Urban Legend

Urban Legend: On Pins and Needles for Halloween


For decades, Halloween bore the honor of creativity, imagination and mild to intense horror. Children went from house to house with a bag, calling out “Trick or Treat” and receiving a coin, candy, dessert or toy. Was it too much fun for someone to see? What turned this delightful opportunity to play pranks and change appearance into an urban legend?

The reports started in the late 1950s about razorblades in apples. Then followed tales of pins and needles randomly inserted in bags of Halloween candy and individually wrapped candy bars. Strange looking powders appeared on cookies and cakes.… Continue reading

Urban Legend: Cell Phone Called Family and Friends after Death of Owner

The advent of modern technology puts a unique twist on the urban legend about calls from the dead. It is certainly enough to strike a sense of horror into anyone receiving such a call, accompanied only be dead air or static. Yet there is at least documented tale that actually had a dramatic ending for all concerned.

The Metro train was making a typical late afternoon commuter run through the San Fernando Valley in 2008. Passengers chatted to one another or talked to friends on their cell phones. Still others took a much needed power nap… Continue reading

Urban Legends: The Deadly Chain Letter

from stock.xchngWe all have received a chain letter of some kind that promises us riches or love beyond imagine. The problem is that no matter how many times we send out the chain letter, nothing is actually going to happen. The fact of the matter is that every chain letter originates from a single person looking to get their message out there.

While the prayer and luck chain letters were harmless, the internet also started to see an increase in death chain letters. Typically, the tale would go that unless you sent the letter on to 10 people or so, a… Continue reading

Urban Legends: An Odd Way to Drown

from stock.xchngThere are plenty of urban legends out there that make you raise a curious eyebrow. Often, they offer an outrageous claim that seems too strange to be real. In some cases, they do turn out to be true. Here is a case of two of the strangest ways that people have truly drowned.

In 1814 London, we find that the Grim Reaper decided to take a twist from the usual when he decided to take the lives of 9 people when one of the brewery tanks in London burst open. This sent a river of beer and suds crashing through… Continue reading

Urban Legends: Death by Exploding Lava Lamp

Lava lamps were an icon of home décor in the 1960s and 1970s, and still make appearances today in college dormitories and throw-back decorating styles. They are hardly considered items associated with horror and are easy to purchase online and in novelty stores for little more than one would pay for a traditional lamp. It is rare for consumers to consider the danger of a lava lamp, but based on the story of the exploding lava lamp, this consideration is all too necessary.

The lamps are cone-like in shape and feature wax suspended in liquid, seen through a clear panel… Continue reading

Urban Legends: Chicken Fried Rat

The story of the Chicken Fried Rat is a popular urban horror story with several variations. In one version, a diner notices her chicken has an unusual taste and peels back the fried chicken skin to reveal a rat’s face or teeth. In another, a wife feeds her husband a candlelit chicken dinner, only to realize they have digested several fried rat pieces. Typically, the story ends with a significant change in eating habits and the possibility of a lawsuit.

Chicken Fried Rat falls into one of the most popular categories of urban legend: dining horror. The point of the… Continue reading

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