The Real-Life Origins of 15 Urban Legends

He's (probably) not hiding in your shower.
He's (probably) not hiding in your shower.
breakermaximus, Shutterstock

Among the many markers of a quality sleepover, these three are paramount: lots of junk food, very little sleep, and at least one terrifying urban legend. If you grew up in Maryland, that legend may have involved a certain murderous half-goat, half-man aptly christened the Goatman. Kids in West Virginia, on the other hand, might have spooked each other with tales of the Mothman—a massive, winged beast that residents started spotting during the 1960s.

There are, of course, plenty of urban legends that transcend geographical boundaries and don’t have anything to do with human-animal hybrids. All those stories about babysitters plagued by suspicious phone calls, for example, have primed generations of on-duty caregivers to jump whenever the phone rings.

While urban legends are exaggerated and implausible by nature, that doesn’t mean they were all completely fabricated in the first place. In this episode of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is telling the true stories behind 15 popular urban legends. You’ll find out why so many people think Pop Rocks and soda can kill you, how an actual corpse ended up in a haunted house, and plenty of other terrifically terrifying tidbits.

For more videos like this, subscribe to the Mental Floss YouTube channel here.

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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22 Creepy Cryptids From Around the World

Belgian painter Pieter Dirkx's interpretation of the Mongolian death worm.
Belgian painter Pieter Dirkx's interpretation of the Mongolian death worm.

According to Merriam-Webster, a cryptid is an animal "that has been claimed to exist but never proven to exist." But as Bigfoot believers and Loch Ness Monster enthusiasts are often quick to point out, it’s pretty difficult to prove that something doesn’t exist. Plus, it’s much more fun to indulge in the idea that giant sea monsters and hairy humanoids are roaming the uncharted corners of the planet.

On this episode of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is taking viewers across time and space to unearth legends about lesser-known monsters that, again, haven’t been proven to not exist. Take the Mongolian death worm, a lamprey-like nightmare that supposedly lives in the Gobi Desert and radiates a poison so strong that you could die just by standing near it. If you’re an ill-behaved child or a Catholic who scarfs down steak every Friday during Lent, watch out for the Rougarou, a Louisiana-based werewolf that sniffs out those two demographics.

Learn about more fearsome, fascinating cryptids of all kinds in the video below, and subscribe to the Mental Floss YouTube channel for future episodes of The List Show.