This weeks topic is Urban Legends those supposedly true tales that cover a myriad of topics from ghosts and other supernatural phenomena to legendary beasties that vary by locale. My first brush with an urban legend was at the Uptown Theater in Pueblo, Colorado when I saw s movie about the Abominible Snowman. I was 8 or 9 years old.
Fast forward 20 or so years, living in Northern CA and tales of Bigfoot, including an alleged witness of a 50-gallon oil drum - full of course, thrown down a hill and you have the perfect recipe for a weekend camping trip complete with sufficient supply of beer, guns and cameras. The beer was consumed, shots fired, trees wounded and no film exposed nor were there any Bigfoot sightings but much fun was had.
There are Bigfoot legends I'm several states. West Virginia has a Mothman and several states have Chubacabra legends. What do they all have on common? Movies. Urban legends here are great stories for horror movies. I have always been a fan of those
At this time of the year there is, of course, the tale of the guy that delivers toys to girls and boys around the world. That, I would suggest, is one of the largest and most universal urban legends
Ghost stories are fairly common in urban lore. The same group that hunted bigfoot looked for the Niles Canyon ghost one Halloween. Let's face it - when you're too old to trick or treat you have to find something to do on Halloween. I suppose it comes as no surprise we struck out on that quest as well, but it may be because we spent more time parked at our favorite spot doing other, more fun things. Hey - we were young. Ahem.
The digital world has ussured in a whole new level of legend and has spurred the creation of sites like Snopes to check the veracity of posts. Poor Morgan Freeman has probably died a dozen times on Facebook.
Before there were movies there were books. Legendary tales were written down and became things
like Grimms Fairy Tales. Much of what we here in the USA think we know about out western heroes comes from cheap dime novels that spawned TV series based on those legends. Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and Bill Hickcock were nothing
like they were portrayed on TV but their urban legends are what we think we know of them.
That's it for this week's topic- see ya next week. Be sure to check Ramana's take on the subject