Urban legends are defined as modern folklore deeply rooted in popular culture. Most urban legends are based on real stories but retold so many times that they become more fiction than fact.
As a result, they are mainly used for entertainment purposes but are also used to explain real life events and mysteries like disappearances and strange objects. Urban legends however, weren’t born in urban areas by people of colour – that idea though, is an urban legend in and of itself.
The following stories are a few of the most well-known urban legends. I’ll leave you to be the judge of whether they are fiction or fact.
There is a widespread belief that people who travel alone are approached by a group of strangers.
The strangers invite the lonely traveler to join them to hang out, whether to eat or go sightseeing. Lo and behold, the traveler wakes up in pain and finds out the group of strangers have taken his or her kidneys.
However, these kidney heists have never been confirmed.
But there you have it folks. You’re parents were probably on to something when they warned you not to backpack through Europe by yourself.
A driver picked up a female hitchhiker along a deserted road. When he arrives at the address to drop her off he realizes she is gone.
In some versions, the woman forgets a garment or something that causes the driver to want to reach out to her. Or out of mere curiosity, the driver walks up to the house only to find out that the female he picked up passed away years ago at the same exact spot where he found her.
Rumor has it that Walt Disney had his body stored in a freezer to preserve it after his death.
His plan was to have his body revived sometime in the future when medical science advanced enough and scientists were up for the challenge.
A wide range of legends about Disney are told today including the one where he is being stored underneath the Pirates Of The Caribbean ride in Disneyland.
The original legend features a young woman who while sunbathing on the beach in an exotic place is bitten by a spider on the cheek. The bite swells into a large boil and she rushes back home for medial attention. She finds a doctor to lance the boil and thousands of tiny spiders come running out of her cheek. She loses her sanity due to her new found condition.
Variations of the tale include a stories along the same lines. You know, one gets bitten by a spider while traveling overseas and by the time they get home their bite hatches.
And just like that their body becomes home to parasitic baby spiders that start crawling out from their skin.
One of the greatest internet legends is that of The Slender Man.
He’s a silent stalker who hides in plain sight and is found in dark forests. Slender Man finds his victims then follows them all the way home and stares at them until he is seen through their window.
Once he is seen, one is compelled towards him and forced to answer a question. Luckily, if you get it right he only breaks your limbs. If you get his question wrong he sticks his slender arms down your throat and rips your heart out.
Or he kindly kidnaps you and simply vanishes you into thin air because as it stands, no one has ever come back from one of his abductions. Allegedly.
There are many versions of The Hookman legend. In the usual story though, a young man took his date out to “Lover’s Lane” to make out. While listening to the radio, they hear about a hook-handed maniac that escaped from a mental institution.
Moments later, they hear scratching near the trunk but choose to brush it off as sheer paranoia. Later on, the young man drives his date home where he then discovers a bloody hook attached to roof of his car.
It is believed that they ran over the hook-handed man and he came back for revenge or just wanted to torture the young couple.
The movie ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ is based on this urban legend – if it’s a ‘legend’ after all.
The bloody Mary myth continues to scare kids worldwide.
As the story goes if you turn off the lights, look into any mirror and say bloody Mary five times, you’ll be surprised to see Mary appear. The daring task has become such a living legend that Mary will be forever immortalized games that children play at slumber parties and during recess.
In another version of the tale, one must say “I believe in Mary Worth” where upon her arrival she will scratch your eyes out.
In case you weren’t aware the sewer system in America is apparently full of deadly alligators. The rumored reptiles were released by their owners when they became to large and aggressive to handle.
The stories of the alligators in New York sewers is the most prominent and in the 1930s were believed to be propaganda created by commissioner Teddy May.
As the story goes, a teenage girl was babysitting in a huge house with a ton of rooms that made it very easy to get lost in. The parents tell the babysitter that she can watch TV in a specific room because they don’t want her wandering around the large house.
The babysitter obeys, only to find herself being watched by a creepy clown statue in the corner of the room. She tries to ignore the clown and calls the father to ask if she can switch rooms. The dad instructs her to get the kids, call the police and go to the neighbours’ house.
Once she leaves and called the children’s father back to ask him what was really going on and he informed her that the family didn’t have a clown statue. His kids complained about a clown watching them as they slept for weeks but him and his wife thought whatever their children were reporting had to be nightmares.
The police investigated and it turns out the clown was actually a little person who had been stalking the family for a while. Their house was so big that the clown would lurk around in the attic during the day and sneak around the house at night.
Legend has it, that a young woman was home alone for the first time with her pet dog.
While listening to the news, she heard there was a killer on the loose. Frightened, she makes sure to lock all the doors and windows, picks up her dog and goes to sleep.
Her dog goes to it’s usual sleeping spot, underneath her bed as the young woman dozes off to sleep. Occasionally she would wake up and hear a dripping sound coming from her bathroom. The sound scares her but she is too afraid to go and check it out. To make herself feel better she reaches underneath her bed for her dog and is received by a warm lick. She continues this routine whenever she wakes up throughout the night.
The next morning, she wakes up and checks her bathroom. To her surprise she sees her dead dog hanging from the shower with its blood dripping down the drain. On the wall, words written in blood read, “Humans Can Lick, Too!”
The urban legend varies from young woman to elderly lady but always ends the same tragic way.
There were two college roommates. Sarah is the theatrical one who loved acting in all the town’s plays while Meagan was the bookworm who focused on her school work.
There was a huge play called ‘Oh Susannah’ coming up on Saturday that Sarah was in and frantically practicing for in the park. She begged Meagan to go with her to practice in the park, but Meagan often refused and stayed in her dorm to study.
Saturday came and Sarah did great during the play. As a result, she got back to her dorm really late because everyone wanted to speak with the star of the show. As she entered her dorm, she heard her roommate’s rocking chair but couldn’t see it because most of the lights were turned off. She figured Meagan was reading in her chair.
Later on, Sarah came back into the room and heard a husky voice in the corner saying,
“Oh Susannah, don’t cry for me…”
Agitated Sarah said,
“Stop it Meagan, don’t give me that crap!”
To which the voice kept repeating,
“Oh Susannah, don’t cry for me.”
Sarah then turns on the light and sees her roommate’s body in her rocking chair but her head pinned to the wall with a butcher knife. A man jumps out from behind the chair, uttering those same words and begins to cut Sarah, placing her head right on the wall right beside Meagan’s.
It is said that the man was a butcher who escaped from a sanitarium in a nearby town.
A woman was driving home one day late after having drinks with her girlfriends.
As she is driving on an empty highway, she notices another pair of headlights in her rearview mirror. As the car pulls up behind her, she sees it has its turn signal on and is preparing to pass her. Then the car suddenly swerves back behind her, gets extremely close to her bumper and flashes its bright lights.
She is nervous but fights the urge to look at the car behind her. To her surprise the car follows her all the way home, blinking its lights the entire way. Finally, she runs from her car to the front door and is followed by the man from the car that was following her.
He tells her to lock the door and call the police. When the police arrive, she is finally told that the man behind her was trying to save her. Apparently, as he pulled up he saw the silhouette of a man rising up from the backseat to stab her.