America is a land filled with myths and legends. In this blog article we will explore four myths that you probably already believe as fact. But have you ever been in NYC? If you have then you may be aware that danger lies behind every corner… Not from criminals, or gangbangers… But from the Mole People… Turn up the lights and read…
The Legend of Cropsey
Tucked away on the very fringes of NYC and frequently ignored by City politicians, Staten Island seems the perfect breeding ground for chilling urban legends. The most-chilling of all may just be that of Cropsey.
Cropsey could well be the most terrifying ghoul of all. An escaped mental patient living in the empty Willowbrook Mental Institution, he was said to creep out at night and quietly ‘disappear’ children – hauling them away into the inky blankness of the institution, never to be seen again. In some variations, he had a hook for a hand. In others he carried an axe. But what’s truly terrifying about Cropsey is that he was real.
In 1972, children began vanishing from Staten Island. In total, five disappeared. The kidnappings were ultimately linked to local criminal Andre Rand, who is currently serving a 50-to-life sentence. Although he was never convicted of murder, Rand remains a prime suspect in the deaths of all five children. Chillingly for the residents of Staten Island, this urban legend managed to step out of their nightmares and into reality.
The Mole People
Imagine discovering another world existed beneath your feet; a vast society functioning in the darkness, hidden from view. Well, beneath the mean streets of NYC, that might just be the case. For decades now, legends of secretive mole people manipulating the city’s ancient subway lines have been whispered. And there’s more than a grain of truth to them.
It’s widely-known that many of New York’s homeless have found a niche for themselves underground. In 2000, a film called “Dark Days” was made that chronicled the lives of a group living in the Freedom Tunnel. But the urban legends of mole people go way beyond tiny collectives.
The idea of a subterranean society mirroring our own is a weirdly unnerving one, and legends of the strange and violent mole people continue to abound to this day. Are there really groups of modern Morlocks under NYC? We’ll leave it to you to decide.
57 West 57th Street Horror
If horror stories are true, then 57 West 57th Street is one place you have to avoid.
Owned many years ago by socialite Edna Crawford Champion and her volatile French lover Charles Brazelle, it saw the two slowly decay into something like lunacy. Screaming arguments would spill over into physical violence, until Brazelle finally beat his lover to death with a telephone. In the immediate aftermath, Champion’s bodyguards calmly defenestrated Brazelle, turning the apartment into a bloodbath. And then things got really weird.
The next owners found themselves in a world straight from the Shining. At night, phantom arguments swept through the living rooms. Footsteps clicked through empty halls. But worst of all were the visions. Although no accurate record was ever made, it’s said that those living there saw horrific, unexplainable sights. Sights that could drive you mad.
Today the apartment is an open space, frequently used to stage art exhibitions. But there are still those who refuse to step foot inside that building. The fear lingers to this day.
Check out more great myths by checking out my Paranormal book page on my website.