Many people (including me) find urban legends and conspiracy theories entertaining. For me, the crazier, the better. Some are true, some are completely insane, and some are particularly scary. Here are ten urban legends that gave us the creeps.
A YouTube channel called MostAmazingTop10 created a 10-minute video about the scariest Hungarian urban legends. In the video, Rebecca Felgate introduces 10 urban legends, but we picked five of our personal favourites. However, we encourage you to watch the full video at the end of the article.
One of Budapest’s most well-known landmarks is the iconic Chain Bridge. Those who visited Budapest must have seen that the bridge has four giant stone lions, two at each end. If you see them closely, you will notice that the lions have their mouths open, but they have no tongues. This anatomical mistake was noticed by other apprentices of the sculptor who created the lions. The lions were placed on either side of the bridge in 1852. The sculptor, János Marschalkó, was satisfied with his work until Jakab Frick, a shoemaker apprentice, cried out loudly that the lions have no tongue. The rumour circulated very quickly, and after some time, the whole city gossiped about the fact that the sculptor forgot to create the tongues for the lions. He was apparently so upset with his mistake that he committed suicide by jumping off the bridge into the Danube.
Legend has it that in 1896, the Budapest Zoo exhibited a tribe of 250 Africans from the Savanna, and they displayed them as “primitive humans.” The exhibition was set to celebrate the 1000 anniversary of the Hungarian nation. Many people actually paid money to see them, and apparently, they were quite impressed with the physic.
There is a legend that in the Hungarian State Opera, there is a ghost of a cat lurking in the shadows, watching everyone on and off stage. Legend has it that in the past, one of the opera’s singers owned a grey cat that unfortunately died at the theatre. People say that the cat’s ghost still haunts the building today, looking for its owner.
We know now that geothermic spas are naturally occurring springs heated by tectonic activity in the Earth’s crust. However, people used to be baffled by the magically steaming pools of hot water. People did not trust them. Legend has it that the thermal water of Harkány is hot because it preserves the foot of the devil. The story goes that the devil took a liking to a young Hungarian girl whom he defiled and then ran away. He escaped under the Earth and through a lagoon back into hell. People believe that he heated up the water on his way back to hell, and this is why the water remains hot today.
There is a Hungarian song which was associated with 19 deaths, and BBC even banned its broadcast. This song is Rezső Seress’s “Gloomy Sunday,” the most well-known Hungarian song in the world. Seress was a genius of his time, writing dozens of popular hits in the 1930s, but he could not read music. Thus, he asked a graduate from the Academy to help him write down what he was whistling. However, poet László Jávor rewrote its lyric and changed its title to “Gloomy Sunday” in which the main protagonist commits suicide because his lover died. He was inspired by a recent break-up with his fiancée, so he sang about meeting his lover again in the afterlife.
After the song’s release, a maidservant committed suicide, and the police found the lyrics of “Gloomy Sunday” in her hands. Later, a ministerial advisor shot himself dead in a car, and the police found the lyrics of the song in his hands, too. The composer himself also committed suicide. People believe that “Gloomy Sunday” made Budapest “the city of suicides.” Legend has it that the song is actually cursed, and it has affected not only Budapest but the whole world.
Watch the full video below: