Urban Legends

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Since I missed my discussion on social psychology I've decided to look into urban legends and see what they are all about. There are many urban legends out there on just about any topic. It is fun to read through some of them because they almost always sound like they could be true. Urban legends though are of course false, they are just repeated so much in society people tend to start believing them. There were a couple of examples in the book but I wanted to look some others up and share them.
First there is one of the vanishing hitchhiker. "One of the oldest and most often repeated urban legends, the vanishing hitchhiker story comes in many forms. The most popular version involves a man who picks up a young hitchhiker (usually a girl) on a deserted country road. He drives her to her house, but when he turns to say goodbye he finds that she has inexplicably disappeared from the back seat of the car. Confused, the man rings the doorbell of the house, whereupon he learns that the girl has been dead for years, killed in a car accident on the very spot where he picked her up that night. There are a number of variations of this story, and it dates back so far that earlier versions take place on horseback or in covered wagons." I got this from .

"The most ubiquitous and persistent urban legend, "the kidney heist" story has been immortalized on the internet, TV shows, and even a few movies. It supposedly dates back to 1997, when an e-mail started circulating warning people of a new and frightening crime that was catching on in some cities. In most versions, a business traveler is relaxing in a bar when a stranger strikes up a conversation and then offers to by them a drink. After taking a few sips, the traveler becomes woozy and then blacks out, only to awaken in a hotel room bathtub covered with ice. There is a phone next to them, and a note that says to call 911 immediately. When the paramedics arrive, the person learns that their kidney has been harvested by people who hope to sell it on the back market. This story is completely false, but it has been circulating for years, and its appearance on the internet is one of the oldest e-mail hoaxes. In order to quell the rumor, The National Kidney Foundation has even asked supposed victims of the crime to contact them, but to this date they haven't had any takers. A scary tale, but still an urban legend." This also came from .

As you can see most urban legends have some sense of horror behind them. I personally find them interesting and fun to read even though I know they aren't real.


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Those are some interesting urban legends you were able to find. I have heard or seen both of these in the media today, adding to the whole hoax. Urban legends are fun stories to tell and here, I remember a few from when I was a child about my neighborhood in particular. There was a homeless man who was with out a hand and the story went that he had it chopped of while passed out on the railroad tracks just across the street. Growing up I had seen the shelter the supposed man lived in, but never the homeless man missing his hand. As I got older I realized it was just a legend, but it made for a great camp fire story. These urban legends are great, and when young very believable.

Urban legends are always fun and sometimes scary and almost always made up. What I mean by almost always is that sometimes when people here them that might get the idea that maybe they can play them out in order to get them to become real, I am primarily focusing on the kidney one, for example there is a thriving organ market in other parts of the world and it is not difficult to believe that someone who is desperate enough would steal a organ but I would need proof before I would actually believe an urban legend because almost always its just a story.

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This page contains a single entry by pete8983 published on April 24, 2012 4:26 PM.

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