August 22, 2017

What Are Urban Legends and Superstitions?

Warning: Eating Pop Rocks with soda will make your stomach explode!

Welcome back, dark passengers. As you may have already noticed, we’re kicking off a new year of Your Dark Passenger at our new domain name, so make sure you update your bookmarks and feed subscriptions accordingly.

Today, I need to share the tragic story about what happened to the cousin of a friend of mine. While she was babysitting one night, she kept getting calls asking if she checked on the children. Figuring it was a crank call, she told the guy where he could go and slammed the phone down.

But he kept on calling. And calling. The last time she slammed down the phone, she was in the kitchen and spilled some salt. Since she couldn’t remember which hand to toss it over which shoulder with, she figured it wouldn’t matter and called the police about the crank caller. At first, they weren’t very helpful, but they eventually were able to trace the call.

It was coming from inside the house!

The cops told her to get out, but she couldn’t leave the kids – especially since they had her lucky rabbit’s foot. When she flipped on the bedroom lights, she found both children dead in their beds, empty packages of Pop Rocks and empty bottles of soda next to each, their stomach’s exploded.

As she tried to flee the scene, she noticed writing on the wall that said, “You shouldn’t have turned on the light” and a man with a hook for a hand appeared. To this day, we don’t know what happened to her.

Come to think of it, we also don’t know how we know this story if she disappeared.

Welcome to the World of Urban Legend and Superstition

As you probably guessed, that story is a total fabrication and didn’t happen to a friend’s cousin (or a cousin’s friend). You may have also noticed several elements you’ve heard before. Y’all know me…I couldn’t just tell you ONE urban legend; I had to mix in a few more to keep it fresh.

Yes, my mind is a scary place most days…

What’s the Deal with Urban Legends?

Basically, urban legends are modern day myths; folklore, if you will. You may even know some as “old wives’ tales” – which I find rather offensive as a wife, but whatever. Some of these modern legends even act as cautionary tales against bad behavior – like those poor teens who always get massacred when they try to make out in the woods.

With VERY few exceptions, urban legends aren’t real. As a society, we only buy into the myths because of their close proximity to the victim. After all, they always come to us as a “friend of a friend.”

The thing is, it’s never that close. Our friend hears it from a friend, who heard it from a friend, who heard it from their cousin, who found out from her boyfriend, who heard it from his college roommate, who overheard it in the library…

Kinda loses some credibility when it’s that far removed from us, huh?

What About Superstitions?

Just call me "Unlucky"

Ahh…I love superstitions as much as I love a juicy conspiracy theory. Superstitions are beliefs we hold that have absolutely no basis in reality. Zero. Zilch.

These beliefs have been around for so long that they seem to get passed down to each new generation…and they believe them because their parents or grandparents did. In a way, superstitions have much in common with conspiracy theories. The more each is told, the more we seem to believe it.

So, Urban Legends and Superstitions are Total Lies?

Kind of. Don’t get me wrong, while researching my Halloween Trivia post I did run across a website that was tracking urban legends back to the original source and was able to prove perhaps five were real. Now, I know what you’re thinking: If five were real, all the others could be real – superstitions, too.

Don’t get your hopes up, dark passengers. I’m living proof – or dis-proof – of several:

  • I lived in a house with three black cats who crossed my path several times daily
  • I constantly forget to toss salt over my shoulder
  • I’ve walked under ladders
  • I’ve had Pop Rocks and Coke…and even created a cupcake recipe out of them that hasn’t killed anyone yet
  • I’ve turned around when I thought someone was following me and didn’t see Death or the devil
  • Bad things don’t happen to me on Friday the 13th with any more regularity than any other day
  • I’ve stepped on a crack without breaking my mother’s back.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Personally, I don’t like to think of urban legends or superstitions as lies. I prefer to call them fun myths. And let’s be honest, it’s sorta fun to tell someone your lucky number is 13 and you have three black cats while scarfing down your Pop Rocks and Coke. (Yes, my honest to goodness lucky number is 13…even though I don’t believe in luck.)

So, dark passengers, it’s your turn: What are your favorite superstitions or urban legends? Are there any superstitions you follow? Any urban legends you know are true?

Jen

“Let your dark passenger come out to play…Be your own nemesis!”

© 2011, Jen Whitten. All rights reserved. Remember, using content from this site without prior written permission will either land you on Dexter’s table or set off the zombie apocalypse. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.

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About Jen Whitten

Jen Whitten is a paranormal researcher and writer, specializing in psychic development, Empaths, modern day vampirism and dealing with entities. She regularly discusses the paranormal realm, as well as the dark inner workings of the mind.

Comments

  1. lissa says:

    I don’t know if this urban legend is true – but I have definitely heard my fair share of jr high school kids says it’s true – the lady in the mirror. You are supposed to say her name three times – in the bathroom, with the lights off, and she will appear and scratch your face. I forgot her name. Anyways, I always wanted to try but never did – cause I am a big ‘fraidy cat. Even the gremlins scared me, and I wouldn’t let my feet touch the ground while eating dinner because i was sure they would eat me =]

    • Jen Whitten says:

      You’re thinking of “Bloody Mary.” I’ve heard that one, but it’s never one I’ve personally debunked. Of course, if you watch South Park, it’s apparently a rapper, not the lady in the mirror. ;)

      Oh…yes, it’s an urban legend…as far as I know.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] your weekend in true paranoid paranormal style, I thought we’d continue our discussion about superstitions and urban legends from Wednesday. Today though, let’s focus our attention to our old pal, the Ouija [...]