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Urban Legends and Myths

Updated on October 2, 2015
Image by George Hodan, Public Domain, Public domain
Image by George Hodan, Public Domain, Public domain

Urban Legends And Myths That Make Your Hair Stand On End

On Halloween there is a tradition of reading spooky stories and watching movies. Scary urban legends and myths are just the right thing for Halloween night.

What are urban legends and myths you may ask? They are usually short fictional, supposedly true stories, that have been told and retold for many times.

Source of urban legends usually can not be tracked. They are word of mouth stories or they are printed in newspapers or published in books.

Some are deliberately untruthful and incorrect to alarm and concern listeners and readers. And sometimes urban myth tellers just did not remember all the details they have heard or read and added few made up facts.

Wikimedia Commons, Public domain
Wikimedia Commons, Public domain | Source

School Bus Railroad Tracks

Legend about school bus on railroad tracks

Perhaps even more interesting is a story about a school bus that broke down in San Antonio at the intersection of road and railway.

Driver could not move the bus from railway and when he noticed speeding locomotive it was already too late to open the door.

None of the children survived.

They say that at that intersection there are still ghosts of the dead.

If you park a car near railway, leave it in free gear and put some baby powder on bumpers, the car will be pulled away to a save place by invisible force.

And if you listen really well, you might even hear quiet talk of invisible children!

The Wandering Bus

Legend about the wandering bus

Supposedly there is a bus without schedule or route driving around in Philadelphia.

You can not find it yourself. The bus will find you.

It will stop at your bus station when you feel especially bad or when you are in a very serious crisis.

You don't know where it will drive, you don't know how long the ride will last, and you can drive along only if you're completely out of money.

Bus will let you out where it will be the best for you. Some say that their ride lasted for months or even years...

The Vanishing Hitchhiker

Legend about the vanishing hitchhiker

Speaking of transportation, we can not ignore the myth of the vanishing hitchhiker who is picked up by a lonely driver without passengers.

Hitchhiker (usually a woman) tells him where she would like to go, and then, while still driving, usually just before journey ends, hitchhiker simply disappears.

Ride usually takes place in complete silence, and the disappearance always happens while the car is in motion.

Hitchhiker sometimes leaves behind a trace, borrowed jacket for example, which is later found by the driver at the fence of a nearby cemetery. All this reinforces the belief that he was driving a ghost on the date of disappearance or on anniversary of an automobile accident.

Are you scared?

See results
Image by George Hodan, Public Domain, Public domain
Image by George Hodan, Public Domain, Public domain

Rosalie Hankey and Richard Beardsley

Rosalie Hankey and Richard Beardsley researched this urban myth in the previous century and came to the conclusion that myths about vanishing hitchhiker may result from real events, for example from traffic accidents, but word of mouth stories often made them unrecognizable.

They even found connections with biblical records, which have been interweaved by story tellers with real events and rumours and eventually led to today known urban legends.

Jan Harold Brunvand

The urban legend about vanishing hitchhiker was the first in a series of books about urban myths and legends by American folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand.

He has been exploring urban legends for more than 30 years, wrote more than 150 articles and book reviews, and many books with urban legends theme, Encyclopedia of Urban Legends, which can be found below, is just one of them.

Encyclopedia of Urban Legends - Here you can find even more urban legends

Encyclopedia of Urban Legends
Encyclopedia of Urban Legends

Encyclopedia of Urban Legends is paperback book with 560 pages.

Here you can find several hundred urban legends and they are arranged alphabetically by title.


  • Did you know that many urban legends are connected to mirrors?
  • It was believed that the soul of the person who looks in the mirror can be trapped in it.
  • This is where the superstition come from that broken mirror brings bad luck.

Image by bcjordan,, CC BY 2.0
Image by bcjordan,, CC BY 2.0 | Source


The legend of Candyman is so well known and convincing that only few dare to say the word Candyman five times in a row in front of a mirror.

What is it all about?

Few centuries ago, a talented slave was teaching daughter of his master. They fell in love and when father found out about it, he organized lynching of a slave.

Slave run away as far as he could.

When the angry crowd caught him, they cut off his hand, covered him with honey and put him in a bee house, where he died in severe pain.

Just before he died he cursed his torturers...

Convincing story, right?

Are you scared now?

See results

Story Candyman was made up by one of the greatest masters of horror, Clive Barker. He has been writing fantasy and horror fiction for more than 30 years. One of his well known books and movies is Hellraiser.

The original story title was The Forbidden and was first published in a series of books Books of Blood.

In 1992 they created a movie, which was followed by two sequels, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh and Candyman 3: Day of the Dead..

But the story is not very original. Candyman can be easily compared with the legend of Bloody Mary, well known in English folklore.

Candyman - ...if you like horror movies...

Candyman (Special Edition)
Candyman (Special Edition)

If you like horror movies Candyman is perfect for you. In this 1992 movie Virginia Madsen and Xander Berkeley played main roles and Bernard Rose directed it.

You'll get 1 DVD and the movie lasts 99 minutes.

Candyman is available on Blu-ray too.

  • If we break a mirror, we have to wait seven hours and then pick up debris, which must be buried in the moonlight outside the house to prevent seven years of bad luck.

Image by unknown author, Wikimedia Commons, Public domain
Image by unknown author, Wikimedia Commons, Public domain | Source

Bloody Mary

According to a legend, Bloody Mary appears in the mirror if you say her name three times.

Different variations are known, by some her visit is only an introduction to tortured and painful death, by some you can ask her for help in communicating with the deceased, and by some Bloody Mary can predict the future, especially everything connected with love, relationships and children.

The rumors about Queen Mary I. are very likely the source of the legend about Bloody Mary. Events in her life supposedly eventually drove her insane.

For most urban legends we will never know whether they were initiated because of rich imagination or real events.

But we know that at certain places at certain times we must behave carefully.

Very carefully...

© 2011 PippiDust

Your comments are welcome...

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    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Interesting read. Just as well i'm not a person that scares easy. Thanks for sharing these legends with us.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 3 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      Very interesting topic and well presented hub. The myths are all woven. The creativeness is what I love.

    • asereht1970 profile image

      asereht1970 4 years ago

      Nice lens. Felt scared a little bit.

    • kayenta profile image

      joann 4 years ago from utah

      Always love a good scary tale!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      Back for a blessing on this scary lens!!!

    • attraction 42 profile image

      attraction 42 5 years ago

      I love it!!! Thank you for share.

    • tomazg profile image

      tomazg 6 years ago

      These legends are really scarry!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Fun lens, Pippi! Some of these really took me down memory lane.

    • BestToysReviews profile image

      BestToysReviews 6 years ago

      I know halloween's over but I still enjoy scary stories :)

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Excellent lens! I grew up near a place called Gravity Hill. Put the car in neutral, and it would slowly roll uphill. Reportedly, it was an optical illusion but it was convincing!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Great lens!!!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image

      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      Wow, so spooky! I wouldn't want to run into any urban legends that's for sure.

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 6 years ago

      Spooky and fun!

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 6 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Fun lens, Some on there are new to me too.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 6 years ago

      Thanks for collecting all these! I will be coming back to learn them enough to tell as spooky stories.

    • DesignedbyLisa LM profile image

      DesignedbyLisa LM 6 years ago

      Great story list. You have a few I have never heard of.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 6 years ago

      Congratulations on your lens being included on the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night"


    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      You can't miss it with great Clive Barker. I like his style a lot. He is one of just two persons I follow in Twitter:)

    • profile image

      dellgirl 6 years ago

      Fun lens, I enjoyed it. I hope you have a good week.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens! Wonder if the ghosts get scared of humans! :)

    • iWriteaLot profile image

      iWriteaLot 6 years ago

      Great lens! I'll have to use some of these stories for Halloween with my grandkids.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      nice to browse into one of your lens! If you like to browse lens as I do, mine has a great educational topic with poll questions for my readers to enjoy.

    • SandraGahlinger profile image

      SandraGahlinger 6 years ago

      Fun lens.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 6 years ago from Maryland

      Fun lens! We used to do Bloody Mary when I was growing up, but I don't think any of us was ever brave enough to actually get to the third recitation of her name! Scared us every time... :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Oh my goodness!

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 6 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      What fun! Thanks for this great lens!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Very nice lens, I enjoyed the read, yes scary stories. ***Blessed *** by a passing angel.

    • cocomoonbeams profile image

      cocomoonbeams 6 years ago

      my gym instructor looks like the guy who played the candyman!

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 6 years ago

      Ooh, creepy! As a rule, I tend to pass on by scary... anything, but I saw your page listed in the Halloween Magazine an' I jus' hadda' know if I should be prepared for something. :) Great info. Except for the part where now, I'll hafta' sleep with one eye open, I enjoyed my visit.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      After being scared to death by the atomic bomb and the air-raid drills of the 1950's, very little scares me now but I really enjoyed this lens and the quizzes. Great job.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      Great lens -- blessings. you're lens is featured on "Wing-ing it on squidoo," our page about squid angels and some of the best lenses we've found since donning our wings.

    • ThatsYourPeople profile image

      ThatsYourPeople 6 years ago

      This is a great lens. I remember being terrified of the Bloody Mary legend when I went to slumber parties as a kid.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      Great job - I've been scared since the first quiz!

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 6 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      Nice lens even if it did give me the chills at times.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I really enjoyed your lens. Well done

    • ellagis profile image

      ellagis 6 years ago

      I always pretend to be courageous enough, but I always end up with a chill along my back and a nervous look around the room... And your lens gave me that chill!

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Beautifully presented and a great read! :)

    • PippiDust profile image

      PippiDust 6 years ago

      @the-good-stuff: I was scared too while I was working on this lens. During the day it was nothing special, just some stories, but during the night (I mainly work at night) I looked around for ghosts all the time.

    • the-good-stuff profile image

      the-good-stuff 6 years ago

      I loved this lens! All the stories are quite creepy, especially since I'm sitting here in the dark... but the candyman story is REALLY disturbing.

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 6 years ago from Cyprus

      Hahaha sweet, I imagined a sneaky guy asking me in a deep voice... Are you scared... Are you scared yet...

      Great lens!