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The True Urban Legend Of Charlie No-Face (AKA The Green Man)

Real Picture Of Charlie No-Face With TeenagersUrban legends have a certain way about them.

The person telling you the story usually heard it from their best friend… who had a babysitter whose boyfriend “saw” it happen.

Or from their nextdoor neighbor’s second cousin, who once lived in the town where it all started. Know what I mean?

The person assures you this urban legend is “definitely true”. Then they go into a story about some character with the head of a man and the body of a moth who steals children after midnight.

Yeah, right.

But the funny thing is, some urban legends actually are true. And they’re usually the ones you least expect. Take this urban legend from back in the 50’s for example about a man with no face…



LEGEND OF THE GREEN MAN

True Story Charlie No-Face ChildhoodIn western Pennsylvania the story is told of Charlie No-Face. It is said that as a boy Charlie climbed a high electric pole to try and see into a bird’s nest.

Instead of getting a view of the nest, he got tangled up in the lines and was electrocuted. And when he fell back to the ground things were never the same for him.

When his friends ran up to him they immediately started screaming. Lying in front of them was their friend …but his face was melted beyond recognition. He had lost his eyes, nose, mouth, an ear, and even one of his arms.

Not only was his face mangled, but his skin had turned an eerie green color.

Charlie had a tenacious spirit, and was able to survive his massive injuries. He was lucky to be alive, he knew that, but as the years went on this new life became more and more difficult to bear. You see, every time he even tried to step out in public people would scream bloody murder and some would even faint.

So he took to hiding out in abandoned houses. He got what food he could from the land and walked along a quiet stretch of highway each night. He just wanted to be normal, he just wanted to feel what it was like to be able to walk openly, without the screaming.

Urban Legend Highway Charlie No-Face

Which particular stretch of highway he was said to walk depended on the version of the story being told. Teenagers from all over would hear these stories and cruise the highways after dark, in hopes of meeting up with Charlie No-Face.

Some claimed they had talked to Charlie or even had pictures of him. But no one could be sure who was telling the truth and who was just trying to look cool. Still, the rumors and urban legends went on year after year.

It wasn’t until after his death that “Charlie” would become known as a real person to the general public.


THE TRUE STORY OF CHARLIE NO-FACE

Yes, he was real. And his story is incredible.

In the summer of 1919 a boy named Ray Robinson was walking home with his friends. It had been a great afternoon of swimming, and they were all smiles as they strolled along and joked with each other.

Wallace Run Bridge Charlie No-Face Accident

To get home they had to cross The Wallace Run Bridge, a giant structure where trolleys would cross the river. To power the trolleys, the bridge had transmission lines carrying 22,000 volts of electricity running all along it.

While walking on the bridge Ray and his friends saw a bird’s nest up high. They dared each other to see who would be brave enough to climb up there and count how many birds were inside.

Ray was the only boy to follow through on the dare. His friends peered up into the bright sky as he confidently climbed the bridge structure.

But moments later his body connected with one of the lines running across the bridge. His little body absorbed an insane amount of electricity and he fell to the ground.

When his friends got to him he did not look like the Ray Robinson they knew… in fact he did not look like any human being they’d ever seen before.



INJURIES

“Morado Lad, 8, Shocked By Live Wire, Will Die”
-Newspaper Headline about Ray Robinson

Newspaper Article Charlie No-Face Ray RobinsonRay Robinson was not expected to live. In fact, it seemed to be a miracle that the boy hadn’t died on the spot.

His face had been …melted… by the high voltage. His eyes were completely gone and so was his nose. His mouth and his ears were barely there at all. And his left arm had been completely melted off below his elbow.

The doctors said that there was no way he would live. Yet he did. They said there was no way he could survive outside of the hospital, but he was able to leave within a couple weeks.

But living out the rest of his life was going to be the big problem. It was the fifties and there wasn’t any help for children with his level of injuries, so Ray retreated into the protection of his family.

He usually stayed on his family property, doing crafts or talking with his family Real Picture Charlie No-Face aka Green Manmembers. He would sit and listen to the radio for hours, getting some sense of connection to the outside world.

Sometimes he would even hike in the secluded woods behind his family home, using a stick to guide himself.

But as he grew older these few things were no longer enough for him.



FOOTSTEPS ON ROUTE 351

People driving through from out of town would pull up in front of local gas stations or shops. They parked parked haphazardly and ran into the building yelling for help. They screamed that they had seen a monster walking along the highway.

The locals knew it was no monster. They knew it was simply Ray Robinson out for a walk again.

Ray was now a full grown man and had spent most of his life in a routine that had become suffocating. Throughout the years he had kept up a good attitude about everything. After all, he was lucky to be alive. But, this “life”…was it even like any other human’s life on earth?

Charlie No-Face Walking Path Route 351

One day he decided to do something different. Something new. He decided to walk the roads after dark. Specifically the roads on Route 351. He got his walking stick and left, and didn’t come home until the sun began to rise.

And the next night and the night after that.

His family hated these outings, but they couldn’t stop him. He wanted freedom.

This is how the urban legend of Charlie No-Face and The Green Man began. It was during this time that local teenagers (who were out doing their own kind of freedom seeking) would be cruising Route 351 and see Ray Robinson walking along.

Then teenagers started to go cruising in the area specifically to try to catch a glimpse of Ray. Some began to bring cigarettes and beer as offerings to him, a way to get him to want to talk to them for a while.

True Picture Of Charlie No-Face Teenagers

The stories began to spread like wildfire and soon teenagers from far and wide began to make the pilgrimage to the area, to try and see ‘Charlie No-Face’.

Each version of the story gave a slightly different location where you would be likely to spot him. There were also different instructions as to what his favorite brands of cigarettes and beer were. Many versions of the story for some reason said that he had green skin, which gave him another nickname, The Green Man.

Ray wouldn’t always choose to stop and talk to the people who called out to him from their cars, and sometimes he’d even walk into the treeline to hide. But it seems that most nights he wanted the company and would stop to share some beers and chat.

As the years went on and one generation turned into another, Ray and the urban legend of Charlie No-Face became part of the culture. Parents would tell their children stories about him and then when those children became teenagers they would seek him out.

A newspaper article even talked about how soldiers fighting in Vietnam would write back and ask how Ray was doing. The soldiers said they were praying for his safety from across the world.

And all the while Ray kept doing his nightly walks. It seems like he found a little bit of freedom in them.


RAY ROBINSON

Ray kept up these nightly walks right up until he was in his seventies and had to move into a nursing home.

For me it’s incredible to think about all those miles he walked in blindness.

All the days and years, sometimes completely alone in the night air. Sometimes with only the company of jeering, immature comments shouted out of passing cars. And sometimes in the company of teenagers, who in a strange way were seeking the same kinds of things he was. They all were looking for a sense of freedom, an experience of life, and to test their limits.

True Life Story Of Ray T Robinson

I hope that he was able to find some kind of peace on his nightly walks. It may have been an imperfect sort of peace but at least it was something.

And as far as the urban legend of Charlie No-Face, well that still lives on. To this very day teenagers go cruising around roads in the area. They follow the instructions of the particular urban legend they’ve heard from a friend of a friend whose uncle “saw” it all first hand.

They drive around on the off chance that they might get to see “Charlie No-Face”, and experience a true urban legend.

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09/06/2017
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The Fairy Picture Hoax: How Two Girls Fooled The Author Of Sherlock Holmes

Cottingley Fairy Picture first one released by Elsie and Frances.This picture may look innocent but it caused a major controversy back in the early 1900’s, fooling many people around the world …including the author of Sherlock Holmes.


A SUMMER OBSESSION

It all began when two girls named Elsie and Frances became obsessed with playing by a certain stream near their house in Cottingley, England one summer. Problem was, the stream was really muddy.

Cottingley Fairy Picture showing Elsie next to a flying fairy.Finally Frances’ mother had enough of dealing with muddy clothes and yelled that they were banned from playing near the stream again. The girls stood there stunned for a while, until Elsie spoke up and said that they absolutely had to keep going back to the stream. Why? Because they were doing something very important there: they were visiting with fairies.

Yes, fairies, the tiny creatures with wings and magical powers to bewitch humans.

Now if a parent heard that story these days they’d probably get mad at the girls for lying, or at least think they were imagining things. But back then in England many people believed that fairies were real and lived in forests, dancing around and doing fairy magic. Fairies were thought to avoid humans but would sometimes show themselves to the right people.

Picture of Elsie who took the Cottingley Fairy Pictures.The mother was intrigued but not totally convinced, so Elsie volunteered to take pictures of the fairies to prove their story.

Elsie had worked in her father’s photography lab before and knew how to use the clunky camera equipment, so it would be easy for the two girls to go “take pictures of fairies” on their own. The girls insisted that they definitely had to go alone, because if anyone else was there the fairies wouldn’t show themselves. Hmm.


THE FAIRY PICTURES

And so Elsie and Frances went out to the stream the next day and came back with a single picture. It showed Frances near the stream and leaning on a little hill which had fairies dancing on top of it.

Frances’ mother was thrilled that the girls might actually have proof that fairies exist. And not only that but that the fairies were in her own backyard!

Elsie’s father had pretty much the opposite reaction though and thought it was a fake right away.

Cottingley Fairy Picture showing Frances with fairies dancing in front.

He knew that his daughter was not only good with a camera but also loved to draw. He figured the “fairies” in the picture were just drawings done on cardboard and that the girls were perpetuating a lie.

And when Elsie and Frances borrowed his camera a couple months later and came back with another fairy picture –this time showing Elsie in the woods holding out her hand to a tiny gnome with wings and a pointy hat– he banned them from ever borrowing his camera again.

It was too late by that point though. More and more people started to believe in the fairy pictures and the story spread beyond the little village of Cottingley to the rest of the country.Cottingley Fairy Picture girl with gnome fairy in front.


A CASE FOR SHERLOCK HOLMES?

People were abuzz with the news of the fairy pictures and a photography expert was called in to examine them.

Amazingly, the expert said that without a doubt the pictures were 100% real and after passing this test they were then sent to the famous Sir Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes series.

Sir Conan Doyle was desperate to prove the existence of life after death and other spiritual things, including the existence of fairies. He was in the midst of a deep depression since many of his close family members had recently died, and he found comfort in the idea that their spirits lived on. So when he saw Elsie and Frances’ fairy pictures his heart soared.

His enthusiasm was so contagious that even Elsie’s father started to believe that the pictures could be real. It wasn’t long before Elsie and Frances gave Sir Conan Doyle more pictures of fairies and he happily published them, sparking a worldwide debate about the existence of fairies –a debate that was very emotional and sometimes got ugly.

Cottingley Fairy Picture of Elsie with fairy standing on a branch.On one side were the fairy believers, who insisted that the youthful innocence of Elsie and Frances is what convinced the fairies to let their picture be taken. On the other side were those who said that the fairy pictures were a hoax, that the girls were just mischievous kids playing a trick on gullible adults.

The truth? Well that didn’t come out until many decades had passed. Later on in life Elsie and Frances started to admit that the photos were not quite what they said…


THE TRUTH BEHIND THE COTTINGLEY FAIRY PICTURES

The first major crack in the story came when Elsie said in an interview that the pictures were “photographs of figments of our imagination”. Then later she outright admitted that all the pictures were fake.

Picture of a newspaper article about Cottingley Fairy Picture hoax revealed.But Frances was more stubborn. She said that most of the photos were faked but that one of them was definitely real. The last photo, she said, was taken of real fairies (like, for real-real this time lol).

She insisted that the girls just happened to come across the fairies one morning when they had the camera with them. Yeah, right.

From reading through all their confessions the true story behind the fairy pictures seems to be this:

Elsie used her drawing abilities to copy pictures of fairies from a book called Princess Mary’s Gift Book onto cardboard. Her and Frances then cut out the cardboard fairies and used long pins to prop them up for the pictures. A simple but effective hoax.
Picture of Princess Mary's Gift Book pictures similarity to Cottingley Fairy Pictures.

It’s hard to imagine that the creator of a logical and skeptical character such as Sherlock Holmes was so easily fooled by two kids with cardboard cutouts of fairies. But he was just so desperate to have proof that fairies really existed that he was willing to ignore the evidence that was right in front of him.

In the end there were no fairies needed to bewitch humans, only the cleverness of two mischievous girls. It’s a good thing that they didn’t have Photoshop back then or else who knows what Elsie and Frances might have gotten people to believe!

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07/16/2014
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Strange But True Story Of The King Who Thought He Was Made Of Glass

Picture of the insane King Charles VI of France.Remember The Orange Juice Man Urban Legend from a couple weeks ago, about the man who took too much LSD and ended up thinking he was a glass of orange juice?

Well here’s a true story that shows you don’t have to overdose on drugs for something that crazy to happen, sometimes a person’s mind just breaks. And it can happen to anyone, even a king…


HUNT FOR A MURDERER

At the age of 24 King Charles VI was at the top of his game. He’d been crowned king when he was just a child, and had spent many years building up his kingdom trying to make it thrive.

King Charles VI on the throne before he went insane.Now he was finally able to see his dreams becoming a reality and the people loved him for it, so much that they’d started calling him “Charles The Beloved”.

But it all changed one summer day when a close friend of his was attacked and left for dead by a man named Pierre De Craon. Right away people around King Charles VI noticed something odd about his behavior after the attack on his friend. Anger and agitation would be understandable, but he was in a complete frenzy, running around shouting things that didn’t make sense.

He gathered up a small army to pursue Pierre De Craon, who was fleeing on horseback towards another kingdom to escape justice. But no one could seem to move fast enough for the king and he was almost out of his mind with impatience as they traveled through the forest in the sweltering heat.


A LEPER IN THE WOODS

At the edge of the forest a man came running down the path and right up to King Charles VI. He looked like a leper and was dressed like a wild man, without even any shoes on his feet. He grabbed the king’s horse and said in an ominous voice “Ride no further noble king! Turn back, you are betrayed!” Picture of King Charles VI being stopped by a leper in the woods.

Well as you can imagine the surrounding soldiers got rid of the man right away, but the strange experience seemed to rattle King Charles VI. No one knew how just much though until after they all emerged from the forest and a sleepy paige accidentally dropped the lance he was holding. The lance fell on a helmet that another paige was holding and it make a loud clanging noise that echoed off the forest.

Everybody cringed at the loud noise and continued down the path, but King Charles VI absolutely freaked out. He unsheathed his sword and started chopping at the people around him while yelling “Forward against the traitors! They wish to deliver me to the enemy!”

By the time some of his soldiers were able to sneak up from behind and pull him off his horse he’d already killed four people. He slammed into the ground and went into a kind of coma, his eyes rolling from side to side.

He was in the coma for quite some time and when he woke up he wasn’t the same. Something had snapped in his mind and he began the insane behavior that would last the rest of his life. Picture of King Charles VI after he went insane.


INSANITY OF KING CHARLES VI

King Charles VI would go through long periods where didn’t recognize his family or even know he was king. He had to be moved out of the castle during these times and he’d run screaming through the halls of the house, so much that the doors had to be walled up so he wouldn’t escape.

The worst though were the times that he went into deep paranoia and believed his entire body was made of glass. He felt that a nudge or breeze might shatter him and he shrieked at the slightest touch. He made his servants sew iron rods into all his clothes to keep “the glass” from breaking but it never helped, because just like The Orange Juice Man it was really his mind that was made of glass.

In between these periods of sheer insanity King Charles VI would almost seem back to normal. Imagine his horror in seeing his kingdom in disarray and hearing about all the crazy things he’d done.

Those around him did their best to cover up the fact that the king had went insane but over the years it became too obvious. No longer did the people call him “Charles The Beloved”, but instead they’d whisper about the strange doings of “Charles The Mad”, the king who thought he was made of glass.

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07/16/2014