I cringed while munching on Doritos at lunch the other day, remembering how grade school pals claimed the chips had bat guano in them. (What else could those little black specks be?) I then began to ponder the urban legends of my childhood, the ways they shaped my adolescent worldview and how darn entertaining some of them were. Here are three of my favorite tall tales; tell us yours after the cut!
1. The poison prom dress. This one really scared me for some reason, probably because I hit up Goodwill for my clothing from a young age. According to the tale, a poor girl buys a prom dress from a thrift store. She dons the gown for her big night, and is feeling beautiful and on top of the world…at first. But as the evening wears on, she starts to feel faint and exhausted. By the time the girl gets home, she collapses in her bed with the gown on, feeling too weak to take it off. Her parents find her dead the next morning, and later discover that the dress she was wearing was originally used as a funeral dress for a corpse. (And then I guess they randomly changed the dead woman for burial?) The formaldahyde from the body was absorbed by the dress, and it poisoned Prom Girl to death.
2. The hide-and-seek bride. A woman gets married at a huge mansion, and the wedding party decides to play hide-and-seek. Hours go by, and no one is able to find the bride. As days, weeks and months pass without sign of her, everyone assumes she got cold feet and fled her wedding. Until, years, later, her skeleton is found locked in a trunk in the mansion attic: the ultimate hide-and-seek spot.
3. The AIDS pinpricks. This one is certainly the most ridiculous, but I was in grade school when I heard it, and a 10-year-old will believe anything. A girl is sitting in a movie theater, and keeps feeling little pricks on her back. Thinking she’s just in an itchy chair, the girl ignores it. After the movie, she checks out her back in the mirror, only to discover it is covered in blood. And (this part makes me laugh so hard) spelled out in needle pricks on her back is “YOU NOW HAVE AIDS.” There are just too many inexplicable details here to even consider.
While most urban legends are simply absurd, I won’t deny that I still love surfing Snopes for extensive lengths of time. It’s always fun to not quite be sure if macabre and over-the-top tales are true.
What are your favorite urban legends?