For decades, there have been whispers of strange happenings at Flint's Sunset Hills Cemetery near their "Crack the Whip" sculpture, but what's the real story behind one of the most well-known local urban legends?

Flint, Michigan's Sunset Hills Cemetery is home to many beautiful, life-like statues, any of which could easily have their own urban legend, but none are as infamous as the sculpture of eight children playing the game "Crack the Whip." If you're unfamiliar with the game, it is where several children join hands chain-link style, make a single file line, and whip the entire group in a circle. This forces the most difficulty on the last one in line, and their object is to hold on as long as their grip strength and gravity will allow. Most everyone native to the Flint area is familiar with the legend, which says the sculpture is haunted... but why?

The Legend

Legend has it that a girl died playing the game, and her grandfather made the sculpture to memorialize her death. It's been said that the girl on the end of the "whip" was thrust into traffic during the game and fatally struck by a car. There are often reports of phantom sounds near the sculpture, like those of children laughing, as well as ghostly moans. Part of the sculpture is a lone sandal, and it is said that if you put your foot in it -- you'll die. Pretty much any young person you talked to in the 1990s "knew someone that knew someone" that died after putting their foot in that sandal.

The Facts

In our initial research, we found that the statue was dedicated in 1983, and was reportedly donated by an anonymous Flint resident who has family buried in Sunset Hills. Renowned sculptor J. Seward Johnson was the artist behind the $85,000 Crack the Whip memorial, as well as several others that can be seen in Sunset Hills. Later, we learned that not all of that information was accurate...

What We Learned

Urban legends are, well, for lack of a more complicated explanation -- legends. By very definition a "legend" is "a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated." The uncertainty adds a bit more scare to these types of things, but what could be more scary than if the legends were true? Or at least part of it. So we set out on a quest to find out the truth behind Crack the Whip. What did we find? Well, you'll have to watch the video at the top for that.

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