October 23, 2014
Urban Legends are a eclectic blend of subconscious fear, fantasy and folklore. Not to be confused with Urban Myths, these being fantastically designed rumors about famous celebrities i.e., Mr. Rogers was formerly a Navy Seal and the whole Richard Gere gerbil thing. Urban Legends are those time tested tales that send a chill down your spine and have you checking the backseat of your car. Mostly reserved for pre-pubescent slumber parties and chilly dark nights huddled around the campfire, they have also been the subject material for countless books and films. Their purpose? To entertain, scare and in some cases insert a moral lesson. Are they true?
Consider an Urban Legend like a casserole with the truth being the pinch of salt added for flavor, their level of believability relying on the skill of the storyteller and the gullibility of the audience.
So let’s test our skills and gullibility with a few not so legendary Urban Legends. What follows are some revised classics, a few nightly fears and a pinch of mine own creations. Numbered for your convenience. Enjoy!
1. Dirty Harry- Stand in front of a mirror, in a dimly lit room. Spin around three times (or more if you like) with each spin chant, “Dirty Harry, Dirty Harry, Dirty Harry.” If done correctly Clint Eastwood will appear in the mirror and promptly tell you to “Get off my lawn!” He will then open fire with either a old rifle or .44 magnum...whichever makes his day.
2. Spiders in the toilet- It is a fact that upon entering your home the first thing a spider looks for is an available water source. This is why they oft turn up in laundry rooms and bathtubs. On rare occasions they will find their way into the largest source of standing water in your home- the toilet. Usually just under the lid. So watch your ass...literally.
3. Psycho in the Shower- after the movie Psycho, taking a shower in an empty house at night can be a bit chilling. What’s more chilling is going to use the bathroom at night with the irrational fear that an intruder has slipped behind your shower curtain to hide when they heard you get up. The closer the toilet to the shower, the scarier it becomes.
4. The Poop Snake- On your way to get a glass of water in the middle of the night you see it coiled there in front of the sink waiting to strike. You nervously step back trying to reach the light switch. When you do you realize you forgot to let the dog out.
5. Cracked Closet Killer- The door is closed - fine. The door is wide open - fine. But if the closet door is cracked you have to wonder, is that your jacket and pants hanging in there or an intruder hiding and watching till you fall asleep.
6. Toddler Silhouette- Is the mysterious backlit apparition beside your bed the ghost of a dead child? Or did your own kid come to get in bed with you and fall asleep standing up beside it? Poke them carefully and be ready to run.
7. Peripheral Shadow People- When you’re really tired sometimes dead cells gather in the corners of your eyes. These appear to be black shapes and when you turn they seem to race out of your field of vision. This is an optical illusion and common occurrence, no need to panic. If you’re not tired, then...it’s a perfect time to panic.
8. Demon Screams in the Night- You’re awakened from a dead sleep by what sounds like the denizens of hell crying out. If this frightens you then you’ve never heard two cats getting it on before.
10. That Thing in the Corner- Is that some dirty clothes piled up over there or something watching you in the darkness. Roll over go back to sleep and hope it’s the latter.
Next week tune in for more Hell-o-ween fun! Oh, and if you’re wondering about No. 9, it’s the fear that you’ve either missed something or forgotten how to count.
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Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!