We all know an urban legend or two, most likely some that have roots in our area. Don’t be so quick to assume they’re fake, though. Some of the most common myths out there are actually completely real, no matter how ridiculous they may seem.

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iStock

Whether it’s around a campfire or at a friend’s house during a sleepover, telling scary stories is essentially a rite of passage for all kids when they’re growing up. As spooky as it can be, however, most of them just tend to assume that the stories are meant to scare them without actually being based in reality. Get that campfire ready again, though, because we’ve got some of the most terrifying urban legends to share with you, and these ones are actually real.

The Legend: A kid gives his friend an atomic wedgie so intense it kills him.

It’s no secret that kids don’t always listen to each other, so they often resort to telling their friends exaggerated truths to make them pay attention.

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iStock

Parents often use this tactic, as well, and eventually started telling their children the story of how a powerful wedgie once killed a kid, presumably as a way to get their kids to stop doing it to their own friends.

The Reality

Other than the legend being about a child, the rest of the story is actually true. One day, 58-year-old Denver Lee St. Clair and his 34-year-old stepson, Brad Lee Davis, were having an argument and, inspired by a few adult beverages, Davis decided to give St. Clair an atomic wedgie, pulling his underwear up over his head.

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The Mirror

It was likely done without too much seriousness, but the waistband of St. Clair’s underwear got caught around his throat and ended up strangling him.

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Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office

Eventually, Davis revealed that he and St. Clair didn’t always have the best relationship, and the accidental strangling was probably his cosmic revenge for being bullied by the man during his life. Davis pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The Legend: A teenage girl receives calls coming from inside the house.

Most of us have seen When a Stranger Calls, and the story is actually pretty terrifying: A teenager is babysitting for a new family when she begins to experience strange calls from someone who she assumes is pranking her.

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iStock

After some more investigation, however, police tell her that the calls are actually coming from within the very house she’s in at that moment, and she discovers that someone’s been watching all along.

The Reality

If you needed some nightmare fuel for the night, we’ve got just what you need. In 2014, a 16-year-old British girl received text messages from a local boy, 18-year-old Kyle Ravenscroft, who was known to be somewhat of a stalker.

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The Sun

He claimed that he was watching her as she moved around her home, and also claimed that he wanted to hang himself outside her window during the night, so she’d see him there when she woke up.

Like many teenagers probably would, the girl took the messages as a prank, and went to bed after one final message from the boy in which he claimed that he was not in her home. She ended up sleeping in her mom’s room that night, but when she returned to her room the next morning, she noticed that some shoeboxes near her bed were out of order.

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The Sun

She then did what horror movies tell us all not to do and looked under the bed, only to find her stalker staring back at her. Ravenscroft was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail, a supervised suspension for two years, and a restraining order.

The Legend: The oven turns on while someone’s cleaning it, and they end up being trapped inside.

Parents will try anything to convince their kids that the oven is nothing to play with, and this is likely why this story came to the surface.

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iStock

Most variation of the legends state that someone once climbed into an oven to either fix or to clean it, only to have the door shut and the oven turn on, burning them while they were inside.

The Reality

In the real story, the oven doesn’t magically turn on by itself, but the rest is pretty much true. As the story goes, there was an industrial oven located within a British kayak factory (as to why a kayak factory needs an oven, we don’t know) and it wasn’t functioning properly.

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The Daily Express

A supervisor at the factory, Alan Catterall, decided to crawl inside to find out what was causing the issue, but he did so without telling anyone else. While he was inside, another worker at the factory, Mark Francis (who was coincidentally engaged to Catterall’s eldest daughter), managed to get it working and, having no idea there was a person in there, turned it back on.

Catterall tragically ended up finding out firsthand that the oven’s safety mechanisms worked very well, because the doors slammed shut and locked once the oven was on and trapped him. The oven reaches temperatures of 536 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Liverpool Echo

Catterall tried to pry open the door with a crowbar but passed out before he was able to make any progress. The sounds within the factory covered up his cries for help, and he was found far too late, only when other employees noticed unusual smoke spewing out of the oven.

The Legend—A woman suffers from a terrible headache, only to find out she has a brain-eating parasite.

If you currently have a headache, this is not the urban legend you want to hear about.

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iStock

There are many variations to the tale, but one of the most well-known versions involves a couple who came back from vacation with something much worse than a sunburn—a parasite intent on making its new home in their brains.

The Reality

Among the terrifying stories related to brain-dwelling bugs is one true story in which a woman returned home from a vacation only to find that she had live maggots living in her ear canal.

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CNN

Even worse was when another woman from Garland, Texas, who started suffering from intense headaches and vision problems unexpectedly. When she paid a visit to her doctor, she got both good news and bad.

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CNN

On the bright side, her brain was absolutely fine, though, on the other hand, her issues were being caused by the presence of multiple (yeah, more than one) baby tapeworms. Doctors determined that she may have picked up the parasites on a vacation in Mexico, the worst part of that situation being that it had been two years since she was last there.

The Legend: Wander a dark Pennsylvania road at night, and you’ll run into Charlie No-Face.

For anyone who was raised around the Pittsburgh area, the legend of Charlie No-Face, also called the Green Man, probably isn’t unfamiliar to you.

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Apparently, he was once a regular child who tragically lost his face while playing near a power line, and he now wonders through alleys and down dark, country lanes for the rest of his days.

The Reality

Believe it or not, this story is actually 100 percent true, except for the fact that the kid’s name was Raymond Robinson. In 1919, Robinson and some of his friends somehow decided it’d be a fun idea to play around near an electrified bridge.

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Beaver County Times Post Gazette

Though a child had already died on that very bridge just one year earlier, electricity wasn’t really something super common back then like it is today, and parents may not have thought to educate their children on how dangerous it could be, perhaps because they didn’t really know, themselves.

Unfortunately, Robinson ended up getting badly electrocuted and, while he obviously lived, his face was badly disfigured.

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iStock

Throughout the rest of his life, he became a very solitary person and didn’t leave the house much, except for at night, when he’d take walks in the dark so that he wouldn’t scare anyone, which obviously didn’t work out too well.

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