horse rider who lets her sit behind him on the horse) and she's been associated with both The White Lady and La Llorona at different points.

I'd also like to share one true story, that really shows how these urban legends are formed. My grandparents lived in Stockholm, but my grandfather was from Skåne in southern Sweden, so when my great grandfather died, he was cremated in Stockholm but buried in Skåne. My grandparents decided that they should transport the urn with the ashes themselves in their car because it was cheaper that way, even if if my mother and aunts thought it was scary to ride in the same car as the urn. Later, my mother told her classmates at school about it, and didn't think much more about it until a few weeks later, when a kid at her school came up to her and asked "Is it true? Did you drive all the way to Skåne with your dead grandfather in a barrel?".

Sorry if I got a bit long-winded. If you find anything inspiring, please let me know! (roll)


horusr

  • Just joining everything for no reason.
    • I can help with play testing
    • I can help with translating
    • I can help with voice acting
    • horusr worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Weird urban legends/surreal mysteries you know?
« Reply #3 on: 25 Jul 2017, 06:29 »
There is lots of legends about genies, like if moms goes out of home before baby is 40 days old, they change the baby; dont pee outside at night, dont pour hot water under trees because there is baby genies etc.
Dont look mirror much or you get mad.

Do they count?

BunnyShoggoth

  • Founder of Toon Thriller Productions
    • BunnyShoggoth worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Weird urban legends/surreal mysteries you know?
« Reply #4 on: 25 Jul 2017, 17:26 »
Wow, thank you very much guys; all of them are very fascinating, and I've never heard most of them (I only know about "ghost hitchhikers") :cheesy:

I'm actually looking for something in the vein of this gnome story or SCP-261, i. e. something that's supernatural and takes place in a modern urban environment (i. e. kinda "magical realism") In this sense, I particularly dig the Korean Elevator Game story, and the "cottage on the hill" is also pretty close.




« Last Edit: 25 Jul 2017, 17:57 by BunnyShoggoth »

Glenjamin

  • video games are for nerds
Re: Weird urban legends/surreal mysteries you know?
« Reply #5 on: 25 Jul 2017, 21:43 »

If you're looking for a minor element (Like a background Easter egg) There's an urban legend about ghosts in Yosemite national park in america.

The ghost pants found on tape

Theyre supposedly a native america spirit and there's statues of them.


There's also my personal favorite, the mothman.

Basically in point pleasant there were many reports of a large bat-like creature that was flying around the town giving people the creeps.

He became a really big deal. They even built a statue of him.

At one point many people saw him standing on top of a bridge right before it collapsed, leading to the famous bridge photo:






BunnyShoggoth

  • Founder of Toon Thriller Productions
    • BunnyShoggoth worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Weird urban legends/surreal mysteries you know?
« Reply #6 on: 04 Aug 2017, 20:50 »
Thank you very much, I know the story about Mothman, and really love the book/movie "The Mothman Prophecies" :wink: Yep, I meant something in this vein: some strange places/creatures that "weren't there before".

« Last Edit: 04 Aug 2017, 20:52 by BunnyShoggoth »