Friday FaBOOolousness – Urban Legends

Watching American Horror Story this week reminded us of the power of the urban legend when a patient of Dr. Harmon’s couldn’t even muster up the strength to walk into his bathroom in fear of the Pig Man.

By definition, an urban legend is a modern tale or myth usually believed to be true.    A few favorites include:

The Bloody Mary Legend, the ghost who appears in a mirror after her name is called three times.

The Killer in the Backseat Legend, the story that begins with a woman driving home alone at night when a passerby scares her by flashing his high beams or speeding past her.  She manages to make it home, safe and sound, before realizing the other driver was only trying to warn her about the man in the backseat.

 

The Achilles Slasher Legend, the fear that a mysterious person lays in wait underneath cars ready to slash our Achilles tendons as we attempt to open the car door.

The Spider Bite Legend, the legend of the facial spider bite that swells and bursts, releasing hundreds of tiny baby spiders.

The Hook Legend, a tale of a serial killer who stalks and murders young couples.

 

The Kidney Heist Legend, the terrifying story of waking up in a pool of ice only to discover a kidney has been surgical removed and stolen.

The Pop Rocks and Soda Legend, the tale that enjoying a package of Pop Rocks candy and a can of soda together will result in an explosion of the face, throat, and/or stomach.

Hollywood has told the tales of the urban legend over and over again, and it has thrived in the success of moviegoers perhaps believing in, and definitely enjoying the frightening stories.

Candyman, the 1992 horror film starring Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, and Xander Berkeley combines the tales of Bloody Mary and the Hook, while placing a new spin on the legends.  In this movie, the characters summon Candyman by calling his name five times while looking into a mirror.  A man with a hook for his right hand appears and seeks revenge against those who harmed him years before.

Candyman successfully spooked the begeezus out of our group in high school, and as usual the sequels weren’t quite the same (Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh and Candyman 3: Day of the Dead).

I Know What You Did Last Summer, the classic tale of The Hook, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Ryan Phillippe.  This movie follows a killer with a hook stalking four teenagers responsible for a hit and run the summer before.

Hollywood produced a few sequels, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (Jennifer Love and Freddie Prinze Jr. return with the addition of Brandy Norwood, the singer, and Mekhi Phifer) and I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (all new cast), but these follow-ups lost the shock factor of the original.

Finally, let’s not forget the Urban Legend Franchise that includes tales such as the Pop Rocks and Soda story, the Kidney Heist, the Spider Bite, and the classic, Bloody Mary.

Urban Legend stars a young, popular cast of the ‘90s: Jared Leto, Rebecca Gayheart, Joshua Jackson, as well as other familiar faces like Alicia Witt, Natasha Gregson Wagner, and Freddie Kruger himself, Robert Englund.    This movie resembles more of a slasher flick, but does introduce a few of the classic urban legends within the storyline.

Similar to its predecessor, Urban Legend: Final Cut hit screens a few years later starring Jennifer Morrison, Anthony Anderson, Eva Mendes, Joey Lawrence, and Rebecca Gayheart (again). We watched as another mysterious killer makes his way across campus killing college students working on their thesis projects.

Urban Legends: Bloody Mary wraps up the franchise, but moves toward the supernatural when three friends call to Bloody Mary during a sleep over.  Instead of the usual slasher theme, this movie follows the story of a decades old murder via haunting and mysterious deaths.

Urban Legends – fact or fiction?  Share a favorite in the comment section below. 

What other movies have you enjoyed that tell the tales of the urban legend?  Is the number three the death number for an urban legend franchise (three Candyman movies, three I Know What You Did Last Summer movies, and three Urban Legend movies), or is it just coincidence?  I’d love to hear from you!

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25 Responses to Friday FaBOOolousness – Urban Legends

  1. donnagalanti says:

    Tiffany, wicked fun! Love this list of urban legends related to movies. I still cant watch Freddie Kruger, scary as all get out.

  2. Stacy Green says:

    Wasn’t American Horror Story FANTASTIC this week? The Pig Man legend is one I hadn’t heard of. And I know it’s silly, but I won’t try Bloody Mary. No thank you! I haven’t seen Candyman in years but it scared the heck out of me.

    Great post!

    • Not one single episode of American Horror Story has disappointed yet; but there are still so many questions… This week’s preview looks like they may answer a few more. Woudn’t that be nice?

      I hadn’t heard of the Pig Man legend before AHS either, Stacy; but I will NEVER say the Pig Man phrase in the mirror – that’s for sure!

  3. Julie Glover says:

    I have way too many author friends who like to creep me out! That achilles heel one always gives me the willies. I never knew that Candyman was based on urban legends. Interesting stuff as always, Tiffany. You make me think..and shiver. 😉

    • Oh, the achilles slasher and the back seat killer spook me still! I always look in my back seat before getting into my car and I sometimes even squat down to see if anyone’s under my car as I walk toward it. Call me crazy, but I’d rather be safe than sorry! Thanks for stopping by, Julie.

  4. Catie Rhodes says:

    Did you know the Candyman was based on a Clive Barker short story? It’s in one of his Books of Blood collections. And, yes, Candyman is steeped in Bloody Mary. So is Piggy Man. I liked Piggy Man, and I thought the outcome of the whole Piggy Man subplot in AHS was hysterical.

    My favorite Urban Legend is the Vanishing Hitchhiker. Probably the most famous version of this tale is the one associated with Resurrection Mary in Chicago. However, you have a Vanishing Hitchhiker story in your neck of the woods. The Lady of the Lake is based in the area of White Rock Lake. As with all Vanishing Hitchhiker stories, someone picks up a distressed young woman walking on the roadside. In the White Rock Lake version, she is dripping wet. She gives the driver an address. The driver takes the silent passenger to the address only to find she has disappeared. He rings the doorbell only to find the only young woman who ever lived at that address died many years ago in a tragic accident…

    Great blog. 😀

    • I did read that Candyman was based on the Clive Barker story and wasn’t surprised by that fact at all.

      You aren’t kidding that the Pig Man storyline of AHS was hysterical. I was actually asking the TV (outloud) why a therapist would make a patient go into the bathroom to overcome his fears. I was just about to close my eyes (I didn’t want to see that pig face again) when the intruder opened the shower curtain and…. (I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t watched it). I laughed out loud at just how spooked I was.

      I didn’t know the White Rock Lake legend. The Vanishing Hitchhiker sounds a lot like the Woman in White. You watch Supernatural, right? The pilot episode (I believe, it’s been a long time) was about the Woman in White who was standing on the side of the road….

      Good stuff! Thanks for stopping by, Catie!

  5. Tiffany, we have a local urban legend…Tall Betsy. If you stay out too late on Halloween night, she will take you to her mausoleum and will eat you! LOL. Every year, starting in 1980, one of our local businessmen would dress up as Tall Betsy. Soon the whole street began decorating elaborately for Halloween. There began to be such a crowd that our town started a block party for Halloween each year. The businessman retired Tall Betsy in 1998. But she’s been scaring kids in our town for years!

  6. Tiffany: There’s always the crazy dude who escaped from the insane asylum nearby legend. That always freaks me out when we are camping. In a tent.

    • No doubt, Renee. I’ve only been camping once (I know, sad) and every single sound that I heard spooked me beyond belief. What was even funnier, the men we were with didn’t so much like the sound of brekaing branches behind them either. We had a bit too much fun with that….

  7. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos says:

    I used to work at a mall in college and my mom swore I was going to get my achilles tendon slashed when I was walking to my car after closing. I always thought it was real. I mean, come on, my mom told me!! My daughter recently started working at the mall and I told her the same story!!!!

    • Jill, this made me laugh out loud…..it was so great, that I had to read it to my best friends this weekend. We had a nice laugh at you and your daughter’s expense. LOL 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I love urban legends. The movies too. I must admit, I’ve never done the bloody mary thing in the mirror. I know it’s just malarky but still…:D

    I’m pretty well hooked on AHS too. At first, I had a hard time with the pacing. But now, I’m in the groove. Maybe it’s better that I don’t really have much empathy for the characters because I’m kinda enjoying watching things unravel. Though the thing with Tate was pretty horrible. I wish they’d found something else for Tate to have done other than a school shooting.

    • Sonia, I won’t call out for Bloody Mary either. I just won’t do it!

      The Tate story line was the second school shooting on television this season – Criminal Minds was the other. I had figured Tate was a ghost, but I liked him. Now it makes it a bit more difficult to actually “like” him, but we’ll see where they go from here.

      Still – who the heck is the man in the rubber suit? Is it the security man? Thanks for stopping by!

  9. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    Well, great! Why did I have to read this post at night? I haven’t seen Candyman or I Know What You Did Last Summer. I can’t do horror flicks. I get nightmares and panic attacks from them. And reading these urban legends and all the scary memories they brought back have my heart thumpin’ in my chest. Eeeks. So, thanks, Tiffany, for scaring the heck out of me. Maybe I’ll be up all night and get a lot of writing done!

  10. Ugh. Why did I read this before bed? Now I’m going to have nightmares!

    By the way, that Bloody Mary legend is true.

  11. Jess Witkins says:

    Now you’ve made me want to watch these flicks again, and also NOT watch them. I spooked myself well enough with all the movies I watched around Halloween.

    • LOL, Jess! I Know What You Did Last Summer has been on the movie channels late at night lately and I’ve been enjoying it. Of course, there’s nothing like the first time…spooky!!

      Thanks for stopping by & for the link love. 🙂

  12. Pingback: Monday Must Reads: Writing, Women, Mummies, and Christmas Lists « Jess Witkins' Happiness Project

  13. Sooo yummy creepy!!! I love urban legends and their related movies. Always scared the ever living stuffin’ out of me. LOL!
    I keep hearing about how GREAT the American Horror Story is. I can’t wait to check it out and get myself scared of the dark…again…LOL!

    • Ooo, Natalie – I highly recommend American Horror Story. Depending on your cable provider, FX has an OnDemand option and AHS is available for viewing. Be sure and come back and let me know what you think!

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