Urban Legends and Myths
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.
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?
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 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.
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?
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...
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.
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.
© 2011 PippiDust