Debunking The Urban Legend

9 Nov

I love a good horror film. I’m the sort of person that will hide behind a pillow, scaring myself to death with that little bubble of anticipation in my throat when I know someone is going to get murdered terribly. I will put all the lights on in the flat to ensure I am safe (makes sense) and recently after I watched the terrible Insidious, I still checked in my shower for any dead kids that might be lurking there, looking a bit peaky. When I am alone in the house I shut all doors on the understanding that I won’t freak myself out wondering why the bathroom door is open when I can’t remember if I left it ajar or totally shut it or….. This way, there is no concern. Door shut means I am sane, door open means some dude with a fish hook has snuck in and is now lying in the bath awaiting my need for a wee. But I sometimes feel that some of the urban legends that these films are based on are slightly farfetched. So I thought that I would have a go at debunking some of the popular ones, so that you all sleep better at night. Please send me cake by way of thanks.

The killer in the backseat

 I’m sad to say that the urban myth of the killer in the back seat is something that I am guilty of being slightly freaked out by when driving late at night on my own. The myth states that a girl drives home, being flashed by the car behind her all the way. She doesn’t stop, as she is scared that she might be attacked (those police emails really make you worry) so she carries on driving. When she gets home, she realises too late that the person behind was trying to make her aware of the knife wielding maniac crouching in her boot ready to fillet her like a fish. Or something.

So this one has its flaws, doesn’t it? A sensible girl like me can realise that if you make sure that your car is tidy (no coats or other hiding materials on the back seat) then the only place the killer would be able to lurk is the boot. Problem solved! By ensuring your parcel shelf is always in your vehicle, you remove the element of surprise. By the time Norman Bates has worked his way out of the boot, you will be firmly in your house and the kettle will have boiled. Magic.

The Hook

The hook is a slightly ridiculous one. Picture the scene, young couple making out in car with the radio on. Which announces a serial killer on the loose that has a hook in place of a hand. They decide to go home, and the legend ends with the killer on the roof pretending they are a tin of sardines, and eventually the couple are dead.

This one is so simple. Don’t park up and have a romp in the car. Its frowned upon, and I think the police might assume that you are dogging. If you feel that you must, don’t put the radio on. What you don’t know won’t hurt you. (When researching this post, I love how Wikipedia informed me that interpretations are that there is ‘a depiction of danger from a rampaging antisocial person’! that’s me  most mornings).

Aka Manto

This one is a Japanese one, and makes me laugh because whoever dreamt it up covered all bases. Basically it’s a ghost that haunts bathrooms (As if you would. You would haunt somewhere a bit better than the loo, wouldn’t you?!) And is most commonly found in the end stall in the girl’s loos. When the victim is going about their ablutions, they hear a voice asking if they want red paper or blue paper (brilliant. I imagine this voice to be Billy Connolly, but insert comedy voice as needed). If the toilet user opts for red they are killed violently and drenched in blood (I assume their own) but if they choose blue they are strangled and bled dry, causing you to go blue. If they have any questions, or would prefer a different shade of loo roll, hands come out of the toilet and drag them to hell. Via the U-bend.

The licked hand

Aother simply solved urban legend. The myth is that a girl is home alone and hears on the radio that a serial killer is on the loose. She takes her dog and hides in her room, with the dog under the bed. In the night, she hears dripping and is freaked out when the light won’t turn on, so she puts her hand under the bed and when the dog licks it, she is reassured that everything is OK (because obviously this is a measure of how OK the situation is). When she wakes up in the morning she finds her dog hanging from the ceiling dripping blood, and in blood on the wall are the words “humans can lick too”. Goodness me. This one has always puzzled me. Why do people get so worried? If the killer was in your room with the light off you would surely hear something. If you had been eating your carrots like a good girl you might even see a shape. Best way to avoid this one? Don’t get a dog. That way if something licks your hand from under the bed in the night, you know to grab your baseball bat and get the hell out of there. But whatever you do, don’t head to the basement by yourself. That’s just asking for trouble.

What urban legends do you find the most unbelievable? And for a bonus point, what celebrity voice would your Japanese loo killer have?

30 Responses to “Debunking The Urban Legend”

  1. visitingmissouri November 9, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    What baffles me even more about the last urban myth is that apparently a serial killer is okay with just hiding under the bed, licking some hand every now and then, only to leave a cute note after a night. I don’t think that’s the thing they do you should be worried about. My Japanese loo killer has the voice of Don LaFontaine and has the manners of James Bond. Doesn’t matter in the end though.

  2. Mila Said November 9, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    I hate horror movie, especially movie about ghost in toilet. I know it’s ridiculous, but ghost that haunts toilet are one of the favorite story in Asia. Sometimes it can be really scary and make me afraid to go to toilet alone at night. @_@

  3. sparklebumps November 9, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Urban Legends was the first horror film I eve watched, and trust me- the backseat killer haunted me for years after that.

  4. poetprodigy7 November 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    You really made me chuckle with the Japanese loo one; I kept thinking Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter, which naturally made me think Bridget Jones’ Diary, and now I think I will never be afraid of urban legends again…at least, Japanese ones.

  5. bwinwnbwi November 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Christ! What’s wrong with me? As soon as I saw your postaday picture I started laughing.

  6. wheredreamscollide November 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    If you had been eating your carrots like a good girl you might even see a shape.

    True story.
    great post!!

  7. zendictive November 9, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    scared me (!_!) he he he

  8. mytastehistaste November 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Hahaha, try watching the Chinese vampire movies! They can only hop and have hands they can’t bend, smoke coming out of their mouth… I wonder who thought that could be scary?

  9. Byron MacLymont November 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    What does the Japanese Bathroom Ghost do if you just say, “I’ve got plenty of paper, thanks.”?

    And I think “licking bed guy” would be laughed out of his Psycho Killer Coffee Club if he showed up with a story about “And I licked her hand and killed her dog!” “Then what?” “I left” “What?” “Yeah.”

    • tinkerbelle86 November 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

      so funny and so true!! i thin kthe Japanese killer would literally have to retreat with his tail between his legs in that case. its the only way!

  10. prenin November 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi hun! 🙂

    I NEVER watch horror flicks as I live alone in an area that used to be a horror movie by itself!!! 🙂

    Love and squishy hugs!


  11. Sandra Bell Kirchman November 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Are you kidding me? Every urban-legend-sounding event is absolutely true. Don’t even THINK about laughing at them, because then they WILL get you. After I saw The Thing many centuries ago, I had to ride along the lakeway to get home. The waves pounding against the breakers sounded like giant vegetable footsteps coming after me. First time in history that a bicycle broke the sound barrier.

    Then there’s Psycho. I didn’t shower comfortably for decades after that, especially when I had soap in my eyes and couldn’t see the killer.

    However, I will admit that there is just a brief moment of disbelief when there is some horrible monster in the woods and some bright idiot decides the party should split up? Why? To make it convenient for said horrible monster to pick off the victims one by one, of course. No matter how loud I scream, “Don’t separate – stay together, you idiots!” they go their separate ways…to become monster fodder. If they just did what I told them, they’d be all right.

  12. amycreates November 9, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    I’d like my Japanese loo killer to have a voice like Reese Witherspoon or Sara Silverman. At least then I’d feel like I had a chance at survival.

  13. Lafemmeroar November 9, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    I have a love/hate with horror movies. I hate being scared, but I love curling up in the dark. BTW I love your tip about the dog … very practical if you’re not an animal lover 🙂

  14. cherylhelen November 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who is slightly afraid of the back car-seat killer still 🙂 Great blog! I’m definitely going to follow

  15. joem18b November 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    at my public school, the administration elected to buy very cheap toilet paper as one method of saving money. there were two types: waxy and cheap, and rough and cheap. The waxy wouldn’t do the job and the rough was… well, rough on tender young bottoms. Every year the students were allowed to vote on which type they wanted, and they always voted for the one they were not currently using.

    urban legend? definitely a horror story for those involved.

  16. susartandfood November 9, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    I like to get terrified on a rainy night. I sit with a blanket under my chin, hold my hand in front of my face and open and close my fingers depending on how awful the vision on the screen is. Nice writing, and thanks for checking in on my blog. Appreciate it. Susie

  17. Patsy November 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    I also love horror movies! And what a coincidence that I was watching the Urban Legends films as I started reading this post!

  18. life is a bowl of kibble November 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    I really hate anything scary. I can’t even watch commercials with anything scary in it. If I could not get out of the room fast enough or change the channel fast enough, someone must accompany me to the restroom and check my closet and under my bed. Plus I have to leave every light in the house on even in the daylight hours. Your post was a good one. I would like to say it helped me get over some of my fears but it did not. I am hopeless and I really hate anything scary.

  19. therealsharon November 10, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    I had never heard the Japanese bathroom one….but I knew there really must be a good reason that I secretly hate public bathrooms! 🙂
    The only bathroom I could imagine haunting is maybe one in a celebrity’s mansion with a big hot tub in it or something….

  20. barkinginthedark November 10, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    have you looked in your hall closet? DON’T! continue…

  21. Marvin the Martian November 10, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    In the Gospel according to J.K. Rowling, ghosts DO haunt bathrooms, to wit: Moaning Myrtle.

    I don’t watch horror films. The closest I get to those is the original “The Shining.”

  22. mamaschinsky November 10, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    my problem is that when I’m not the only one watching, and it’s during the day, and all the lights are on, I love horror movies. It’s when the lights are off and everyone but me is asleep and the whole house is ALMOST silent that I start freaking myself out over every sound our house makes all night long. I have sent my husband out of our room to search our house…with a machete.

    the way I make myself feel safe is by plastering myself to my husband in bed, never facing my back to the door, and covering myself up to my ears in mystery heavy blankets. Also, if it’s pitch black, there are no shadows, so…blackout curtains.

  23. Errign November 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    I haaaaate horror movies, because my ex used to make us watch the scariest ones and then make me drive home 30 minutes alone! They are pretty unbelievable though, if you can get past the general spook of them!

  24. Random Female Blog November 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    There’s also one with a clown. A girl is babysitting and sends the children to bed. But they are crying and that kind of stuff. She tries to comfort them, asking what is wrong, and they say they are scared of the clown, the sculpture in the corner of their room. It continues for a few hours like this (kids crying, girl trying to comfort them), when the girl decides to phone the parents. She asks if she can move the sculpture away, to which the parents answer: “But we don’t have a clown sculpture…”

  25. Megan November 11, 2011 at 1:41 am #

    I am such a chicken! I scare so incredibly easy and get spooked at the silliest of things. Seriously, after I first read this, I had goofy dreams about my hand being licked and what not. I am such a wimp!!!

  26. Janet November 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    Yeah, what’s up with the person (almost always a pretty young woman) going into the basement (usually the light is out, so she carries a flashlight), when she hears a noise down there? I’d lock the basement door and hunker down on the couch with a weapon of some sort. Forget checking out the noise – until tomorrow when it is light out and I can get some guy to go down there and fix the light, and find out what was making the noise.

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