Top 29 Scary American Urban Legends. Here on this page, you will find scary and creepy urban legends of the United States. We all knew there were a lot of scary stories out there – and that’s what we have come to deliver to you.
1. Murphysboro Mud Monster
In 1973, a young couple went for a romantic drive near the town of Murphysboro Illinois. They parked up by the river. Later on, they heard a piercing roar which they later described as sounding like an eagle shrieking into a microphone. They quickly turned off the radio and scanned the area. Another horrific shriek came and the bush in front of them shook. They turned on the car lights to see a creature that would be burned into their memories forever.
It was massive, wet, hairy and covered in mud. Its skin was almost translucent as if it was an albino. For the next 2 weeks, it terrorized people in the town – reports of the 7ft tall swamp monster kept increasing until one day, it disappeared. After that, there have been only a few more reports of the Murphysboro Mud Monster since. At the time, the local Police Chief said -A lot of things in life are unexplained, and this is another one.
2. The Little Peoples Village
In the woods of Connecticut, near the town of Middlebury, you can find the Little Peoples Village = crumbling remains of tiny houses and structures that locals say were built for fairies. The story goes that many years ago, a man and his wife were living peacefully in Middlebury when she started seeing small fairy folk in the woods around their home. She demanded that her husband build them a tiny village and so, that’s what he did. Using real concrete and mortar, he built the fairies of these tiny houses complete with walkways and streets. As the village grew though, he suffered a price. People say he began to hear the fairies voices in his head which eventually drove him to madness and suicide.
Now, they say the crumbling ruins of the little peoples’ village is haunted by the spirits of them – or even the ghosts of the people they drove insane. You can still visit the ruins today and even sit in the throne that was carved at the request of the king of the little people – however, legend says the seat is now cursed and that if you sit in the seat you will be dead within 7 years. Locals will show you how to get to the village of the little people but may also warn you that if you linger too long, you will also hear the voices of the little people and you too will be plunged into insanity.
3. The Kushtaka
These are mythical shape-shifting creatures found in the stories of Native Americans in Southeastern Alaska. The name roughly translates to -land otter man- … the stories say that these creatures will shift between the human and otter at will. They are cruel creatures who take pleasure in tricking sailors to their deaths. If they’re not at sea, they live in rivers and deploy a creepy tactic to attract their prey. The Kushtaka is said to imitate the cries of a baby or the screams of a woman in order to lure their victims to the river.
Once there, the Kushtaka either kills the person by tearing them to shreds or turns them into a Kushtaka themself. Legend says that the Kushtaka can be warded off by using copper, urine, dogs or fire. Some stories do tell of benevolent Kushtaka who will help people, but many feel its simply not worst the risk to approach them if they ever do hear its cries in the Alaskan.
4. The Specter Moose
In Maine, people have been spotting a particular moose for over 100 years. This one stands out though as they say its spectral – a ghost moose if you will. It’s also huge, standing some 10 to 15ft high. It was first seen in the 1900s when locals described it was huge with a ghostly, dirty white color and an enormous set of antlers. The coat of the animal is sometimes described as glowing faintly. The Specter Moose was said to have an extremely acute sense of hearing and smell, as well as the ability to disappear or appear at will and to phase through solid objects.
Hunters who came across it say they could never line up properly for a shot as the Moose would blink in and out of existence before their very eyes. In 1938, a hunter said he saw it standing among a heard of other moose. It was stood with two other large males but it made them look like dwarves – he would have thought it was just a humongous moose if it wasn’t for the strange white glow around its body.
5. Bete Grise
In Michigan, on the beaches of Lake Superior, is a place where the sand is said to sing. Local legend says that a musical voice emanates from the sand – the voice of a Native American maid who lost her love to the great lakes and still calls to him from the shore when visitors -play- the sand. How do you play it? Well, they say the sand can be made to sing by pressing down on it with the palm of a hand or a piece of bark.
It loses its musical properties when removed from the beach. I wasn’t too sure what to make of this one at first but I’ve seen a few videos on YouTube now and it definitely makes a very strange noise. Perhaps you guys can check it out and see what you make of it.
6. The Hauntings
This historic hotel is over 90 years old and has hosted some of the biggest stars in Hollywood over the years. The 12 stories high building has 300 guest rooms and 63 – some of which are said to be haunted – two of the ghosts are actually famous ghosts. Montgomery Clift is said to haunt room 928, the room he stayed in while filming From Here to Eternity. People say he moves around the occupant’s luggage while others have said they’ve seen him in the hallways rehearsing lines for his movie or playing the trumpet.
The other celebrity haunting is someone a lot more famous – Marilyn Monroe. She is is said to haunt the full-length mirror that was once in her suite. Since she stayed at the hotel, the mirror has been relocated from her room but the hauntings still follow it. People report seeing the ghostly apparition of Marilyn standing over their shoulder. Some might like that, but not me!
7. The Bus to Nowhere
This one comes from Pennsylvania. Some people say the state is home to a bus that goes nowhere, it picks up homeless people and keeps them on it forever unless they are able to shake out of its range. The bus is said to have no displays, no route number, and no destination. It only stops for people who want to leave where they are but have no destination in mind. Philadelphians often say they’ve seen it winding through city streets. Some also call it the Wandering Bus or simply – Zero.
People say that once you’re on the bus, you sit like everyone else – staring out of the window – wrapped in your thoughts, desperate to get away from whatever pain and despair is in your life. Pull the cord when you’re ready to disembark but be warned, legend says that time does not move the same on The Bus To Nowhere – your trip could have lasted minutes, days, months or in some cases – years. The only silver lining is that when the passengers finally do disembark, they find themselves exactly where they’re supposed to be.
8. The Snallygaster
This is a mythical dragon-like beast said to inhabit Central Maryland. It was first described by German immigrants who called it the Schneller Geist which translates to Quick Ghost. Its been described as being half bird, half reptile and with a strange metallic beak lined with razor-sharp teeth. Some even say it has octopus-like tentacles. It swoops down silently from the sky and carries the victims to its den where it then sucks them dry of blood.
Newspaper reports from 1909 describe encounters between local residents and a beast with enormous wings, claws like steel hooks, a long pointed bill, and an eye in the center of its forehead. They said its screech sounded like a locomotive whistle. Other than the humans it hunts, The Snallygaster is said to have one mortal enemy – the Dewayne. The Dewayne is reported to be a mammalian biped that looks like a wolf but stands like a human. It’s been reported all of Maryland and locals have said they’ve seen vicious battles between the two.
9. Huggin Molly
You might think her name sounds nice – everyone needs a hug from time to time – not from this Molly. Generations of people from Alabama have grown up with this creepy legend. They say she is a giant ghost – at least 7ft tall – who wanders the streets of Abbeville Alabama. Late at night, she can be seen dragging her long black skirt as she goes. If you see her – run – because if she sees you – she will chase you – and she will get you. Once she does, she picks you up and with her huge arms, she gives you the tightest hug of your life while screaming in your ear. They say the horrible sound never leaves you. There have been no reports of Huggin Molly ever killing someone – but her attacks are enough to strike fear into the hearts of everyone around.
10. The Carter Brothers
In New Orleans in the 1930s, a young girl ran into a police station begging for help. She said that two local businessmen, John and Wayne Carter, had been keeping her hostage and feeding off her blood. She showed them the cuts on her wrist – not enough to kill her, but just enough to extract blood from. The police rushed to the apartment to find four other women tied to chairs with their wrists slit in a similar fashion. In another room, they also found 12 bodies that had been drained of their blood. The police staked the place out and waited for them to return.
When they did, it took 8 police officers to hold them down – they’re strength seemed superhuman. The pair were executed for their crimes and buried in a sealed tomb. Years later, another member of the Carter family died. They opened up the tomb to lay them to rest and found that the bodies of John and Wayne Carter were gone! – no remains, no clothes, no trace that they had ever been there at all. New Orleans became gripped with the legend of these Vampire brothers who could escape death itself. To this day, many sightings of the brothers have been reported – especially around the apartment building they once called home – or perhaps they still do – they’ve just learned their lesson to keep things more hidden.
11. The Skunk Ape
No, that’s not my nickname. This is actually one of the most famous mysterious creatures said to wander from Florida to North Carolina and Arkansas. As you might expect from the skunk part of its name – this thing doesn’t smell great. Ever since the first sightings of it in the 1960s, people have mentioned the horrific smell of this thing. Often you can smell it before seeing it. When you finally do, it looks like an ape. Big, hairy and running on two legs.
For some people, the Skunk Ape isn’t just a rumor – its a reality. Dave Shealy is the man who established the official Skunk Ape Research Headquarters. He said there are not one or two buys 9 of these creatures living in the Flordia Everglades. He’s spent most of his life trying to document them. According to Shealy, the average male Skunk ape stands 6 – 7ft tall and weighs roughly 450 lbs. Female is 5 – 6ft tall and weigh in at about 250 lbs.
12. Turnbull Canyon
They say Death Awaits Everyone at Turnbull Canyon. Located in Whittier California, the Canyon is known as a pretty dangerous place as it is thanks to the mountain lions and rattlesnakes that call it home. Some people believe that the most dangerous thing there though is the paranormal activity. It’s said that the Gabrielino Native Americans called the land -Hutukngna- which means -The Place of the Devil- … the Spanish killed many of them who refused to convert to Catholicism. Some say their tortured souls now haunt the Canyon.
Then, in the 19th century, members of the tribe who worked in the area reported seeing ghosts and witches in burial grounds there. The sightings became more frequent when reports started of there being a satanic cult that had taken root in the canyon. They were supposedly sacrificing children from a nearby orphanage. When locals got wind of what was happening, the cult disappeared overnight – but the reports of ghosts, creatures and hooded figures still appear from time to time.
13. The Night Watchers
Were moving over Hawaii now – its no stranger to some creepy urban legends. One of them is the Night Marchers. Locals say they are ghostly apparitions that can be seen walking information at night, never stopping, always facing forward, and there is always the sound of a beating drum, echoing out in the silence of the night. Hawaiians say they are armed spirit warriors en route to a battle, they carry old weapons and are clothed in decorated helmets and cloaks. The next question is naturally, why do they appear? Well, some say they are restless souls looking to reclaim rightful territory or replay a battle gone wrong – hoping this time they can do it right.
Or perhaps its a simple ghost tale of avenging their own deaths. The creepiest theory I had is that they are searching for an entrance to the next world. Instead of wandering aimlessly like other ghosts, they do it how a soldier knows best – in a focused, methodical manner. There are signs that the Night Watchers are out on the Hawaiian Islands. They are recognized by their raised torches and repeated chants. Sometimes, footprints have been found, even though the Night Watchers are said to float a few inches off the ground.
14. The Voodoo Queen
Louisiana is a place steeped in Voodoo history. For people in New Orleans, few stories rival that of the Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. She was said to be a prestigious woman who worked as a hairdresser in the city. She chatted with every customer she had, not just for the sake of it, but to get information. Eventually, she learned the secrets of everyone in the city – man and woman – rich and poor. She used this information to manipulate her enemies through Voodoo. It’s said she gained the power of immortality from a demonic force by the name of Papa Legba.
She wanted this so that she could kill innocent beings and seek revenge on those who have wronged her. Others say that she never murdered anyone and used her Voodoo skills to unite people. She also blended Catholicism with Voodoo to form a religion that is still practiced in the area today. She died in 1881 at the age of 87 but the story did not end there. According to local legend, she returns to life once a year on St Johns Eve to lead the faithful in worship. If you’re ever in New Orleans on that night, don’t be surprised if you see a ghost of the Voodoo Queen looking for her followers.
15. The Rougarou
Were staying in Louisiana now for this one. The Rougarou is a werewolf creature that has been sighted across French Louisiana for centuries. The creature is said to have all the familiar tropes of a werewolf – huge, leering, covered in fur and ready to tear any human to shreds. It differs from a classic werewolf though in that the Rougarou is said to have a genetic disorder, rather than catching its disease from someone else or being cursed into one by a witch. A Rougarou is a totally normal person until one day when their condition is turned on.
Their body is enlarged and they develop an insatiable craving for raw meat. They will remain in this painful state until they complete the transformation – and there is only one way to do this – to take a bite of human flesh. Those who have seen a Rougarou describe it has huge, standing between 7 – 8ft tall, with massive sharp teeth and deep glowing red eyes. It becomes its animal form on the night of a full moon. For many people, the Rougarous is far scarier than a typical werewolf because the person doesn’t even know they are one until its too late. It could be your friend, your family member, it could be me – or it could even be you.
16. The Skinwalkers
In traditional Navajo culture, the skinwalker is a witchcraft practitioner who wears the skins of various animals. A skinwalker can morph into a number of different creatures including coyotes, wolves, bears, crows, and owls. In the past century, that outside of the Navajo people has also reported seeing Skinwalkers. They’ve been described as half-human monstrosities who run on two legs at insanely fast speeds. One woman claimed that a Skinwalker appeared on Navajo reservation land. It ran alongside her car at 60mph, darted in front of her, and then disappeared into the night.
They are often said to let out a screeching howl of laughter as they run circles around terrified people. Sightings like this have led many people to become interested in Skinwalkers and wanted to interview Navajo tribespeople to find out more about them. The problem is, there is a deep superstition among the Navajo when it comes to talking about Skinwalkers. Many of the elders believe it’s not good to talk or even hear about Skinwalkers, otherwise you will attract them to you.
17. Stow Lake
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Stow Lake situated in Golden Gate Park of California. It’s said to be home to a ghost that not only appears to visitors – but can be summoned by them. According to locals, the ghost of stow lake was a mother whose baby fell into the lake. They say that she can be summoned by standing on the edge of the lake and saying exactly these words -White lady, white lady, I have your baby, you have to repeat it 3 times and then she will appear.
The best place to do this is said to be next to the Pioneer Women and Children statue. That in itself is said to be a spooky statue as it changed expressions at night. she deems you worthy enough then she will appear before you and immediately ask you for her baby. If you say that you have the baby, she will haunt you until the day you die. If you say you don’t, shell drags you to the lake herself.
18. The Legend of Chloe
This is said to be the ghost of a girl that haunts Myrtles Plantation in LA. One day, a teacher took a picture with one of her students on a trip there, it has since become famous among the paranormal community. Behind them, there appears to be the ghost of a girl standing in the window. She appears to be looking directly into the camera. The owners said this is Chloe, and it’s not the first time she’s been seen.
The picture was said to the Society of Physical Research in England, founded in 1882 – claimed to be the oldest and most prestigious paranormal research group in the world. They found nobody had tampered with or edited the photograph, leading to many people saying this is proof of Chloe’s existence. The photograph has now been sent around the world, always with a request for an explanation, but so far none have emerged.
19. The Devil Man of Algiers
Algiers is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans. This story dates back to 1938 when reports of a man terrorizing couples spread around the city. When asked to describe the man, some detailed were disputed but one thing everyone agreed on was that this man was undoubted, categorically – the devil. He was described as having eyes like a chicken, with bright pink star-shaped ears and long black horns. He also rode on thin air and shapeshifted while announcing himself as the devil. The most common reports involved him terrorizing bars, attacking women and appearing before local couples.
People who saw the devil man say they always felt a sense of oncoming death or dread and that they even saw their lives flash in front of their eyes. Perhaps the scariest story came from a young couple. They said as they were traveling home one evening, a strange person tried to stop their car. They slowed the car and asked what he wanted. He asked for a ride to a nearby town, the couple felt uncomfortable and so they politely refused. Later, as they drove down the highway, they saw the same man, walking along the side of the road.
They drove past him but after just 10 minutes, there he was again – walking by the side of the road. Again, he asked them to stop and requested a ride and again, they refused. When they sam him again, he changed into the Devil before their very eyes. They sped off again but then there he was, this time riding a brown horse. They rushed to tell the police who went to investigate. When he didn’t, they fired shots into him. He jumped off the horse and sprayed the bullets back at that, laughing and rubbing his hairy hands together. He was brought to jail where he quickly slipped out of his cell and into New Orleans legend.
20. The White Cemetery
This one comes from the village of Barrington Illinois. There lies the White Cemetery – locals say that if you have to drive past it, don’t stop, just keep going. They say that spirits of the dead have been wandering outside the gates there since the 1820s. Police and other reliable eyewitnesses have reported seeing apparitions that vanish before their very eyes.
Phantom cars come and go – one time a house burned down under mysterious circumstances and in the years since then, it keeps appearing and disappearing. Be warned though – they say you should never enter the house – when it disappears into the mist, youll disappear with it forever. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also been reports of a woman with a lantern, looking for a ride from passers by, Im sure you know what NOT to do if you see her.
21. The Boggy Creek Monster
If you ever find yourself in the town of Fouke in Arkansas, ask them about the Boggy Creek monster. For generations, locals have shared stories of a creature that roams the area – they say it stands between 7 and 8 ft tall and weighs almost 300 pounds. Its chest, legs, and arms are covered with thick hair. Sometimes these sasquatch like stories are relatively recent – but the legend of the Boggy Creek Monster goes way back. The first sightings came in 1834. Locals reported that a wildman was roaming the area – when groups set out to find him, he retreated into the hills.
By the 1900s, sightings around the town were becoming more frequent. By the end of the century, residents of the town reported seeing the animal more often. In 1997 alone, there were 40 sightings. All this time, people had claimed the animal was nocturnal – but in 2000, a sighting occured in broad daylight in the Sulfur River Wildlife Area near the town. In the years since then, the sightings have only continued, drawing visitors in who want a glimpse of the Boggy Creek Monster.
22. The Wicked Witch of Monroe
This is the story of Hanna Cranna, born in 1783. She lived near Cutlers Farm Road in the town of Monroe Connecticut. She was said to dabble in black magic. According to accounts, nobody accused her of being a witch until her husband died. He was Captain Joseph Hovey. The tale goes that one night, he went out for a walk but somehow fell off a cliff. The locals didn’t believe this was possible and rumors spread that Hannah had somehow bewitched him, that he had lost his mind and then fell off the cliff in a daze. They said she was a witch. Hannah used this reputation to her advantage, she would often demand free food and firewood else she would curse them.
One woman denied her a fresh-baked pie so Hannah cursed her so that she could never bake again. She also caught a man fishing on her property, cursed him and he could never fish again. Over the years, she gained complete control over the locals – and that was ultimately her downfall. She had a rooster named Old Boreas which some said was her familiar – a spirit companion witches are supposed to have. Shortly after the rooster died, she told a neighbor that her end was also near. She said her coffin must be carried by hand to the graveyard and she must not be buried before sunset.
She died the next day. It was snowing heavily. The locals decided to ignore her instructions and decided it would be easier to pull her casket across the snow on a sled. As the procession started, the coffin fell off the sled and slid all the way back to her front door. They tried and failed again. In the end, they decided to just carry her to the graveyard. They buried her just after sundown. When they returned to her house, they found it engulfed in flames. Ever since then, the site of her house and her grave have been attracting paranormal investigators, many of whom say her vengeful spirit still lives there.
23. Homey the Clown
In the 90s, every schoolkid in Chicago had heard the story of Homey the Clown. In the Autumn 1991, there were reports of a man in a white van who stalked school kids on their walk home and lured them in. If that wasn’t scary enough, he was also dressed as a clown. Locals named him Homey after a character from the comedy show Living Color – but this was no laughing matter. Strange rumors began to spread about Homey. Perhaps the strangest aspect of this creepy stalker was that he seemed to be everywhere.
Schoolkids all over Chicago reported seeing him – it didn’t matters who you were, or what school you went to, everyone avoided white vans – nobody wanted to get caught by Homey. At one point, even the police began to investigate it – but they soon passed on the case. Sightings of Homey began to decrease by the mid-90s and now some people are left wondering what really happened – was it just a made-up story that got out of hand, or did Homey get what he wanted and leave town, for now at least.
24. Lake Lanier
It didn’t take me very long to find countless stories online about what some people say is Georgias most cursed lake. They say evil has seeped into the very water there – it wraps itself around any visitors who ignore the local’s warnings. The lake is man-made, created in the 1950s to provide hydroelectricity and water supply to Atlanta. The project was plagued with problems from the beginning. Funding cuts halted work a number of times, neighboring states bickered over water flow requirements and how the water should be used. In order to fill the lake, the government had to move 250 families, 15 businesses and even relocate 20 cemeteries along with the corpses.
Entire towns were submerged. Some say the lake was cursed for the trouble it had caused, especially to the dead. In the years since there have been a highly unusual number of deaths linked to the lake. They range from boating accidents, drownings to cars crashed off the roads and into the water. Boats have sunk or hit invisible objects. Strong swimmers have drowned in calm conditions. Locals have reported feeling as if they were being pulled underwater by unseen hands or feeling the air leave their lungs out of nowhere. 17 deaths occurred there in 2011 only, cementing it in people’s minds as a cursed lake.
25. Riverdale Road
This one comes from the town of Thornton in Colorado. It lies about 20 minutes north of Denver – its not the most famous place but it’s gaining a paranormal reputation for a very creepy road – Riverdale Road. It leads to a popular hilltop overlook. One night, many years ago, a jogger was running up the road. Out of nowhere, a speeding car came over the hill and crashed into the jogger. The car sped off into the darkness, leaving the jogger to die by themselves on the side of the road. He vowed vengeance with his dying breath – and locals say his spirit returned in anger.
Now, he haunts the road and looks in every single car that passes for the killer that took his life all those years ago. They say that if you park up on the road and turn off your engine and lights, hell think you’re the one who hit him. People have reported hearing sounds of footsteps running towards them followed by angry beating on the sides of their cars and handprints appearing on the windows. If this sounds like an experience you’d like, now you know where to find it.
26. The Hoosac Tunnel
This tunnel runs through the Hoosac Mountain Range in western Massachusetts. It may not look like much but it has a very bloody history. Construction began in 1851 – it took 24 years to build and during that time, around 200 men died. This is earned the tunnel the nickname of The Bloody Pit. Perhaps one of the most shocking incidents came in 1867. On October 17th, fumes in the 1000 ft tunnel ignited, causing an explosion that destroyed a hoist used to lower men, equipment and supplies.
The flaming parts landed on 13 men, their area was also flooded. Rescue attempts were made to get down to them but they failed and the men were presumed dead. That wasn’t the case though, months later workers found that some of the men had survived and even made a raft to escape the water. In the years since then, locals swear that the 13 workers haunt the tunnel, tied to this Earth by the anger of not being rescued.
27. The Devil’s Chair
This one comes from the Alma Cemetery in Kansas. At first glance, it looks like any other cemetery – gravestones, grass – nothing too creepy. But this cemetery is home to something else, something the locals call The Devils Chair. According to legend, a farmer once owned all the land in the area. He refused to sell his land so it could be used as a cemetery. No matter how much people tried, he refused to give it up. Then, one day, he was mysteriously pushed in a well on the land and fell to his death. Authorities only found his body from the stentch that came from the well a few days later.
After the incident, locals began to call the well the Devils Chair – it was cursed with the vengeful spirit of the dead farmer. The land was bought and the cemetery was built around the well. That’s when the curse spread from the well to the whole cemetery. As for the Devils chair, it was boarded up to stop anyone from meeting the same demise as the farmer. Legend says that those who have sat on the boards have been known to mysteriously disappear, victims of the farmer’s vengeful spirit.
28. Bucks Tomb
This one comes from Maine where you can find the tomb of Colonel Buck. He was the founder of the town there called Bucksport, an honored figure in many people’s eyes – but his story may have a dark twist to it. On his tombstone, there appears to be the strange image of a woman’s leg. Locals say that Colonel Buck once sentenced a woman to death for being a witch. As she burned, her leg rolled out of the fire – along with her final curse against him.
Her son told the Colonel -Your tomb shall bear the mark of a witch’s foot for all eternity!- Legend says that his heirs have tried to clean the foot of the stone many times but still it remains – they’ve even tried to replace the monument twice but it still keeps coming back. These days visitors flock to see the monument in person, but a wrought iron fence keeps them from getting any closer to this creepy tombstone.
You’ve heard of Nessie, right? The loch ness monster? Good, well, I’d like you to meet Chessie. In Maryland, it’s not uncommon to hear people talk about the Chesapeake Bay Monster, Chessie for short. The first sightings began in the 1930s – the crew of a military helicopter flying over the Bush River claimed they saw an unknown reptilian beast in the waters below. At first, people weren’t sure if they’d just made a mistake or even made it up. Over the years though, more and more sightings of Chessie occurred. They say it looks like an anaconda or a python, serpentine, snakelike and dark in color.
One thing everyone agreed upon was that it was huge – up to 30ft in length and as thick as a telephone pole. The interest peaked in 1982 when one family apparently videotaped Chessie from their home on Kent Island. The Smithsonian held a mini-symposium on the tape and concluded that among other things, this was evidence that something large was living in the Chesapeake Bay – they didn’t go so far as to say it was Chessie, but that’s only strengthened the legend.