Urban Myths Verified: Legends That Found Reality

By Sophia Maddox | February 24, 2024

The Dog Boy

The Slender Man, the Elevator Game, the Razors in Halloween Candy: We all know the hits when it comes to urban legends, and love sharing our favorites with friends on a dark autumn night. But sometimes urban legends aren't just the whispers of overactive imaginations or tales told around a flickering campfire. These stories, once dismissed as mere fiction, have roots that reach deep into the soil of true events. Read on to be confronted by the haunting truths behind the most bone-chilling urban legends...if you dare.

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According to the folklore of Quitman, Arkansas, The Dog Boy is the ghost of a young man with an unnatural and sinister obsession with dogs. In life, he was said to have kept a large number of dogs at his home, to which he was often abusive. He also abused his elderly father, confining him to the attic of the house until his eventually died. 

The Dog Boy legend is one that had clear roots in real-life events. A man named Gerald Bettis grew up in Quitman, along with a large amount of stray cats and dogs. According to town residents, he would torture them. Local Mary Nell Holabird had this to say about the family:
 

"His parents were good people, but Gerald was a brat, vicious and cruel. He would catch stray animals and torture them. We could hear them howl.  He kept his parents virtually imprisoned in the upstairs part of that house. He would feed them, but only when he decided it was time for them to eat."


Gerald's father died in 1981 from illness, but rumors continued to swirl that he had been thrown down the stairs by his son. Gerald was later arrested - for selling marijuana - and died in jail from drug overdose.

They're Drugging Your Candy

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 As Halloween approaches, sinister whispers begin to emerge. One of the most chilling tales parents tell is that of malevolent individuals who tamper with Halloween candy, lacing them with drugs ranging from LSD to Rainbow Fentanyl. The cautionary tale has become so entrenched in popular culture that many parents diligently inspect or even discard candies that appear tampered with, for fear of their children being drugged. However, when we peel back the layers of urban legend and delve into the real story, we find that the widespread fear is largely unfounded. However, there have been isolated incidents which contributed to the fear. 
 

In 1959, a dentist from California, William Shyne, distributed laxative-laced candies to children during Halloween. He faced charges for indecent conduct and unauthorized distribution of medication. In the 1970s, a young boy tragically died from consuming cyanide-laced Pixy Stix. However, the candy was not laced during trick-or-treating, but had been poisoned by his own father who hoped to cash in on life insurance.