Many of them started out as oral stories - tales that were transmitted via word of mouth - and were written down later. Myths, legends, fairy tales and fables represent types of folktales. They normally teach a moral lesson or rationalize world events or phenomena that couldn't otherwise be explained at the time of the tale's origin, such as how the world came to exist.
Share via Email One of the most enduring urban myths: We know it's not true but… agghhhh! Just as Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks were spread by oral tradition, urban myths are spread by word of mouth, creating contemporary folklore, often with a moral sting in the tail.
Let's face it, a sleepover isn't complete without at least one candlelit tale of terror. Much like traditional folklore, modern myths are embellished or altered as they are retold. Most are still told orally over marshmallows and hot chocolate but some are recorded.
Many authors have retooled urban legends as inspiration for novels or movies. My new novel, Say Her Name is my version of the most famous urban legend of them all, the "Bloody Mary" curse.
I'm far from alone, however. Here I present 10 of the scariest urban legends and examine their roots and influence.
Bloody Mary Perhaps the most famous modern myth, this tale suggests that if you are to look in the mirror and say "Bloody Mary" a specified number of times, something will happen. It's the what that legend disagrees on.
In the earliest versions, an unmarried woman would see the face of her future husband in the glass or a skull if she were destined to die before being wed.
This evolved into something more gory — groups invoking a bleeding spirit or witch called Mary. Some links have also been made to Queen Mary I as she suffered multiple miscarriages during her reign. The story has been hugely influential. Mirrors and reflections, a regular fixture in uncanny literature play parts in Clive Barker's The Forbiddenwhich went on to be the film Candyman, while Ringu, by Koji Suzuki, substitutes a mirror for a television set.
The X Files and Supernatural directly tackled the Mary myth on screen. This year sees not one but two novels retelling versions of the legend: The hookman Another campfire must, this tale features an amorous young couple out for a drive when the radio informs them a hook-handed lunatic has escaped from a local institution.
Either the couple go home to find a hook embedded in the back of the car or one of them ends up suspended above the car with his fingers scraping against the roof. In the original, novelised version of I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan, the killer uses a gun but the cinematic version by Kevin Williamson features a hook-handed fishermen hell-bent on revenge.
The Candyman also has a hook for a hand. Freaky food Recently, outraged internet people were taken in by claims that popular fast food outlet KFC were breeding genetically mutated chickens for their burgers.
While the "shock pictures" were quickly revealed to be fakes, more than one of my Facebook friends were taken in. Foodstuffs often fall victim to urban myths — are MacDonald's burgers really made from earthworms?How to Write a Legend: Step-by-Step First, I highly recommend an introduction to legends through One-Hundred-and-One Read-Aloud Myths and Legends by Joan C.
Verniero and robin Fitzsimmons. This rich volume is heavy with the myths and legends of Greece and Rome, Britain, and Scandanavia. I have an informative speech coming up in about a week for my speech class. I decided to make my topic Urban Legends. Specific Purpose: To inform my audience of the pervasiveness of urban legends in.
AIM: Students will create an original story as an homage to a classic urban legend. Teenage girls really enjoy this one. Make sure you pick the right group of kids to do this with. How to Write a Myth: Step-by-Step First, introduce your class to the genre of myth through a book I highly recommend, One-Hundred-and-One Read-Aloud Myths and Legends, by Joan C.
Verniero and Robin Fitzsimmons. An author can write a story in the style of a folktale by following its conventions. Study examples of folktales and choose a narrative form. Folktales are a wide-ranging genre, so you can write one in the style of a fairy tale, a Greek or Roman myth, a local legend or an urban myth.
Top 10 urban legends New urban legends will almost certainly have some sort of viral online element. Jeff the Killer is a similar, facially disfigured internet meme.