We’ve all heard them: those stories that are told about scary and horrifying things that supposedly happened in our neck of the woods. But under more scrutiny, it turns out that most of them never happened, and most of them are being told in other localities as well. All areas have their own versions of those stories. They can be something as bizarre as a local Big Foot monster (or other beastie), or even something a bit more pop cultureish such as Mikey from the Life Cereal commercial dying after consuming a mix of Coke and Pop Rocks.
As a teen I was fascinated with urban legends, mostly because of a few I heard from our area, one of which was the very popular Legend of Hook Man, which doesn’t appear to have any basis in fact, and has variations all over the world. In our town, in the suburb of Philadelphia, we told the story about a road near my house, Mann Road, which was narrow, unpaved, dark, and curvy. We’d drive back that road during the day and be creeped out, but at night we hoped that we wouldn’t break down or run out of gas.
Another involved rumors that a group of English teachers at another nearby high school, Upper Merion, were part of a witch’s coven. This story was loosely rooted in fact, in relation to the murder of English teacher Susan Reinert and her children, that happened in 1979, and ended up as the subject of at least four books and a made for TV movie. While the so-called Main Line Murders creeped us out as teens, I ended up covering some of the ensuing trials just a few years later as a radio reporter. It was all very surreal.
I was so fascinated with urban legends that I got swallowed up by The Vanishing Hitchhiker and a number of other books written by Jan Harold Brunvand, who sought to catalog these legends and find their time and place of origin.
Over the years I’ve heard all sorts of stories or legends, again, some of which are true. When I was in college in Beaver Falls, we heard stories of a man named Charlie No Face, or The Green Man. The story was an interesting mix of fact and fiction.
So how about you? What were, or are, some of the urban legends you remember, particularly in relation to your area? Did you hear about Hook Man where you grew up? What kind of beasties and creatures were supposedly lurking around your area? It’s your time to share on the Friday Blogging Experience!
- Top 5 Urban Legends (forteanfolly.com)
- 5 Favorite Time-Wasting Apps for When You Just Need to Chill (inklingmedia.net)
- Friday Blogging Experience: A Cartoon Band Hits the Big Time (inklingmedia.net)
- The Friday Blogging Experience: 5 Reasons Mennonites Were the First Hippies (inklingmedia.net)
- Why Would a Chocolate Lab Eat a Baby Chipmunk, and Other Important Blogging Insights (inklingmedia.net)