The Real Origins of 20 Scary Stories

Mental Floss via YouTube
Mental Floss via YouTube

Admit it: You've looked into the mirror and said "Bloody Mary" several times ... then momentarily worried that a vengeful ghost might appear and murder you. When and where did this terrifying tradition originate? While both Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Mary I (who was known as "Bloody Mary") have been cited as source of this particularly creepy piece of folklore, there's no evidence to support either claim. But we've got the real story.

In this all-new edition of "The List Show," Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy—decked out in her finest candy corn-covered duds—traces the origins of 20 scary stories, including which urban myths are aren't myths at all.

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Debunking 18 Thanksgiving Myths

Mental Floss via YouTube
Mental Floss via YouTube

Thanksgiving is here—and with it comes a need for conversation fodder for difficult relatives. What better way to spark debate than by debunking some common Turkey Day myths? Join Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy for a primer on fowl fallacies like presidential turkey pardons, tryptophan-induced naps, and the mysteries of canned pumpkin.

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28 Amazing Facts About Theodore Roosevelt

Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy loves Teddy Roosevelt. Like: really, REALLY loves Teddy Roosevelt.
Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy loves Teddy Roosevelt. Like: really, REALLY loves Teddy Roosevelt.
Mental Floss

If there is one thing to know about Teddy Roosevelt, it is that you can never know too many things about Teddy Roosevelt. The nation's 26th president was also an author, rancher, big game hunter, martial arts expert, and savage insult machine.

Join Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy as she breaks down some of the most fascinating aspects of Roosevelt's life, then be sure to check out History Vs., our new podcast (also hosted by Erin, a noted TedHead), which explores the little-known stories behind some of history's greatest figures. (First up: Teddy Roosevelt. But you probably knew that.)

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