Archive for Urban Legends

Candle Cove

Posted in Fiction, Horror, Urban Legends with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2009 by smilingjacks

(Note: I am not the author of this story. It was written by the wonderful people at Ichor Falls, another horror site and a great one at that. In honor of Halloween, I’m including it here today because it’s one of my favorite Internet-based horror stories. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do)

NetNostalgia Forum – Television (local)

Subject: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

Does anyone remember this kid’s show? It was called Candle Cove and I must have been 6 or 7. I never found reference to it anywhere so I think it was on a local station around 1971 or 1972. I lived in Ironton at the time. I don’t remember which station, but I do remember it was on at a weird time, like 4:00 PM.

Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

it seems really familiar to me…..i grew up outside of ashland and was 9 yrs old in 72. candle cove…was it about pirates? i remember a pirate marionete at the mouth of a cave talking to a little girl

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
YES! Okay I’m not crazy! I remember Pirate Percy. I was always kind of scared of him. He looked like he was built from parts of other dolls, real low-budget. His head was an old porcelain baby doll, looked like an antique that didn’t belong on the body. I don’t remember what station this was! I don’t think it was WTSF though.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Sorry to ressurect this old thread but I know exactly what show you mean, Skyshale. I think Candle Cove ran for only a couple months in ‘71, not ‘72. I was 12 and I watched it a few times with my brother. It was channel 58, whatever station that was. My mom would let me switch to it after the news. Let me see what I remember.

It took place in Candle cove, and it was about a little girl who imagined herself to be friends with pirates. The pirate ship was called the Laughingstock, and Pirate Percy wasn’t a very good pirate because he got scared too easily. And there was calliope music constantly playing. Don’t remember the girl’s name. Janice or Jade or something. Think it was Janice.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Thank you Jaren!!! Memories flooded back when you mentioned the Laughingstock and channel 58. I remember the bow of the ship was a wooden smiling face, with the lower jaw submerged. It looked like it was swallowing the sea and it had that awful Ed Wynn voice and laugh. I especially remember how jarring it was when they switched from the wooden/plastic model, to the foam puppet version of the head that talked.

Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

ha ha i remember now too. ;) do you remember this part skyshale: “you have…to go…INSIDE.”

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Ugh mike, I got a chill reading that. Yes I remember. That’s what the ship always told Percy when there was a spooky place he had to go in, like a cave or a dark room where the treasure was. And the camera would push in on Laughingstock’s face with each pause. YOU HAVE… TO GO… INSIDE. With his two eyes askew and that flopping foam jaw and the fishing line that opened and closed it. Ugh. It just looked so cheap and awful.

You guys remember the villain? He had a face that was just a handlebar mustache above really tall, narrow teeth.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
i honestly, honestly thought the villain was pirate percy. i was about 5 when this show was on. nightmare fuel.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
That wasn’t the villain, the puppet with the mustache. That was the villain’s sidekick, Horace Horrible. He had a monocle too, but it was on top of the mustache. I used to think that meant he had only one eye.

But yeah, the villain was another marionette. The Skin-Taker. I can’t believe what they let us watch back then.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
jesus h. christ, the skin taker. what kind of a kids show were we watching? i seriously could not look at the screen when the skin taker showed up. he just descended out of nowhere on his strings, just a dirty skeleton wearing that brown top hat and cape. and his glass eyes that were too big for his skull. christ almighty.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Wasn’t his top hat and cloak all sewn up crazily? Was that supposed to be children’s skin??

Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

yeah i think so. rememer his mouth didn’t open and close, his jaw just slid back and foth. i remember the little girl said “why does your mouth move like that” and the skin-taker didn’t look at the girl but at the camera and said “TO GRIND YOUR SKIN”

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
I’m so relieved that other people remember this terrible show!

I used to have this awful memory, a bad dream I had where the opening jingle ended, the show faded in from black, and all the characters were there, but the camera was just cutting to each of their faces, and they were just screaming, and the puppets and marionettes were flailing spastically, and just all screaming, screaming. The girl was just moaning and crying like she had been through hours of this. I woke up many times from that nightmare. I used to wet the bed when I had it.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
i don’t think that was a dream. i remember that. i remember that was an episode.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
No no no, not possible. There was no plot or anything, I mean literally just standing in place crying and screaming for the whole show.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
maybe i’m manufacturing the memory because you said that, but i swear to god i remember seeing what you described. they just screamed.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Oh God. Yes. The little girl, Janice, I remember seeing her shake. And the Skin-Taker screaming through his gnashing teeth, his jaw careening so wildly I thought it would come off its wire hinges. I turned it off and it was the last time I watched. I ran to tell my brother and we didn’t have the courage to turn it back on.

Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

i visited my mom today at the nursing home. i asked her about when i was littel in the early 70s, when i was 8 or 9 and if she remebered a kid’s show, candle cove. she said she was suprised i could remember that and i asked why, and she said “because i used to think it was so strange that you said ‘i’m gona go watch candle cove now mom’ and then you would tune the tv to static and juts watch dead air for 30 minutes. you had a big imagination with your little pirate show.”


The Legend of the Jack-o-Lantern

Posted in General, Non-Fiction, Urban Legends with tags , , , , , , on October 29, 2009 by smilingjacks

Jack-o-Lanterns are an absolute staple of Halloween customs in the United States, the United Kingdom, and many places in the world. Each year, children and adults alike are delighted to paint and carve the faces of pumpkins in unique designs. There are even contests centered around the practice and a number of people who actually make a profit from carving Jack-o-Lanterns.

We’re all familiar with pumpkin carving, but have you ever wondered where the practice came from? Like many Halloween customs, the Jack-o-Lantern originated in Ireland.

There’s an old Irish legend about a delinquent trickster by the name of (you guessed it) Jack. He was a debouched man who liked to engage in sins of the flesh, loved to drink, and made all sorts of mischief. His neighbors considered him an impossible nuisance, but no one could capture him because his lucky turnip always kept fortune on his side. It’s said that he even managed to play a mean trick on the Devil himself.


Jack met the Devil one dark Halloween night on the Irish countryside. The Devil had heard that Jack’s slyness rivaled his own, and he was determined to show the mischievous mortal who the one true hell raiser was.

After they made their introductions, they both went about getting chummy with one another. They bantered and drank and laughed together, both sizing each other up until an opportunity could present itself.

It was Jack who made the first move. Seeing some fruit in a nearby tree, he asked the Devil to climb the tree and fetch some fruit for the two of them. Despite his reluctance to respond to the request of a mortal, the Devil was happy to oblige. After all, there were a lot of cruel things that could be done with fruit. He could poison the fruit, or convince Jack that the fruit could give him magical powers and then challenge him to a flying contest off the roof of a barn, or a whole score of other things. The possibilities were vast.

The Devil made his way up the tree, smirking at all of the treacherous thoughts he was having. He didn’t notice soon enough that he was in fact the victim of Jack’s treachery. While the Devil was up in the tree, Jack took a cross out of his pocket and placed it on the tree’s trunk. When the Devil tried to climb down with the fruit, the cross repelled him. He was trapped in the tree and at Jack’s mercy.

“You wretched mortal,” the Devil said. “Just as soon as I get down, I’m going to make sure you never forget this!”

“I’ll let you down,” replied Jack. “As long as you swear never to take my soul into Hell.”

Jack knew he wasn’t righteous enough to make it into heaven, and he had no plans to change his ways. By forcing the Devil to submit, he figured he could come away with the certainty that he would never be made to suffer for his deeds. The Devil was beyond annoyed, as he would have loved to see Jack face damnation, but he was quite literally stuck, so he agreed.

The Devil didn’t get his revenge that evening. Midnight came too soon, and he had to yield with the coming of All Saint’s Day. Jack had won.

Then, years later, Jack fell ill and died. When he faced Judgment, to no one’s surprise, he was rejected from entering Heaven. Unfortunately, this meant he was forced to go to Hell.

The Devil laughed gleefully at the sight of the dejected Jack.

“I have no place to go but here,” Jack admitted upon seeing the Devil.

“That’s right,” said the Devil. “You have nowhere to go. After all, you won fair and square, and a promise is a promise. I will never take you into Hell”

Jack’s dead heart sank as even Hell wouldn’t have him. He was an orphaned soul with no home.

“Then where will I go?” asked Jack.

“Nowhere,” the Devil replied. “You were hated in life, you’re too wicked for Heaven, and you have no home here. No one wants you, Jack. You’re all alone.”

In a moment of genuine sorrow, the pitiful Jack muttered, “But how will I find my way?”

Just to mock the poor mortal, the Devil grabbed a single ember of hellfire and threw it at Jack. Then, he returned to his pit, leaving Jack all alone.

Jack sat by the light of the ember, wondering where he would go and how he would find his way in the darkness. Then, seeing the glow of the ember, he got an idea for how to light the way on his travels: with his lucky turnip. He took the turnip out of his pocket, hollowed it out, and placed the ember inside to make a lantern that he could use as he wandered about in search of a home.

Out of sympathy for the wandering ghost of Jack, his old neighbors put out lights to guide him on his endless travels. As the story spread, so did the tradition of placing out lanterns for Jack.

Even today, the people of the world carve Jack-o-Lanterns and light them on Halloween. Most of us think of it as just a fun pastime–a way of being festive, but these fun little decorations were originally meant to light the way for Jack and other wandering spirits.

Don’t let the lore deter you, however. In fact, I encourage you to all to set a Jack-o-Lantern out on Halloween. The drifting spirits will appreciate it, I’m sure. Who knows? The home they decide to settle down in might even be yours.

Happy Halloween.


Disturbing Pro-Gun Campaign

Posted in Horror, Non-Fiction, Urban Legends, Weird News with tags , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by smilingjacks

A hotly debated 911 call has been circulating around Youtube and other places on the Internet for at least two years now. The audio recording–apparently featuring the violent death of an elderly woman named Ruth Price as she sits on the phone with a 911 operator–has been debated on snopes, Yahoo, and several urban legends sites. It’s not certain whether the call was staged for instructional or educational purposes of if it is indeed the now public domain death of a human being. If the latter is true, then it’s a tragedy. I’m including a link to the file here, but I warn you it is disturbing:

In addition to the disgust and controversy sparked from the Ruth Price 911 call, there has also emerged a “What would Ruth have done?” pro-gun campaign. Basically, websites such as are arguing that, if Ruth had only owned a gun, then things would have turned out differently. The merit of their argument is up for debate, but the real horror here is that a person’s terrifying last moments are being transformed into an infomerical.

When apparently normal people do things like this, who needs to be afraid of the supernatural?

The Flying Dutchman

Posted in Fiction, Horror, Non-Fiction, Urban Legends with tags , , , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by smilingjacks

In 1641, a captain and his crew set sail on the their ship–The Flying Dutchman–on a voyage of exploration. Whatever their actual destination was, it’s now lost to history, but it’s well known and documented that they met their end in the ironically named Cape of Good Hope off of South Africa.

It was due largely to the error of the captain that they met their fate. While out on the sea, he failed to notice the dark clouds looming overhead, until he heard the screams of his lookout. By that point, they had already sailed straight into a terrible storm.

Hours went by as the captain and crew fought for their lives. If they could just make it out of the cape, they could escape the storm and make it back to shore.

Soon, they heard a crunch as their ship slammed into the rocks and then a terrible roar as their ship bowed from the pressure of rushing water. Just as the ship was sinking, the captain shouted one final declaration: “I will round this cape if I have to sail ’til the end of time!”

That statement of hubris also served as his eternal curse.

The Flying Dutchman was destroyed. For at time, it was also forgotten.

Then, in 1881, the Bacchante, a ship of the Royal Navy, was rounding the tip of South Africa when the lookout noticed something strange out in the distance. He recorded his sighting in his diary: “A strange red light as of a phantom ship all aglow, in the midst of which light the mast, spars and sails of a brig 200 yards distant stood out in strong relief.”

It’s too bad for that lookout that he spotted The Flying Dutchman. In their eternal voyage around the cape, the ghostly crew is jealous of living, and those who see them always suffer a terrible end. The lookout was no exception. Later on in the voyage, he lost his balance on the mast and fell to his death.

To this day, people still see the doomed ship, and each of them have died shortly after.

Whenever there’s a storm near the Cape of Good Hope, be sure and look out onto the sea, and you may catch the site of The Flying Dutchman, with its red glow and ghostly stillness, as the ship of the damned still tries to round the cape. Be careful while observing this remarkable sight, however, or you may end up joining the captain and crew in their endless voyage until the end of time.

POTC dutchman

There’s Something in the Sea

Posted in General, Non-Fiction, Urban Legends with tags , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by smilingjacks

Stories of sea monsters and unknown perils in the ocean have been the stuff of legend since at least as far back as the bronze age. Many of us are familiar with old nautical myths of krakens overturning ships or contemporary fiction concerning Cthulu and other great beasts hidden in the vastness of the deeps.

But those are just stories. Nothing so monstrous could really be dwelling in even the darkest waters, right? What few realize is that there is something in the sea, and it’s big.

The phenomenal, unidentified noise known only as “Bloop” was first discovered in 1997 by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Since it first showed up in deep sea detectors located in the Pacific Ocean (being loud enough to be detected by multiple sensors spanning a 5,000 km radius), it has stumped experts and been the source of great controversy.

Scientists generally agree that the source of the Bloop is a living creature. However, no known creature is large enough to cause such a sound. Some even say that whatever is behind Bloop must be several times larger than a Blue Whale, which is currently the largest known creature on Earth and is capable of growing to over 30 meters in length and weighing nearly 200 tons. A creature several times that size would be bigger than even the largest known prehistoric life, making Bloop possibly the largest creature ever to have existed.

(Sources: and

Though little is known about whatever enormous monstrosity is behind Bloop, what we do know is that it’s huge and it’s not shy. There’s something in the sea. It’s been there all along, and it’s calling out to us now.

Is Bloop one of a kind? What deep sea titans lurk in the darkest depths of the ocean, far out of notice of humans? In our narrow view of life, in our fixation with land (which accounts for only about 30 percent of the Earth’s surface), has it ever occurred to us that we may be further than we could ever imagine from being the dominant species  on this planet?

There’s something in the sea. Let us all pray to whatever gods or forces of the universe we place our faith in that it stays there. And if you decide to take a swim in the ocean, keep in mind that you may not realize what dark, terrible things lurk deep beneath the surface of the water.

Urban Legends: Ghosts

Posted in Horror, Non-Fiction, Urban Legends with tags , , , on October 21, 2009 by smilingjacks

This is an old favorite. A lot of you may have seen it before, but this one is always good for a view. You can see the original video and the rest of the Urban Legends series at jkcinema. Halloween is approaching in just a matter of days and this video is a great way to get into the spirit. So, without further ado, I present you Urban Legends: Ghosts.

Sure, it’s a little on the fake side, but that just adds to the fun, right? If anyone has anything more authentic then I’d be more than willing to host it. You can mention it in a comment or email the site master at

Billy the Doll

Posted in Fiction, Horror, Urban Legends with tags , , , on October 21, 2009 by smilingjacks

It’s said that Billy the Doll was made at the turn of the twentieth century by the maid of the Orson family–a family who lived in the American South–as a “gift” for their young boy, Bobby Orson. Otto Orson, the father of the boy, was known for mistreating workers, as his family had a history of slave ownership in the 19th century and before. Having been abused under unknown circumstances by Otto, rumor has it that the maid constructed Billy herself with a voodoo curse in order to take revenge on the Orsons through their son.

Bobby wasn’t aware of that, however. When he received Billy as a gift on his eighth birthday, he immediately fell in love with the doll.

Billy was a simple looking doll. He was made from cloth stuffed with straw. He had button eyes and red dyed straw for hair. Blushing cheeks and a warm smile were painted on his face. He was as harmless and charming as a boy in those days could have imagined.

Weeks went by and Bobby took Billy everywhere with him. He’d sit the doll next to him at the dinner table, play with him on the swing set, and he slept with him every night. The Orsons owned a huge chunk of land that was far away from any neighbors and Bobby didn’t have any boys his age to play with, so they were delighted that he had Billy as his best friend. They even heard Bobby talking to Billy in his room at night, but they thought little of it. It was perfectly normal, they figured, for a little boy to have an imaginary friend.

What startled Bobby’s mother, Martha, was that she sometimes heard Billy talking back. It was a different voice–not at all like Bobby’s–that was very deep and always a whisper. Sometimes she thought she saw Billy moving, or she’d even hear the rustling of straw and see a tiny figure out of the corner of her eye which would creep across the floor before darting out of view. At times, she could even hear Billy giggling or singing.

Bobby’s father never heard anything of that sort. He was happy for his boy because he had a friend and he was sure that either Martha was just mistaken or she was jealous that her son had someone else to spend time with. He thought Martha’s claims about Billy the Doll were just the product of a mother who was just as imaginative as her son that was sad to see him growing up and not depending solely on her for companionship.

Then Martha became deeply troubled by Billy. She would hear him singing all through the night. Sometimes she’d peek into her son’s bedroom and see Billy standing over Bobby as he slept, his cloth face forming a hateful glare. Fearing for her son’s safety, Martha took Billy and locked him in the attic.

Bobby was sad when he woke up and found that Billy wasn’t there. He thought he’d lost him somewhere, and he looked everywhere for him. But Billy was gone, or so he thought.

One day, Bobby was playing on the property and wandered out of his parents view. Otto and Martha were distracted and didn’t notice Bobby wandering away. When they noticed he wasn’t where they’d thought he was, they began looking for him. They checked Bobby’s favorite tree, under the porch, and behind the tool shed, but their son was nowhere to be found.

Then, they heard Bobby screaming, followed shortly by a muffled splash. They followed in the direction of the sound, fearing that Bobby had hurt himself. Before long, they realized the sound had come from the family well.

Otto looked down the well while Martha checked all around it, but neither saw Bobby. They didn’t hear their son anymore either.

Martha ran and got one of the workers to send him down the well, hoping desperately that her son wasn’t inside–that the splash had been a stone or a log or something and Bobby was just hiding somewhere. But soon the worker re-emerged with Bobby in his arms. Bobby’s face was blue and he wasn’t breathing at all. He had drowned in the well.

Martha cried for Bobby. Tears streamed down her face and she sobbed uncontrollably as she cradled her lifeless son, who she cherished above all else. But when she looked up, her crying turned into screaming.

Sitting on the edge of the well, where nothing had been before, was Billy the Doll.

Martha wanted to destroy the doll, but Otto couldn’t bring himself to destroy his son’s favorite toy. He never believed his wife about Billy anyway. Instead, Billy was put back into the attic, and this time Martha locked him inside a box.

They tried to go on with their lives after that, but their home had become a tomb. Everything reminded them of Bobby, and they just couldn’t live there anymore. Before long, they decided to move.

As they were packing their things, they made sure to preserve some of Bobby’s most beloved belongings–his favorite blanket, his baby shoes, some toys. Otto didn’t want to forget Billy. That was his son’s favorite toy, after all. So, he sent Martha to the attic to get him.

Martha saw this as her chance. She could get to Billy and destroy him without Otto ever knowing what she had done.

But when she got to the attic and opened the box, she was startled to find it empty. Billy was gone, and the Orsons never saw him again.

It’s not clear just what became of Billy from there. Cloth dolls were popular in the early twentieth century and they’re popular among doll collectors even today. With so many dolls like him in existence, it’s difficult to be sure where that playful old Billy went to.

So if you hear giggling and the rustling of straw, don’t be alarmed. It’s probably just Billy the Doll looking for a new friend to play with.