Science fiction writer Nalo Hopkinson once said, “I'm going to check the world's best source for spawning new urban legends, the Internet. What, you thought I couldn't even type? The Web is just another threshold between one world and another." Most people have read or hear about urban legends before. They are now very popular and new urban legends get created all the time. Some have become so popular that they have become part of pop culture. Urban legends have entertained and frightened people for many years.
Urban legends have been talked about for a long time. “An urban legend, popular legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend is a form of modern folklore consisting of usually fictional stories, often with macabre elements, deeply rooted in local popular culture”(Wikipedia). Unlike its name, urban legends don’t have to originate from urban areas. These stories are used for entertainment purposes, and for explanations for random, mysterious events, or strange objects. “In terms of their wider themes, psychologists have found that perhaps unsurprisingly, the most popular tales also tend to evoke strong emotions – and the feeling of disgust seems to make a story particularly potent”(Robson, David). Most urban legends are horror stories that are disgusting or mysterious. These stories are made to disgust and create lots of emotions in the reader. These stories are fun but spread astonishingly fast.
Urban legends spread very fast by word, and by media. “Boy Burned Terribly Through High Tension”(The Daily Times). Lots of sightings of creatures or events from urban legends appear in newspapers. People sometimes even capture photos of these and upload them to the internet, where they spread very rapidly. “Those stories can spread like wildfire in today's Internet world, but they've been part of human culture as long as there has been culture, and Brunvand argues that legends should be around as long as there are inexplicable curiosities in life”(Whipps Heather). The internet has now become the largest spawning ground for new urban legends. As internet connections become better and data is shared faster, urban legends spread lighting fast. As more urban legends spread, some become very famous.
People say that some urban legends have become real and numerous sightings have been reported. “One of his first sightings came at an asylum; after a bloody rampage in the hospital, a photo emerged of his ghostly but silent presence hiding in the stairwell while the chaos erupted around him.”(Robson, David). This report is an urban legend of the creature known as Slender Man. This legend became so popular that a game was created for it which soon went very popular. On April 19, 1934, Colonel Robert Wilson took a photograph of the Loch Ness Monster swimming in Loch Ness Lake. This photograph became famously known as The Surgeon’s Photo and was used in numerous newspapers of the time. Unfortunately, the photo was proven fake and was a model of a monster head and neck attached to a toy submarine. Some of these urban legends become so well known that they create a whole new culture of their own.
Urban legends have existed even in the middle ages. It can be a source of entertainment and can sometimes even go further than just being a simple story. Urban legends can sometimes even become a part of a culture and become as or even more famous as classic novels. “The explosions, like the urban legends, are a great way of bringing people in to watch, because it's really fun, and you know we're always going to give you a satisfying ending”(Savage, Adam).
“10 Urban Legends That Turned Out To Be True.” YouTube, YouTube, 5 Oct. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cmkv-QlkguA. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.
“Boy Burned Terribly Through High Tension.” The Daily Times, 19 June 1919, pp. 1–1.
“LiveScience.” LiveScience, Purch, www.livescience.com/. Accessed 18 Apr. 2017.
Robson, David. “BBC - Future - What Makes an Urban Legend?” BBC News, BBC, 26 Jan. 2015, www.bbc.com/future/story/20150126-how-to-create-an-urban-legend. Accessed 19 Apr. 2017.
“Urban Legend.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Apr. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_legend. Accessed 18 Apr. 2017.
Wilson, Robert. “The Surgeon's Photo.” 19 Apr. 1934.
Pages in category "Urban Legends"
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