Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Urban Legends Essay -- essays research papers
Joel Beckwith Febuary 13, 2001 Urban Legends In this paper I will explain exactly what an urban legend is,and give some examples of very popular ones that have been passed by word of mouth for decades across the United States. 1 " An urban legend is a story that is so bizarre,horrifying,or unexplainable, that it makes something inside of us want to believe it." Urban Legends can have traced origins from other countries, universities, states, or people,that just decided to made up as incredible story and pass it on to their friends and family members. Many of these legends were started in the sixties and seventies, and still continue to be passed on to this day. A good example, is the horrifying Pop Rocks death. 2"In the seventies ,school kids passed on the rumor that if Pop Rocks candy was eaten with any kind of soda,the person's insides would explode". A legend that eventually forced the candy company company to prove as untrue. Most urban legends are began with "friend of a friend", which is a key in realizing that what you are going to hear is probably untrue. When I was in second grade, a famous legend was passed to me, the story of the ''well to Hell''. Reportedly, down in Mexico, a group of men were drilling holes in the ground looking for oil. These holes were thousands of feet deep, and the men heard horrifying screams coming from the depths below. Supposedly these these terrible sounds were coming from Hell. This story caused much debate among the Christian community, and was repeating in news letters, and radio talk shows around the country. Eventually, an urban legend investigator traced the story to a school teacher who admitted that she made the whole thing up. As legends are passed from person to person the stories are modified and changed until several versions of the story actually exist. A good example of a mixed story is the classic urban legend of the vanishing hitch hiker. Most versions of the story are told of a tall thin hitch hiker walking down the road until he gets picked up.As the stranger is in the car he stays quiet and doesn't speak until he says ''The end is near'' and disappears right before the drivers eyes. Other versions are told of a young girl who does the same thing sometimes the hitch hiker claims ''Jesus is coming again ''right befor... ...hich is which and who is who", we see the Wicked Witch of the West looking at the dead feet of the Wicked Witch of the East. For "up..up..up", the Witch is on top of a ramp; on "down..down.. down..", she is walking down. "And in the end", the dead Witch disappears. "Out..out..out", Good Witch Glynda exits in a bubble. The song "Brain Damage" is played as the scarecrow sings "If I Only Had a Brain." The heartbeat heard at the end of the album coincides with Dorothy listening to the Tin Man's heart. (These similarities are found at http://turnerclassicmovies.com) Urban legends and their history can be a very interesting thing to devote your time to. The library has many good books on urban legends, one of the best is "Too Good to be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends" by Jan Harold Brunvand. Jan Harold Brunvard has written other good books as urban legend references, including "The Baby Train" and "The Mexican Pet". Overall I enjoyed writing this report and I have found urban legends to be very interesting and I hope to explore them more as a personal hobby.