Looking for an unsettling tale to scare yourself this Halloween? All over the country are stories that have inspired books, movies, TV shows and of course, fear. From bridges to houses to dolls, there’s no shortage of frights in nearly every state.
Alabama: Hell Gate’s Bridge
Starting in the 1950s, stories originated of a young couple driving off the bridge to their deaths, drowning in the river below. According to local legend, two things could happen if you drive across this bridge. First, leaving your car in the middle of the bridge with the lights off will invite the couple’s spirits into your car and leave a wet spot on the seat. Second, if you look backward while driving off the bridge, you may see the portal to hell. Unfortunately, due to the bridge’s age and condition, both driving and walking across are forbidden.
Connecticut: Annabelle the Doll
While most would picture the garish image of a doll almost resembling a ventriloquist puppet, the original Annabelle doll is a Raggedy Anne that belonged to a student nurse in the 1970s. The story of Annabelle that is most known today comes from “The Conjuring” movie, during which Ed and Lorraine Warren try to investigate the demonic attachment to the doll.
Georgia: Lake Lanier
Under the largest man-made lake in Georgia lies a ghost town. It was created by the Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River in 1956. Instead of tearing down the town before, the man-made lake was placed right on top of the town. The placement of this lake destroyed over 50,000 acres of farmland, homes and businesses. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement, 145 people drowned to their deaths in the lake between 1998 and 2018.
Illinois: The Italian Bride
Julia Buccola Petta was just 29 years old at the time of her death, which came shortly after giving birth to her first child. Friends and family were devastated. Due to Italian tradition, she was buried in white. For six years after her daughter’s death, her mother reportedly suffered from nightmares where her daughter begged to be let out of her grave. After a sympathetic judge granted an order for the casket to be exhumed, opening the casket revealed Petta had barely decayed, and those that touched her skin claimed her skin was soft to the touch.
Maryland: The Goatman
Maryland residents claim to have spotted a goat-human hybrid as far back as 1971. Similar to a mythical faun (think “The Chronicles of Narnia”), the Goatman is said to terrorize teenagers, couples and even decapitate dogs. While the Goatman has been supposedly heard and sighted all across the country, Maryland is said to be where the terrifying creature originated.
New York: The Amityville House
Perhaps the most well-known story on this list, the Amityville House has been the subject of about a dozen movies and countless references in pop culture. On Nov. 13, 1974, Ronald J. DeFeo Jr. murdered his entire family in their sleep, including his parents and four siblings. Just over a year later, a family moved into the home but only lasted 28 days before moving out.
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