Urban legends. Genies, ghosts and treasures
Journeys | 08.07.2020
Urban legends are an important feature of the culture of any country. Thanks to folklore, we can learn more about the traditions, delusions and character of local people. We'll tell you about the most interesting modern myths.
Ghosts in the village of Kuldhara
This Indian settlement appeared in the 13thcentury and flourished for several centuries. Mostly traders, farmers and bankers lived there. Everything changed in 1825, when the village became completely empty.

The reasons for the decline are still not fully understood. According to the official version, the inhabitants left the village gradually because of the deterioration of the quality of water in the wells. Another version is an earthquake: damages can be observed on some of the remaining houses.

According to local legends, the thousand people who lived there disappeared literally in one night. No one saw how and where they went.
Folklore versions differ. In all of them, the odious Minister Salim Singh appears. According to one version, the residents left the village due to a sharp increase in taxes by the minister. In another legend, Singh proposed one of the girls as a wife, but she refused, after which the residents, frightened by the revenge of the minister, decided to leave the village.

After 1825, no one lives in the vicinity of the village –allegedly during the leave, the village head cursed this land and the people who dare to settle there. Lovers of the paranormal that spent the night at the site of the ruins of Kuldhara claimed to have heard voices, whispers and seen shadows. They believe that these are the ghosts of the people who ignored the curse.
Genies in the UAE
Genies are famous creatures in the Arabic mythology. They got into the popular culture thanks to the story about Aladdin and the genie from the lamp, fulfilling wishes. In traditional folklore, genies are evil spirits, some of which are close to the devil.

In modern Arab Emirates, genies appear in several urban legends. According to one of them, genies live in the abandoned palace of Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Qasimi, located in Ras Al Khaimah. The palace was built in 1984, but in the 1990s it became completely empty. Some believe that the cause of this was the genies –the palace was built on their dwelling. At night, the residents of the palace heard the screams of women and saw the ghosts of children. They even invited exorcists into the house, who advised to chop off the heads of the animal statues that were installed in the house. This did not help –soon the sheikh's family left the palace, and there were no people wishing to buy it.
Another urban legend tells of a genie named Umm Al Duwais. It takes the form of a beautiful woman with long black hair and cat's eyes, which heavily smells of Arabian perfume. In the image of a woman, the genie first seduces men, and then kills them.
Hawaiian night walkers
The night walkers, which in the Hawaiian language are called Huaca Po, are the ghosts of ancient warriors. In Hawaii, these warriors were the bodyguards of the most senior leaders and priests. The status of leaders in primitive society was so high that ordinary people were forbidden to even look at them –those who dared were immediately killed by the bodyguards. To avoid unnecessary bloodshed, the leaders moved exclusively at night, and Huaca Po accompanied them.
The image of night walkers still lives in modern urban legends of Hawaii. It is believed that most often you can come across ghosts in the area of the ancient sanctuaries of Yokohama Bay, Kalama Valley and in the vicinity of the ruins of the palace of King Kamehameha III. But even in large cities, you should be careful at night – in 2012, witnesses stated that they saw the night procession of Huaca Po in the business district of Honolulu. Usually ghosts appear in the last phase of the Hawaiian lunar calendar – that is, in absolute darkness.

It is not difficult to realize that night walkers are passing near you. People reporting about Huaca Po usually mention the light from torchlight, the sounds of drums and sea shells. The main and only advice that lovers of paranormal phenomena give for the case of meeting night walkers is to run and not look back!
Spring-Heeled Jack in London
Spring-Heeled Jack is one of the oldest and most popular images in urban legends. It was first mentioned in the 1840s. In the Victorian era, the image reached its maximum popularity, and the last time Spring-Heeled Jack was seen in London in 2012.

The main feature of Jack is the ability to jump very high. According to "eyewitnesses" he knew how to breathe out fire and attacked the victims with his claws.
People attributed to Jack a huge number of crimes –attacks on women, police officers and even military camps. He turned over the wagons of cargo, polluted temples and breathed out fire on passers-by. His fame was constantly growing–hysteria was fanned by tabloid magazines that retailed the image and earned on its popularity.

You may not believe in Spring-Heeled Jack, but his image definitely influenced popular culture. Jack especially influenced comics –the character formed the basis of the image of a supervillain.
Treasures of Tokugawa on Mount Akagi
Tokugawa Shogunate ruled Japan for four centuries, until the second half of the 19thcentury. After the defeat of the shoguns during the Meiji restoration, the entire wealth of the Tokugawa clan mysteriously disappeared.
It is believed that originally the treasures of the shoguns were stored in Edo Castle. When the castle surrendered to the new imperial government, Finance Minister Tadayori Oguri secretly brought huge wealth to his native Gunma prefecture and buried treasures on the sacred mountain of Akagi. Before his death, Oguri spoke about the treasure of the former samurai Tomoyoshi Mitsuno. Since then, the third generation of the Mitsuno family has been struggling to unravel the mystery of the treasure. In 2016, a documentary was even shot about the search history.

Despite the attempts to find treasures, the treasure of the shogunate has not yet been found. If the treasure really exists, its total value is about 350 billion dollars, according to modern estimates.
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