Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but October is right around the corner — which means it's a great time to catch up on your urban legends before storefronts start getting spooky and television networks start embellishing their logos with spiders and ghosts. For many of us, however, getting together with friends to tell spooky stories is a thing of the past (thanks, adult commitments!). What to do? Never fear — I have a solution! To update our favorite campfire tales for the modern age (and to help them fit a little better into our busy adult lives), I'm going to take a few classic urban legends and explain them with emoji. What better way to creep your friends out than send them a string of small pictures that depict murders, stalkers, and disappearing people? You can thank me later.
Technically, an urban legend is supposed to be a myth or story that is widely accepted and popularly circulated by word-of-mouth, transcending history and demographic makeup — but this isn't always the case anymore. It's not a bad thing, necessarily; as we know, the Internet has changed the way we read stories and instead of just relying on word-of-mouth, we can read and watch scary stories, complete with images that will haunt you for many years to come.
Though many would argue that emojifying an urban legend takes away from its spookiness, I beg to differ. Imagine sitting alone in your room at night, lights off, right before bed. You're about to drift off when you get a text from a close friend which contains a string of emoji and nothing else. Upon closer interpretation, the emoji seem to be telling a grim, morbid story that kind of freaks you out. Your friend sends no follow-up text. All you have is some creepy pictures, your blanket to protect you, and the dark, windy night.
Just... think about that for a minute.
Now check out these five emojified urban legends, because sometimes scaring your friends can be pretty amusing.
1. The Poison Dress
Here's how this little story goes: A girl went to a thrift store and bought herself a beautiful prom dress. On the night of the big event, she totally stole the show, making her date swoon as they danced the night away. As the evening went on, though, she started to feel more and more tuckered out — and just as she was about to take a break from dancing, she passed out. When she got to the hospital, she was pronounced dead. Turns out, not only had the gown had been stolen from a corpse and sold to the thrift store, but it carried traces of formaldehyde, which slowly poisoned her to death.
2. The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs
Let me tell you about this creepy thing I heard about from my friend who goes to another school: A babysitter successfully put the child she was watching to bed in his room upstairs before heading downstairs to watch some TV. A few minutes later, she got a phone call from an unknown number — and when she answered it, the voice of a man she didn't recognize asked, "Have you checked on the child?" Irritated that it was just a prank call, she hung up and went back to her show. But he called back a few minutes later and asked again, "Have you checked on the child?" She freaked, of course, so called the police to trace the call — only to have the police tell her that it was coming from inside the house. She ran upstairs, but when she went to check on the child (finally)... the poor kid was dead, murdered at the hands of the mysterious man upstairs.
3. Fatal Attraction
In the version of this story that I've heard, a girl and her boyfriend went out to the woods for a little private makeout sesh. Afterwards, the boy left the car to go take a leak — but when he didn't come back after 15 minutes, his girlfriend started to worry, especially since she's been hearing a weird scratching noise on the roof of the car. She got out of the car and walked around to look for him; however, she had no luck, so she she returned to the car in the hopes that he might have returned. Turns out, he did. She found her boyfriend, dead, with his throat cut open and the lips he had used to kiss her moments before, slit. He was hanging from a tree above the car — with his toes gently brushing the roof of the car.
4. Humans Can Lick, Too
Did you hear this one? A woman was watching the news when she saw reports that a serial killer was loose in her community. Frightened, she locked her doors; then she went to check on her puppy, kissed him goodnight, and put him to bed downstairs where he slept. In the middle of the night, she was woken up by her dog licking her hand. This was unusual, since her dog never woke up in the middle of the night and stayed downstairs. She turned the light on, but her dog wasn't there. Curious, she headed to the bathroom, where she found her dog lying dead in the bathtub and a note that said, "Humans can lick, too."
5. Pain is Beauty, and Beauty is Death
Not to freak you out or anything, but did you hear what happened to that girl got her hair done in a classic Amy Winehouse beehive? The stylist recommended that she wash it in special sugar water to preserve the shape of the look if she wanted to wake up with it intact. The girl carefully followed directions, adding an additional cloth wrap to her head that she had soaked in sugar water. In the morning, when the girl's grandmother went to wake her, she found the girl dead. The sugar had attracted rats and maggots living in the attic, and they had completely gnawed through her skull.
I don't know about y'all, but I'm sufficiently spooked now. Although I would have to say that the scariest urban legend I've recently heard is, "It's 2016 and Donald Trump is President."
Images: Pexels; Mehak Anwar/Bustle (5)