Even if you do not believe in the supernatural, there is something weirdly entertaining about a creepy ghost story or an ancient mythological being. From the Chupacabra to the Loch Ness Monster, some myths have become incredibly notorious, but what about the lesser-known but equally terrifying myths?
In this list, you will learn about ten ghastly ghosts and monstrous myths from various countries that are not usually the top choice for scary storytelling. Make sure you have the lights on for this one!
Related: 10 ‘Little People’ Myths From Around The World
10 The Lumberjack Ghost—Canada
In the late 1800s, an Irish cook named Ryan traveled to New Brunswick, Canada, to work as a cook at a logging camp near the Dungarvon River. One of his duties was to wake everyone else up for breakfast, which he would do with a series of loud whoops and hollers.
Unfortunately, the boss of the camp was a short-tempered man who demanded that Ryan hand over the life savings he was carrying to help fund the camp. Ryan refused, so the boss sent the rest of the men on an early hunting trip one morning while he stayed behind with Ryan.
The men came back to find Ryan dead and his money missing. Pretending that Ryan had suddenly died from illness, the boss ordered the men to bury the body in a shallow grave in the forest. Soon, Ryan started haunting the camp with loud whoops and shrieking noises.
Terrified, the men bolted from the camp, including the boss, and never returned. For decades after, people claimed they could hear Ryan’s cries ringing through the forest near the Dungarvon River.
9 The Strzyga—Poland
A terrifying Slavic mythological beast, the Strzyga has two souls, two sets of teeth, and two hearts. Legend has it that these creatures start out looking fairly human but are driven out of their homes for being evil. When they die in isolation, one of their souls gets passed into the next life, while the other stays and becomes demonic.
The demon must then feed on living things to survive. Although animal blood is fine at first, they soon find themselves needing something more—human blood!
According to legend, they usually target people who had done wrong by them in their “previous” life, draining them of blood before feasting on their insides. It is thought there are many ways of preventing a Strzyga from turning demonic after dying—the main method is decapitating and burning the corpse.
However, this Slavic myth has crazier ways of eliminating demons, such as slapping the corpse with your left hand, leaving small items in the Strzyga’s grave for it to count, and burying the body face down and slashing the tendons in its legs.
So if you meet someone with two hearts, be nice to them, or else arm yourself with a sharp ax and a box of matches!
8 Lady Koi Koi—Nigeria
During the mid-20th century, a beautiful new teacher arrived at a boarding school in Nigeria. The children nicknamed her Lady (or Madam) Koi Koi, so-called because of the strange “koi koi koi” sound her red heels made as she walked. Unfortunately, she was evil to her students and frequently hit them, seemingly enjoying it.
The children reported Lady Koi Koi to the headmaster, but he would not believe them, even after she beat a student so much they had to go to a hospital. Finally, the students decided to take matters into their own hands and attacked Lady Koi Koi one night.
They gagged her, threw a sack over her body, and beat her until she stopped moving. They then dumped her body outside the school gates in the hope that a burglar would be blamed.
Soon, each of the students involved in Lady Koi Koi’s murder went missing one by one, and eventually, the boarding school closed down. The story of Lady Koi Koi spread to other schools, and it did not take long before the students started hearing that dreaded “koi koi koi” sound!
Legend says that she haunts school halls looking for any child to torture and beat, as she did when she was alive.
7 The Banshee of Tar River—North Carolina, USA
During the American Revolutionary War, British colonists who did not pledge their loyalty to the crown would have their property seized, or worse, if the British forces, or red coats, found them. Legend says that one of these rebels was Dave Warner, who had a flour mill by the Tar River and was supplying flour to the colony’s militia.
He was warned to stay away from the Tar River on a full moon as the spirit of death, called a banshee, would search for new victims.
The following year, five red coats arrived at Dave’s flour mill and beat him. They dragged him to the river, tied him to a big rock, and threw him into the water. Just then, they heard a blood-curdling wail as fog descended on the river. The red coats dashed toward Dave’s mill and locked themselves in.
Then, the banshee appeared and sent the men into a trance-like state, making them walk toward the river. One by one, they walked into the flowing black river and perished as the banshee’s screams rang out over the water.
Legend has it that the Tar River is still haunted by the banshee, and if you hear her wailing, you will be her next victim!
6 The Headless Nun—Canada
After the Father Le Loutre War in 1749, a French nun named Sister Marie went to New Brunswick, Canada, to help the colonists who had escaped from the British.
Soon after Sister Marie arrived in the colonists’ community, the British heard they had evaded capture and were looking for them. As a trusted community member, the colonists gave their valuables to Sister Marie in case they were captured, so she buried them in a safe place to stop them from being stolen.
A few days later, Sister Marie was crossing through some woods when she was attacked by a group of men. They demanded that she reveal the location of the buried valuables, but when she refused, they chopped her head off!
Soon after Sister Marie’s body was sent back to France, minus a head, there were sightings of someone walking down the path she walked every night. One day, a man was walking down the path, and he noticed a nun emerging from the woods, but he screamed in terror as she came closer—she was headless!
Legend has it that she can be seen wandering around in the middle of the night on a full moon, searching for her missing head.
5 The Kludde—Belgium
They say a dog is a man’s best friend, but the Kludde is one canine you do not want by your side! In Dutch folklore, the Kludde is a shapeshifter that often takes the form of a huge dog, but it sometimes appears as a small shrub or tree that grows bigger and bigger before your eyes.
Legend says that the Kludde stalks the deserted roads in Belgium, searching for unsuspecting travelers at night. The only thing that can be heard before the beast launches its attack is the sound of chains. Once the Kludde has found its victim, it is said to jump onto the victim’s back, forcing them to the ground where the creature’s razor-sharp claws and teeth rip them apart.
So, if you are hiking through the Dutch countryside, staying off the roads at night is best. But, if you have no other choice and you hear the sound of chains rattling, run for your life!
4 The Legend of the Inupasugjuk—The Arctic
A creature of Inuit mythology, the Inupasugjuk are giants that live in the north. Not much is known about them, but according to the legend, the female giants are more common than the much larger males. Maybe they are more aggressive, and no one has lived to tell their tale.
The Inupasugjuk think humans are funny and will pick them up and use them as playthings. Females may snatch people, throw them into their large parkas, and carry them away. One thing is for sure, if you see an Inupasugjuk, hide!
3 Dearg Due—Ireland
In a time when arranged marriages were common in Ireland, there was a young woman who fell in love with a peasant in her village. But her evil father decided to “sell” her to a rich but cruel man, the local chieftain.
After the forced marriage, she suffered under his cruel ways, being locked away for weeks at a time and used as a trophy. She became extremely depressed, stopped eating, and eventually passed away.
Her husband soon remarried, and her father was too elated with his new fortune to care about his deceased daughter. The woman’s spirit was so enraged that it was forced out of her grave, thirsty for revenge.
She killed her father and her evil husband, draining the chieftain of his blood. The Dearg-Due, as she became known, then developed an insatiable taste for human blood. She started luring men to dark and hidden places, where she would attack them and drain them of blood.
But the legend says that she then disappeared. What happened? Is she still prowling around, searching for new victims? Some say that her grave can be found in Waterford, Ireland, at the Tree of Strongbow. A word of warning, though, do not go alone!
2 The Demon of Goatman’s Bridge—Texas, USA
There is something eerie about old, creaky bridges, but the Old Alton bridge in Dallas, Texas, exudes a special kind of creepiness. According to the local legend, underneath the Old Alton bridge is home to a demonic creature known as “The Goatman.”
Witnesses say the menacing creature is a terrifying sight, standing eight feet tall, with the head, legs, and hooved feet of a goat and the arms and chest of a man. It also sports huge horns and evil eyes that glow. According to legend, if the Goatman’s name is spoken by someone crossing the bridge, the monstrous creature will be summoned.
Although he is said to sleep underneath the bridge during the day, the Goatman comes out at night to hunt for food. But, if his name is spoken during the day, he becomes even more aggressive, probably annoyed at being woken up! It is also believed that the bridge is a gateway to hell, and some people have reported seeing horrifying visions of brimstone and fire when crossing the bridge at exactly 3 am.
If you are a paranormal enthusiast, then a visit to the Goatman’s bridge is well worth it. Just do not go at 3 am, and do not speak his name!
1 The Haunted Phelps Mansion—Connecticut, USA
In 1848, Congregational minister, Eliakim Phelps, purchased a mansion on Elm Street in Stratford, Connecticut, that would become the base of the famous “Stratford Knockings.”
Two years after he bought the house, Phelps and his family noticed strange goings-on in their home. One day, Phelps and his family came home to find black funeral crepe had been hung on the door and over their mirrors—traditionally a sign that there had recently been a death.
They also found one of Mrs. Phelps’s nightgowns spread out on their bed with the arms crossed over the chest as if it was being worn by someone lying in a coffin. If that was not creepy enough, the family also came home to find their drawers had been opened, clothes thrown around, and various belongings strewn about, but no valuables had been stolen.
Other creepy things started happening, too, such as items falling from shelves and windows being smashed. Newspapers eventually heard about the Stratford Knockings, and accounts were being published about it. Paranormal enthusiasts also began stopping by the Phelps mansion, hoping to catch a glimpse of these strange occurrences.
Unfortunately, to this day, the hauntings have remained a mystery, and the house itself was demolished.