What was That?
We all ask ourselves this question when shit gets too freaky. Whether it was a noise, a thud, an apparition, or the shadow out of the corner of your eye, the question always comes up.
We all have a story we can’t quite explain and chill us to the bone. Stories from our hometown, the neighbor, the lady from uptown, or maybe even you.
These stories are collected by people I know personally, through the internet, and around the world.
Sit back, relax. Grab a blanket and a beverage of your choice for the night. Read some chilling tales from people just like me and you!
A Story Submitted By Thomas: “Långjävla Jan”
This is a story about a man in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s who used to work as a farmhand around where I grew up.
He was described as thin but muscular, with a gaunt face and he was tall, very tall – so tall in fact that people called him “Långjävla Jan”, literally “Devilishly Tall Jan” or, more precisely – “Tall Fucking Jan”.
It was said that he wandered the area between farms and fields and wherever there was work to be done. This man, while good to have at your side when the harvest came about, was a bit of a cook. People said he unnerved cattle, that he hated chickens and would wring their heads off if you didn’t keep a lookout, and most worryingly of all, he could often be found staring at the local children.
Rumors about Jan were aplenty but most labeled him as a (mostly) harmless moron, who lived by himself in a small hut in the forest.
Then stuff started happening. Children, both boys, and girls started to disappear and blame was soon to point to Jan, who at the same time was being accused of fornicating with cattle.
A large posse was gathered and they marched to Jan’s hut. Well there they didn’t find any trace of the children, and they came to the conclusion that Jan must have drowned them in a bog near his hut.
That’s when they decided to hang him for his crimes. They took a rope for a noose and picked out a tree from which to hang him, but to their dismay, they found Jan was too tall to hang, however they tried he always reached the ground with his feet.
In desperation they dragged him through the woods until they came upon the bog where they believed he had drowned the children, they bound him to rocks and forced him down into the bog, hitting him with heavy sticks and stones as he began to sink.
And that would have been the end of Jan’s story if it wasn’t for what happened next…
According to legend Jan didn’t stay drowned for long. Children began telling stories that they saw Jan all over the area, always looking wet and soggy and possibly even taller than before.
Jan was said to walk from house to house to peer into windows and spy on children when they were sleeping.
He was also said to roam the woods around his hut and the bog looking for new victims…
Well, if you come visit the area where I grew up it’s best to know a few rules to keep Jan of your back since he still prowls the area.
The first rule is to always keep a light on in your room, or at least let a streetlight light it up from outside. Because Jan will come looking for children in the dark to carry away.
To be extra sure that this won’t happen you have to make sure that no children sleep in a room that has a window facing the woods because that’s where he lives and where he takes you.
If you somehow forget this or the lights go out and Jan comes looking for you with his lantern you may still get away with acting courteous and nice. (Jan was apparently brought up in a very strict home and would not like it when people were rude.) If he likes you well enough he lets you be.
I grew up in a small village in the north of Sweden, called Harmånger, in the municipality of Nordanstig (The Northern Path).
I have to say that I was a pretty bad ass kid though because I offered to take the room with a forest view so that my baby sister didn’t have to take it since I knew all the rules!
But for real it also messed me up to such an extent that I slept with lights on well into my 20’s.
A Story Submitted By Miel: “Lange Wapper”
The legend is dated back to the 16th century. There was a farmer who found a large garden parsley and a red cabbage on top of his bed. When the farmer touched them it turned into a baby boy. The farmer could not take care of the baby and he sent him to a family in Antwerp.
The boy liked to help people in need and one day he came across a woman in need of help from a youth gang. The old woman gave him powers as a thank you. He had the power to shapeshift and to grow so tall he could jump from one town to the next with ease. He loved the idea of being tall so he stayed that way, hence the name, Lange Wapper.
One day, the man decided to turn himself into a water sprite and lived by the river, canals, or the sea. It is said Lange Wapper likes to use his powers to get women’s’ breastmilk. He likes to tease people while they are drunk and likes to play tricks on passing children laughing like the devil.
Some stories about him are shared throughout the area.
Once there was a man walking home drunk after a night in an inn in Antwerp. He was on his merry way until he hears footsteps behind him. The man turns to see a man behind him. The man stops and so does the other. The man, spooked, ran all the way home. He went to bed straight away and heard a knock at the door. The opens it to find Lange Wapper standing there as tall as trees telling him if he was ever that drunk again he will wring his neck.
Children had encountered him from time to time. One day children were playing until they saw a man who looked rich walk by. He handed out candy and went on his way. The children, curious, decided to follow him and then he vanished. The children looked at each other wondering what just happened and then heard an evil devilish laugh. Then did they realize they had just followed Lange Wapper.
Another story involved a woman who would stand nearby a newborn abandonment location. She would spy on women who left their babies and haggled them to pay a lump sum of money. She would scare the women by saying she would tell everyone they knew about what they did to their baby. Everyone paid her without a fail. One day, the woman found a baby on her doorstep. The woman picked the baby up and started for the baby drop location when the baby grew into a giant. He beat the woman senseless and she never went back to the location ever again. She knew for a fact it was Lange Wapper teaching her a lesson.
In a fourth story, a young woman had four lovers and trumpeted around. She also had a fifth lover in the mix. One day she invited the four lovers one by one in her house. One hour before the first lover arrived, someone knocked at the door. It was a man who presented himself as the fifth lover and invited the woman for a walk to which she agreed and wen ton there way. Meanwhile, Lange Wapper decided to shapeshift into her and waited for the men to come to her house. He gave all four of them a task. The first man was sent to the cemetery to sit under the big cross. The second had to lay down in a coffin under the cross. The third had to knock on the coffin until someone turned up. The fourth had to walk on the cemetery with a large chain. The four men and the woman died: the first one scared to death when the second one crawled into the coffin. The second man scared to death when the third one knocked on the coffin. The third one died when he heard the noise of the chain thinking it was the devil. The fourth ran to the house of the woman, who was home from the walk, to tell his story. The woman was so scared she died of a stroke. The fourth man went crazy, jumped into the river and drowned. The fifth man was revealed to be an assistant of Lange Wapper.
A Story Submitted By Anonymous: The Man Who Walked in Circles
I was sitting in the kitchen when I heard a noise in the backyard. I went out to find out where the noise came from and I saw a headless man walking around the big tree we had in the center of the yard. I was about seven years old and I was petrified.
The man didn’t seem to notice I was there and kept walking in circles until my mother came up behind me and asked what I was doing out so late. I kept my eyes on the man as he started to walk away towards the fence. He went through and vanished.
My mother asked me once again and I told her a man with no head was in the backyard and just walked through the fence. She took me back inside and told me to never go back there this late at night again.
More To Come!
I have always enjoyed a good scary story and kept a large collection of them all on my bookshelf. I have loads to share and can’t wait to share more “Urban Legends and Scary Stories” with you!
Until Next Time!
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