URBAN LEGEND CHARACTERISTICS
are told seriously (believed by the originating
are circulated by word of mouth
vary constantly by particular details
have a meaningful message or moral
preserve a central core of traditional motifs or
could not have possibly happened in so many
localities to so many different people
WHY DO WE SHARE URBAN LEGENDS?
1. They are entertaining – often about the bizarre,
fascinating, or frightening aspects of our culture.
2. They reflect the hopes, fears and anxieties of our
time. They can assuage or exacerbate our fears.
They can leave positive messages. (They explain
what happens when boys and girls go out and
make out in cars or when babysitters don’t check
often enough on the kids.)
3. They are social and provide social interaction.
4. They attempt to explain supernatural or unusual
happenings in the natural world.
5. They promote stereotypes. (The woman is often
rescued by the policeman or the man; the escaped
lunatic is always out to murder the poor
unfortunate unknown female. The gang members
will stop at nothing to become initiated. All
hunters are stupid.)
6. They are about symbols of our culture and our
reactions to them.
URBAN LEGENDS - BY CATEGORY
Animals and Insects
Urban legends and Netlore about animals and insects: Alligators in
the Sewers; Maggots in the Brain; Spiders in the Hairdo; The Mexican
Pet; The Choking Doberman.
Urban legends, rumors and gossip about celebrities: Bill Gates, the
Antichrist; Celebrity Stomach Pump; The Elevator Story; Richard Gere
and the Gerbil; 'Hanoi Jane' Fonda; Jennifer Lopez' Billion Dollar
Christmas History: Facts, myths, folklore and trivia pertaining to the
celebration of Christmas and the origins of seasonal holiday
"Alligators in the Sewers," "The Hook," "The Microwaved Pet," and "Aren't You
Glad You Didn't Turn on the Light?"
Urban legends and Netlore about crime and criminals: ATM Envelope
Poisonings; The 'Blue Star' LSD Tattoo; The Body in the Bed; The Nigerian
Scam; Double Whammy; Aren't You Glad You Didn't Turn on the Light?
Amazing, isn't it, how often we find that famous people never really said
some of the clever, funny, shocking, and horrid things attributed to them!
Facebook Rumors & Hoaxes
A comprehensive listing of rumors and hoaxes on and/or about the social
networking service Facebook.
A continuously updated roster of fake news stories misrepresented as real
ones -- hoaxes, parodies, spoofs, political satires, jokes, and outright
disinformation -- presented as "the news."
Funny Urban Legends
Urban legends can be as funny as the most hilarious jokes -- indeed,
sometimes the distinction between the two types of folklore is blurry.
Some of the funniest urban legends are, in fact, old or new jokes told
convincingly enough to seem true. Does the distinction really matter?
Maybe not. The important thing is, they make us laugh.
Gross & Disgusting Urban Legends
The most revolting, gross, disgusting urban legends and Netlore to be
found -- horrible infestations, repugnant medical conditions, and
repulsive human behavior.
Scary Urban Legends
Horror Stories!!! This is your directory of scary stories, even scarier
rumors, the absolute scariest urban legends, with myths and hoaxes
guaranteed to make you very afraid.
Health / Medical
Rumors, hoaxes, urban legends and old wives' tales related to health
Photo Fakery: Hoax Photos and Viral Images
Photo Hoaxes: Okay, a few of the credulity-stretching images and
videos featured in this category aren't fakes -- some are authentic --
but most, you'll find, are demonstrably bogus, altered, or at the very
Politics / Law / Government
Urban legends, rumors and Internet hoaxes pertaining to
government, politics and politicians.
Sex and Scandal
Ribald rumors, salacious gossip and scandalous myths from around
Bring in an urban legend to share with the class.