Here are some real life situations for you and are all within a few hours of my home:
Raymond "Ray" Robinson (1910 – 1985) was a severely disfigured man whose years of nighttime walks made him into a figure of urban legend in western Pennsylvania. Robinson was so badly injured in a childhood electrical accident that he would not go out in public, so he went for long walks at night scaring people who came across him. Nicknamed The Green Man, after his death he became an urban legend that haunts the Morado Bridge, outside of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. You can read his story here, but be aware that a picture of his face may be disturbing to some.
The Snallygaster was described as half-reptile, half-bird with a metallic beak lined with razor-sharp teeth, occasionally with octopus-like tentacles. It swoops silently from the sky to pick up and carry off its victims. You can read more about the critter and its enemy, the Dewayo, here.
The Mount Everest of haunted houses is close to my home and for the sake of privacy, I will not be revealing its location.
An old stone farm house built in the late 1700s its exterior walls are composed of large blocks of stone stained red by the amount of iron ore embedded in the rock. As the iron is slightly magnetic, the entire house is encased in a large magnetic field. The most common phenomenon that is experienced are known as time slips, the most dramatic as related to me by the individual who experienced it:
"When I was a young boy I was eating breakfast alone at the kitchen table when I happened to look out the kitchen window at the barn that was across the wide driveway.I asked him what he thinks would have happened if, instead of going to the kitchen door, he had gone to the window and crawled outside instead. He had no answer.
"There I saw several men loading hay onto a horse-drawn wagon. However, the barn had not been used in years. There was no hay in the building and we did not own any horse-drawn wagons. On top of that, all the men were dressed in very old fashioned clothes.
"I got up and went to the kitchen door, but when I opened it, there was nothing there but the barn. When I returned to my seat, the view outside the window was back to normal."
Interestingly, the house and 39 acres of farmland are for sale, but only if you have $399,000.
I wrote about the Black Andes in Dark Dreams And Darker Visions, my collection of dark fantasy, but what you might not know is the the Black Andes were an actual location on the South Mountain range. Here's a description of the place from my short story, Through the Black Andes. This part is true:
However, not too far from Big Flat on another natural plateau stood an ancient stand of white pine trees that had grown so intimate with each other that the soft, floor of the forest lay swaddled in perpetual night.The name Black Andes was first given to this primordial stand of pine and from its first discovery, hunters and charcoal makers made every excuse to avoid the area. Birds never called out or sang there. Game avoided the area.On cool autumn nights, the men of Big Flat would let their dogs run loose to harass the local wildlife. As they told tales and drank bootleg whiskey around a fire, they would listen to the baying of their hounds. Each hunting dog had its distinct voice and they would listen to the baying of the hounds content to follow the chase from the intensity of the cries and the direction from which they came. Occasionally, the hounds would tree a cougar, bear, or raccoon and—if the spirit moved—the men would leave the fellowship and warmth of the fire for meat and fur.However, the hunters quickly learned to steer their nightly activities well away from the Black Andes. Any hound foolish enough to pursue game into the sanctity of the pines would simply never return. And no hunter ever found the bravery to plunge into the eternal darkness of the stand to discover the fate of their animal.
If you live in the United States, you can buy the paperback here and the ebook version here. If you do not live in the United States, your country's Amazon also carries them and are easily found with a search.