Free Urban Legend Essay Sample

Urban legends are famous stories assumed to be true and are passed from an individual to another through written (such as forwarded email) or oral communication. Normally, the stories concern humorous, outlandish, terrifying, supernatural, or humiliating events. The events in stories constantly seem to occur to somebody other than the story teller. Urban legend depends on flourishes or/and allusion to putatively reliable sources such as; “This actually happened to my mother’s co-worker” or “I heard this from a pal of a pal” to prop its reliability. At times, but not constantly, there is an indirect moral message such as; “Be cautious, or similar embarrassing (or horrible, or inexplicable, or enraging) thing may occur to you.

Urban legends are a kind of myths described as the stories, traditions and beliefs of normal people. So one approach of distinguishing between urban legends and other types of narratives is by probing where they originated from and how they are spread. Legends happen arise impulsively and are hardly ever traceable to a single spot of origin. In addition, they are disseminated by interpersonal communication and just in unusual cases via institutional means or mass media. The stories are likely to change over time as they result to being repeated by a lot of different individuals in various different places. Therefore, no two sides of the stories are ever closely the same; there may be a lot of variations as there are tellers of the story.

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In the world of current urban legends there is typically no generational or geographical gap between the event and teller. The tale is “true”; it really happened, and recently and at all times to someone who is close to the teller. The stories are passed in different versions. Ergo, when a different teller passes along the story, instead of saying, “do you recognize what occurred to a pal of a pal?” it is simpler and looks harmless enough to cut down the introduction. A result of this ordinary tendency to shorten is that credibility and immediacy stay attached to the story, because every individual who hears it trusts the original basis is only two degrees away. This clarifies the reason urban legends are so extensively believed, at times still circling the globe. Urban legends are folk past; or rather their spreading is no mystery. The stories have gone far and wide, and have been told severally in the same way fairy tales, ballads or myths spread in past cultures, with the significant difference that today’s tales are also spread by the mass media.

Adolescents are one main American legend channel, but other paths of spreading are among club members, office workers, also among regional, recreational and religious groups. Some people make a point of getting to know about every recent tale or rumor, and they can cheer up any party, trip or coffee break with the new supposed “news.”

Urban legends of terror finally become ghost tales told around campfires. A number of psychologists deem horrendous urban legends are a let go control of sorts for people to vent common anxieties and fear, while other tales possibly anticipated warning young people away from premarital sex. Urban Legends sometimes speak stridently of society's priorities and concerns. In September, 2001, many tales drifted around on likely future attacks. Campuses, malls and stadiums were feared to be destroyed by terrorists. Peoples’ alarm of being unsafe and the mysterious marked in urban legends since Americans were unsure, scared and confused on what the future would pass on. These stories (urban legends) can notify a lot on what we regard important, what our minds are thinking, and what wobbles us up as a community.


In the story entitled “The Boyfriend’s death: Urban Legends” Jan Harold Brunvand contemplates on the basis that urban legends endure and are yet believed in an era where actual news is simple to come by. Harold affirms that legends consist fully of oral tradition in alternatives. He argues that since urban legends are contained by the adding of certain places to the folklore that is popular to the listeners they are simpler to believe. Brunvand furthermore says that the presentation of these urban legends is essential, affirming that individuals who tell the tales are typically uninformed that they are spreaders of legend. Typically the reason of the telling is to put across an event that really occurred. The telling of one tale persuades others to tell their personal urban legends, and so the folklore keeps going. “The Boyfriend’s death” is an exceptional example of an urban legend. This legend was first composed by folklorists in year 1964. It is extensively spread and changes personality considering on where it is told.

A youngster is driving his girlfriend their residence from a date. The boy had earlier been joking on the car have a shortage of gas as a way to make out with her girlfriend. The plan does not work and the girl gets mad over her boyfriend. The boy apologizes on their way home. It happens that they actually run out of gas. The boy pulls over by some trees. It is extremely late and the vicinity is wooded and secluded. The boy tells his girlfriend he had seen a gas station a few miles back and he tells her to wait in the car with the windows locked. He tells his girlfriend that he will be back as soon as possible.

Well, the girlfriend stays in the car. It has been around 20 minutes when the girl hears a faint scraping noise. It begins to worry her, but she assumes it for tree branches scratching the car as it was a windy day. She then decides to switch on the car radio to listen to music so that the noise would not scare her.  Almost after two hours the girlfriend starts to worry. Her boyfriend could have made it to be back in not more than an hour. Half an hour later she gets more worried and decides to switch of music and look around. He had asked her not to get out of the car under any situation so she attempts to gaze out the window, she does not see anything.

She does not like the scratching noise. She finally decides get out and deal with the annoying branch. She gets out of the car and sees the gas can on the ground by the door. She right away turns around and notices her boyfriend hanging from the tree; upside down, throat cut, and his fingernails making a scratching noise as they dragged on top of the car. After all she would have recognized a crazy person had run away from the asylum next to the woods where they had parked their car, if only she did not listen to music but talk radio.

The urban legend of the Boyfriend’s death is suggestive of the hook-man myth, in which two youngsters necking on Lovers’ Lane race off in a panic after listening to a radio alert on a murderer on the slack with a hook for a hand. When going home they find out, to their shock, a gory hook hanging from one of the vehicle door handles.

While the character of “The Hook” getaway with their lives, the current tale ends with the boyfriend killed and the girlfriend in serious danger (although in some alternatives she is finally salvaged by passersby). Folklorists view both tales as examples of warning tales but tend to infer their meanings in a different way. “The Hook” is typically examined as a warning against teenager sexual activity; the urban legend, “The Boyfriend’s death” has been taken as a generalized caution not to wander away from home. According to Jan Harold Brunvand (folklorist) on a factual point, a tale like “The Boyfriend’s Death” just warns teenagers to keep away from circumstances in which they might be put in danger. However, at a more figurative point the tale exposes community’s broader uncertainties of people, particularly the young and women, being unaccompanied and among strangers in the gloomy world outside the safety of their own car or home. Campfire stories such as “The Boyfriend’s Death” have much in common with the plan lines of present horror movies, though there is a significant difference.  Usually, the bad character in some films shows supernatural peculiarity such as “unkillability” and strength.


Story telling has been fervor of people all through the past, and urban legends are not anything new. The stories, in logic are social theater, and there to stay. It might be smart to be more attentive the next instance somebody begins a tale with, "You know what happened to a pal of my pal?" Just like any other story, there is an implication behind every urban legend. They might look silly and frivolous at times, although they typically have a moral, lesson, or part of the past embedded in them that people can be taught from if they look closely. Brunvand affirms that urban legends can simply survive in our society if they contain three crucial features: they should be an interesting or exciting story, they should contain a basis in definite belief, and they should contain some sort of significant message. Lacking these 3 features Brunvand upholds that urban legends would become extinct. Brunvand sums up it fine when he writes, “Urban legends endure by being as “factual” and as lively as the TV (television) evening news.” He as well states that human beings have the want for reports during face-to-face contact. Urban legends have been around for a long time and giving Robin Hood as an example of an Urban Legend of its era. The telling of urban legends is a part of individuals’ nature. Society has told folklore since the start of civilization, and they will keep on telling them eternally.

Urban Legends can be actually great tales and offer us a lot to reflect on. It is perhaps best not to knowingly mislead the listener of your tale, so you might want to end your tale by letting the listeners know that it is an Urban Legend. Telling Urban Legends for enlightenment and enjoyment is an amusing way of storytelling. Tale telling is an oral tradition ever since the start of spoken language and assists us make logic out of our existence and on the world we live in. Putting situations and events into a tale assists us as humans understand and get by with things past our area of understanding. Telling tales is a survival means, but also a basis of entertainment and information sharing. In the earlier times there was no television, internet, and radio; tale telling was the only means to pass along wisdom, traditions and advice. Urban Legends is indeed less serious than possibly passing along our relations history, but it is significant no less. We ought to keep on celebrating and sharing the stories of our lives, including Urban Legends.


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